This easy Taco Salad Recipe is a great way to meal prep a filling, tasty meal for the whole family! Perfect for meal prep, busy weeknight meals, and buffet-style parties.
That taco craving is hard to ignore, but a taco salad manages to cure it while also adding in a bunch of nutrients! Top your greens with delicious meat, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and even more. This is the perfect recipe for meal prepped meat — Just cook a big batch, freeze it, and you’ll be ready for a taco salad on any busy weeknight!
Ingredients for Taco Salad
As always, here’s a quick rundown of what you’ll need for this recipe. Keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card for exact amounts.
- Salad mix – Any salad mix you prefer is great here. I used a mixture of romaine, cabbage, and red cabbage because I think more crunch adds the best texture. If you prefer softer greens, that’s fine too.
- Tomatoes – Chopped. You can use any type of tomato you prefer. I quartered grape tomatoes for mine.
- Avocados – Chopped. I diced mine so that I could have some in every bite, but you could use slices if you prefer.
- Canned corn – Drained. This adds great texture! It pairs so well with the tender meat, creamy avocados, and the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Canned pinto beans – Drained. These add great flavor and help the salad be even more filling and nutritious! Black beans would also work well if you prefer those.
- Seasoned taco meat – I used ground beef, but you could use turkey, salmon, steak, chicken, carnitas, shrimp, or more!
- Cheddar cheese – Shredded. You could also use a Mexican blend, cotija, or your favorite type of cheese.
- Tortilla chips – Crushed. These add a great crunch and saltiness that is perfect for this salad!
- Green onions – Chopped. These always add a bright flavor and good texture.
- Dressing — This could either be sour cream mixed with hot sauce or even a jalapeno ranch. You just want something with a bit of a kick and a creamy consistency.
How to Make Taco Salad
Taco salad is so simple! With pre-cooked or meal prepped taco meat, you can throw this together in no time. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Add salad greens
Place 2 cups of salad greens into each bowl. These can be whatever you prefer — I chose a romaine, cabbage, and red cabbage blend.
Top each bowl with 1/4th of the cooked, seasoned taco meat (here’s a great taco seasoning recipe if you need it). Continue adding 1/4th of all remaining salad ingredients to each bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and hot sauce. This provides a little spice without going overboard. Feel free to use more or less hot sauce to your liking. Another option is to make a jalapeno ranch dressing. This has a great kick, but the herby flavors shine as well!
The beauty of a taco salad is that you don’t even need sides! But if you would like some, consider some Smoked Queso and Roasted Tomatillo and Jalapeno Salsa with tortilla chips. If you prefer to lighten it up a little bit, you can even make your own low-carb tortilla chips! Some delicious Seasoned Black Beans are always delicious to add as well.
If you want to get real cute, serve small portions in these cute little Taco Chaffle Bowls!
As with all salads, it’s best to store leftovers separately. Wet ingredients (like tomatoes, seasoned meat, and dressings) will cause salad greens to wilt and the tortilla chips to become soggy. If meal prepping, it’s best to use the “jar salad” method if you don’t want to separate.
To store in a jar, add in your wet ingredients first — From bottom to top, add dressing, tomatoes, corn, beans, taco meat, cheese, green onions, and salad greens. Avocadoes will brown very quickly and the chips can soften in the jar, so it’s still best to add those right before eating.
You definitely do not want to freeze a salad. However, it’s a great idea to make large batches of taco meat and freeze those! Cook your taco meat, allow it to cool, then separate it out into 1 lb freezer bags. Use within 6 months for the best taste and texture.
This dish doesn’t have to be eaten warm — It’s great cold, too! However, you can easily reheat taco meat in the microwave in 30-second increments. If you have stored your salad ingredients all together, though, reheating it will ruin the salad greens.
If you like Taco Salad, you’ll love these recipes:
- Pollo con Queso – You’ll make this again and again because it’s that good! Crowd pleaser and ready in just 20 minutes. It can’t be beat!
- Keto Chimichangas – Talk about YUM! Crispy on the outside, cheesy on the inside for the best homemade chicken chimichanga.
- Low Carb Taco Casserole – This one pan casserole has all the flavor without the carbs! Super easy, too.
- Crock Pot Taco Soup – Super meal prep friendly and so easy to make! Great for leftover lunches, too.
- Air Fryer Nachos – These quick nachos are super easy, quick, and perfect for a snack or dinner.
- 40+ Mexican Food Recipes – These recipes are absolutely delicious AND low carb!
FAQs about Taco Salad
This is entirely up to you! Ground beef, chicken, steak, shrimp, fish… Simply cook a pound of your preferred meat with taco seasoning, and it’ll be great on this salad! Just make sure you have easy bite-sized pieces so you can get a little bit of everything in one bite!
A good blend of cheddar, monterey jack, and colby jack cheeses will work great on this salad, but you can also use anything you’d like! Some crumbled cotija would add an amazing flavor as well.
A dressing that has a little kick for flavor and a little cream for texture is perfect. Simply mixing sour cream with a bit of hot sauce (to your taste) is a great, easy way to make the perfect taco salad dressing.
- 8 cups Salad mix
- 1 cup chopped Tomatoes
- 2 chopped Avocados
- 1 (15 ounce) drained can Corn
- 1 (15 ounce) drained can Pinto beans
- 1 pound seasoned Taco meat
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 cups crushed Tortilla chips
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup Sour cream + 1 tablespoon hot sauce OR Chuy's copycat Jalapeno Ranch (link in notes)
- Split your salad greens between 4 large dinner bowls
- Top each bowl with 1/4th of the remaining taco ingredients.
- In a small bowl, mix together sour cream and hot sauce OR make the jalapeno ranch linked in the notes below. Drizzle the dressing over each salad before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 Salad
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 643Total Fat: 37.1gCholesterol: 106.4mgSodium: 729mgCarbohydrates: 41.4gFiber: 11.7gSugar: 5.6gProtein: 39.6g