Spice up your taco night by turning the classic flavors of a taco into a delicious pasta salad. The pasta salad makes it filling and you don’t have to worry about your shells breaking! An easy entrée dinner that doesn’t use your oven–so great for the summer–or take it to your favorite potlucks or BBQ and it will be snatched up! I show you how to make this summer staple without using: gluten, dairy or eggs! This Taco Pasta Salad is also free of: peanuts and tree nuts making it very allergy friendly!
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Why I love this dairy-free taco pasta salad
I just can’t get enough of pasta salads. Truly. They’re all I want to eat in the summer. They’re one bowl with all the fixings that fill you up. No need to worry about side dishes, and most of the time–like this one–they’re oven free, making them even more of a necessity in the hot summer months.
The best part about this one? Because I use an egg free mayo to make it more allergy friendly, you don’t have as much of a concern like you do with regular mayo as far as leaving it sitting out.
All of your favorite taco toppings: olives, cilantro and tomatoes blend with the taco seasoning and ground turkey to give an exceptionally flavored pasta salad you’re sure to make again and again.
How is this taco pasta salad dairy free?
It was easy to make this taco pasta dairy free, because we just omitted the cheese. Now, hear me out–I know people love their cheese, but I’ve found since having to go dairy free for my milk allergic son that as long as things still have a great texture (this does from the creamy dressing) and good flavor, you don’t miss the cheese shreds. I promise!
As far as subbing out the sour cream goes, I’ve found that Tofutti sour cream works great. I find it at Natural Grocers.
If you can have regular sour cream, or you can have cheddar cheese–feel free to sub those in.
What if I can’t have soy?
I’ve only been able to find dairy-free sour creams made out of soy. So, if you cannot have soy, no problems! Simple use only vegan mayo instead. You really won’t be able to tell much of a difference!
What egg free mayo should you use in Taco Pasta?
We’ve found that the best egg free (also known as vegan) mayo is Hellman’s (also known as Best Food’s). We are big mayo fans and happily use this without feeling like it skips a beat on either taste or texture. I find mine at Walmart or Amazon.
If you can have egss/regular mayo, feel free to use that.
How do you make Taco Pasta gluten free?
The only two places gluten could be hiding in Taco Pasta Salad would be the noodles, and sometimes if you buy a store bought taco seasoning, they’ll have wheat as a binder.
As far as taco seasoning goes, use my homemade recipe included below and you should be good to go. As always, it never hurts to check each of the individual ingredients you’re using just to be safe. And, if need be, it never hurts to call the manufacturers on the back of the ingredients you’re using if you have questions.
If you can have gluten, feel free to use whatever regular short pasta you prefer.
Is this taco pasta salad allergy friendly?
Yes it is! If you make it as listed, it will be free of seven of the top 8 allergens. If you need it to be top-8-free, then simply use 1 cup vegan mayo, and omit the soy sour cream.
Can this taco pasta salad be vegan?
Yes it can! It may seem silly to use a vegan mayo, when we’re still using ground turkey. We do this because my son has egg allergies, but we still like ground meat in our taco pasta salad, so it really mimics a traditional taco.
You can omit the meat, and it will still be filling due to the toppings and pasta.
Can I use more meat in the taco pasta?
Yes, I like to not have a lot of meat, and to make my budget stretch a bit more, so I’ll buy a pound of ground of turkey and use half for this recipe, and freeze the other half for the next time I make it. If you’d rather use the full pound, that’s OK too.
Check out my other dairy free pasta salad recipes:
I told you I loved pasta salads! All of my pasta salads are: gluten, dairy and egg free. (With options to add those back in if you don’t need them.) Here’s to a summer full of delicious pasta salads!
- Gluten and dairy free Tuscan Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Avocado BLT Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Bacon, Pea and Lemon Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Asian Spinach Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Roasted Cauliflower Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Basil, Lemon and Avocado Creamy Pasta Salad
- Gluten and dairy free Ham, Asparagus and Lemon Pasta Salad
- 1 box gluten free short pasta of choice (12 oz)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound ground turkey
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 1 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
- ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- ½ cup sliced black olives
- ½ cup chopped tomato
- Optional: fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup tofutti sour cream
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot filled with salted water, boil the gluten free noodles until al dente following package directions. Drain and set aside.
While the noodles are boiling, sauté olive oil, turkey, onion and garlic over medium heat until onion is soft and turkey is cooked through. Set aside, drain on a paper towel if desired.
Chop the salad ingredients: bell pepper, olives, tomato and cilantro.
Combine sauce ingredients: mayo, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
In a large serving bowl, place the cooked and drained noodles, onion and meat mixture, vegetables. Add the sauce a little at a time until you reach the desired coverage you want. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm, room temperature or even delicious cold. Store leftovers in air tight containers for 2-3 days.
If you're looking for some gluten and dairy free dinners, check out my cookbook: An Allergy Mom's Lifesaving Instant Pot Cookbook.
*Our allergies, while severe and that get re-tested yearly, are such that we can go strictly by what's on the label. I do not call companies to see what things are derived from, or call manufacturers to see about potential cross contact. If your allergies require you to do so, please do your own homework. I cannot assure you of any ingredient's safety, only you can do that. I simply share what works for our family.
**If you are going to feed this to someone with food allergies, and you yourself do not have food allergies, I HIGHLY recommend having them check every single brand and ingredient you are using, to ensure they're OK with each part of the recipe. And, to make sure you've talked to them about how to avoid cross contamination in your kitchen.
Adapted from the very talented: Bless This Mess Please Taco Pasta Salad
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 617mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g
DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT, SO YOU DON’T LOSE IT! BE SURE WHILE YOU’RE THERE TO CHECK OUT ALL OF MY OTHER ALLERGY SPECIFIC BOARDS.