This taco salad recipe is a must-have for taco night! The salad has plenty of protein, fresh, brightly-colored veggies and a flavorful taco salad dressing.
Taco salad is the perfect Tex-Mex food. It has all the flavors of tacos, but with no shell or heavy ingredients to add calories to the meal. This light salad is topped with a mild dressing that cools down the spicy flavors of the taco meat.
Plus it’s super easy to put together. In just 30 minutes, this flavorful dinner can be on the table.
How to make the taco salad recipe
This taco salad recipe is super easy and can be made in just 30 minutes.
- Make the dressing.
- Brown the ground beef. I use 80/20 ground beef. This means that it is 80% lean and 20% fat. The fat keeps it moist and flavorful while browning. You will probably want to drain the excess grease out of your pan after cooking though.
- Add the taco seasoning and salsa and allow it to simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
- Assemble the salad. The base is lettuce and then you can add any other salad ingredients you like.
- Each serving of taco salad will have a layer of tortilla chips, salad fixings, taco meat, and dressing.
What is in taco salad dressing?
I made a simple dressing from ingredients you probably already have on hand at home.
- Sour cream
- Lime juice
- Taco seasoning
You can either put it in a bowl and whisk the ingredients or pour them all in a bottle and shake. Right before you put it on the salad, you want to give it another shake.
What is the seasoning made of?
While you can buy pre-made taco seasoning in any store, it’s not hard to make your own. If you do, you will have complete control over how spicy or mild it is. Here is what goes in my Taco Seasoning Blend.
Taco seasoning is a blend of these spices:
- Ancho Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Mexican Oregano
Should taco salad be warm or cold?
This taco salad recipe has a nice balance of warm and cold ingredients.
Allow the meat to cool slightly so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce. Although it tastes best when the meat is warm, you can eat it after refrigerating as well. This makes it great to pack for lunches.
What goes well with the taco salad recipe?
You have a lot of freedom to get creative with this taco salad recipe. What I put in my taco salad is just a suggestion of what you can add to yours. Make it just like the recipe or get creative and add your favorite toppings. Here are some ideas:
- Red onion
- Bell pepper
- Cherry tomatoes
- Black or pinto beans
- Grilled flank steak (instead of ground beef)
- Pickled red onions
- Roasted tomato salsa
Watch how to make this below!
Easy Taco Salad Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup fresh salsa
- 2 heads romaine chopped, rinsed
- 1 small red onion diced
- 8.5 oz can corn kernels drained
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes rinsed and halved
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese See Note 2
- 1 jalapeño seeded and sliced into thin rings
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- 2 cups tortilla chips
- 1 cup sour cream or Crema
- 1/2 cup fresh salsa
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp taco seasoning
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add the ground beef to a skillet over medium high heat and cook, breaking the meat up into small pieces and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the taco seasoning and salsa and continue cooking until mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool.
- Place lettuce in a large bowl. Top with meat, onion, corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, cheese, jalapeño rings, avocado and cilantro.
- Top each serving bowl with tortilla chips and drizzle dressing over all.
- I use 80/20 ground beef and drain off excess oil.
- Feel free to use 1 cup each cheddar and Monterey Jack.