Taco Salad

Quick + easy Taco Salad is packed with flavor and whips up in only 20 minutes! This is a perfectly delish dinner for any night of the week.

We sure love tacos at our house, and this Taco Salad hits the spot! Try Taco Pie, Taco Soup, or Taco Pizza for some more taco-tastic twists.

White bowl filled with taco salad.

best taco salad recipe

We’re all about taco Tuesday, or really any Mexican food any day of the week. Turn those beef tacos into something special with this family favorite Taco Salad!

Taco salad ingredients can really be anything that you love. We love fresh avocado, tomato, and green onions. I love that each person can customize their bowl-full and make something really delicious.

For a heartier version, add in some spanish rice or crock pot pinto beans. Feel free to pour on your favorite red or green salsa as well!

Ingredients for taco salad laid out.

how to make taco salad

DRESSING. Make dressing by combining sour cream, dressing, salsa and chili powder in a small bowl. Mix until well combined and refrigerate until ready to serve.

GROUND BEEF. Add ground beef to a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat. Cook the beef until no longer pink and crumbly. Drain grease.

Add water and taco seasoning mix and cook until water is evaporated, making sure to stir occasionally (about 5 minutes).

LAYER. Assemble as one large salad with lettuce on bottom, followed by meat, tomatoes, avocado and cheese. (This can also be assembled in individual bowls or in an assembly line fashion for everyone to dish their own.)

ENJOY! Serve with chips and dressing. Sour Cream, guacamole and salsa also make great additions, especially if not making the dressing.

Seasoning and browning beef for taco salad.

Taco Toppings + Tips

Toppings: One of the best things about cooking from home is that you can control exactly what you want to include. Salads are particularly easy recipes to change things up: 

  • Add in some black beans, diced onion, olives, Spanish Rice
  • Mix in corn. Using Grilled Corn on the Cob kernels is particularly delicious. 
  • Add extra flavors with cilantro, salt, pepper, or cumin
  • Tortilla chips or tortilla strips are classic additions. Doritos or fritos are another great chip to use.
  • Add flavor with hot sauce, Pico de Gallo, or Salsa
  • Add a dollop of sour cream.
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.
  • Change up the cheese.

Meat: This recipe uses beef taco meat. You can use any fat content, just be sure that you drain excess grease before you mix in the seasoning.

If you wish, you can switch the beef taco meat out for ground turkey or chicken. Should you wish to make your own seasoning for the meat try out this recipe Homemade Taco Seasoning

How to make the perfect taco salad process picture.

How to make a hard taco salad bowl?

A really fun variation of this dish is to serve it in a homemade tortilla bowl. You’ll need oven safe bowls or taco molds, tortillas, and cooking spray.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
  2. Spray both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray
  3. Place each tortilla in a separate bowl. The sides of the tortilla will crinkle. Just arrange the crinkles/waves so that they are evenly spaced around the sides of the bowl. 
  4. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Allow the tortillas to cool inside the bowls before removing them. They’ll keep in a plastic bag for up to 2 days.
Layering ingredients for Taco Salad.

Storing Info

To make ahead: You can easily prepare the different elements the day before and keep them stored in separate containers in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble your salads. 

Leftovers: Storing leftover taco salad gets a little tricky because some of the ingredients do not reheat well. Try to remove any produce that will get soggy. Store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat in the microwave and add fresh toppings.  

White bowl filled with taco salad topped with shredded cheese.

for some Mexican Sides, check out:

Taco Salad Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Quick + easy Taco Salad is packed with flavor and whips up in only 20 minutes! This is a perfectly delish dinner for any night of the week.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 341 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • cup water
  • 1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 6 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved, cherry tomatoes work as well
  • 1 avocado pitted, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • chips Tortilla or Fritos

Taco Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder

Instructions
 

  • Make dressing by combining sour cream, dressing, salsa and chili powder in a small bowl. Mix until well combined and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Add ground beef to a large skillet and cook on medium-high heat. Cook the beef until no longer pink and crumbly. Drain grease.
  • Add water and taco seasoning mix and cook until water is evaporated, making sure to stir occasionally (about 5 minutes).
  • Assemble as one large salad with lettuce on bottom, followed by meat, tomatoes, avocado and cheese. (This can also be assembled in individual bowls or in an assembly line fashion for everyone to dish their own.)
  • Serve with chips and dressing. Sour Cream, guacamole and salsa also make great additions, especially if not making the dressing.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I love making taco salad! It takes hardly any effort. Can feed alot of people and usually can pick and choose what you put on it.

  2. 5 stars
    We make this at least once a month!! It’s a quick & tasty meal that my family will eat any night of the week!

  3. 5 stars
    I absolutely love making the taco salad bowls that are mentioned in the post. I love coming across all the fun ‘extras’ you write about as much as I love the main recipe.