Taco Salad

This chopped taco salad is fresh and so delicious. It combines the flavours and veggies in a Mexican/TexMex salad with seasoned ground beef, black beans and veggies drizzled with a light and fresh cilantro lime dressing. It’s a perfect meal size salad that is filling enough to be served for dinner, but also perfect for lunchtime. It’s loaded with flavor and packed full of protein thanks to the beef and beans and some good fats and creaminess thanks to the avocados. It’s the perfect recipe for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. From start to finish this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes! I serve my salad with tortilla chips on the side but feel free to toss them in the salad or some tortilla strips or even some crumbled Doritos chips/corn chips for some added crunch! A great own to serve for taco night or a party - make salad and get your guests or family to load their own salad portions up with all the fixings they like.

Taco Salad

Easy Taco Salad Ingredients

For the Salad

  • GROUND BEEF: I like to use lean beef but you can easily make this with ground turkey or ground chicken
  • TACO SEASONING: Feel free to use a store bought package which I usually have on hand or use a homemade blend - you will need approx 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning or for homemade taco seasoning you will need a blend of: 2 teaspoons hot chili powder, 1½ teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste, 1 pinch cayenne pepper or red chili flakes, or to taste (Optional)
  • SALAD GREENS: I like to use romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce for my salad greens or you could use any baby greens you like
  • BEANS: I like to use canned black beans but pinto beans would be great here too. Make sure to drain and rinse the beans before adding to the salad. They add some extra protein and fiber to the salad
  • CORN: I usually use fresh corn off the cob but you can easily use frozen thawed corn or drained canned corn. If you want to add more flavor to your corn you can char the corn on the cob first or char the kernels in a skillet before adding to the salad
  • AVOCADO: I love the creaminess avocado adds to the salad
  • TOMATOES: I like to use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes but feel free to use chopped Roma tomatoes too. Feel free to add more chopped veggies if you would like like chopped bell peppers or even cucumbers
  • CHEESE: I like to use yellow cheddar cheese or white cheddar but feel free to use pepper jack or even cotija cheese or feta
  • RED ONION & GREEN ONIONS: I like to use a bit of both for fresh flavor but feel free to use one or the other or as little or as much of each as you prefer
  • CILANTRO: Fresh cilantro is great in this salad - if you are not a fan of cilantro this can easily be made with parsley or even a blend of parsley and basil or mint

For the Taco Salad Dressing

  • OLIVE OIL: The base of this dressing.
  • LIME: Freshly squeezed lime juice is best. The perfect tangy flavor for the dressing you can swap it out for freshly squeezed lemon juice if needed though
  • CILANTRO: Fresh cilantro gives this dressing its signature flavor - if you are not a fan of cilantro this can easily be made with parsley or even a blend of fresh parsley and basil or mint
  • HONEY: Adds a bit of sweetness to the dressing - feel free to use maple syrup or sugar instead
  • GARLIC: Adds loads of flavor to the dressing. All you need is need is one small clove but for a more garlicky dressing add another clove of garlic
  • SPICES: I use salt, pepper and a pinch of red chili flakes

Taco Salad Ingredients

How To Make This Easy Taco Salad Recipe

  1. MAKE DRESSING: Simply whiz all the ingredients up in a small blender or food processor or if you don’t have either of those simply chop up the garlic and the cilantro very fine and whisk/stir in the rest of the ingredients
  2. MAKE THE SEASONED TACO MEAT: Brown meat in a hot skillet then add water and taco seasoning and simmer unit thickened.
  3. ASSEMBLE SALAD: Place the lettuce in large bowl followed by the rest of the salad ingredients
  4. DRESS SALAD: Spoon half of the dressing over salad and toss well to combine then add more as needed. Or serve out tossed salad into individual plates and serve with the dressing on the side. Enjoy!

Taco Salad Step by Step Directions

Taco Salad Make Ahead & Storage

  • MAKE AHEAD: You can cook and prepare the ground beef and the dressing up to 1-2 days ahead. Store each in the fridge in an air tight container. Reheat the ground beef in the microwave or in a skillet stovetop before serving. Feel free to drain and rinse the beans, wash and spin the lettuce and chop tomatoes and store each separately in airtight containers in the fridge if you wanted to meal prep.
  • STORAGE: The dressing can cause your salad to be soggy so the salad really should be eaten when it is dressed and made. You could put the salad together if you are meal prepping this and store in a sealed container for 1-2 days, but DO NOT dress the salad and don’t add the avocados until ready to eat as your avocado can turn brown from oxidation. The taco meat will of course be cold - otherwise feel free to store it separately and heat it up just before serving it along with the dressing and avocados.

Taco Salad Close Up

More Recipes You Will Love:


Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 30 mins


For the Salad

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (1 oz) packet of taco seasoning (28 grams/Approx 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh, frozen (thawed) or canned (drained)
  • 2 cups baby tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup finely shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, cotija (feta) or Monterey Jack)
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

For the Cilantro Lime Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Serving/Topping Options


For the Dressing

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the lime juice, honey, garlic, cilantro salt, pepper, pepper flakes and olive oil. Blend until combined and smooth (some pieces of cilantro may remain). Leftovers stay great in the fridge for a few days!
  2. Store it in an airtight container. (chop and whisk everything together if you don’t have blender)

For the Taco Meat

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat/medium high heat and add ground beef and cook breaking up the meat into small pieces with wooden spoon. Once it is no longer pink (3-5 minutes), drain excess grease -optional.
  2. Add taco seasoning and ¼ cup water to the pan. Let the mixture come to a simmer. Turn off the heat when there is still thickened liquid at the bottom of the pan. Set aside and keep warm, covered.

Assembling Salad

  1. To make the salad, in a large bowl add the lettuce. Top with tomatoes, corn, beans, red onions, green onions, avocados, shredded cheese, and seasoned taco meat.
  2. Drizzle all over with your dressing. Enjoy with tortilla chips and any extra toppings!

Taco Salad with dressing being poured on