Dorito Taco Salad is a delicious salad we’ve been serving at potlucks for as long as I can remember!

Everyone loves a great taco salad recipe and this version is a definitely a crowd favorite!

Seasoned ground beef, fresh lettuce, pinto beans, veggies and of course Doritos all sauced up with a zingy dressing make this an exciting change to your daily menu!

side view of dorito salad

I truly love salads, but sometimes they can become a bit boring. This Dorito Taco Salad definitely spices up the ‘same old salad’ slump that we tend to get into. Not only is is easy to make, but it is delicious too!

I absolutely love anything that is taco inspired from pasta to casseroles… and especially salads!

Something about that beautiful blend of spices found in taco seasoning (especially my DIY taco seasoning mix) paired with crisp fresh lettuce just tastes SO good! Of all of the taco inspired dishes I make, this one definitely tops the list because everyone always raves about it!

dorito salad in glass bowl

How to Make Taco Salad

If you happen to have leftover taco beef from a prior recipe, it’s perfect in this taco salad recipe. In fact, I often make a double batch of taco meat to store in my freezer for extra quick meals on busy weeknights.

It takes me just seconds to defrost it for quick tacos, taco salads or even for a tray of Loaded Tater Tot Nachos!

The remaining ingredients are simple and easy to keep on hand. Pinto beans and sliced black olives in the canned variety are always staples in my pantry. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, peppers and sour cream are items I always have on hand.

And OF COURSE you can’t forget the Doritos, we love the Nacho Cheese Flavor in this taco salad but you can use your favorite flavor!

dorito salad ingredients

How to Make Taco Salad Ahead of Time

This meal can be prepared ahead of time! The secret is to assemble everything in layers and simply toss before serving. Using the layered method keeps ingredients from becoming soggy.

  • Your bottom layer will be the cooked and seasoned ground beef topped with the dressing.
  • Next layer the pinto beans and sliced olives.
  • Follow this with the peppers and tomatoes.
  • Next layer is the lettuce and the onion.
  • Add the cheese on top.
  • Leave out the Doritos until just before serving.

Using the layering method above, you can assemble this Dorito salad and refrigerate for a quick and easy meal at the end of a busy day or to take along to a backyard BBQ party or potluck. Simply toss to coat everything just before serving and wait for the compliments to pour in!

What Goes In a Taco Salad

You can modify this recipe however you’d like or based on what you have on hand! I have used diced chicken breast in place of ground beef (or ground turkey), I also use different types of peppers and I like to kick up the heat a notch using spicy Doritos!

Use the veggies you love (corn is great in this recipe too) and make it your own masterpiece! It is just so easy to prepare and to top it off it tastes fantastic!

dorito salad in wooden bowl

6 Taco Inspired Dishes You MUST Try

Love Taco Inspired Dishes? Me too… and here are some of my absolute favorites!

1. Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells Tender pasta shells stuffed with deliciously seasoned beef, salsa and cheese baked until bubbly.

2. Taco Pasta Salad Pasta salad with a taco twist, fresh veggies and our favorite Doritos!  Must try!

3. Taco Tater Tot Casserole This casserole features seasoned beef and loads of vegetables topped with a yummy tater tot crust and baked until golden.

4. Taco Casserole with a Surprise Crust Taco night just got a whole lot more delicious… spoiler alert:  if you like Doritos, you’ll love this one!

5. French Bread Tacos French Bread Tacos combine all the taco flavors you love with the delicious, crusty bread you can’t get enough of!

6. Layered Dorito Casserole  Layered Doritos Casserole has layers of seasoned beef in a rich and zesty sauce topped with loads of cheese.

dorito taco salad in bowl with wooden spoons

While assembling the ingredients is super easy to begin with, to make it even easier I love to use my favorite chopping tool! It makes chopping a breeze and you are guaranteed consistent bite sized pieces every time!

