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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.

You may also like my Easy Taco Casserole and Cheesy Taco Pasta next. 

a bowl of taco salad with creamy salsa dressing

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!
ingredients for taco salad in prep bowls

Pro tip

  • 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.

browning ground beef in a skillet and making taco salad dressing in a bowl

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.

tossing taco salad in a large glass bowl

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. 

What to serve with taco salad

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.
a bowl of beef taco salad with a lime wedge

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. 

a bowl of taco salad with creamy salsa dressing
5 from 7 votes

Taco Salad

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.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


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.


Calories: 663kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 124mg, Sodium: 764mg, Potassium: 1302mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 8408IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 355mg, Iron: 6mg

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.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

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!

Hi! I’m Natasha.

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5 from 7 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Andy Rich says:

    Are you sure the taco salad calls for 1 tablespoon chili powder for 1 pound of ground beef? We are a spicy family and we could not eat it. It got so spicy and we even tried to cook it longer which I know it was a mistake as we found out later, it gets spicy and cook up we were trying to cook out the seasoning. We love your recipes, but we are trying to figure out what we did wrong

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Andy! Chili powder is a blend of spices and usually is pretty mild. Unless your chili powder is labeled as a hot one (which can happen especially in some part of the US), it definitely shouldn’t be too hot. Its ingredients typically are ground red chilis, sometimes cayenne, cumin, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Did you perhaps use pure ground chilis?

  2. Susan says:

    I’m going to try this with Greek fat free yogurt which I always have on hand instead of sour cream. Is there a way to elevate the taste on the canned corn which is bland at best. Love your recipes.

    1. Natasha says:

      Enjoy!! 🙂

  3. Sandi K says:

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious as promised. I make this one regularly.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled to hear it, Sandi!!

  4. Sarah says:

    This recipe is almost exactly the way I eat my taco salads, so I already know this is good without even making it. The toppings might change depending on what looked good at the grocery store, but crushed nacho cheese or ranch Doritos, shredded cheese, lettuce, some sort of Mexican style meat, Mexican rice or beans, sour cream, and pickled jalapeños are a constant. I’m definitely trying your sour cream/salsa/lime dressing because it seems easier than mixing in a big glob of sour cream by itself, and the ground beef spice blend instead of using a pre mix. We also enjoy a quick chicken verde made by browning skinless boneless chicken thighs, then diced onion, and then simmering everything in a jar of verde salsa until the chicken starts to break up and shred easily, about 30 minutes. Everyone makes their own salad how they like to keep leftover storage easy.

    1. Sarah says:

      I just wanted to update that I indeed did try the dressing and the ground beef spices for our taco salads and both were delicious! The ground beef was super flavorful, much better than a premix, and the dressing consistency made it easy to mix into the salads. The only thing I changed was I sautéd 1/2 an onion before adding the ground beef to it. I also added 1/2 c. of water when I added the spices just so they would disperse throughout the meat better. I then let it all cook out and evaporate.

      1. Natasha says:

        Thrilled you enjoyed it, Sarah! Thanks for the update! 😀

  5. Scott Schreiber says:

    We made this on a 100 degree day in the middle of a 7 day heat wave in Delaware. It was the perfect meal! No excessive heating of the kitchen, short prep time. It was very, very good. We substituted Impossible burger for the hamberger, but otherwise made it as is. It is a perfect, easy, cool summer time meal….and healthy!

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      So happy you enjoyed it, Scott! Thank you! Hope you’re all staying cool as best you can 🙂

  6. Pia says:

    5 stars
    Was delicious. Tasty, spicy, quickly, got greens and easy… so good. Thank you.

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re welcome, Pia! Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Libby says:

    5 stars
    Huge fan of your insta/website. Made this taco salad today and LOVED IT. So flavorful!

    1. Natasha says:

      Fantastic!! Thank you!!

  8. Shauna says:

    5 stars
    So delicious and quick, easy supper!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! Thank you so much for leaving me a review, Shauna!

  9. Suzy Kudsia says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! My husband loved it and hes not easily impressed…I kept the ingredients in separate bowls and everyone customize their own meal. Super easy and fun to eat!
    Thank you! You have so many great recipes!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Suzy!! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment/review. 🙂 XO