Easy Homemade Taco Salad Recipe
Ive been eating taco salad as long as I can remember. Of course as a kid, in the 90s, my mom made the Dorito version and of course we loved that but now I prefer to make it with more natural chips.
Taco salad is one of the ultimate weeknight recipes. When theres not much time to make something taco salad is a great option, especially this version which uses ground beef , bottled salsa to add lots of flavor without the prep, and pre-shredded cheese.
What Can I Prepare Ahead Of Time
If you dont want to assemble the complete taco salad, butwant to prep some of it ahead of time, heres how:
- Chop Vegetables: You can chop your lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and grill your corn ahead of time. Store veggies in separate airtight containers in sealable bag so the moisture doesnt wilt the lettuce or layer tomatoes, red onions, corn then lettuce in a bowl. I do not recommend storing your pre-cut veggies longer than a day.
- Make Dressing: You can make the Taco Salad Dressing and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours in advance.
- Make Beef: The beef mixture can be made 2-3 days ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container. I recommend reheating the beef slightly before tossing with the salad so its at room temperature.
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Ingredients To Make This Taco Salad Dressing Recipe
Because the meat mixture in most taco salads has a kind of Tex Mex thing going on, were going to use those same spices in the dressing. If you have a favorite taco seasoning, you can use that instead or try the Magic Spice Mix recipe in my cookbook, Plant Powered Mexican. Heres a run down of the ingredients:
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What Dressing Can I Serve This Salad With
This taco salad is tasty on its own, but you can make a dressing if youd like. If you want a creamy dressing for your salad, try one of these:
- Creamy Salsa Verde Dressing: Stir together Â½ cup each sour cream and salsa verde, zest and juice of 1 lime, and salt to taste.
- Spicy Ranch Dressing: Whisk together Â¾ cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons mayo, 1 packet ranch dressing mix, zest and juice of 1 lime, cayenne pepper to taste, and milk or water to thin.
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Variations: Use Greek Yogurt Sour Cream Or Mayo
Can you make this taco salad dressing without Greek yogurt? Can you substitute for the sour cream? Here are a few notes:
- The Greek yogurt plus sour cream combo is ideal. The Greek yogurt yogurt lightens the calories, and adds protein and live probiotics.
- Dont want yogurt? Use Â½ cup salsa and Â½ cup sour cream. Or for a vegan variation, see below!
- Dont have sour cream? Use mayonnaise instead of sour cream! You definitely need some richness to give it body and help it adhere to the salad. We dont recommend 100% Greek yogurt, though you could do it in a pinch.
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More Salad Recipes You May Like:
- 1poundlean ground beef
- 1packet taco seasoning
- 3 to 4 Romaine lettuce hearts, rinsed then chopped
- 1cupblack beans, rinsed
- 1large tomato, chopped OR sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1/2cupshredded cheddar cheese
- 1 ½cupsnacho cheese Doritos, broke into bite-size pieces
- 1cupCatalina dressing OR use your favorite salad dressing
- fresh cilantro, optional
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How To Make Your Own Taco Salad
Many other recipes can be found for the Fiesta Taco Salad. You will only need tortilla chips and the toppings you choose. You can make your own salad, but good salads should include these:
The shredded meat , should be cooked on medium heat. After that, add the seasoning mixture and the vegetables. After stirring for a few minutes, arrange the meat in tortilla shells. If desired, you can add cheese, sour-cream, or any other sauce.
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Taco Bell eliminated its taco salad in order to improve the ordering process and lower operational costs. The shells would have gone stale by the time the employees left the kitchen.
Taco Bell now offers the Taco Menu Bowl. This is the same taco salad, but its served in a bowl instead of a tortilla shell.
How To Make It
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
Combine taco seasoning ingredients . Combine sour cream, salsa, and 1/2 tbsp. taco seasoning for the dressing and set aside.
Cook and crumble the ground beef and drain grease. Add seasoning and salsa. Heat on low.
Prepare remaining salad ingredients. Add lettuce to serving plates or to a large salad bowl. Add the warm meat mixture, followed by the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with salad dressing or serve it on the side!
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Things To Keep In Mind While Preparing Taco Salad Dressing
Everything can be completed in advance.
Tomatoes will be the most difficult to work with. Overnight is fine, but if youre planning to eat it for the entire week, chop your tomatoes and put them in your veggie container the night before you plan to eat it.
Last but not least, toss in the chips, dressing, salsa, and sour cream. The ideal healthy meal to last you the entire week!
