A recipe from one of my favorite blogs – follow the links and visit the original site this recipe came from!
This easy taco salad recipe will be on your table in 20 minutes, making it perfect for any meal. You’ll love the flavor combination of the taco seasoning and meat with thousand island dressing, onions, avocado, and olives – with cheese, of course. 😉 Adaptions for making low carb, keto, and sugar free provided. Enjoy!
What makes this recipe for Taco Salad the best?
20 minutes is all you need to make this. While the ground beef is browning, start chopping the vegetables. To make it even quicker, use pre-chopped or shredded wherever possible. Voila! The perfect weeknight dinner idea!
The flavor. Ahhhh. A classic taco salad is the BEST. The perfect blend of seasoning, dressing, fresh vegetables, and meat. You’ll love the texture of the corn chips (if adding) too!
Healthy taco salad options. You can lighten this salad up by using fat free thousand island reducing the amount of cheese and using lean ground beef. To make it keto do not use kidney beans and corn chips. Be sure to use a keto-friendly salad dressing.
Homemade Taco Salad ingredients
Here are the taco salad ingredients you’ll need:
Ground Beef: Lean ground beef or 80/20 ground beef may be used. Ground turkey or ground chicken may also be used.
Taco Seasoning Mix: Try my healthy homemade taco seasoning mix – it’s super easy!
Kidney Beans: A classic in taco salads. Do not use if following keto.
Onion: Use a white or yellow onion. Green onions may also be sued.
Black Olives: Buy sliced to make it easier.
Shredded Cheddar Cheese: A Mexican cheese blend may also be used.
Corn Chips (optional): Tortilla chips may also be used.
Hot Sauce (optional): This is a mild salad, add spice to your desired heat level.
Iceberg Lettuce or Romaine Lettuce
Tomato: I diced up a tomato, but you could also use halved cherry tomatoes.
Thousand Island Salad Dressing: make my delicious 6-ingredient homemade salad dressing version. It’s so good! No need to buy it. Use fat free to reduce calories and fat.
Easy Taco Salad toppings
Anything you put in regular tacos can go on (or in) this salad. Some recommended toppings are sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, hot sauce, green onions, more cheese (of course), and additional corn chips or tortilla chips. You could also use sliced fresh or jarred jalapenos.
How to make Taco Salad
It’s easy to make taco salad, here’s how:
1. Brown ground beef, add taco seasoning, water. Simmer until thickened. Stir in kidney beans.
2. In a large bowl add all the salad ingredients including beef mixture and shredded cheese.
3. Pour the salad dressing over and gently toss.
4. Serve with hot sauce or salsa, and sour cream and fresh cilantro.
How to serve this Taco Salad Recipe
Serve the salad on a plate or make a taco salad bowl by serving in tortilla bowls (soft) or tostada bowls (crispy).
Sour cream, salsa, taco sauce, or guacamole are the perfect accompaniment.
Add more crunch with corn chips or crushed tortilla strips.
Add more color and sweetness with bell peppers.
Add spice with jarred or fresh jalapenos.
Chopped cilantro and squeezed lime juice add wonderful flavor as well.
How to store Homemade Taco Salad
Once the dressing is added, the salad can get soggy. It is best to make only what you think you will eat. If you still end up with leftovers, store them in an airtight container up to 24 hours. Refresh the salad with extra lettuce and crispy corn chips. Leftover taco meat by itself can be stored up to 4 days.
Be sure to save this pin to Pinterest for later! 🙂
Best Taco Salad Recipe FAQs
The rule of thumb is about .25 pounds per person, but if you are adding another protein source (such as beans) you may use a little less ground beef.
Wash the romaine then trim off the stem. For taco salad you could chop or shred the lettuce. Another option, stack a few leaves together, roll them tightly, and slice across the roll to create thin strips. Repeat this process until you have cut all the leaves.
A taco salad may be healthier than a taco, if you omit the corn chips (to lower carbs), use lean ground beef, lower fat thousand island, and don’t overdo the cheese. If it is healthier all depends on what and how much you are adding to your salad.
Homemade Taco Salad
1 recipe taco seasoning mix (Or 1 store packet)
⅔ cup water
1 (15-ounce can) kidney beans (drained and rinsed; omit if following keto)
1 small head iceberg lettuce (torn or shredded)
1 medium ripe avocado (peeled, pitted and sliced into ¼” slices)
1 large tomato (chopped)
½ cup onion (chopped)
2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
½ cup sliced black olives
2 cups crushed corn chips (optional) (if not following a low carb or keto diet)
1 cup thousand island dressing (keto use sugar free)
hot sauce to taste (optional)
optional for serving: cilantro, sour cream, and salsa
VARIATIONS/SUBSTITUTIONS: Use ground turkey or chicken in place of beef; Halved cherry tomatoes instead of chopped tomatoes; French or catalina dressing in place of thousand island; Black beans instead of kidney beans.
TIPS: This salad is mild. If you want extra spice use hot sauce or taco sauce. If the dressing is added too soon it can make the salad soggy. To meal prep. Have all the ingredients stored in separate containers then assemble when ready. This recipe can easily be halved – or even doubled if needed.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve on a plate or in a tortilla bowl. Season to taste with hot sauce, taco sauce, or salsa. Top with sour cream or even extra diced avocado and fresh cilantro.
KETO NOTES: omit kidney beans and corn chips. Make sure to use a keto friendly thousand island dressing.
Looking for more ideas? I post recipes I find on other blogs here. I share information about kitchen equipment I use here. Since I often order ingredients from Amazon (I live in a rural area and don’t have easy access to grocery stories) and my list of items I commonly order here. Finally, here is a list of my favorite cookbooks.