Easy Taco Salad

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Taco Salad is a super quick family favorite that we make almost every week!

Crisp lettuce is topped with seasoned ground beef, our favorite taco toppings, and of course lots of cheese. This recipe is versatile so you can use almost any protein from beef to shrimp and any dressing!

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl with serving spoons on the side

Taco Salad Ingredients

The beauty of this TexMex inspired salad is the fact that you can add what you love or use what you have on hand.

 1. Meat:

  • We love lean beef (80/20) but ground turkey or chicken will work too, or even grilled shrimp.
  • Season the meat with either a packet or homemade taco seasoning.
  • Black beans or pinto beans are great additions too.

2. Lettuce:

  • Romaine or iceberg lettuce is crunchy and holds up well to lots of toppings.

Taco salad ingredients on a wooden board and in a pan

3. Toppings:

  • Cheese – Cheddar, marble, or Monterey Jack are great.
  • Tortilla Chips – Pick your favorite tortilla chips (or even make it into a dorito salad). Add them just before serving so they stay crunchy!
  • Veggies – Use a variety of colors and flavors. We love bell peppers, bell peppers, onions, avocado, or even leftover grilled corn.

Dressing for Taco Salad

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.

Take Out Fake Out

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!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 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).
  3. Place the tortilla in an ovenproof bowl or a taco bowl maker and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl

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!

Fave Taco Inspired Meals

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl
4.92 from 24 votes
Review Recipe

Taco Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
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!


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning or homemade
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups romaine or iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 cup tortilla chips
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • toppings as desired olives, bell peppers, jalapenos, red or green onion

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest


  • Brown beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 
  • Add taco seasoning and ½ cup water. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in beans.
  • Place lettuce in a large bowl. Top with meat, tomatoes, cheese, avocado and desired toppings.
  • 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.
To make this meal fast, use pre-washed lettuce. Prepare topping ingredients while the meat is cooking.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 360, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 328mg, Potassium: 608mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 3585IU, Vitamin C: 6.9mg, Calcium: 178mg, Iron: 2.7mg

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

Keyword best taco salad, how to make taco salad, taco salad, taco salad recipe
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
ingredients to make Easy Taco Salad with plated dish and a title


top view of plated Easy Taco Salad with writing
close up of Easy Taco Salad with writing
plated Easy Taco Salad with writing
About the author


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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

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Recipe Rating


  1. I make this recipe, however, I can’t eat avocado so I leave it out. Also, I substitute the sour cream and mix the salsa and ranch dressing for my dressing. Love your recipes.5 stars

  2. I make this recipe and love it. The only thing I do differently is I use the salsa and ranch dressing for my dressing. Also no sour cream. Love your recipes.5 stars

  3. Hey Holly, I have dropped in on your blog a few times now. Great thoughts on the food you’re serving, and I have to say, the idea of a salad bar potluck is ingenious! I think we might have a real life hack here!! Sending warm well wishes from New Zealand.5 stars

  4. I just happened to have all of these ingredients in my fridge! It was so delicious, especially with the addition of black beans!5 stars

  5. 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. ❤❤

  6. 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!