Meet my favorite Chopped Taco Salad recipe! Crisp chopped lettuce is tossed with seasoned taco meat, diced peppers, onion, olives, shredded cheese and tomatoes and then drizzled with a homemade catalina dressing. This perfect warm weather salad will serve 4 but can easily be doubled or tripled to serve more.
Taco Salad is the perfect summertime salad.
It’s a quick, easy if you want a light weeknight dinner or you could make a big batch and take it to the beach or a barbecue. In our house, we like to do a make our own individual ones. I like mine loaded with olives, peppers, onions and sometimes jalapenos. While my girls would just go for cheese and maybe peppers. But the sky is the limit here.
What Chips are Best for Taco Salad?
Growing up my family used regular corn tortilla chips. Later in my teenage years, Pat and his family introduced me to crushed Doritos and I haven’t went back. Nacho cheese or taco flavored Doritos are what we usually have on hand. However you can use whatever chips you like!
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 substitute with chopped romaine.
- bell pepper – Adds a touch of sweet bell pepper flavor. Use any color you like.
- tomato – I like roma tomatoes, but use what you like. Remove all seeds before dicing.
- red onion – Lends delicious and slightly sharp onion flavor.
- green onion – Adds a subtle fresh onion flavor.
- olives – These are optional, but add briny note to the salad.
- shredded cheese – Like cheddar jack or pepper jack cheese, or use your favorite.
- tortilla chips – We like taco seasoned or nacho cheese Doritos but any corn tortilla chip will work.
- Catalina dressing – Homemade or store-bought.
Additional Optional Toppings:
- jalapeños – Use pickled or raw.
- avocado – Diced or add a scoop of guacamole.
- sour cream – Or use plain non-fat greek yogurt for added protein and zero fat.
- beans – Use black or pinto beans.
- salsa – Or use pico de gallo.
In a skillet add 1 pound of lean ground beef and cook over medium to medium-low heat, breaking it up into crumbles, until browned and fully cooked. Drain and discard any fat.
Measure and add in 2 tablespoons taco seasoning.
Stir in the seasoning until it’s evenly distributed through out the meat. Remove, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Meanwhile prepare the remaining salad ingredients.
So this is my chopped taco salad bowl. I always keep the ingredients separate, either on a cutting board or in bowls, instead of making one big salad. I do this so each person can make their own taco salad bowl how they like it.
Pour a little, or in my case, a lot of catalina dressing over top and a few dashes of hot sauce if desired.
Toss this glorious mess together one last time before you start shoveling it in.
This chopped taco salad makes enough to feed a family of 4. However, you could also meal prep this for meals during the week. I would recommend keeping the chips and salad dressing off to the side and just added it in right before eating.
Bringing Taco Salad To A Party? Here’s Some Tips!
Avoid bringing a soggy taco salad by following these simple steps.
- Prep all ingredients and store separately.
- Combine ingredients right before serving.
- Serve salad dressing and tortilla chips on the side.
Chopped Taco Salad
- 1 pound lean ground beef, I like 93%
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 ounces sliced black olives, chopped
- 1 to 2 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup cheddar or cheddar jack cheese, grated fresh
- 2 cups tortilla chips (we like Doritos), crushed (more or less to preference)
- 1/2 cup catalina dressing, more or less to preference
- hot sauce, optional
- In a large skillet cook the ground beef over medium to medium-low heat until browned and fully cooked. Drain and discard the fat. Stir in the taco seasoning. Remove and allow the taco meat to cool.
- While the meat is cooking, prep the remaining salad ingredients.
- Divide the chopped lettuce and (cooled) taco meat among 4 bowls or one giant bowl. Then add the shredded cheddar cheese, desired toppings and crushed tortilla chips. Drizzle with the catalina dressing and a few splashes of hot sauce or any other desired toppings.
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