This Make Ahead Taco Salad recipe first appeared on Organized Island 8 years ago. This Make-Ahead Taco Salad recipe is perfect for a summer dinner or a lunch. It also makes a great lunch on the go.
With busy schedules, this taco salad with ground beef also makes a perfect make-and-take meal. It is the perfect meal prep salad idea.
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Why this Taco Salad Recipe?
Easy recipe. This delicious Taco Salad recipe is very simple to make and comes together quickly. It is also a great way to use leftover ground beef which you can prepare ahead of time if you like.
Delicious. This Taco Salad with Ground beef is so tasty! It is a family favorite in our home.
Versatile. I serve it with tortilla chips but you can serve it in a taco shell too! You can also change up the meat and use ground turkey or ground chicken.
One of the things I love is that this is one of those Make-Ahead Taco Salad recipe which makes it perfect for spring and summer outings.
Taco Salad Ingredients
Ground Beef – The ground beef makes the best taco salad, however, you can also use cooked chicken for this recipe..
Lettuce – Iceberg lettuce or Romaine works best with this recipe.
Avocado - This is the perfect addition to this salad, but you can skip it if you like.
Cheese - I suggest using cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack.
Dressing - I use Catalina salad dressing for this recipe and it tastes great!
Full ingredient information is in recipe card.
Substitutions and Variations
- This taco salad can also be made using black beans instead of pinto beans, it just depends on your family's tastes.
- Use homemade taco seasoning instead of the grocery store brand.
- You can also add a little extra salsa for an added kick if you like.
- You can add more toppings too! Chopped cilantro, guacamole, sour cream and Monterey jack cheese are great additions.
Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips and enjoy!
Make-Ahead Taco Salad Instructions
Step 1 - cook ground beef, add taco seasoning until ground beef is browned. Drain.
Step 2 - Prepare salad ingredients: shredded lettuce, onion, beans, avocado, tomato, and cheese in a bowl.
Step 3 - Add cooked and seasoned ground beef to salad mixture.
Step 4 - Add salad dressing when ready to serve.
You can also make and serve these in taco salad bowls.
Making it A Packable Salad
This is how I like to meal prep the salad. It is a nice change up from a sandwich for lunch ,
Taco Salad Dressing
This taco salad with Catalina dressing recipe is a great salad to take to barbecues and picnics. It is crisp and refreshing and a wonderful way to use vegetables from the farmers' market. I know that Catalina dressing may sound strange, but it tastes delicious with this salad.
Other Dressings For Taco Salad
Other tasty dressings that would work with this salad are:
- Cilantro Lime
- Avocado Crema
- Creamy Tomatillo
- Salsa or hot sauce- This salad tastes just like a taco bell taco salad when you top it with hot sauce.
More Easy Salad Recipes
Easy Chopped Salad Recipe – This Italian-inspired recipe makes for a wonderful lunch or light dinner in itself.
Mango Arugula Salad Recipe – Argula makes a nice change-up in a green salad. The addition of fresh mango makes this a delightful, colorful salad.
Easy Mediterranean Salad – Another perfectly colorful salad that brightens any table.
Easy Chickpea Salad - Garbanzo beans and fresh vegetables make this a delicious and healthy salad idea!
Doritos Taco Salad - This delicious taco salad is a meal made with corn chips!
Make Ahead Taco Salad
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 package Taco seasoning any brand
- 1 head of lettuce shredded
- ½ cup red onion chopped
- 1 can kidney beans rinsed & drained
- 1 avocado peeled and diced
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ bottle Catalina salad dressing any brand
- 1 bag Corn or tortilla chips
- Cook ground beef in a frying pan over low-medium heat until brown
- Add taco seasoning mix packet, but do not add any liquid.
- While beef is cooking, combine shredded lettuce, onion, beans, avocado, tomato, and cheese in a bowl.
- Add ground beef to the mixture. If you are going to serve this Taco Salad the next day or later today, cover the bowl and refrigerate until serving time.
- When you are ready to serve, add salad dressing (I use about ½ of a bottle, but you can add more if you like). You can also use a light Catalina dressing and it is really good. The sweetness of the dressing is a nice offset to the mild spices in the meat seasoning.
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