Tex-Mex Pasta Salad

This kid-friendly recipe is a takeoff on macaroni and cheese; it makes a large batch that holds well for two or three days. Serve with pickled jalapeño slices for grownups who like spicy food.

  • Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)


  • 1 pound uncooked radiatore pasta (short coiled pasta)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 none garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 none (1.25-ounce) package 40%-less-sodium taco seasoning (such as Old El Paso)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 cups chopped seeded tomato
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1 none (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 none (8-ounce) container reduced-fat sour cream
  • none Salsa (optional)


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain; set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add turkey; cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in water and taco seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates and the turkey is done, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Combine pasta, turkey mixture, reduced-fat cheese, and next 6 ingredients (through beans) in a large bowl.

Combine lime juice, salt, cumin, and sour cream, stirring until well blended. Pour over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Serve with salsa, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 344none
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 11.4g
  • Saturated fat: 5.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 23.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 38.5g
  • Fiber: 3.6g
  • Cholesterol: 51mg
  • Iron: 2.9mg
  • Sodium: 632mg
  • Calcium: 193mg

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Tex-Mex Pasta Salad Recipe