How to make the ULTIMATE Taco Salad! This salad is loaded with all of your favorite taco ingredients as well as a simple, three-ingredient taco salad dressing. This recipe is great for customizing with your favorite taco add-ins!
Taco Salad is a great and easy side dish to bring to your next cookout, party, or potluck, or even to just serve for dinner!
One of the greatest strains on my marriage is my husband’s complete and utter lack of respect for Taco Tuesday.
“They’re too much work”, he complained the first few Tuesdays of our marriage, revealing the heart of a man who clearly prefers his dinner assembled before it reaches the table.
So Taco Tuesday in our house is now more of a Taco-every-third-Tuesday thing, and even though we just celebrated 10 years together last week, sometimes I’m not even sure how we made it this far with priorities so clearly misaligned.
Fortunately, there is one saving grace that we can both agree on, and that’s Taco Salad.
Even though I don’t mind the chance to assemble my own tacos, I do have to admit that there’s something really nice about just throwing everything together in a bowl and chowing down, no additional assembly required.
What Goes In A Taco Salad?
- Cooked ground beef (or ground turkey, or ground chicken)
- Cilantro (though you can omit this if you’re one of those people who can’t stand cilantro!)
- Jalapenos (optional)
These are my staples for taco salad. Sometimes I will also mix in corns and or black beans, but I left them out of the base recipe because I don’t consider them to be quintessential taco ingredients. If Zach had it his way, there would always be olives in it as well, but I’ll pass on the olives every time.
Taco Salad Dressing
My Taco Salad Dressing is made with just three ingredients:
- Sour Cream
- Taco Seasoning
I use a 1:1 ratio of salsa to sour cream as well as a spoonful of taco seasoning. I do recommend using a medium salsa and one that’s not terribly thick. For this recipe I used Tostito’s brand medium-heat salsa, but any similar will work just as well.
I do want to note that because this recipe uses taco seasoning both to cook the ground beef and in the dressing, if you’re using packets of taco seasoning you will need two packets, and you won’t use all of the second one. Just hang on to the extra taco seasoning for your next batch of taco salad… because you’re going to want there to be a next batch!
- 1 lb ground beef (455g)
- 2/3 cup water (155ml)
- 1 packet (or 3 Tablespoons) taco seasoning* (35g)
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce 285g
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved (185g)
- 1 avocado diced
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion (45g)
- 1 ½ cups sharp shredded cheddar cheese (170g)
- ⅓ cup cilantro chopped (13g)
- Jalapeno slices optional, use more or less depending on how hot you like your taco salad to be. I only used half of a sliced jalapeno for this recipe.
- broken corn chips optional**
Taco Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup sour cream (120g)
- 1/2 cup medium salsa (135g)
- 1 1 /2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat and add ground beef.
- Cook until browned and drain.
- Add water and taco seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.
- Remove from heat and allow ground beef to cool for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the rest of your taco salad.
- Combine chopped romaine lettuce, halved cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, diced red onion, cheddar cheese, cilantro, and jalapenos (if using) in a large bowl.
- Add (cooled) ground beef and toss ingredients together until well-combined. Prepare your Taco Salad Dressing.
Taco Salad Dressing
- Combine sour cream, salsa, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons taco seasoning in a bowl and whisk until well-combined.
- Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss until well-combined.
- Serve. If not serving immediately, cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.