Taco Salad is a super quick family favorite that we make almost every week! Fresh flavors, easy to make and delicious!

Crisp lettuce is topped with taco seasoned ground beef and lots of taco toppings, cheese, and dressing!

This recipe is versatile so you can use almost any protein from beef to shrimp and any dressing!

plated Taco Salad with ingredients around it

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.

 Taco Meat – We use lean ground 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. (Homemade seasoning is easy to make with spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano).

Lettuce Romaine or iceberg lettuce is crunchy and holds up well to lots of toppings. We find a mesclun mix to be too tender.

Toppings – Whatever you put on a taco (and more) is great on a taco salad! We love shredded cheese (or Mexican cheese blend), bell peppers, green onions, avocado, leftover grilled corn, black olives, and cherry or Roma tomatoes.

Extras! – Crunch up a handful of tortilla chips (or tortilla strips) and sprinkle them on top. Make it a Dorito salad with crushed Doritos instead Try jalapenos or hot sauce and we always add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

beef, beans , cheese and vegetables to make Taco Salad with labels

Taco Salad Dressing

We usually top this taco salad recipe with either sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, and/or guacamole.

How to Make Taco Salad

Taco salad is a staple around here! It takes about 20 minutes from 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 if using.
  2. Wash lettuce and top with beef mixture and your favorite toppings.
  3. Scoop into a large serving bowl or plates and top with tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.

Take Out Fake Out!

Serve this taco salad in a tortilla bowl to make it just like your fave restaurant!

  • 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.
close up of Taco Salad in a bowl with cheese

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!

More Main Dish Salad Recipes

plated Taco Salad with ingredients around it
4.97 from 51 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Taco Salad

This easy taco salad is crispy, crunchy, and colorful. Make a DIY taco bar by putting out all the toppings and let everyone make their own!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

Ingredients  

Beef

  • 1 pound 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 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

Instructions 

  • 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 (or individual bowls). Top with meat, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, and desired toppings.
  • Top with tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream.

Video

Notes

While we use sour cream and salsa as dressing, Catalina or Thousand Island are also great with this salad.
To make this meal fast, use pre-washed lettuce. Prepare topping ingredients while the meat is cooking.
Leftover taco meat can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in a covered container. Make a fresh salad each time with the leftover meat; otherwise, the salad may get soggy. 
4.97 from 51 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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.

Course Beef, Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American, Mexican

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About the author

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!
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Comments

  1. bro.wn ground beef ,add chile con carnie with beans.do every thing the same.dorito nacho cheese and thousand island dressing is the best.olives &green onions&avocodoes on top

    1. the same.add red onion after beef is done to sweat.1/2 cup salsa to 1/2 cup creem cheese.put green onions,sliced olives&sliced avocado on top.the way mom made it.refregerate it it gets better

  2. What is the ratio for salsa to sour cream for the dressing? I have always used 1,000 Island before but I want to try your version.

    You are now my go to person for recipes!

    Thanks,
    Katie

    1. So glad you’ve loved the recipe Katie! I usually put about 1 1/2 parts sour cream to 1 part salsa and just put it on top. If you like it more creamy, add a bit more sour cream.

  3. Since I am on WW diet. I would definitely make this with 7% lean ground turkey. In that way it would have a very low food point rating. It is a wonderfully eye appealing salad. Pork rind Chicharrons chips instead of tortilla chips would be nice also, since they are WW friendly. I would use Ken’s light dressing to keep it lower in fat and replace the sour cream with Fage Greek yogurt 0% fat and use a reduced fat cheese.5 stars

  4. Since I am on WW diet. I would definitely make this with 7% lean ground turkey. In that way it would have a very low food point rating. It is a wonderfully eye appealing salad. Pork rind chips would be nice also, since they are WW friendly. Would use Ken’s light dressing to keep it lower in fat.5 stars

  5. This salad was delicious and filling. I especially loved the dressing and the the spices on the turkey. I have mad ethos twice in one week because it was so good. I highly recommend it! :)
    5 stars

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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. ❤❤

  11. 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!