Taco Salad is the easiest meal to make with just corn chips, ground beef, vegetables and served with a tangy homemade Catalina dressing. It’s crunchy and bursting with flavors that you will enjoy!
There is nothing better during summer days than homemade salads. Just like my other recipes, this salad is super simple to make, especially if you don’t have too much time to spend around in the kitchen. Some other easy-to-make dishes are Pico de Gallo, Mexican Salad with Lime Dressing, and Homemade Guacamole.
During hot summer times, I love making easy, and healthy one-pan dinners to avoid the oven heat. And this Homemade Taco Salad is just the perfect recipe to enjoy during this time of the year.
Firstly, it is flavorful, quick to prepare, and not surprisingly an original Mexican dish. Also, it uses the freshes and flavorful ingredients that you would expect in a Tex – Mex dish. With the combination of the juicy ground beef, crunchy bites of tortilla chips, sour cream, vegetables, and Catalina dressing, you will surely enjoy this refreshing full meal!
This is one of our go-to dishes when it comes to Mexican-inspired recipes. My family loves it because it is very simple to make with easy-to-find ingredients and ready in a very short time. Also, it is very versatile as you can swap the meats or veggies with your favorite kind. Therefore, this is the perfect dish to please everyone in the family!
On top of that, it is a stand-alone meal and full of proteins. You can enjoy it for lunch or dinner, or store in the fridge and enjoy it the next day.
Taco salad ingredients:
- Ground beef – I tend to use 85-90% lean ground beef in this recipe. But, you can use any kind you like. Similarly, feel free to replace it with ground beef or ground chicken.
- Taco seasoning – I like to make my homemade taco seasoning, but the store-bought version will work as well. Making it from scratch will save you money. On top of that, you know exactly what goes into it.
- Sour cream – Makes it creamy and is just the perfect combo with the rest of the ingredients.
- Fresh veggies – Red bell pepper, avocado, grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, jalapeno, kidney beans or black beans, black olives, sweet corn, and green onions. Optionally, feel free to use red onion.
- Corn chips or tortilla chips – I also love using Dorito chips to add some extra flavor.
- Cheddar cheese
- Olive oil
- Catalina dressing
How to make a taco salad?
Making this dish is the easiest thing you could probably do in your kitchen.
- Brown the beef: First, add some olive oil to a large skillet, and brown the beef for about 3 minutes, over medium-high heat.
- Season: Next, drain excess fat and season then add the taco seasoning.
- Make the dressing: In a separate large bowl, add some sour cream and mix it with ranch dip mix and refrigerate for a few minutes.
- Chop the veggies: Lastly, chop the lettuce, and the rest of the veggies. Then, add the ground beef on top along with Catalina dressing. Toss and combine, and serve.
How to make taco salad bowls?
Taco bowls are not hard to make, and they will impress your family and friends. Grab your oven-proof bowls that can fit your tortilla wrap, spray or brush it with oil and place a tortilla inside, carefully folding it to make it look like a bowl. Bake until it is golden brown.
How to layer a salad?
Whether you’re using bowls or shells, it’s better to start off your salad with the greens first. That way it stays crisp and crunchy. Then add your ground beef. Top with the other vegetables and cheese and drizzle some salad dressing over it.
How many calories are in it?
A taco salad typically contains about 141 calories for every 100 grams. Because of the ingredients included in this recipe, you can make it as low-calorie or as high-calorie as you want.
To reduce some calories, we suggest limiting the use of ground beef and salad dressing. Also, use less cheese or go with the non-fat version.
How many carbs does it have?
There are about 12 grams of total carbohydrates for every 100 grams or about 16 grams in a cup of taco salad. If you want it with fewer carbs, reduce the tortilla chips, and use more protein such as veggies and meat.
How to make it with Doritos?
Who doesn’t like Doritos? We certainly do. And to add it to this recipe is the best thing possible! It will give this salad a nice twist with a familiar flavor and crunch.
Just toss the Doritos with all the ingredients, and you are all set to go.
How to make fried taco salad shells?
Heat up a pan with about an inch of oil for frying. Once heated, place a tortilla in the pan, and leave it for about 30 seconds. Using kitchen tongs, pull one end of the tortilla and fold it halfway, holding it until the tortilla fries some more.
Turn the tortilla on the other side until it finishes frying.
What to serve with it?
If you are holding a party or a gathering, we recommend serving it with our Fried Chicken Recipe, or the Instant Pot Corn on the Cob. Your friends wouldn’t know where to start with all the sumptuous feast laid out before them!
More Mexican recipes to try:
Recipe Tips and Notes
- You can make the bowls or shells ahead of time and then store them. Just remember, to cool them completely before storing them.
- Also, you can use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef.
- Also, to make it healthier, feel free to use leaner ground beef.
- Buy mixed, prewashed salad greens in the grocery to cut down on your prep time.
- To make it spicier, add some chili powder to the mix.
- In addition, to save time, use pre-shredded cheese.
Taco Salad Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 1 (1 oz) packet ranch dip mix
- 1 large head iceberg lettuce (chopped)
- 2 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 jalapeno (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 15 ounce can kidney beans (drained)
- ½ cup sliced black olives (drained)
- ½ cup sweet corn (drained)
- 2 cups crushed nacho cheese Doritos or corn chips
- 1 cup green onions (chopped)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 avocado (sliced)
- 1 cup Catalina dressing (or more (homemade recipe on the blog))
- Place a large skillet over medium heat, once hot add the ground beef.
- Brown the meat and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon, drain any excess grease.
- Stir in the taco seasoning and 1/3 cup water. Simmer until the water is absorbed, then remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, mix the sour cream with the ranch dip mix and chill until ready to serve.
- Add the chopped lettuce to a large serving bowl. Pour 1/2 cup Catalina dressing on top and toss to combine.
- Top with the taco meat, beans, bell pepper, and sweet corn.
- Next pile on the crushed chips, tomatoes, green onions, olives, jalapeno, avocado slices, and cheese.
- Drizzle some of the ranch sour cream mixture and the remaining Catalina dressing. Garnish with crushed chips and serve!