The Best Taco Salad

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The Best Taco Salad Recipe has taco seasoned beef (turkey or chicken), black beans, veggies, and an easy taco salad dressing. 

Large bowl of taco salad with crushed tortilla chips on top

What makes the best taco salad dressing?

It’s a combination of things.  The taco seasoning from the beef combines with salsa and Italian dressing to create an amazingly flavorful sauce.

How to make Taco Salad:

  • Cook ground beef in a skillet. (You could also use ground turkey or chicken.)
  • Add taco seasonings, water, and black beans to the beef.
  • Simmer until the sauce is thick.
  • Stir salsa into the beef mixture.
  • Remove from the heat and cool.

ground beef, taco seasoning, black beans, and salsa for taco salad

  • In a large bowl, add Romain lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, grated carrots, sliced red onion, and chopped tomato.
  • Add Italian dressing to the veggies.
  • Stir until the salad is well coated in dressing.

Lettuce, carrots, cheese, red onion, tomato, and Italian dressing in a large bowl for taco salad

  • Add the cooled beef mixture to the salad.
  • Stir until well combined.

Adding taco seasoned beef to easy taco salad

  • Top with crushed tortilla chips.
  • Serve immediately.

Adding crushed tortilla chips to the best taco salad

Be sure to let the beef mixture cool before adding it to the salad.  If the beef is too hot when it is added, the lettuce will become soft and wilted.

Taco Salad with Doritos

I tend to prefer to use plain tortilla chips in taco salad because I think they closely resemble crushed up taco shells.  But, some people like to use crushed up Doritos chips instead.  That’s an easy swap!  Just use the same amount of crushed up Doritos in place of tortilla chips in this recipe.

Are Taco Salads Good For You?

They can be!  It depends on how you make them.  This taco salad is loaded with fresh veggies, lean protein, and not too much salad dressing.  So, yes this is a great healthy salad.  Cut back on the cheese and tortilla chips to make it a healthier option.

More of the Best Salad Recipes

Watch the step by step video for this Easy Taco Salad Recipe below.

Find more of my recipes on TikTok

Large bowl of dinner taco salad

Taco Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
The Best Taco Salad is a filling entree salad loaded with protein and flavor.  It's got taco seasoned beef or turkey and black beans with veggies and an easy salad dressing.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


Servings 5 servings
Calories 563 kcal


  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef (or ground turkey, chicken, etc.)
  • 1 packet (1 oz.) taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans -drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded or chopped carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 cup lightly crumbled tortilla chips


  • In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Once it is completely cooked through, remove any excess fat if necessary.
  • Stir in the taco seasoning packet and any water that the seasoning packet calls for (mine called for ½ cup). Stir in the black beans and bring this mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the beef mixture from the heat and stir in the salsa. Let this cool at room temperature for ten minutes.
  • In the meantime, place the lettuce, carrots, cheese, red onion, and tomato in a large bowl.
  • Once the beef mixture has cooled for ten minutes, toss the salad with the dressing. Then, add the beef mixture to the salad.  Mix well.
  • Top with crushed tortilla chips. Serve immediately.


Serving: 1/5th of the recipe | Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1168mg | Potassium: 1064mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 10115IU | Vitamin C: 11.3mg | Calcium: 289mg | Iron: 6mg
Course Main Dish, Salad
Keyword easy taco salad, healthy taco salad, taco salad recipe
Cuisine American, Mexican
Author Amanda Finks

Check out all of my great ground beef recipes.

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About Amanda Finks

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. I’m an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! I’m trained in Food Science & recipe development. It’s my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love!

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