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braised beef pasta salad

Braised Beef Pasta Salad combines all the flavours of spicy Mexican tacos loaded onto pasta shells for a super tasty large batch pasta salad. Slow oven braised beef covered in a spicy chipotle sauce blend then shredded and piled high onto the cooked pasta and tossed together with fresh pico de gallo, creamy avocado, crumbled cheese and chipotle aioli. Serve this salad with extra lime, cilantro and the braising liquid for fun taco inspired meal. 

braised beef pasta salad


Our love for tacos runs deep. They are one of our all time favorite foods which led to us coming up with this crazy concoction of a recipe that is this taco-styled pasta salad. We adopted the method of making Barbacoa beef to be the primary feature of this recipe. Typically Barbacoa is meat that’s been covered in banana leaves and slow cooked underground in an oven until its extremely tender and shreds easily. Well we don’t have banana leaves or an underground oven, so we’ve used what’s at our disposal and the results are pretty darn good. In some instances, Barbacoa beef can be made with beef, which is what we’ve used for this recipe. Of course more commonly seen in traditional Mexican cuisine it is usually made with goat meat. 

chuck roast

chuck roast with braising liquid


During the prep, it’s important to sear the meat on all sides as this will help create somewhat of a seal on the meat while it’s braising. This will lock in those juices and flavours used in the liquid. Once the meat has been seared, its important to cover it completely in the sauce. For the sauce we used a good amount of chipotle peppers in adobo and some of the sauce it comes with and mixed that with traditional herbs and spices such as oregano, cumin, clove and garlic. In some other recipes you may see the use of onion, vinegar and beer however these are used tend to be used for Birria. 

short cut shells with dressing


Once the meat is cooked and has been shredded, it’s time to cook the short cut pasta. Cover the beef and keep warm while you’re doing this. Gather the rest of the toppings by making your pico mix. The pico is best if it has a little bit of time to rest. During the resting phase, the ingredients have time to blend and become less acidic. For the dressing we utilized some of the braising liquid, it’s packed with loads of flavour and we couldn’t let that go to waste. We used it to mix together a simple creamy dressing by combining it with greek yogurt, sour cream and lime juice. Add as much liquid as needed to get to your desired taste. 

braised beef pasta salad

This salad can be eaten at room temperature or cold if refrigerating. If storing leftovers, this salad will keep a few days refrigerated and is great for multiple meals. We recommend only adding avocado to the portions being eaten right away and refreshing the salad with a touch more lime juice and chipotle aioli to sort of bring it back to life. This recipe makes a large batch of beef and is perfect for multiple meals. If you’re a planner it great for making this salad and you’ll have enough for some tacos! WIN WIN 🙂  

braised beef pasta salad close up

braised beef pasta salad

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it on Instagram! We love to see what you come up with. #thecommunalfeast Follow along our social media account on instagram for quick videos on how our recipes come together!


Braised Beef Pasta Salad

Slow oven braised beef tossed together with the braising liquid and a creamy dressing to coat the shells served with freshly made pico de gallo, crumbled mexican cheese, creamy avocado all finished with lime and chipotle mayo.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 20 minutes
Course: Salads
Servings: 6
Author: the communal feast


  • 3 lb chuck roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBS ground cumin
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chipotle chilies in adobo
  • 1 guajillo pepper rehydrated (optional)
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano optional
  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 1 1/2 cup pico de gallo see notes
  • 1 large avocado
  • lime
  • chipotle mayo


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  • 2. Start by braising the meat. Allow the meat to come to room temperature before using. Pat dry using a paper towel and season both sides with a good amount of salt and pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. When hot, sear the meat on all sides. Use the fat side of the meat to rub along the bottom of the pan to prevent the meat from sticking. About 2-3 minutes per side.
  • 3. To make the braising liquid: in a blender puree the ground cumin, dried oregano, cloves, garlics, chipotle chilies, guajillo pepper, lime juice and beef broth. Pour the mixture overtop the beef ensuring its fully submerged. If needed add a bit of water to cover. Add the bay leaves and fresh oregano. Cover and transfer to the oven to bake for 4 hours until the beef is fork tender. Remove the bay leaves and oregano, and shred the meat. Pour some of the sauce into a bowl for the dressing.
  • 4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  • 5. To the braising liquid bowl, mix 1/3 cup of braising liquid with the greek yogurt, sour cream, 1/3 cup of lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add more braising liquid if needed. Pour over the pasta, tossing well to coat and seasoning with cracked pepper.
  • 6. To serve: top the pasta with shredded meat, fresh pico, avocado, cheese and chipotle aioli. Season with more pepper if needed and fresh lime.


Homemade pico de gallo:
1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 small jalapenos, seeds removed and finely chopped
pinch of salt
1 lime, juiced


Braised Beef Pasta Salad


June 2, 2021


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