How I Made My Layered Taco Salad
So, as I mentioned before, there is no real science here, and any ingredient can be swapped out for another similar ingredient. You can add or take away anything youd like.
To make my version, I cooked my ground beef with the taco seasoning and water, just like the package directions say to. Once thats finished, remove it from the pan to cool. In the same pan, you an add the drained and rinsed black beans, along with the seasonings and cook this for ten minutes, and then remove that from the pan to cool as well.
This is the only true cooking required for this recipe. The rest is just combining ingredients and assembly.
Next, prepare the tomatoes, onions, avocado, and dressing. This part is easy, as its just combining different flavorings and ingredients to make really flavorful condiments and toppings for this dish.
Skillet Mexican Cheese Dip Recipe
Last but certainly not least in our sides to go with tacos: this Mexican cheese dip! Check out that gooey, melty cheese! This one is s a play on white chili, using white beans, mild green chiles, corn, and a gooey mess of Mexican cheeses . It’s a rich side for dipping with chips while noshing on tacos. And maybe clinking some ?
Simple Pleasures For Every Day
I decided to create another layered cake pan salad! Since my other layered salad in a cake pan has been shared and pinned thousands of times, it was time to share something similar, yet new. How about a layered taco salad in a cake pan? Everyone loves taco salad!
The idea behind this salad shares the same basic concept as my classic layered salad, but this time I added a Mexican twist. I developed a thick, ranch sour cream mayonnaise so it would hold up the same way as other layered salads, and not get soggy. Make sure you drain the beans, corn, and olives very well so they dont add unwanted moisture to your salad.
Serving a layered salad in a cake pan, as opposed to a trifle pan, makes it portable, easy to serve, and unique. Everyone will want a copy of this recipe, so be prepared to share it!
Just layer, chill, and cut into cake-like pieces! Voila!
Note: I always use the lowest sodium products I can find when Im creating a recipe. This way I can add salt to taste just before serving. This goes for the ranch mayonnaise dressing recipe at the end of this post. If you used low sodium ingredients throughout the rest of the recipe, the ranch mayo should be fine. If youre concerned about salt content, make the homemade version of the powdered ranch mix. Its much lower in salt than Hidden Valley.
serves 8 to 12
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 small can green chilies, undrained
1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed
1 packet taco seasoning mix
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
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Homemade Baked Tortilla Bowls:
How To Make Layered Taco Salad
1. To make the guacamole layer, cut the avocado in half. Remove the avocado pit and scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a small bowl. Mash avocado with a fork to break it up.
2. Add the Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt, and hot sauce . Stir until ingredients are combined.
3. Cook seasoned taco meat in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat according to package directions.
Remember to let the seasoned ground beef cool before using it in the salad so it doesnt wilt the lettuce.
4. Assemble the taco salad in a glass trifle bowl in the following order:
- The cooked taco seasoned ground beef goes at the bottom.
- Follow with half the lettuce.
- Then add the pinto beans, corn, salsa, tortilla chips, and remaining Romaine lettuce.
- Finally, add the guacamole, shredded cheese, chopped tomato, and diced red onion to the top of the salad.
5. Keep chilled until served.
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What Goes Into Taco Pasta Salad
Pasta duh! I like using a medium sized, short cut pasta like shells, penne would work well too.
Taco Seasoning we are using my favorite homemade taco seasoning!
Ground Beef we cook the beef with half of the taco seasoning, I like that the ground beef breaks up and you get some with every bite.
Black Beans, Tomatoes, Olives, Red Onions, Cheese and Avocado Additional add-ins that round out the perfect taco!
Sour Cream Sauce A zesty sour cream sauce made from sour cream mixed with lime juice, lime zest and taco seasoning serves as the sauce or dressing on this pasta salad.
Toppings Shredded lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, avocado slices, cilantro and sour cream to dress up the pasta salad however you like it!
How To Serve Taco Pasta Salad
The toppings really take this pasta salad from good to great! Top it with shredded lettuce, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, avocado and sour cream.
There are really two ways to go when you serve this pasta salad. You can serve it with all the toppings piled on top or you can serve with the toppings on the side and let people top their own salad with whatever they like.
This pasta salad can stand alone as its own dinner or as a side dish. Depending on the setting you are serving it in you can decide how you want to do the toppings.
