This Taco Salad recipe is the absolute best! Made with seasoned ground beef, chopped lettuce and all your favorite toppings (including nacho-flavored Doritos tortilla chips), this salad is ready in under 30 minutes and the kids will love it!
Maybe it’s just my inner 13-year-old child talking, but a taco salad recipe that’s actually topped with nacho-flavored tortilla chips is pretty much my dream come true.
I definitely ate a version of this in middle school at least once a week. Back then it was all about the walking taco – you’d buy one of those 25 cent bags of corn chips or tortilla chips (or in my case Hot Cheetos), stuff them with nacho cheese, ground beef, sour cream, a teeny tiny bit of lettuce and eat it all with a fork. I looked forward to lunch every single day.
But now that I’m older and slightly wiser, I try to make sure my meals are at least 80% good for me and filled healthy ingredients.
The other 20%? Well that’s all about cravings, healthy or not, and today I’m craving good ol’ classic Doritos!
Taco Salad ingredients
While you probably won’t see a taco salad recipe quite like this in your favorite Mexican restaurant, it is made with all of my favorite Mexican-inspired ingredients.
- chopped iceberg lettuce (which is great for meal prep since it holds up well in the fridge)
- lean ground beef
- homemade taco seasoning
- pinto beans for some added fiber to keep you full
- tomatoes and green onions
- and of course, tortilla chips! I used nacho-flavored Doritos, but you can use regular tortilla chips or even make your own homemade tortilla chips if you prefer
How to make this Taco Salad Recipe
First, combine my favorite homemade taco seasoning spices with lean ground beef. These include chili powder, cumin, garlic and onion powder, paprika and oregano.
Then cook the ground beef in a large skillet. Add a 1/2 cup of water at the end, bring to a simmer and then remove from heat. This will create a flavorful sauce that acts almost as a dressing in the salad.
In a large bowl, mix together chopped lettuce, tomatoes, pinto beans, green onions and cheese.
Last but not least, serve the salad with the seasoned ground beef and sauce and top with nacho-flavored tortilla chips.
How to serve Taco Salad
If you’re serving this Dorito Taco Salad at a party or potluck, I recommend tossing all the ingredients together right before serving to prevent it from becoming too soggy.
If you’re making this for yourself or your family and you anticipate having leftovers, I recommend adding the ground beef and Doritos to each individual serving so that the lettuce mixture doesn’t get soggy when you store it in the fridge.
Dressing or no dressing?
Feel free to drizzle in some additional dressing like this creamy cilantro lime dressing, ranch, catalina or even guacamole Salsa. I find that adding dressing makes everything a bit too wet and soggy for my liking, but that’s totally personal preference.
More Mexican inspired recipes you’ll love
- Grilled Corn Salsa
- Easy Taco Casserole
- Chicken Fajita Stuffed French Bread
- Easy Loaded Mexican Nachos
- Mexican Chimichurri Chicken Salad
I hope you love this recipe – be sure to give it a review below! To get more easy Mexican recipes delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my weekly email newsletter. You can also follow Isabel Eats on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
For the taco meat
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1/2 cup water
For the salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chopped green onions
- 1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
- 1/2 11-ounce bag nacho-flavored tortilla chips (like Doritos)
For the taco meat
- In a large bowl, add ground beef, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and dried oregano. Mix together with hands until well combined.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cooking oil. Add the ground beef and break up the meat into smaller chunks using a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is completely browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the water and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
For the salad
- In a large mixing bowl, add the lettuce, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, chopped green onions and shredded cheese. Toss to combine.
- If you're planning to serve this at a party, add the cooked ground beef and nacho-flavored tortilla chips and toss to combine. Serve immediately.If you're planning to serve this for dinner and you think you'll have leftovers, I recommend adding the ground beef and nacho-flavored tortilla chips to each individual serving so that the lettuce mixture doesn't get soggy when you store it in the fridge.