Easy Taco Salad

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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!

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl with serving spoons 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!

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl

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.

Taco salad ingredients on a wooden board and in a pan

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 complement the ground beef and spicy jalapenos perfectly.
    • Zesty – Or you can use Thousand Island Dressing or store bought Catalina for a yummy alternative.

Taco salad in a wooden bowl with avocado peppers and tomatoes on top

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 in a wooden Bowl
4.82 from 11 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 shredded cheddar cheese
  • 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.

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 taco salad
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican


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Taco salad in a wooden bowl with a title
Taco salad in a wooden bowl with writing

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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!

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