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This easy taco salad recipe has perfectly seasoned ground beef and the most delicious three-ingredient creamy dressing! Fresh veggies and crunchy Doritos round it out.
Why you’ll love it
I love tacos as much as the next gal (Fish Tacos, anyone!?), but it’s fun to change it up sometimes. This ground beef taco salad is bursting with bright flavors and has a ridiculously simple zesty salsa dressing. It’s always been one of my favorites.
This Doritos taco salad is a hearty one that you’ll look forward to eating! It’s filling and has plenty of tender beef and fresh ingredients like avocado and crisp lettuce. Throw in some canned corn and beans, top with cheese, and it’s the best taco salad.
What you’ll need
- Ground beef – this inexpensive meat is perfect for tacos. We’re pan frying it in olive oil and my signature seasoning blend with chili powder (it’s generally mild), garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and ground cumin.
- Dressing – sour cream, your fave salsa, and fresh lime juice make up our trio for the easy dressing
- Lettuce – I use chopped romaine, but iceberg works too
- Veggies – we’ve got little tomatoes, red onion, canned corn and black beans, and avocado
- Toppings – cheese, cilantro, and Doritos top it all off!
- If you want to make this ahead of time, I suggest keeping the meat, avocado, and Doritos, and dressing separate and then adding those ingredients prior to serving.
How to make taco salad
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
In a skillet, cook the beef and spices until cooked through. Break it up as you go along, and drain any excess fat. Meanwhile, mix the taco salad dressing ingredients together until smooth.
Prep the salad ingredients, and add them to a large bowl. Once the beef is done, let it cool down a bit. Add the beef and Doritos, and toss with the dressing or drizzle it on top if you prefer.
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
Substitutions and variations
- Try my Chipotle Ranch Dressing instead to change up the dressing.
- If you’re craving some heat, add in 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the beef mixture.
- You could even swap the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey if you prefer.
Leftovers and storage
- The Doritos will lose their crunch and the lettuce will wilt fairly fast. However, if you store the components separately, it’ll keep for a few days in the fridge to assemble later.
- You could definitely freeze the taco meat for 3 months in an airtight container.
If you made this easy taco salad, please leave a star rating and review in the comments below! Tag your creations #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see them.
For the beef:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup salsa
- Fresh lime juice to taste
For the salad:
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 10 ounces little tomatoes (grape or cherry) cut into halves
- 1/2 small red onion chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese (e.g. cheddar or Mexican blend)
- 1/2 cup canned corn drained
- 1/2 cup black beans drained
- 1/2 avocado sliced/chopped
- 1 cup Doritos broken into bite-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or to taste
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the oil, ground beef, and spices to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef until it's browned and cooked through, breaking it up with your spoon as you go along (about 8-10 minutes). Spoon any excess fat out if needed.
- While the beef is cooking, prep your other salad ingredients, and make the dressing by mixing the sour cream and salsa together in a medium bowl. Add in a squeeze of lime juice to taste. Some varieties of sour cream can be super thick, so you can thin out the dressing with some extra lime juice and/or water if needed.
- Add the salad ingredients to a large bowl. Once the beef is done, let it cool for a few minutes. Add the beef and Doritos to the salad last (so the Doritos don’t get soggy). Toss the salad with the dressing, season with salt & pepper as needed, and serve immediately.
- Serves 4+ as a main dish and more as a side (like 6+).
- Want to make the beef spicy? Add in 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
- Feel free to use ready-made taco seasoning instead of the spices I suggest if you wish.
- This recipe is very flexible! Omit or increase ingredients according to your preferences.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.
This recipe was originally published on July 2, 2019. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!