Somewhat Simple

Easy Taco Salad

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This simple and delicious taco salad recipe is ready in less than 20 minutes and is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

Here are a few more of our favorite salads – Grilled Chicken Salad, Pear Walnut Salad, and Potato Arugula Salad.

a bowl of taco salad

An Easy Dinner Idea

This time of year, I am totally in favor of quick and easy meals! After a long and busy day, I just want to put together a simple meal that I know everyone in my family will enjoy. This taco salad recipe is so flavorful and delicious and it’s ready in less than 20 minutes.

It’s the perfect meal for a busy weeknight, and requires almost no effort on my part! The great thing about this recipe is that everyone can prepare theirs exactly how they want it so everyone’s happy!

looking down on small bowls filled with taco salad ingredients

Ingredients For Taco Salad

This taco salad recipe is completely adaptable to whatever you have on hand! Don’t have ground beef handy? Use shredded chicken breast or ground turkey instead, or just double up on beans and serve a vegetarian taco salad. Do you have leftover vegetables in the fridge? Throw them in! I kept my toppings pretty simple for this salad, but you can make your salad as extravagant or as simple as you like.

I like to add a variety of textures and make sure I have at least one crunchy element. I love pre-cooked tortilla strips, but crumbled up tortilla chips work great too! I usually serve the taco salad by laying out all of the ingredients on the table and letting each person assemble their salad according to their own tastes. Some of our favorite taco salad toppings include:

  • lettuce – I like to use a mixture of Romaine and iceberg
  • ground beef – I use ground beef with a higher fat content for more flavor
  • tomatoes
  • shredded cheese
  • avocado
  • black beans or pinto beans
  • corn
  • chopped olives
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • red onions
  • tortilla strips – broken tortilla chips work great and so can Doritos if you want to add a little extra flavor to the salad

a bottle of salad homemade dressing next to a salad

How To Make A Taco Salad

Cook The Meat – Start by browning the ground beef in a skillet. Once the meat has been cooked through, add the spices and give it a good mix. Let everything cook for an additional minute or two until the water evaporates.

Build It, They Will Come – Sometimes I like to add a fresh Homemade Tortilla as the base of my taco salad but that’s totally optional. Start by placing a layer of the chopped lettuce in the bowl. Next, layer in the various toppings you love and pile them as high as you’d like.

Dressing – You can certainly use your favorite store-bought dressings (I always have a bottle of ranch in my fridge!). However, I always like to use a homemade dressing for my taco salad. A couple of my favorite homemade dressings to drizzle on top are these Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing and Homemade Ranch Dressing.

looking down on a salad topped with avocado, ground beef, cheese, beans and tomatoes

My family loves it when I make this taco salad for dinner, and I love that I don’t have to spend all evening cooking! Most of the ingredients can be prepped beforehand (although I would suggest waiting until just before serving to cut up the avocado). This taco salad is the perfect easy meal!

More Easy Taco Ideas

a bowl of taco salad
5 from 4 votes

Easy Taco Salad

This simple and delicious taco salad recipe is ready in less than 20 minutes and is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters!

Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword beef
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 298 kcal


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup tomatoes diced
  • 1 medium avocado diced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • crispy tortilla strips
  • 4 tbsp ranch dressing


  1. To make the salad, add the ground beef to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, breaking the meat into pieces, until browned and cooked through. Add the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and water to the skillet, and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the water has evaporated.
  2. To serve the salad, start with a layer of romaine lettuce, then add ground beef, black beans, cheese, tomato, avocado, and crispy tortilla strips.

  3. Pour the cilantro lime dressing over the top and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Easy Taco Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 Salad)
Calories 298 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 388mg17%
Potassium 642mg18%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 4637IU93%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 171mg17%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

a bowl of taco salad made with ground beef

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