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Add this easy Taco Salad recipe to your list of fast dinner ideas for busy weeknights! It has all of the favorites – seasoned ground beef, avocado, black beans, cheese and salsa!
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I love making a big meal-sized salad for dinner. It’s an easy way to make a healthy meal, and this taco salad is so satisfying! It’s also a perfect recipe to serve at a party. Just scale up the ingredients, set everything out in separate bowls, and let everyone build their own taco salad.
Why You’ll Love this Taco Salad Recipe
- 20 Minute Recipe. This recipe is so quick and easy to make. It’s perfect for busy nights!
- Healthy. This healthy taco salad can be made even healthier with a few simple ingredient swaps. I’ve listed some ideas in the taco salad ingredients section below.
- Great for Meal Prep. You can prep the components for this taco salad ahead of time and then assemble your salad when you’re ready to eat.
- Family-Friendly Meal. I love this recipe because everyone can build their salad bowl how they like it. If you have young kids who aren’t into salads yet, they can skip the lettuce and wrap their fillings up in tortillas.
Taco Salad Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need for this taco salad recipe, plus a few healthy swaps that you can make if desired.
- Ground Beef: Use lean ground beef or drain off excess grease after cooking. For a leaner recipe, substitute ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Taco Seasoning and Tomato Sauce: The taco meat is seasoned with taco seasoning; try our easy Taco Seasoning Recipe. Simmering the beef with tomato sauce and water as well as the seasonings makes the meat especially moist and flavorful.
- Lettuce: I love using crisp, crunchy romaine lettuce in taco salad. You can also use baby kale or spinach, or mixed greens.
- Black Beans, Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado: These add flavor, nutrition and color to the salad.
- Shredded Cheese: Use Mexican cheese or shredded cheddar, Monterey jack or Colby jack.
- Salsa: Salsa stands in for salad dressing. Use store-bought salsa or try this Salsa Recipe or Pico de Gallo recipe.
- Sour Cream: Cool, creamy sour cream balances out the spicy salsa. Or swap the sour cream for healthy protein-packed Greek yogurt.
- Tortilla Chips: Crumbled tortilla chips add a delicious crunch. Leave them out for a lighter salad.
How to Make Taco Salad
Make the taco meat. Brown the ground beef in a skillet, crumbling it as it cooks. Then stir in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce and water. Reduce the heat and cook until most of the liquid is gone and the meat is cooked through.
Assemble the taco salad. Divide the lettuce, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese and avocado between four large salad bowls or plates. Add the cooked seasoned beef and salsa. Add a spoonful of sour cream and some crumbled tortilla chips to each salad. Then serve and enjoy!
Leftover cooked taco meat can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can store the other taco salad ingredients in separate containers in the fridge to make it especially quick to assemble salads from the leftovers.
If you’d like to assemble the taco salads ahead of time to meal prep for the week, this Taco Salad Lunch Bowls recipe has some tips. To keep everything fresh, add the different salad components to your storage containers in rows so that they stay somewhat separate. Be sure to let the meat cool completely before adding it to the salads. Store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Add sour cream and tortilla chips right before serving.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
Easy Taco Salad
- 1 pound lean ground beef, or ground turkey
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ½ cup water
- 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup canned corn, drained
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar, Monterey jack, Mexican cheese or Colby jack cheese
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- 1 cup salsa
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 4 ounces crumbled tortilla chips
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat, until meat is browned. Stir in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce and water. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly gone and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- To assemble the salads, divide the lettuce, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese and avocado evenly between four large plates or salad bowls. Top with the cooked seasoned beef and salsa. Add a tablespoon of sour cream and crumbled tortilla chips to each salad. Serve.
- Leftover cooked taco meat can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can store the other taco salad ingredients in separate containers in the fridge to make it especially quick to assemble a taco salad from the leftovers.