This Taco Salad recipe is the absolute best! Made with seasoned ground beef, chopped lettuce and all your favorite toppings (including nacho-flavored 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. 🙂
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.
How to make this taco salad recipe
Step 1: Combine my favorite homemade taco seasoning spices with lean ground beef. These include
Step 2: 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.
Step 3: In a large bowl, mix together chopped lettuce, tomatoes, pinto beans, green onions and cheese.
Step 4: Serve the salad with the seasoned ground beef and sauce and top with nacho-flavored tortilla chips.
Feel free to drizzle in some additional dressing like ranch or catalina if you’d like. I find that adding dressing makes everything a bit too wet and soggy for my liking, but that’s totally personal preference.
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.
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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.
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