Easy Taco Salad


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Taco Salad is crispy, crunchy and colorful! Crisp lettuce is topped with a zesty seasoned ground beef, crunchy tortilla chips and all of our favorite taco toppings. 

It’s so quick, it makes an easy weeknight meal or even a build-your-own taco salad bar when feeding a crowd!

A top view of a taco salad in a brown bowl with toppings like salsa, avocado, tomatoes and diced jalapenos on the side.

How to Make Taco Salad

Taco salad is a staple around here! It takes about 20 minutes start to finish (especially if you have other hands in the kitchen prepping toppers) and is a welcome variation of ground beef tacos!

    1. Brown and season ground beef. Stir in beans.
    2. Wash lettuce and top with beef mixture and your favorite toppings.
    3. Scoop into bowls or plates and top with tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.

If you’d like to make a crispy baked tortilla bowl (like you’d get at a restaurant), they’re easy to bake at home!

To Make a Crispy Baked Taco Salad Bowl

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Spray a flour tortilla with cooking spray (or brush it with butter or olive oil) and season with salt & your fave seasonings (cumin or a bit of chili powder are good).
  • Place the tortilla in an oven proof bowl or a taco bowl maker.
  • Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy!

A Taco Salad assembled in a brown bowl. Each fresh topping is shown on top of a bed of lettuce.

Taco Salad Ingredients

The beauty of this tex-mex inspired salad is the fact that you can customize it to what you have on hand or whatever your taste buds desire!

 1. Beef:

    • I use lean beef but ground turkey or chicken will work too, or even juicy shrimp.
    • I prefer Homemade Taco Seasoning but store bought will do in a pinch!
    • Black beans or pinto beans are great additions too.

2. Lettuce:

    • Romaine or iceberg lettuce are crunchy and hold up well.
    • Chop or tear it into bite sized pieces.

All the ingredients to make a taco salad assembled on a wooden board.

3. Toppings:

    • Cheese – Cheddar, marble, mozzarella or Monterey Jack are great.
    • Tortilla Chips – Pick your favorite tortilla chips. Be sure to add just before serving so they stay crunchy!
    • Use flavored chips or Doritos to make this delicious Dorito Taco Salad version.
    • Veggies – Add a delicious assortment of veggies like olives, bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, avocado or green chiles on top.

4. Dressing:

    • Classic – Sour cream and salsa is our go-to dressing for this salad.
    • Creamy – Try a Ranch Dressing or Avocado Dressing. These will compliment the ground beef and spicy jalapenos perfectly.
    • Zesty – Or you can use Thousand Island Dressing or store bought Catalina for a yummy alternative.

Avocado, jalapenos, tomatoes, beans, red onion, cheese, ground beef, cheese and tortilla chips all on top of a bed of lettuce in a brown bowl.

What to Serve with Taco Salad

This Taco Salad is definitely a full meal in itself, simply pair it with a cold beverage like horchata, lemonade, or even a fruity Sangria or Margarita!

If you want to keep your menu super simple, serve warmed soft tortillas on the side to create a quick taco or burrito at the ready.

Feeding a larger crowd? Add Spanish Rice or this zesty Cilantro Lime Rice to your menu! In keeping with the Mexican theme and to finish off the evening, try some dulce de leche, Mexican chocolate mousse or Easy Sopapilla Cheesecake for dessert!

More Delicious Taco Inspired Recipes

Taco Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
This easy taco salad is crispy, crunchy and colorful! It is so much fun to put together because you can customize the toppings, making everyone at the dinner table happy!

Ingredients

Beef
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning or homemade
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
Salad
  • 6 cups romaine or iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 cup tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • toppings as desired olives, bell peppers, jalapenos, red or green onion

avatarFollow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  1. Brown beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 

  2. Add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in beans.

  3. Place lettuce in a large bowl. Top with meat, tomatoes, cheese, avocado and desired toppings.
  4. Top each serving with tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream.

Recipe Notes

While we use sour cream and salsa as dressing, catalina or Thousand Island are also great tossed with this salad.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 360, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 328mg, Potassium: 608mg, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 2g, Protein: 19g, Vitamin A: 3585%, Vitamin C: 6.9%, Calcium: 178%, Iron: 2.7%

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

Keyword taco salad

 

Top photo - top view of Taco Salad in a wooden bowl. Bottom photo - close up view of taco salad.
Close up of Taco Salad in a wooden bowl.
Close up of Taco Salad in a wooden bowl.

More Recipes You'll Love

About the author

Holly

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

Latest & Greatest Dishes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. I enjoy your recipes! Most are very easy to make and as I’m a widow easy to half a recipe Thank you! Keep those good food dishes coming. ❤❤

  2. I been wanting a Taco Salad like I used to get years back at Taco Bell with the baked bowl it was in, So delicious ! So happy for your recipe I can make myself. You use chips in your’s , so easy too. I’m wondering if you have an easy idea of how to make or buy a baked bowl like I used to get? I love your recipes, just so down home, easy & tasty ! Thanks.

    1. I have made them before and there are a few different options. The ones you get at restaurants are usually a deep fried flour tortilla (and my deep fryer isn’t big enough). I bake them at home. Spray a flour tortilla (or brush it with butter or olive oil) and season with salt & your fave seasonings (cumin or a bit of chili powder are good).

      Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the tortilla in an oven proof bowl (most ceramic or metal bowls should be ok, check the bottom). I actually use these taco bowl makers but any oven proof bowl will work. Bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy! Enjoy the salad, it’s one of our favorites!