Working with a wooden spoon brown meat
Add half of the Taco Seasoning to the meat, mix
Keep cooking until meat is fully cooked, remove from heat to cool
When the pasta and meat are cool, add them to a large bowl
Add the black beans, black olives, tomatoes, red onion and cheese, toss
In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, remaining taco seasoning, lime zest and juice
Add the mixture to the pasta salad, toss
Refrigerate salad at least 1 hour and up to 1 day
Right before serving add the avocado, toss
Top the pasta salad with the shredded romaine lettuce, cilantro, avocado slices, tortilla chips, sour cream and garnish with lime slices right before serving*
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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.
What Ingredients Go Into Taco Salad
- Olive oil for sautéing
- Lean ground beef I like to use 85% lean Angus beef.
- Roasted salsa I prefer the lightly charred depth of fire roasted salsa here but just about any bottled salsa will work .
- Chili powder and cumin these standard Mexican spices add lots of flavor.
- Salt and pepper what would food be without it?
- Cilantro the cilantro gives the filling the perfect fresh finish.
- Lettuce I think romaine is the best lettuce for taco salad but iceberg, green leaf or even spinach will work too.
- Tortilla chips, Mexican cheese, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream all these toppings together create the perfect blend of textures and flavors to compliment the beef.
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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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How To Make Taco Salad
Taco salad is a staple around here! It takes about 20 minutes start to finish and is a welcome variation of ground beef tacos!
Take Out Fake Out
If youd like to make a crispy baked tortilla bowl , theyre easy to bake at home!
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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
Easy Taco Salad Ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for taco salad recipes, what each one does, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
You can easily customize this healthy taco salad recipe to your liking. Feel free to throw in any other veggies you have on hand, or omit anything you dont like. Thats one of the great things about easy salad recipes you dont have to be that precise!
Ultimately, what goes in a taco salad is very much up to you, but no matter what combo you choose, the key to making taco salad healthy is using natural ingredients.
You really dont need any store bought dressings or chips in there. But, for those that do want a little crunch, you can try adding tortilla chips .
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What Do You Serve With Taco Salad
Taco Salad is practically a meal-in-itself with protein, veggies and carbs the only thing left to add is fruit! I love to serve it with juicy watermelon, Pina Colada Fruit Salad, Perfect Fruit Salad or Summer Fruit Salad. Its also fabulous with a big slice of sweet cornbread or grilled corn on the cob.
Should You Eat Taco Salad Hot Or Cold
Its entirely up to you. The salads contents and the dressing are prepared cold, and the meat is piled on fresh and hot, but you could always opt to refrigerate your bowl before serving if youd like the whole thing chilled.
If you do go the cold route, then wait until serving to add the tortilla chips. Otherwise, theyll get stale and soggy in the fridge.
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How To Make The Best Beef Taco Salad
Classic Fresh Tomato Salsa Recipe
Fresh tomato salsa is quick and easy to make and is an ideal taco night appetizer, side dish, or topping. For best results, use high-quality tomatoes. Summertime is ideal for making salsa since that’s when tomatoes and peppers are at their best, but even hothouse tomatoes will make a tasty pico de gallo.
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Finish With Fresh Toppings
Its not a taco salad without tomatoes, black beans, avocado, homemade salsa, and shredded cheese. While those are the classics, feel free to improvise here.
Top your salad with corn, radishes, jalapeños, bell peppers or crumbled tortilla chips. And to add a bit of creaminess, dollop sour cream or drizzle lime crema.
How To Make A Taco Salad
Now that you have your ingredients prepped, the rest comes easy.
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How To Make Taco Salad Ahead Of Time
Taco Salad can be assembled, refrigerated, then simply tossed with the chips and dressing right before serving. Taco Salad is an excellent make ahead meal because it can all be served at the same temperature, unlike Burrito Bowls, in which some of the components taste far superior warmed.
The secret to making taco salad ahead of time is to layer theingredients so they dont get soggy. This requires a specific order, with the most wet on the bottom. To prep Taco Salad ahead of time, layer theingredients in the following order:
- Ground beef
You will want to store the salad dressing separately and add thechips and avocados just before serving.
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What Is A Good Wine To Serve With Mexican Food
Fresh, sleek, and crisp wines with an acidity level that is high are the most successful. White wines that are good for the family include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio , dry Riesling, and Albari*o, a crisp, citrusy knockout from northwestern Spain that pairs well with green tomatillo and chili sauces.
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Can I Use A Store
Store-bought taco seasonings are great but sometimes they have added thickeners like cornstarch and that wont be needed here. Plus the bottled salsa steps in with onion and garlic so those few flavors found in taco seasoning are already added.
For this recipe I prefer to use just chili powder and cumin to keep it quick and simple but you could add more spices like coriander, paprika and cayenne if youd like or try it with different types of chili powder like Ancho, New Mexico, California etc.