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A white plate full of taco salad topped with taco meat, grated cheese, Fritos, sour cream, black olives and tomatoes.
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Taco Salad ~ 25+ Topping Ideas

Taco Salad with 25+ topping ideas plus a delicious taco meat recipe. Works as lunch, family dinner, or party food for a large gathering.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: classic taco salad, easy taco salad recipe, taco meat, taco salad, taco salad recipe
Servings: 6
Calories: 795kcal

Ingredients

taco meat

  • 1.5 lb ground beef 80/20
  • 1 cup fire-roasted salsa
  • ¼ cup taco seasoning

salad

  • 1 head romaine lettuce sliced thin
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce sliced thin
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups mini heirloom tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 avocado diced
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup red and yellow bell pepper square dice
  • ½ cup pickled jalapenos
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • ½ cup green onions sliced thin
  • 2 cups Fritos
  • 1 cup colby or cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions

taco meat

  • In a large heavy (cast iron) skillet over medium heat add the ground beef, salsa, and taco seasoning.
  • Brown the ground beef, and stir to mix well. You can drain the juicy beef if you wish.

assemble taco salad

  • Place the thinly sliced romaine and iceberg bed of lettuce on a plate, top with taco meat, black beans, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream, bell pepper, pickled jalapenos, green onions, black olives, Fritos, and grated cheese.
  • If you would like dressing, try either Catalina Dressing; 1⁄2 cup ketchup, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup grated onion, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup salad vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper. OR this Taco Salad Dressing; mix 1 cup ranch dressing, ½ salsa, and 1 tablespoon seasoning to make a homemade taco salad dressing.
  • Store the leftover taco meat in an airtight container, and each topping in a separate container in the refrigerator. You can enjoy ground beef taco salad for several days or make tacos!

Video

Notes

dressing (optional)

 You can add a dressing if you like, this recipe tastes amazing without one. If you would like dressing, try either Catalina Dressing OR mix 1 cup ranch dressing, ½ salsa, and 1 tablespoon seasoning to make homemade taco salad dressing.
  • Try either Catalina Dressing, 1⁄2 cup ketchup, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup grated onion, 1 teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup salad vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Taco Salad Dressing; Mix 1 cup Ranch Dressing, ½ salsa, and 1 tablespoon seasoning to make homemade taco salad dressing.
 

More Taco Salad Toppings

  • avocado salsa taco sauce
  • grilled sweet corn kernels
  • red onion or pickled red onions
  • baked strips of flour tortillas
  • ground turkey or ground chicken
  • grilled tri-tip or carne asada
  • guacamole
  • hot sauce
  • cucumber
  • your favorite salsa
  • cooked diced chicken
  • crushed Doritos (small pieces)
  • crunchy tortilla strips
  • fried corn tortillas
  • pinto beans or kidney beans
  • homemade pico de gallo
  • refried beans
  • rice
  • crispy tortilla bowl
  • sour cream
  • radish slices
  • baked taco shell bowls
  • Catalina dressing
  • taco salad dressing

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground Beef – I like to use 80% Angus beef, you can drain the fat if you wish.
  • Fire Roasted Salsa – One of my favorite ways to make ground beef taste amazing. I used to chop onions and garlic, now just toss in the salsa and you are done. Any salsa works, but fire-roasted packs a lot more flavor.
  • Taco Seasoning: An easy fast way to spice up your taco meat, has classic Mexican spices like cumin, chili powder, and oregano plus many others. You can buy this spice mix or make your own at home 
  • Lettuce: Romaine and iceberg lettuce work so well together, and I like using up lettuce this way.  Fresh spinach or mixed greens would work fine.
  • Chips: Okay, in my humble opinion FRITOS are the best. But hey you can use white or blue tortilla chips, Doritos, or thin tortilla strips. Most people crush the chips so you can eat the salad with a fork.
  • Tomatoes: The little cherry tomatoes are great, I like the mini little yellow and red tomatoes, but you can dice large tomatoes too.
  • Avocado: Need I say more? I love avocados, it adds pretty color and creaminess that makes the salad interesting.
  • Sour Cream: Adds that cool and creamy, and balances the spicy fire-roasted salsa and jalapenos.
  • Cheeses: I used Colby and cheddar BOTH. Cause why not? But mixed Mexican cheese, mozzarella, or even pepper jack would all be great.
  • Black Beans: Adds protein and texture to the salad.
  • Green Onions: Thinly sliced, and add a nice bite, you could also use red or sweet onions diced finely.
  • Pickled Jalapenos: One of my personal favorite things in this salad, I like to chop them finely, but the whole is fine. They add a "spicy jalapeno twang". You could slice or dice fresh jalapenos too, just taste them before adding as some are too hot.
  • Black Olives: A classic in my family, these were always in the recipe growing up.
  • Bell Pepper: Red and yellow peppers are so beautiful in the salad, and add more crunch.

Nutrition

Serving: 6g | Calories: 795kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 1606mg | Potassium: 1312mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 12266IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 441mg | Iron: 6mg