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Cowboy Pasta Salad | Barefeet in the Kitchen


Filled with ground beef, pasta, peppers, and jalapenos, the Cowboy Pasta Salad is a hearty, spicy, pasta salad perfect for the meat-lover in your life.

Serve this pasta warm or at room temp for an easy lunch or dinner.

Fully loaded Cowboy Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are my favorite kind of meal for summer lunches and dinners. And this one is an awesome dish for potlucks and barbecues because it holds so nicely at room temperature.

I typically serve this pasta room temp, but we’ve learned that the leftovers warm up beautifully as well. My boys ate this for lunch and for dinner a couple of meals in a row. It’s a terrific make-ahead meal.

Cowboy Pasta Salad

I’m calling this a Cowboy Pasta Salad because it reminds me of the beef-filled meals we typically enjoy when we visit farm country. (And because it is so loaded with meat, it’s a boy-favorite in my house.)

Filled with a whole lot of spicy taco-style ground beef, beans, and cheese, this is a seriously hearty meal in a flavorful and also vegetable-filled pasta dish.

The addition of jalapeños to both the dressing and the salad makes this a huge hit with my heat-loving family. That said, it isn’t actually all that spicy and my boys typically add more jalapeños to their plates.

Spicy Cowboy Pasta Salad

Pasta Salads

Want a few more great salads to try? BLT Pasta Salad is loaded with all your favorite bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich flavors in a cold pasta salad with a creamy smoky bacon dressing.

Tender bites of chicken, sweet grapes, pasta, are combined and tossed with a creamy dressing to make this simple Poppyseed Chicken and Grape Pasta Salad. (This is one of my favorite lunches!)

This Tangy Pasta Salad is filled with crunchy bell peppers and onions, olives, and sweet tomatoes. Tossed in a light oil and vinegar dressing this recipe is another one that is great for summer parties as it will hold nicely at room temp as well.

Jalapeno Tuna Pasta Salad – yes, you read that right. This pasta salad is so dang good my oldest son (who honestly doesn’t like pasta much at all) devours multiple servings every time we make this one.

Beef Lover's Cowboy Pasta with a Spicy Jalapeno Vinaigrette

Cowboy Pasta Salad Recipe

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain under cold water until the pasta is cool.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, cook and crumble the ground beef in a large skillet, sprinkle the meat generously with the taco seasoning while cooking.
  3. Combine the pasta, ground beef, bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Combine the oil, jalapeno juice, jalapenos, lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper in a jar. Cover with lid and shake well. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad in the bowl. Toss to coat thoroughly.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with jalapeno slices and/or cheddar cheese.
Beef Lover's Cowboy Pasta with a Spicy Jalapeno Vinaigrette

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Cowboy Pasta Salad is a meat-lover's dream come true!
Meat Lover's Pasta Salad


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