Taco Salad (includes recipe for Taco Seasoning)

Taco Salad

This recipe is part of one of my favorite memories from when I was in college.  We were all poor college students who were running out of money on their meal cards at the end of the semester.  We received an invitation to a dinner party where we were each to bring one fairly inexpensive item to contribute to the meal.   We had no idea what it was going to be but we were each assigned an item that was less than $3.00.   One person had a pound of tomatoes, another 2 cucumbers, two others one bag of tortilla chips, etc…

What we created was delicious and amazing.

My friend had browned the beef and added taco seasoning to it then diced everything up for a HUGE salad.  It was delicious, filling and a great evening spent with friends.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • Taco seasoning (packaged or see recipe at the end of this post)
  • 16- 24 oz Lettuce/Spinach Mix
  • 2 medium chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 10 oz can of olives, drained
  • 2 cups of Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 1 medium bag of tortilla chips, crush to medium to small pieces
  • Salsa – your favorite
  • Taco Sauce – your favorite
  • French Dressing
  • Sour Cream


  1. Brown ground beef over medium heat, breaking into small pieces as it cooks.  When cooked through drain the meat and add taco seasoning as directed.
  2. Toss lettuce/spinach mix in a large bowl, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and olives in a large bowl.
  3. Divide salad mixture onto plates.
  4. Top salad mix with a scoop of the taco seasoned ground beef.
  5. Sprinkle top of salad with cheese and a few of the crushed taco chips.
  6. Add a drizzle of Taco sauce, a few teaspoons of salsa (to your taste), a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of French Dressing over the entire salad.

I forgot how simple and delicious this salad was.  I love stirring all the salad together and making sure I have a piece of tortilla shell in each bite for that crunch.  Such happy memories and a yummy salad too!

Taco Seasoning

I far prefer to make my own taco seasoning mix than use a prepackaged one.  I can control the heat and the saltiness for my family’s taste.

  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  •  1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (omit if your family does not like spicy seasoning)
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix this in a bowl and add to your drained ground beef with 1 cup of water.  Let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce the sauce.  Taste and add seasonings as you need.

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