Why you’ll love this recipe:
This taco salad recipe is great for potlucks, summer cookouts, picnics, and family-friendly dinners.
A classic American dish, this retro meal is full of flavors and textures that prove that salads don’t have to be bland or boring.
- Easy – This is an uncomplicated recipe that you can have on the table within 30 minutes. All you have to do is cook your ground beef, chop up the veggies, and toss it all together!
- Versatile – This taco-inspired meal can be adapted to include all of your favorite taco toppings.
- Big Batch – Dorito Taco Salad will serve up to 6 people and is easy to double.
This is an easy, satisfying meal that contains the perfect amount of crunch in every single bite! Many of the recipe steps can be completed in advance, and it’s also a great way to use up leftover taco meat.
Dorito Taco Casserole is another one of my family’s favorite Taco Tuesday recipes!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Ground beef – I like to use lean or extra lean ground beef. Lean ground beef contains 15% fat and extra lean beef contains 10% fat. Any ground beef will work, though, because you’ll drain the excess fat out of the skillet after browning the meat.
- Taco seasoning – You can use my homemade taco seasoning recipe, or save yourself some time and just buy a packet.
- Veggies – Fresh romaine lettuce and tomatoes (grape or cherry) add color and flavor to the taco salad. Remember though, this is a versatile recipe. So, feel free to add in even more popular taco veggies like corn, bell peppers, onions, and avocado.
- Black beans – Black beans are my favorite, but you could also use pinto beans, kidney beans, or even a scoop of refried beans!
- Cheddar cheese – I prefer to use Cheddar cheese, but shredded pepper jack or Colby jack cheese taste delicious as well.
- Doritos – My recipe calls for lightly crushed, nacho cheese flavor Doritos. Cool ranch or spicy nacho Doritos would also work!
- Catalina dressing – Catalina dressing is a slightly creamy dressing with a sweet tomato flavor, as ketchup is the main ingredient. If preferred, it can be substituted with Ranch, French dressing, Thousand Island, or even Italian dressing.
How to make this Dorito Taco Salad recipe:
- Step 1: Brown the ground beef over medium to high heat until it’s cooked through. Drain off any extra fat that cooks out.
- Step 2: Reduce the heat to low. Stir the taco seasoning and water into the skillet with the ground beef. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the beef to be fully coated in the seasoning.
- Step 3: Toss the lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and seasoned ground beef together in a large mixing bowl.
- Step 4: Transfer the taco salad to a large salad bowl or serving platter, and top it with crushed Doritos and a drizzle of Catalina dressing.
- Step 5: Serve the salad immediately, while the beef is still warm and the veggies are crisp!
- Skip cooking the beef, and use leftover taco meat.
- Use a packet of store-bought taco seasoning instead of making your own from scratch.
- Purchase washed and cut romaine lettuce so that you don’t have to take the time to rinse, dry, and chop individual heads of romaine. For this taco salad, you’ll need to purchase at least two, 9-ounce bags of chopped romaine.
- While I prefer shredding a block of cheddar cheese myself, every once in a while a package of shredded Cheddar comes in handy!
All of the ingredients in this recipe can be prepped the day before! Just make sure to store them in separate, airtight containers in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
When you’re ready to serve, toss all of the prepped ingredients together, and top them with the dressing and Doritos.
- Ground beef – Cook the ground beef and complete recipe steps #1 and #2 ahead of time. You may want to reheat the ground beef in a skillet or the microwave when it’s time to assemble your salad.
- Vegetables – Chop and rinse your vegetables in advance so that they’re all ready to go at dinner time!
- Cheese and Beans – Drain and rinse the black beans and shred the Cheddar cheese.
Unfortunately, leftover taco salad with dressing and Doritos added will not store well. The chips will lose their crunch and the dressing will make all of the vegetables pretty soggy.
If you think you’ll have leftover salad, it might be best to assemble your salads separately, in individual serving bowls. This way, any leftover ingredients can be stored separately in the fridge and will stay fresh. All of the leftover ingredients will stay fresh for 3-5 days if stored properly.
Yes, ground turkey or ground chicken can be used in place of beef.
Nachos are made with a plain tortilla chip base, and topped with melted cheese, salsa, and a variety of vegetables. Nachos are served hot and fresh from the oven. Taco salad is made with romaine lettuce, taco meat, and your favorite taco toppings.
Taco Salad (with Doritos)
- 1 large skillet
- 1 large bowl
- 1 serving platter
- 1 pound ground beef Note 1
- ¼ cup taco seasoning Note 2
- ¾ cup water
- 3 heads romaine lettuce chopped and washed
- 10 ounces black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup sliced cherry or grape tomatoes Note 3
- ¾ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 ½ cups lightly crushed Doritos nacho cheese flavor
- 1 cup Catalina dressing Note 4
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef until no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
- Add the taco seasoning and water to the skillet. Stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beef is fully coated in seasoning.
- In a large bowl, combine the chopped lettuce, black beans, sliced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and seasoned ground beef. Toss well to combine.
- Transfer the tossed salad to a serving platter or large salad bowl, top with the crushed doritos and drizzle on the catalina dressing.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
– You can prepare all the ingredients the day before.
– Store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
– To serve, toss the ingredients together with the Catalina dressing and ground beef.
– Warm the ground beef beforehand, if desired.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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