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Easy Taco Salad

Updated on January 19, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

Food can be basic but over the years we've developed favorite ways to prepare them. Have fun cooking!

Taco salad is colorful, flavorful and good for you.
Taco salad is colorful, flavorful and good for you. | Source

Make a Quick Tex-Mex Meal for the Family

This recipe makes an easy variation on serving tacos. You end up eating more lettuce with a taco salad so you get the Mexican flavors you love but is healthier for you. We like to have it in the summer, but it's fine for any time of the year.

We don't bother with refried beans or Spanish rice with this Tex-Mex meal. The taco salad fills the plate and fills your tummy just fine. No side dishes are needed with it.


Prepare the Hamburger for the Taco Salad

Get out your frying pan and cook the pound of hamburger meat with chopped onions. Stir it regularly to get the hamburger to cook thoroughly and get it crumbly. Add in the taco seasoning mix plus any liquid that it calls for.

Stir in a can of red kidney beans and cook some more. Below is a picture showing what the combination looks like.

Ingredients for the Taco Salad

  • 1 pound Hamburger
  • Taco Seasoning
  • 15.5 oz. can of Red Kidney Beans
  • Onions, Chopped
  • Lettuce
  • Tortilla Chips
  • Tomatoes, Cut into salad sized pieces
  • Black Olives, Sliced
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Avocado, Cut into small pieces

Mix the Beans into the Hamburger as It Cooks

Goya Red Kidney Beans Can 15.5 oz. (3-Pack)
Goya Red Kidney Beans Can 15.5 oz. (3-Pack)

Any brand will do, even the store brand. This is the one we generally use. We find it in the grocery aisle where they have Mexican foods. When we lived along the Texas-Mexican border, we became familiar with the Goya brand. The stores always stocked it, but now in Florida, it can be hit or miss.

 

What the Meat Mixture Looks Like

You have the beans, the onions and the meat all crumbled and stirred together here.
You have the beans, the onions and the meat all crumbled and stirred together here. | Source

Taco Seasoning for This Recipe and Others

We love Tex-Mex foods, so we keep a big container of the taco seasoning spice on hand. You can get it in individual packets if you don't use it often.

McCormicks has it in packets for making a single meal. That way, you don't have to worry about it getting old before you use it up. Even Trader Joe's has their own brand of taco seasoning in packets.

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Chop Up Some Lettuce

This goes on the center of the plate, then arrange the tortilla chips around the edge of the plate. You can use your favorite kind of lettuce (iceburg or romaine will work fine).

The baby greens are not suitable for this as they wilt when you put the hot hamburger mix on them.

Arrange Tostitos on Your Plates

You can use any brand of tortilla chip that you like. I just put a ring of these around the edge of the plate. We use them to scoop up the hamburger, tomatoes, etc. They give a very nice crunch to the meal.

Fill the center area with your greens. Here I've used romaine lettuce but iceburg lettuce works fine too. Avoid using the baby greens mix here as the heat of the hamburger makes it wilt.

The Lettuce and Chips Form a Base for the Other Ingredients

Depending on the appetite, you can put fewer of the tortilla chips around the edge or more. Same goes for the lettuce. Heap it up or just put a layer.
Depending on the appetite, you can put fewer of the tortilla chips around the edge or more. Same goes for the lettuce. Heap it up or just put a layer. | Source

You Can Make a Taco Bowl for the Salad - Instead of Using Tortilla Chips

This chef uses a variation on the taco salad recipe. He adds corn to it.

Making your own taco salad bowls from tortillas looks pretty easy in this video. I really should try it sometime as the results look great.

Video Tutorial for Taco Salad Bowls of Tortillas

Ingredients for Taco Salad to Buy Online - Isn't It Amazing What Amazon Has!

Now that I have Amazon Prime (free shipping), I often find it more convenient to order even food. Just plan ahead a few days so you will get it in time. Sure saves me a lot of gas running to the grocery store.

Pace Chunky Salsa - Medium - 2/38 oz.
Pace Chunky Salsa - Medium - 2/38 oz.

Pace is the salsa we prefer but try different brands to see what your family likes. Choose mild, medium or spicy as your family prefers. Some families probably have some of each so everyone can season as they choose.

 

Slice the Black Olives

This can be done while the meat is simmering on the stove. I just slice them in half or into thirds.

I get the 6 ounces can of Lindsay California Ripe Pitted Large Olives and we can get it in a 6-pack at Sam's Club. They are great for the taco salad, other salads and pasta salads too. We use them up in no time.

Olives - Yes or No?

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Cut up a Ripe Avocado

Choose one at the store or farmer's market that gives a little when you press it. You can get one ahead of time and let it ripen, but it is tricky to have it ripe at the right time.

Remove the outer covering and the seed, then cut it into pieces for adding to the salad. You can make pretty slices or I like to cut it into chunks.

I save the seed to plant in the garden or a pot. It makes a nice plant.

I press on the avocado skin. If it has a little "give" to it, then it is ripe.
I press on the avocado skin. If it has a little "give" to it, then it is ripe. | Source

Set out the Toppings Buffet Style

for the Taco Salad

Everyone can add their favorites. You see here sliced black olives, fresh tomatoes, shredded Mexican cheese blend, fresh cilantro, salsa, and avocado.

Source

Let Each Person Assemble Their Taco Salad

This lets them put on just the toppings they like. It's a fun meal for the family and they can help prepare it too.

Here's the Finished Meal, Ready to Eat

I like a colorful meal like this. It looks great but you are more likely to get a variety of vitamins and minerals from the varied foods.
I like a colorful meal like this. It looks great but you are more likely to get a variety of vitamins and minerals from the varied foods. | Source

Would You Make This?

5 stars from 1 rating of Easy Taco Salad

© 2013 Virginia Allain

Are You a Fan of Tex-Mex Recipes?

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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      This will be an especially fun, easy meal to do with our grandkids next time their parents need a date weekend. The kids will love eating it as much as they will enjoy building their own salads. Great idea!

    • profile image

      gradientcat 

      5 years ago

      Looks like a great taco salad recipe. I'm looking forward to trying it!

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