Throw Back Thursday: Taco Salad (with recipe for Taco Seasoning)

I originally posted this recipe, Taco Salad (with recipe for Taco Seasoning) in 2013 (click for link to original recipe). We make it from time to time and I never think to stop and check back on my recipe because I do it all from memory now. But, I decided to go back and update the recipe for what we do now.

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 for dinner for about 10 people 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.


My family still loves this recipe and with a few tweaks we have it quite often for lunches when we have some sort of taco filling leftover from dinner. It doesn’t have to be ground beef. The salad is good with Baracoa beef, chicken, and even shrimp!

The best part is you can add whatever YOU and your family like to the salad. We use Doritos, in our favorite flavors, instead of tortilla chips usually when we make this now but we have also been known to use Fritos, Chili Fritos, or even crushed hard taco shells in a pinch. Experiment and find out what your family likes!

Taco Salad (with recipe for Taco Seasoning)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy salad meal for the really busy days.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • Taco seasoning (packaged or see recipe at the end of this post)
  • Baby spinach/Spring Mix/Baby Lettuce Mix (your choice)
  • 2 medium chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 10 oz can of olives, drained and sliced
  • 2 cups of Mexican Cheese Blend
  • 1 (9.75 oz) bag Doritos chips, crush to medium to small pieces
  • 1 (16 oz) can black beans, rinsed (if desired)
  • 1 (16 oz) can corn, drained (if desired)
  • Salsa – your favorite
  • Taco Sauce – your favorite
  • Thousand Island 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.

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  •  1 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1  teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (omit if your family does not like spicy seasoning)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon 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.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks very yummy, Marci


  2. syl65 says:

    I remember we used to buy the Ortega taco shells and make tacos for dinner. They were sooooo good! Thank you, Marci 😊


  3. Wow scrumptious and yummy 😋


  4. mistimaan says:



  5. Erika Kind says:

    Sounds so good again. Tomorrow I’ll make your Simple Chicken Enchilada Verde 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      Hope you like them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Erika Kind says:

        I can confirm that not only I but also my son loved it 😋

        Liked by 1 person

        1. koolaidmoms says:

          Yeah! That makes me happy!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. awesome! I wanted to do my own seasoning…currently buy the Old El Paso one (insert guilty emoji here) 😉 thanks for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. koolaidmoms says:

      The nice thing with homemade is you control the salt and the spicy flavor. We love lots of cumin in ours. Play with it until you get the flavor your family loves.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yumm I love taco salad! This sounds great


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