Quick and Easy Taco Salad (30 Minute Meal)

Taco Salad is a super quick family favorite that we make almost every week!

Crisp lettuce is topped with seasoned ground beef, our favorite taco toppings, and of course lots of cheese. This recipe is versatile so you can use almost any protein from beef to shrimp and any dressing!

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl with serving spoons on the side

Taco Salad Ingredients

The beauty of this TexMex inspired salad is the fact that you can add what you love or use what you have on hand.

 1. Meat:

  • We love lean beef (80/20) but ground turkey or chicken will work too, or even grilled shrimp.
  • Season the meat with either a packet or homemade taco seasoning.
  • Black beans or pinto beans are great additions too.

2. Lettuce:

  • Romaine or iceberg lettuce are crunchy and hold up well to lots of toppings.

Taco salad ingredients on a wooden board and in a pan

Taco salad ingredients on a wooden board and in a pan

3. Toppings:

  • Cheese – Cheddar, marble, or Monterey Jack are great.
  • Tortilla Chips – Pick your favorite tortilla chips (or even make it into a dorito salad). Add them just before serving so they stay crunchy!
  • Veggies – Use a variety of colors and flavors. We love bell peppers, bell peppers, onions, avocado, or even leftover grilled corn.

Dressing for Taco Salad

How to Make Taco Salad

Taco salad is a staple around here! It takes about 20 minutes start to finish (especially if you have other hands in the kitchen prepping toppers) and is a welcome variation of ground beef tacos!

  1. Brown and season ground beef. Stir in beans.
  2. Wash lettuce and top with beef mixture and your favorite toppings.
  3. Scoop into bowls or plates and top with tortilla chips, sour cream, and salsa.

Take Out Fake Out

If you’d like to make a crispy baked tortilla bowl (like you’d get at a restaurant), they’re easy to bake at home!

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray a flour tortilla with cooking spray (or brush it with butter or olive oil) and season with salt & your fave seasonings (cumin or a bit of chili powder are good).
  3. Place the tortilla in an ovenproof bowl or a taco bowl maker and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl

This Taco Salad is definitely a full meal in itself, simply pair it with a cold beverage like horchata, lemonade, or even a fruity Sangria or Margarita!

Fave Taco Inspired Meals

Taco Salad

This easy taco salad is crispy, crunchy and colorful! It is so much fun to put together because you can customize the toppings, making everyone at the dinner table happy!

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

  • Brown beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 

  • Add taco seasoning and ½ cup water. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in beans.

  • Place lettuce in a large bowl. Top with meat, tomatoes, cheese, avocado and desired toppings.

  • Top each serving with tortilla chips, salsa and sour cream.

While we use sour cream and salsa as dressing, catalina or Thousand Island are also great tossed with this salad.
To make this meal fast, use pre-washed lettuce. Prepare topping ingredients while the meat is cooking.

Calories: 360, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 328mg, Potassium: 608mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 3585IU, Vitamin C: 6.9mg, Calcium: 178mg, Iron: 2.7mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword taco salad

Course Dinner

Cuisine Mexican

Taco salad in a wooden Bowl with text
Taco salad in a wooden bowl with a title
Taco salad in a wooden bowl with writing