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Hearty Beef Taco Salad

There’s nothing like a big, hearty beef taco salad to satisfy your craving for Mexican food. There are many recipes available, but how do you know which one is best? This article will introduce how to make a taco salad and offer recipe ideas so you can enjoy this delicious dish at home with family and friends.

Taco salads have ground beef, shredded cheese, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, olives, black beans and tortilla chips tossed in a salad dressing. You can eat it with a fork or with your hands if you choose to crunch the tortilla chips. There are many creative ways to change up this dish so you don’t get tired of eating the same thing all the time. If you have a favorite taco salad recipe, try switching the ingredients to see how it tastes.

Here are some how-to tips for making taco salads:

– Prepare the beef ahead of time by browning it in a skillet or saucepan before adding seasonings and water or tomato juice. You can also use leftover beef from a previous meal. This beef can be cooked in advance and frozen until it is used.

– Prepare the taco salad dressing by combining ranch, Italian or Thousand Island together in a bowl with sour cream and milk or water. You can also add salsa to this mixture if you desire a spicier taste. Use your favorite jarred salsa or make your own.

– Add beans to the taco salad mixture for extra protein. Use pinto beans, black beans or kidney beans depending on how you want it to taste.

– Dress the salad only when you are ready to eat it. You can use a large bowl with a lid or cover the bowl with aluminum foil before transporting it to the table.

– If you are using crunched up tortilla chips in your taco salad, include two cups in the bowl before tossing it with the dressing. Layer the beef on top of the chips so there is no need to stir them in later.

– Crushed corn chips are a great choice for this dish because they have a milder taste and absorb more of the taco salad dressing.

– If you like a spicier taco salad, use jalapeño peppers instead of regular green bell pepper and add hot sauce to the mixture.

– Add shredded lettuce, tomatoes and olives to this dish for an even heartier meal. You can prepare these ingredients in advance and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the salad.

Can You Transport This Dish?

This dish is easy to transport to picnics or parties if you use a smaller sized bowl for each serving. You can also pack tortilla chips on the side so everyone has their own taco salad.

What Spices Can Be Used To Make Taco Salads?

Add your favorite spices to this dish before making it. You can use chili powder, cumin or taco sauce depending how much heat you want in your salad.

– If you have leftover tortilla chips, toss them in the salad mixture before dressing it to ensure they are covered in the flavor. You can also add more chips on top of each serving when serving it to guests so they will know how much to add.

If you like taco salads, consider investing in the larger size bowls sold at many retail stores and online. You can make up to four servings of this dish in a large bowl if you don’t mind extra salad dressing or want leftovers for lunch the next day.

Use these how to tips for making taco salads to get started on how to make a taco salad. If you have your own recipe that is heart healthy, check out how to make taco salads recipes online for diabetes or how to make taco salads for weight loss so you can enjoy this dish while staying in shape. There are also how to tips for how much cilantro in tacos if you prefer to make how to taco salad with cilantro instead of how to taco salad without cilantro.

Happy cooking!

taco salad

Hearty Beef Taco Salad

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

There's nothing like a big, hearty beef taco salad to satisfy your craving for Mexican food.


  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lbs. lean ground beef

  • 2 t. ground cumin

  • 1 t. smoked paprika
½ t. chili powder
1½ t. chipotle powder, divided

  • ½ t. onion powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
4 large gluten-free corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed

  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped

  • 1 large ripe avocado, chopped
2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
½ small red onion, diced small
1 c. frozen sweet corn, warmed

  • 2 T. fresh lime juice

  • ¾ c. Mexican blend cheese, finely shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ground beef and season with ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, one teaspoon chipotle powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned, approximately 8-10 minutes. Break up the beef with a spatula into small chunks while it cooks.
  4. While the beef is browning, arrange the tortilla strips on the prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with one tablespoon olive oil. Place in the oven until slightly crispy, approximately 6-8 minutes.
  5. Stir the black beans into the skillet with the beef until thoroughly coated with the seasonings. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from skillet and set aside.
  6. Combine the lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and corn in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with remaining olive oil, chipotle powder, and fresh lime juice. Generously season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. 
  7. To serve, transfer salad to a decorative serving platter and top with the seasoned beef and black beans, Mexican cheese, and crispy tortilla strips, if desired. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 688Total Fat 39gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 121mgSodium 300mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 12gSugar 14gProtein 46g

I am not a nutritionist. All nutrition values have been automatically generated. If you have questions, please have a professional look at the ingredients and help you with new values.

Try one of our other Mexican Dishes:

Microwave Chicken Fajitas

10- Minute Enchiladas

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