Taco Salad is a summer staple at our house. This easy meal is full everything your favorite tacos while helping you get in more greens!
Ever since I was little I remember my mom making Taco Salad at least monthly and definitely more during the summer. We devoured it as kids, but I think my mom also liked making it because it was so easy and healthy which is why I still have this scrumptious dish on our monthly dinner rotation. It’s my summer-time flavor fix when it gets too hot to have my favorite taco soup. This taco salad has the same taco vibe, and is just as easy to make.
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I love when salads like this taco salad recipe are filling enough to be a full meal and a balanced one at that. This salad has it all- lots of veggies, healthy fats, protein-rich meat, and beans all tossed in a delicious, slightly sweet tomato-based dressing. Sometimes I make this recipe into a healthy taco salad with ground turkey, the kids never notice the difference. I’ve even been known to throw caution to the wind and mash up two summer staples into one amazing taco pasta salad!
How to Make Taco Salad
- Start out by browning the ground beef. Once it’s no longer pink, drain off the oil and then add in the taco seasoning and water. Bring it to a simmer, cover, turn to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, you’ll want to get all the veggies ready. Chop up the romaine lettuce and let it soak in cold water for 5 minutes. This makes the lettuce nice and crisp. Drain and dry in a salad spinner and then place in a large mixing bowl.
- Rinse and drain the corn and beans and chop up the avocado, tomatoes, red onion. Add everything to the bowl of lettuce along with the cheese and tortilla strips. When the beef is done simmering, add it along with the dressing. Toss and serve immediately with lime wedges, sour cream, and homemade salsa.
Can I make this Taco Salad ahead of time?
Yes! Since I have a small family, I like only fully prepare half of the salad. For prepping ahead, you’ll want to only mix the vegetables together and store them in an airtight container and place the meat in a separate container as well. When ready to eat, heat up the taco meat, toss everything together and then serve.
What substitutions can I make?
Really can you can add whatever food you’d normally have with tacos or other Mexican dishes. You can swap out the black beans for pinto or kidney beans, add in some bell peppers, swap out tortilla strips for Doritos, leave out the Catalina dressing and just use salsa and sour cream or Cilantro Lime Dressing.
Want more crazy good salads?
- Classic Cobb Salad
- Honey Mustard Chicken Salad
- Grilled Barbecue Chicken Salad
- Fully Loaded Raspberry Salad
- Chicken Caesar Salad
- More dinner recipes…
Tools used to make this Taco Salad recipe
Large Skillet: This skillet is my go-to kitchen tool. It’s large circumference and high sides make it perfect for cooking anything from one pan meals to soups and sauces.
Cutting Board: A good-sized cutting board is a must for home cooks. This board is thick & sturdy and makes recipe prep a breeze.
Knives: A good set of kitchen knives is essential for any cook. This set is the best one I’ve owned so far and it comes with a knife block, steak knives, and an array of larger knives perfect for all your slicing, chopping, and cutting needs.
Salad Bowl: This wooden salad bowl is a gorgeous addition to any dinner table. I’ve had mine for years and love it!
For the Meat:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 4 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
For the Salad:
- 2 Romaine hearts chopped
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can sweet corn drained
- 1 avocado diced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup red onion diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup tortilla strips or chips
- 1 Lime
- 1/2 cup Fat free Catalina salad dressing
- Sour cream
- Cilantro chopped
- Brown meat and drain off fat. Add the taco seasoning and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the beef once done simmering. Toss together and serve with lime, sour cream, and salsa.