Taco Pasta Salad

If you’ve been following along with me on instagram and ig stories lately, you probably know I’m doing something called the Bean Protocol. My friend introduced me to the concept a couple months back when I was telling her about my continued skin issues that I’ve never been able to get control of. As soon as I found out about it, I threw everything I knew about the paleo diet out the window and I jumped into the bean world. And so far, SO GOOD! I’ve been following the protocol for about a month and a half and my skin continues to clear up every day. It’s been quite eye opening, exciting, and life changing! But when following the bean protocol, there are some rules that you have to follow to make sure you get the most out of the protocol. And this recipe falls within those guidelines so I wanted to share it here in case anyone else was trying the protocol!

PaleOMG Taco Pasta Salad

When following the Bean Protocol, you gotta cut a few things out –

  1. No caffeine
  2. No sugar
  3. No alcohol
  4. No fatty meats
  5. And no fat when you’re eating the beans

Cutting out caffeine sucked major ass, I could care less about the sugar or alcohol, but the no fat with beans portion was a bit more challenging. I mean….fat is flavor. We use fat for dressings on salad, for sauces in dishes, it’s in pasta sauce, curry sauce, peanut sauce, and really any other sauce that makes a dish flavorful and interesting. So I’ve had to be a bit more creative. And that’s where this pasta salad came from! I use lentil pasta for beans PLUS black beans, as well. Double the beans, baby!! And the sauce comes from a mixture of green chile and salsa! You will see 1 tablespoon of olive oil in this dish, but I was told by the amazing Unique Hammond to not worry about the small amount of fat that’s going a huge dish, so I don’t worry about it!

PaleOMG Taco Pasta Salad

Most of the time, my meals are simply rice, beans, and some sort of protein. But this dish is a nice change of pace and it makes the protocol just a tad more fun! Something I’ve been asked a couple times over social media is if I’m nervous about the extra carbs and I’ll simply answer that will a – fuck no. One of the best parts about not counting calories or macros or carbs is that you really have no clue of the amount of carbs or fat or even protein that you’re taking in. And because of that, I can simply just live, eat, and heal. I’m not worried about excess carbs because I’m more worried about healing whatever is going on in my body to cause these breakouts that I’ve continually had for 20 years. The bean protocol has helped people with acne, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, Crohn’s disease, different autoimmune diseases, and more…all this to say – healing is more important than carbs. I’m going to share a full blog post of this experience in the future once I get through a few months, but you will begin to see some bean recipes here (yes, I know beans aren’t paleo, thanks for the reminder) as I continue on this journey! Just remember – if beans don’t work for you and you want to stick with a paleo diet, don’t add beans. Easy as that!

PaleOMG Taco Pasta Salad


Taco Pasta Salad

  • Author: juli
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 1 box lentil pasta (or brown rice, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasonings
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 romaine heart, thinly sliced
  • 1 14oz can of black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mild green chile sauce
  • 1/4 cup mild salsa
  • hefty pinch of coarse salt
  • black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to the brand directions. Drain then rinse with cool water to cool then noodles down and keep them from sticking.
  2. While the pasta cooks, place a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil with onions and bell pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes, sprinkle with salt, then add the ground beef. Cook the ground beef until almost no pink remains, then add the taco seasonings and mix until combined in the beef.
  3. While the ground beef cooks, chop all the veggies and place them in a large mixing bowl with the black beans and cilantro. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl, then add the ground beef mixture to the bowl. Pour green chile, salsa, salt and pepper into the bowl then mix everything together until completely combined. You can serve this right away with the beef still slightly warm or chill in the fridge for an hour before serving – it’s great either way! And it just gets better with time!

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PaleOMG Taco Pasta Salad

PaleOMG Taco Pasta Salad


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This post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!

Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


47 thoughts on “Taco Pasta Salad”

  1. Can’t wait to try this! I will definitely comment after I do. What I love so much about you Juli is how you continue to evolve. Paleomg has been your journey and if people complain about the beans not being paleo….they can suck it! I’m looking forward to more bean recipes from someone I have looked up to for amazing recipes while on my journey to find my true health. Thank you!!!

    1. YAY! thanks for the love Katie!! that’s totally how i feel about it – life is constant evolution and the blog should be too! thanks for sticking along throughout the journey!

  2. I’m starving and that looks so delicious! I am fascinated with this way of eating – can’t wait for more details about how you feel.

  3. This looks so good and I think even my kids would like it! I’m personally excited to see you branch out with the recipes. As someone who has struggled with obsessive food tendencies, I always want to follow specific ways of eating. I’ve found that including just about everything in my diet is the only way to not constantly stress about food (I’m not speaking for everyone, just for me). I think we all just need to try to do what is best for our bodies and sometimes that means evolving!

      1. Dear Juli
        Thank you for all the lovely recipes. I agree with your tastebuds most of the time. In your quest into the “Bean World” I suggest you check https://www.ranchogordo.com/
        They are heirloom beans and it really makes a difference. Bon Appetit.

  4. Hi! I had cystic acne as a kid and terrible periods. I ended up with bad hormonal acne as an adult. My naturopath ended up prescribing me a supplement called Xenoprotx https://www.xymogen.com/formulas/products/6604.

    It has been life changing!!! Absolutely life changing. My Obgyn could never help me beside putting me on hormonal bc. This supplement took care of all my period issues and my hormonal acne in just a couple weeks. I recommend it to anyone that has period/acne issue. It works by cleaning out your liver so it processes your hormones better. Best of luck!