I use a whole 10 oz bag of Doritos in this recipe because I love the flavor they add. You can certainly use as much or as little as you’d like! Don’t get stuck making the same old salads this summer. Add Dorito Taco Salad to your menu and delight your family and friends!

side view of dorito salad
4.88 from 178 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Dorito Taco Salad

Dorito Taco Salad is the best potluck dish and always gets rave reviews! Loads of seasoned ground beef, veggies, beans and Doritos in a zesty dressing!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8


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  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • cup water
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 red or orange pepper chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 can pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup tomatoes diced
  • ¼ cup green onions chopped thin, leave a bit for garnish
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 10 ounces Nacho flavoured Doritos
  • 16 ounces catalina salad dressing
  • sour cream optional garnish


  • Brown the ground beef until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in the taco seasoning packet and water. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, peppers, black olives, pinto beans, tomatoes, cheddar and green onions.
  • Top with the seasoned and cooled ground beef.
  • Slightly crush the Doritos and sprinkle on top. Drizzle with catalina dressing and toss to coat evenly.
  • Garnish with sour cream and additional green onions is desired.
  • Serve immediately.



Toss just before serving to avoid the Doritos from becoming soggy.
4.88 from 178 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 524 | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 1538mg | Potassium: 470mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1630IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 2.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican



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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. Fun to see this recipe. I made Taco Salad with plain Doritos when raising our children. We are now great grandparents so that means many years of Taco Salad. A family tradition. Found the recipe so many years ago in a magazine. It was a Doritos full page ad. Not quite the same as your recipe – there were no peppers and used Italian dressing. Thanks for sharing. All your recipes look delicious!

  2. Hi Holly! I have had a similar version of this and I can’t wait to make yours! I think that you are an excellent cook and I have used many of your recipes. I have a question regarding the dressing that you use in the Dorito Taco Salad. Is Catalina dressing similar to French dressing? I find that interesting that you would use that in this recipe. I actually can’t imagine the taste. I love french and catalina and western dressings as well. I have mixed sweet n’ spicy french with Italian dressing and it tastes amazing! Can’t wait to try yours! I have had this salad with Ranch before and it also tasted very good! Thank You for the clarification!5 stars

    1. Hi Josie, Catalina is very similar to French dressing. But all of the dressings you listed would be delicious on this recipe! Can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

  3. I just made this tonight, my family lived it. It makes a lot, if you have a small family I would cut this recipe in half. Do not put all the dressing it say because it will be entirely to much. I only used half the amount and next time I will add corn, I think it would be great.
    Will it do good with Romaine lettuce?4 stars

  4. Hey these are EXCELLENT and Easy recipes. Thanks Holly , especially love the pasta taco recipe. Great ideas 5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words Robert, I am so glad you are enjoying the recipes!

  5. I make this a lot! I use black beans, as I like them best.
    This is quick and delicious, my children, grown now, and my husband, all enjoyed this.
    It was a family favorite, along with lots of the other recipes on this page.

    1. Hi Elaine, you could try Thousand Island or French Dressing in place of Catalina. We would love to hear what you think of them!

  6. A new favorite. It’s like a deconstructed taco. I added cilantro-cuz- of course. Topped it with guacamole and sour cream. The catalina dressing was perfect. Wicked good.5 stars

  7. I use a very similar recipe, but I mix taco seasoning with sour cream and use that for the dressing instead of the sweet Catalina dressing. A great pot luck salad.4 stars

  8. I love the Dorito taco salad but hate that I cant reheat the left overs because of the lettuce and tomatoes inside. How to reheat without running the salad.

    1. Hi Octavia, we serve this salad chilled. But if you wanted to reheat the ground beef I would leave it on the side and add it to your serving individually. That way you can reheat as required.

  9. Please start with half the amount of Catalina recommended. I followed the recipe to the t my first time and it was absolutely saturated with this sickly sweet dressing and 100% inedible. With this simple change, the recipe becomes edible and in fact quite delicious!3 stars

  10. There are too many seasonings & sodium in this recipe. Between the Catalina dressing, taco seasoning, & nacho flavored Doritos, heavy on all charts! Too many competing tastes! Sorry, but l would give this no stars if possible.1 star

    1. Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this salad Marilyn. It’s been quite a hit with my family and many readers. Thank you for trying it!