Taco Salad – The Cookie Rookie®

Add some Mexican flavor to your next salad! This beef taco salad recipe is so simple and easy to make, ready to serve in just 15 minutes. Loaded with protein, it’s wonderfully filling and satisfying and it’s easy to adapt to suit everyone’s taste!

overhead view of a taco salad

Beef Taco Salad

Whether you’re looking for something tasty to serve on Cinco de Mayo, or just looking for a super easy and tasty family dinner, this taco salad is sure to please!

Made with seasoned ground beef, this salad is loaded with Mexican favorites like black beans, tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese and guacamole for one irresistible recipe.

My family looks forward to Taco night each week, and this makes a great change from the usual tacos!

Be sure to try my Creamy Taco Salad Bowls and Mexican Corn Salad too!

Why You’ll Love this Easy Taco Salad Recipe:

  • MAKE AHEAD: This is a great option for your weekly meal prep. Just store everything separately for a super quick and easy dinner or a lunch that takes minutes to build.
  • EASY TO ADAPT: This is a great recipe that you can put your unique spin on! Make it spicier or healthier with simple substitutions, and add in all of your favorite taco toppings!
  • KID FRIENDLY: This is a great meal that the whole family will enjoy, and you’ll love it because it’s ready to serve in just 15 minutes!

This easy taco salad recipe is a great way to mix up your Mexican feasts. Simple to make and full of goodness, this might just become your new favorite thing!

close up on taco salad, topped with crumbled tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and more
a bowl of greens filled with ground beef, tomatoes, black beans, shredded cheese tortillas strips, guacamole, and sour cream

How to Make Taco Salad

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet.
  2. Add the taco seasoning and water, and cook til the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Prepare the lettuce and place in a bowl.
  4. Place the cooked beef on the lettuce and add the other toppings.
how to make taco salad step by step photo instructions
What is the best ground beef to use in taco salad?

I like to use 85% lean ground beef, but for a healthier salad, you can use 90% lean.

Can I use a different type of meat in taco salad?

You sure can! Swap the ground beef for ground chicken or turkey.

What can I use if I don’t have taco seasoning?

If you don’t have any taco seasoning on hand, you can make your own taco seasoning using spices you probably already have in your pantry!

Serving Suggestions

This taco salad recipe is super hearty and filling by itself, but you can easily serve it up in smaller portions as a side. Try it with:

However you decide to serve it, one thing is for sure, there won’t be any leftovers!

green salad topped with ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, tortilla strips, beans, and more
homemade taco salad, with ingredients grouped together on top of greens

Make Ahead Instructions

This salad is great for meal prep. Brown the meat with taco seasoning and prep all of the ingredients. Store the salad separate from the sour cream, salsa, guacamole and beef for up to 3 days. Reheat the meat and add the sour cream, salsa, and guacamole just before serving.

Storage Instructions

Store taco salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Store the ingredients separately for up to 3 days. Reheat the beef in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.


  • Use ground turkey, chicken, or tofu crumbles in place of the ground beef.
  • Use your favorite kind of lettuce.
  • Make your own baked tortilla chips by brushing corn tortillas with olive oil, seasoning with salt, and cutting into wedges. Bake in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden brown, flipping once halfway.
  • Swap the black beans for pinto beans.
  • Use your favorite shredded cheese in place of the cheddar.
  • Use light sour cream or Greek yogurt.
  • Swap the guacamole for fresh sliced avocado.
  • Add more veggies to the salad. Bell peppers and corn are great additions.
  • Use your favorite salsa. Try a fruity salsa, such as mango or pineapple salsa for a fresh kick!

Tips for Easy Taco Salad

  • Use pre-washed lettuce and canned black beans to cut down on prep time.
  • Use store-bought guacamole and salsa for the easiest assembly.
  • Brown the beef up to 2 days in advance of when you plan to serve it.
taco salad on a tabletop

This ground beef taco salad is crazy easy to make, but it doesn’t sacrifice any flavor! Loaded with all of your favorite Mexican ingredients, this is one salad you HAVE to make!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!

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