Chop your lettuce and mix in the green onions and cilantro, making sure they are completely dry. Place in a ziplock bag after wrapping in a paper towel.
Place all of your meat or beans in a single microwave-safe container. Then, in a separate container, combine all of your other vegetable toppings.
For lettuce forget about fancy microgreens or even a spring mix here. Theyll be trampled by the rest of the salad toppings. To withstand all of that, youll need tougher lettuce. Choose romaine lettuce, romaine hearts, leaf lettuce, or plain iceberg lettuce.
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The Topping Ingredients For Taco Salad
First things first, we need some lettuce. I prefer Romaine its the perfect blend of leafy green and CRUNCH. Green or red leaf is fine, or iceberg will do in a pinch. Chop your lettuce into nice easy bite size pieces we arent feeding dinosaurs. And for heavens sake, get yourself a salad spinner. One of the best kitchen purchases you will ever make! It simplifies the salad-making experience so much. Here is the exact salad spinner I have.
One of my best taco salad tips is to mix your herbs in with your greens. And by herbs in this case, I mean cilantro and green onions. I toss both of these ingredients in with my romaine, right in the salad spinner, and give it a whirl. It helps distribute them properly so that you get ultimate flavor in every bite of salad. Chopped cilantro tends to clump up and stay in little bits. This is a good way to spread the cilantro love. If you arent a cilantro lover, GET OUT OF HERE. Im just kidding. Kind of. Try to change your ways. I know, I know, its a gene and not your fault. Maybe )
Here is my ultimate ingredient list for the best taco salad:
- tomatoes, either cherry tomatoes or chopped roma, red vine, etc.
- sliced radishes
Create A Lucky Potluck
Most get-togethers dont include a lot of high-fiber, slimming foods, but that doesnt mean youre destined for a summer of starvation. Make this Quick and Easy Taco Salad your go-to for potlucks, and youll always have something to eat that everyone can enjoy.
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Full Plate Living helps you add more whole plant-based foods to meals you’re already eating. Its a small step approach that can lead to big health outcomes.
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How To Serve Taco Salad
- Taco Bar you can arrange all of the ingredients in separate bowls and let your guests build their own custom taco salads. We love this option when there are gluten-free or keto dinner guests. P.S. You can get gluten-free taco seasoning.
- Layered Salad if you want to serve this as one large salad for a party, you can assemble it in a 9×13 glass casserole as a layered taco salad starting with the lettuce then beef, and sprinkle remaining toppings evenly over the top.
- Taco Salad Bowls serve this as a side salad or as a main course. Divide lettuce between bowls, add ground beef, and desired toppings.
What Do You Put In Taco Salad Bowls
- Taco Salad shells are also an adorable way to serve dry accompaniments for a taco bar like cheese, onions, cilantro and lettuce.
- My favorite Taco Salad recipe so flexible by using all your favorite ingredients.
Truly, these bowls work well with any Mexican food, especially brown rice and cilantro!
Love that cilantro lime flavor combination? Dont skip this Cilantro Lime Crema and Cilantro Aioli!
To see just how easy taco salad bowls are to make, watch the video in this post!
You can find all of my Easy Mexican Recipes here! Youre especially going to love this taco salad thats perfect to fill these shells. Dont forget to make my favorite skinny margaritas to go along with your taco night! What are your familys favorite Mexican dishes?
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Easy Taco Salad On Your Table In 30 Minutes
This Taco Salad recipe is everyones favorite ground beef tacos in salad form. Its bursting with bold, satisfying Tex-Mex flavors and layers of fresh, creamy, crunchy textures. Its beloved by everyone for lunch, easy dinners, potlucks, or parties and is guaranteed to become a repeat favorite. This easy Taco Salad recipe is loaded with common, pantry friendly taco ingredients so you can make it at a moments notice: spicy ground beef, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, hearty black beans, creamy avocados, charred sweet corn, pepper Jack cheese all doused in creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing. You can customize the Taco Salad by using more or less of your favorite ingredients and/or make it healthier by using turkey and baked tortilla chips . Ive also included instructions on how to bake your own tortilla bowls! This Taco Salad recipe is perfect for make ahead entertaining, meal prep, on the go lunches or easy dinners any night of the week.
What Goes Good With Walking Tacos
Mango Guacamole. Keep the beach vibes strong year-round with a scoop of mango guacamole alongside your fish tacos. Avocado Rice. Seven-Layer Dip. 15-Minute Gazpacho with Cucumber, Red Pepper and Basil. Zucchini Rice. Light and Tangy Coleslaw. Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs. Avocado Black Bean Pasta Salad.