  5. I am LOVING these bean recipes and hearing about your new eating adventures!!! I am very interested in the bean protocol, and I have been dabbling with adding in beans myself (after years of eating mostly paleo). I can’t wait to hear more about your experience and to see more bean recipes…maybe a bean protocol-ish hummus or black bean brownie? Thanks for all that you do, Juli!

    1. i definitely plan to share more bean protocol recipes moving forward! the black bean brownie wouldn’t exactly work since the protocol includes no sugar, but maybe a future recipe!!

  6. This sounds absolutely delicious and actually makes me want to head out to the grocery store (which is not fun or relaxing these days). I’m going to read some more on the bean protocol as well. My first reaction was “no way in hell I’m giving up caffeine” but with those potential results, I could see giving it a solid try.

  7. I can’t wait to try this! Thank you for another creative recipe. I have a hard time getting my family to eat healthy and your recipes never fail to impress!

  8. This looks soo good!
    I put on a lot of inches during quarantine and thought I’d give vegan a try sadly there are too many carbs in beans for me to rid the excess.
    But I’m totally going to try this with some meat and once some pounds are gone I’ve got to try it with beans.

    Thanks for all of your delish ideas !

  9. This looks reallllly good! Curious to know more about the Bean protocol as Ive got years of digestive issues going, and I happen to LOVE beans! Your link to Unique Hammond (goes to You’re Great) for more on the bean protocol seems to only to to a main page, then the link from there seems to be broken. I’d love to know more!

    1. are you looking to learn more about it? i linked the you’re great page and the bean protocol because she has an ecourse you can purchase! if you want to learn more about it, listen to episode 83 on the Expanded podcast. she talks about it there!

  10. Really good super flavorful. Made today can’t wait to eat it again tomorrow as I’m sure the flavors will be even better. It is a little on dry side, but I used chickpea pasta instead of lentil will add more of the green sauce. Thanks for sharing this recipe. 🙂

  11. Is the red pepper meant to be cooked and the orange pepper stays raw? I’ve been saving the box of lentil pasta for you to post a recipe using it. My day has finally come. Thank you!!

  12. This was delicious and so easy to make. I love taco flavors and pasta salads so this was a perfect combination and so fresh tasting for summer!

  13. Another question, do I HAVE to give up caffeine on the protocol? I would be doing it for acne but it’s not bad, mostly on chin and postpartum hormones.

  14. Made this today and it was perfect! Just started the bean protocol on Sunday thanks to you and I’m excited to try your bean protocol recipes. Making the lentil tabbouleh tonight!

  15. So I tend to not eat beans because of all of the anti-nutrients they contain. My question is, do you think maybe cutting out sugar, alcohol and caffeine has more to do with your healing than the beans? Like when people go on a carnivore diet, they cut those things out, except maybe caffeine, and heal the same sort of issues. If it’s a fiber thing, why not just eat more greens? Maybe I am missing something, but I know beans are VERY high on the anti-nutrient list and wonder if this might cause more damage long term. Just some thoughtful questions and my own two-cents. Glad whatever you’re doing is working for you, though!

    1. Well I never drank much alcohol in the first place (handful of drinks per year), i don’t eat much sugar in the first place, so caffeine was the only prevalent thing. cutting out all of these definitely play a part in the big picture, but i’ve cut out all of those things in the past and never had success with getting rid of my acne. and that’s because i have hormonal acne. and since i have excess hormones, they need soluble fiber to cling to to actually get rid of them. if i don’t have soluble fiber, the hormones continually recycle through my body and the acne never goes away. soluble fiber includes psyllium husk, oats, peas, legumes, apples, citrus, carrots, barley, and flax. I’m guessing when you say anti-nutrients. you’re talking about the lectins and phytates? soaking beans and rinsing them reduces those and many brands such as Eden Organics removes that issue all together. no matter where you look, you will find contradictory information about beans, believe me – I’ve eaten paleo for almost 10 years, I understand all the research that people are sharing. but eating that way has never cleared my skin like 2+ months on the bean protocol has. there is science out there saying that long term damage can be done by eating paleo or carnivore or keto, etc. yet it still seems to work great for others. i’m simply sharing something that is completely different to what i have believed for years and i feel fantastic from it.

  16. Amazing! My husband said he could eat this 2-3x a week and he’s a picky eater! This will become a new staple!

  17. Stumbled across your blog the other day and I LOVE it! 🙂 Just tried this recipe yesterday and it was a big hit with the family. Even took some leftovers to my coworkers who devoured it at lunch! Haha Thanks so much for all the recipes and inspiration, Juli!

  18. I made this last night and it was SO good! I used Banza chickpea pasta and you couldn’t even tell it apart from normal pasta when it was all mixed together. My husband even liked it except he wanted the black beans left out. Does your husband eat beans with your or is he anti-bean like mine?

  19. Oh my God I FINALLY made this recipe!!!!! It is so damn good I’m so pleased that I did not damn!

    I was missing a couple of things but made do with extra salsa instead of the green chili sauce but I can’t wait to try it with it too. Yum yes yum!!

  20. Absolutely Delicious! My husband and I and our 5 boys loved it. Thank you! I added arugula because that is what we had. It made a huge bowl and was so easy. I will be making this often.

  21. This was so good! I didn’t use as much green chili sauce because of the kids (it was spicy)….then I just added some of it to my own plate. I’m trying to get my daughter to eat more beans since she has acne – she’s not willing to do the full bean protocol, so this is a great recipe to broaden her bean horizons! lol

  22. This recipe is on repeat and perfect for summer! My husband actually requests it, which if you know him, is the biggest compliment ever! (picky eater!!) Excited to make the Taco Pasta Soup and Instant Pot Taco Soup this fall!

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