Taco Salad

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Taco Salad is a quick, easy, and delicious salad. Romaine lettuce topped with taco beef, black beans, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips and a creamy dressing.

Our Easy Taco Salad is a go-to family Dinner Recipe and kid favorite with the ranch dressing and cheesy Doritos. This grown-up version is just as easy and delicious, and sure to be a hit!

Assembled Taco Salad in bowl with lettuce, black beans, seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese, avocado, and dressing.


When you are looking for a quick and easy dinner the whole family will love, you can’t beat a tasty Beef Taco Salad. This delicious salad is easy to make because the only cooking you do is the beef mixture. Load it up with a delicious assortment of easy Taco Salad ingredients like lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and avocado, and top it off with a creamy dressing.

Seasoned ground beef in skillet for Taco Salad

This healthy Taco Salad recipe is made with natural ingredients, and you can make it completely from scratch with your own Homemade Taco Seasoning. It’s made with spices from your pantry, so it’s cheaper than store bought taco seasonings with less sodium or preservatives. You can add taco seasoning to the taco salad dressing for more flavor, too.

One of the best things about a quick Taco Salad is that you can top it with all the ingredients you have on hand! Use iceberg lettuce instead of romaine lettuce, low fat cheese to make it healthier, or grape tomatoes instead of regular chopped tomatoes. Switch it up from a conventional Taco Salad into an a new and exciting family dinner with flavored chips, or try our crispy tortilla bowl guide in this post.

Dressing ingredients for Taco Salad in clear prep bowl

You can serve Beef Taco Salad as a side dish to all your favorite Mexican Recipes, like Chicken Enchiladas, or as a light and filling main dish. Have a soup and salad night by pairing this delicious salad with a cup of Easy Taco Soup. Try homemade toppings like Corn SalsaPico De Gallo, or Guacamole to take your Taco Salad to the next level. 


How to Meal Prep Taco Salad Lunch Bowls

To meal prep Taco Salad Lunch Bowls without getting wilted romaine lettuce or soggy veggies, try layering in a container with the meat on the bottom. Then add the remaining Taco Salad ingredients from wettest to driest, ending with the chopped lettuce on top. A good order would be meat, beans, cheese, tomatoes, olives, avocados, then lettuce. Store dressing separately in a small container.

Assembled Taco Salad in bowl with lettuce, black beans, seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese, avocado.


  • Meat: Instead of ground beef, you can use ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken for the taco meat. You could also use leftover steak, grilled chicken, or shredded Rotisserie Chicken.
  • Beans: Replace the cup of black beans with any other canned beans like chili beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, or garbanzo beans.
  • Veggies: Make this a Healthy Taco Salad with extra veggies like roasted zucchini or summer squash, bell peppers, red onions, canned corn, or green onions.
  • Creamy Cilantro Dressing: Make a creamy cilantro lime dressing by using salsa verde instead of taco sauce and add ½ cup chopped cilantro. Blend everything in a food processor until smooth, adding buttermilk if you want it thinner.
  • Chipotle Dressing: Skip the taco sauce and make a spicy Creamy Chipotle Dressing. Add 1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo, plus spices like chili powder, salt and pepper, and a teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic powder. 
  • Low Carb: To make a Low Carb Taco Salad, replace the cup of black beans with soy beans (edamame) and use Parmesan Crisps for a corn chip sub.

Crispy Tortilla Bowls

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add 4 cereal-sized oven safe bowls or ramekins to a baking sheet and spray with cooking oil.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.
  • One at a time, pan fry 4 large flour tortillas in oil for 30-45 seconds on each side until they are puffy and bubbly.
  • As each flour tortilla is done frying, use tongs to form it inside a cereal bowl, carefully not to pop bubbles.
  • Bake tortillas for 9-10 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Fill with Taco Salad ingredients and serve.



  • Serve: Taco Salad is best with served fresh chopped lettuce and toppings, and it can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it needs to be stored. 
  • Store: To keep veggies and chopped lettuce crispy, store Taco Salad ingredients separately in airtight containers. The prepared taco meat and taco salad dressing can be kept for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: The only Taco Salad ingredients that you want to freeze are the prepared taco meat and shredded cheese. Freeze the shredded cheese up to 6 months and the taco beef up to 3 months, in sealed containers, and thaw overnight before reheating.

Assembled Taco Salad in bowl with lettuce, black beans, seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese, avocado, and dressing.

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Beef Taco Salad

Taco Salad is a quick, easy, and delicious salad. Romaine lettuce topped with taco beef, black beans, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips and a creamy dressing.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, American/Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


Taco Salad Dressing

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup taco sauce
  • 1 lime , squeezed

Beef Taco Salad

  • 1 pound ground beef , (85/15)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix , (about 3 tablespoons homemade)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 cups lettuce , chopped (romaine or iceberg)
  • 15 ounces black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 2 vine tomatoes , chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives , sliced
  • 1 avocado , chopped
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese , shredded
  • 3 cups tortilla chips , crushed


  • To make the dressing mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, taco sauce and lime juice.
  • In a large skillet on medium high heat add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking it apart as you cook.
  • Add the taco seasoning to water and stir, then add to the skillet.
  • Cook until the liquid has evaporated then remove the beef to a bowl to cool.
  • In a large bowl layer the lettuce, cooked ground beef, black beans, tomatoes, black olives, avocado chunks, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.
  • Pour the dressing evenly over the salad then toss gently and serve immediately.


Calories: 658kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 1978mg | Potassium: 948mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1886IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 393mg | Iron: 5mg

Easy Taco Salad collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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    1. If you click on the “Print” button in the recipe card under the photo, it will bring up the recipe in a printer-friendly format!