Easy Taco Salad – Spend With Pennies

I can’t even count how many times I’ve made this taco salad recipe. It’s a go-to anytime I need a quick meal.

Quick and easy, this taco salad has seasoned ground beef and cheese atop crisp lettuce and our favorite taco toppings.

Easy Taco Salad with beef and cheese

Taco Salad Ingredients

The beauty of this Tex-Mex-inspired salad is that you can add what you love or use what you have on hand.

Meat: I use lean ground beef (80/20), ground turkey, or ground chicken depending on what I’ve got on hand.

Seasoning: Season the meat with either a packet or homemade taco seasoning. Making your own seasoning with spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano is easy.

Lettuce: Romaine or iceberg lettuce are crunchy and sturdy, so they hold up well to lots of toppings. A mix of greens, like mesclun, is a bit too tender.

Toppings: Whatever you put on a taco (and more) is great on a taco salad! Our family favorites include shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, and a variety of veggies like leftover grilled corn, green onions, or cherry or Roma tomatoes.

Try any of the following to add flavor, crunch, and color.

  • Crunchy: Tortilla chips, Doritos, tortilla strips, or corn chips.
  • Spicy/Zesty: Jalapenos, red onion, or hot sauce.
  • Fresh: Guacamole, a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
beef, beans , cheese and vegetables to make Taco Salad with labels

Taco Salad Dressing

How to Make Taco Salad

  1. Brown and season the ground beef (recipe below). Stir in beans if using.
  2. Wash lettuce and spin dry. Top with beef mixture and your favorite toppings.
  3. Scoop into a large serving bowl or plates and top with tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.
close up of Taco Salad in a bowl with cheese

Serve this taco salad in a tortilla bowl to make it just like your favorite restaurant!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a flour tortilla with cooking spray (or brush it with butter or olive oil) and season with salt & your fave seasonings (cumin or a bit of chili powder are good).
  3. Place the tortilla in an ovenproof bowl or a taco bowl maker and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.

More Main Dish Salad Recipes

Did you make this easy Taco Salad? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

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Easy Taco Salad

This easy taco salad is crispy, crunchy, and colorful. Make a DIY taco bar by putting out all the toppings and let everyone make their own!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

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  • In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 

  • Add the taco seasoning and ½ cup water. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in beans.

  • Place the lettuce in a large salad bowl or divide over individual serving bowls. Top with the seasoned meat mixture, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, and desired toppings.

  • Top with tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream.

While we use sour cream and salsa as dressing, Catalina or Thousand Island are also great with this salad.
To make this meal fast, use pre-washed lettuce. Prepare topping ingredients while the beef is browning.
Leftover taco meat can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container and reheated in the microwave. 

Calories: 360 | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3585IU | Vitamin C: 6.9mg | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 2.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Beef, Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American, Mexican
bowl of Easy Taco Salad with a title
Easy Taco Salad with crisp lettuce and writing
Easy Taco Salad with beef and writing
Easy Taco Salad in a bowl and close up photo with a title

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