Meet my favorite Chopped Taco Salad recipe! Crispy chopped lettuce is tossed with seasoned taco meat, diced peppers, onions, olives, shredded cheese and tomatoes, then drizzled with a homemade Catalina dressing. This perfect warm-weather salad serves 4 people, but can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more.
Taco salad is the perfect summer salad.
It’s quick and easy when you want a light weeknight dinner, or you can make a large batch and take it to the beach or BBQ. We are happy to make our own individual copies in-house. I like mine loaded with olives, peppers, onions and sometimes jalapenos. While my girls just went for cheese and maybe peppers. But the sky is the limit here.
Which chips are best for taco salad?
Growing up, my family used regular corn tortilla chips. Later in my teens, Pat and his family introduced me to crushed Doritos, and I haven’t gone back. We usually have nacho cheese or taco flavored Doritos on hand. However, you can use any chips!
To make this Chopped Taco Salad you will need:
- lean ground beef – I like 92% lean ground beef.
- taco seasoning – Homemade or store bought.
- iceberg lettuce – Or replace with chopped romaine lettuce.
- paprika – Adds a hint of sweet paprika flavor. Use any color.
- tomato – I like Roma tomatoes but use what you like. Remove all cores before dicing.
- Red onion – Gives delicious and slightly hot onion taste.
- green onion – Adds a subtle fresh onion flavor.
- olives – These are optional but add a salty touch to the salad.
- grated cheese – Like cheddar jack or pepper jack cheese, or use your favorite.
- tortilla chips – We like seasoned taco or nacho cheese Doritos, but any corn tortilla chip will do, too.
- Catalina dressing – Homemade or store bought.
Additional optional toppings:
- jalapenos – Use pickled or raw.
- avocado – Cut into cubes or add a scoop of guacamole.
- sour cream – Or use plain fat-free Greek yogurt for more protein and no fat.
- beans – Use black beans or pinto beans.
- salsa Or use pico de gallo.
Place 1 pound of lean ground beef in a skillet and cook over medium-medium heat, shred into crumbles until brown and fully cooked. Drain and discard the fat.
Measure and add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning.
Stir in the spices until evenly distributed throughout the meat. Remove, pour into a bowl and let cool. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
So this is my chopped taco salad bowl. I always keep ingredients separate, either on a cutting board or in bowls, rather than making one large salad. I do this so everyone can make their own taco salad bowl to their liking.
Pour a little, or in my case, a lot Top with some Catalina dressing and a few squirts of hot sauce if desired.
Toss this glorious mess together one last time before you start shoveling it in.
This chopped taco salad is enough to feed a family of four. However, you can also make it for weeknight meals. I would recommend setting aside the fries and salad dressing and adding them right before eating.
Bringing taco salad to a party? Here are some tips!
Avoid bringing home a soggy taco salad by following these simple steps.
- Prepare all ingredients and store separately.
- Combine the ingredients just before serving.
- Serve with salad dressing and tortilla chips as a side.
Enjoy! And if you try this Chopped Taco Salad recipe, let me know! Take a picture and tag me Twitter or Instagram!
Yield: 8th portions
Chopped Taco Salad
- 1 Pound lean ground beef, I like 93%
- 2 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 Head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 orange peppers, chopped
- 1/2 Red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 Red onion, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 ounces sliced black olives, chopped
- 1 to 2 Roma tomato, cored and chopped
- 1 Cup Cheddar or cheddar jack cheese, freshly grated
- 2 cups Tortilla chips (we like Doritos), shredded (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 Cup Catalina dressing, more or less as desired
- hot sauce, Optional
In a large skillet, sear the ground beef over medium-medium heat until brown and fully cooked. Drain and discard the fat. Stir in taco seasoning. Take out the taco meat and let it cool.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
Divide the chopped lettuce and (chilled) taco meat into 4 bowls or one large bowl. Then add the shredded cheddar cheese, toppings of your choice, and shredded tortilla chips. Drizzle with the Catalina dressing and a few squirts of hot sauce or any toppings of your choice.
Cook the meat as directed. Drain off all but a tablespoon of the fat. Sprinkle the taco seasoning and 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch over the meat and stir until absorbed. Then pour half a cup of water into it. Stir and bring to a bubble until thickened.
Portion: 1G, Calories: 368kcal, Carbohydrates: 25G, Protein: 16G, Fat: 23G, Saturated Fatty Acids: 8thG, Polyunsaturated fat: 4G, Monounsaturated fatty acids: 8thG, trans fats: 1G, Cholesterol: 54mg, Sodium: 394mg, Potassium: 386mg, Fiber: 3G, Sugar: 3G, Vitamin A: 1142IU, Vitamin C: 24mg, Calcium: 163mg, Iron: 2mg
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