This easy, delicious Taco Salad has all of your favorite taco flavors in a hearty meal-sized salad. Make this for dinner tonight!
Today’s delicious Taco Salad is a variation on a classic ground beef taco – with ALL of the same delicious flavors – but combined together in the form of a salad!
The inspiration for this salad came from a small restaurant that I worked near, a number of years ago. During one of my first days on the job, everyone in the office was raving about the ‘taco salads from Claudia’s’ that they would order for lunch. After one taste, I was hooked! (Sadly – Claudia’s has since closed – but her taco salad inspiration lives on!)
I recently made this salad for my husband Jack – and he loved it too. So we had to share it here with all of YOU!
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground Beef with Taco Seasonings – Follow this recipe to make a homemade Ground Beef Taco filling. Or, cook up some ground beef and use a store-bought taco seasoning packet.
- Iceberg Lettuce – We think this salad is best with crisp, cold iceberg lettuce, but you can use your favorite variety of salad greens such as Romaine or Boston lettuce.
- Cheese – For convenience, buy a bag of the pre-shredded ‘taco blend’ cheese, or shred your own mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses.
- Red Onion – Slice red onion into very thin slices.
- Tomatoes – Chop fresh, salad tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.
- Catalina Dressing – The sweet, zesty flavor of Catalina Dressing is a must for this salad. Make your own following this recipe, or buy a bottle at the supermarket.
- Doritos – Another must-include ingredient for this salad. I like the Cool Ranch flavor for this salad, while Jack likes the Nacho Cheese. You can use one of their spicier flavors if you prefer.
How do I make Taco Salad?
- Brown the ground beef, pouring off any excess fat from the pan. Then add the taco seasonings.
- Chop the iceberg (or other lettuces) and portion into individual serving bowls.
- Top the lettuce with ground beef, red onion slices, chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese.
- Crush a handful of Doritos on top.
- Drizzle with Catalina dressing.
- Toss to combine and dig in!
Chef’s Tip –
If you’d really like to impress your dinner guests, serve this taco salad in a fried tortilla bowl. Click here to learn How to Make a Taco Shell Bowl
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make this salad ahead of time? You can prepare the separate ingredients ahead of time, but assemble the salad just before serving. You’ll also want to reheat the seasoned ground beef before serving.
- How do I store leftovers? Unfortunately, this is one of those salads that will get soggy when stored as leftovers. We’d suggest assembling your salad with only as much as you plan to eat so you don’t have leftovers.
This recipe originally appeared on A Family Feast in March 2014.
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Note: Cook time listed does not include time required to cook the beef taco mixture.
- Prepared Ground Beef Taco Meat (see recipe here) – or cook 2 pounds of ground beef with packaged taco seasoning mix.
- Chopped Iceberg, Romaine, or Boston lettuce, about 2 cups per salad
- 1 cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup diced tomato
- Catalina dressing, our homemade version or bottled
- Doritos, for serving
- Prepare the ground beef taco meat for this dish (see recipe here) and keep warm.
- Fill a serving bowl with lettuce of your choice. Top with warm taco beef, then shredded cheese and diced tomato. Repeat for all portions. Then top each salad with Catalina dressing.
- Finally finish by topping with crushed Doritos and serve immediately.
Keywords: Taco Salad