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Breakfast Options At Taco Bell
Taco Bell is a popular Mexican restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When they hear Taco Bell, the first thing people think of is tacos, but there are many more options on the menu!
This blog post will explore what kind of salads you can order at Taco Bell for your next meal. Taco Bell has three different types of salad:
Taco Salad, Grilled Chicken Salad, and Crunchy Taco Salad. All three salads come with iceberg lettuce as well as other vegetables such as tomatoes and cheese.
These also come with corn chips which offer some crunch to your salad. You can even add any toppings from their menu, including sour cream or olives if you want to make it extra flavorful!
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What Can I Serve With Taco Salad
If youre looking for the perfect side dish to serve with your taco salad, this list of 20 is sure to have something that will fit the bill. There are some great choices from classic potato salad to more creative dishes like baked beans or fried okra!
Its always hard deciding what goes best with a big plate of tacos- but not anymore. These side dish ideas are sure to please even the pickiest eater.
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How Do I Make Really Crispy Taco Shells
If youve ever ordered hard shell tacos at a fast-food joint, then youll notice that they are usually super crispy and super crunchy. To get your taco shells really crispy, however, you need to use a lot of oil. Restaurants will often use a deep fryer for cooking their hard shell tacos, but of course, this isnt the healthiest option!
You can recreate this at home using the frying method we outlined earlier, but youll need to add more vegetable oil to make them even crispier. If you want a healthy yet crunchy taco shell, then you can bake the taco shells in the oven with a light drizzle of oil. You can also leave them to bake for longer in the oven. We recommend 10 minutes, but you can leave them baking for a few more minutes to add that extra crunch.
Remember, though, that its always going to be a trade-off between a healthy hard shell taco and the crispiest hard shell taco. You need to find a balance to avoid burning off all those nutrients and adding excess fat and calories through the additional oil!
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Pro Tips For Making This Recipe
- Some more toppings you can add to the taco salad are sliced radishes, corn, red onions, jalapenos, and beans.
- If you want to add some heat to the taco beef, add a few pinches of cayenne pepper alongside the taco seasoning.
- Assemble the salad bowl just before serving. You dont want the diced avocado to oxidize, nor do you want the salad to get soggy from the tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa.
- Not a fan of cilantro? Use parsley or chives instead.
- When chopping the romaine lettuce, make sure theyre bite-sized to make eating it easier. Also, pat them dry or run them through a salad spinner to keep the salad from becoming soggy.
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What Do You Need To Make Taco Salad Bowls
- your favorite flour tortillas
- olive or canola oil spray
- Make Dessert Bowls Coat with cinnamon sugar for a delicious dessert bowl! Its perfect for serving strawberries and cream, fruit salad, homemade ice cream and more!
As I mentioned before, theyre so easy! No fuss, no mess. They are the perfect addition to your weeknight dinner. Theres nothing better than a warm, toasty tortilla bowl filled with all your favorite Mexican flavors! See the recipe card below for the full recipe!
How To Make Doritos Taco Salad
This easy recipe comes together quickly, but you do have to prep the fresh produce. I recommend having your salad ingredients prepared before you start cooking the ground beef.
Just brown the hamburger meat on medium heat in a large skillet. Then, drain the grease, and stir in your taco seasoning.
Add water, cover and reduce heat to simmer.
When the meat mixture is done, turn off the heat, and allow it to cool down slightly while you start building the salad.
If you add the hot ground beef to the salad right away, it will cause the lettuce to wilt. Nobody likes a wilted, soggy salad!
I usually add lettuce and some of the veggies to a large bowl. Then, I add some crushed Doritos and some of the taco meat.
I find it easier to make a layered taco salad this way. Then, I go back and add another layer of ingredients before mixing.
But, you can add all of the ingredients and then mix everything together if that’s easier for you.
You’ll want to add some meat to the top of the salad so it looks like a taco salad. Then, sprinkle more shredded cheese, and pour a little Catalina dressing on top.
Follow that with more crushed Dorito chips. And, you’re ready to eat!
I like to serve this yummy taco salad with extra taco meat and Catalina dressing on the side.
That way, people can add more meat and dressing if they like. Not everyone is a fan of Catalina, so I usually don’t mix a bunch in the salad before serving.
Again, this is just a personal preference.
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