Best Taco Salad Recipe with Seasoned Ground Beef

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This taco salad recipe comes together in just 10 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients. Make taco salad with ground beef for a quick meal the whole family will enjoy. One of the easiest salad recipes! 

titled (shown close up in bowl) ultimate taco salad recipe


I’m all about this easy taco salad recipe. It’s an easy way to change up the menu for Taco Tuesday, and a great way to make a simple salad.

The fun part about making this layered taco salad is that you can add all your favorite toppings. 

The simple ingredients used in this classic recipe as listed below, but there are so many options to add!

You can add refried beans, pepper jack cheese, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, pico de Gallo, garlic powder, lean ground beef, romaine lettuce, sour cream, black beans, green onions, ground chicken or ground turkey, crushed tortilla chips, diced red onion, red kidney beans, onion powder, homemade taco seasoning, and even lime juice! 

I likely even left a few ingredients off this list – so make sure to make taco night full of flavors that you love!

You can mix all the ingredients in a large salad bowl, or let everyone make their own. The best part about this perfect salad is that it’s versatile.

That’s part of the reason why it’s my favorite taco salad recipe! 

Make this classic taco salad recipe for your next backyard barbecue or for a fun side dish at home.

A little bit goes a long way, so you can easily share the whole thing with family and friends! 

taco salad recipe ingredients

Taco Salad Recipe

Dinner doesn’t get much easier than this! Cook up some seasoned beef, spoon it over lettuce, and pile high with all of your desired toppings.

You can even create your own tortilla bowls right at home in about 15 minutes!

Top your ultimate taco salad bowl with your favorite dressing, or make your own by whisking together some ranch and taco sauce.

Looking for more no-fuss meal ideas? Try these Mexican-inspired sloppy joes or my spaghetti carbonara made with just five ingredients. 

I also have a trim taco salad if you want something delicious and light.

seasoned ground beef cooked in skillet

Simple Taco Salad Ingredients

In the recipe card below, you will find a long list of topping ideas to get you started. 

What makes this the best taco salad recipe is that you can add as much or as little of whatever you would like!

Instead of grabbing canned and jarred versions of everything, why not recreate some of them at home? 

I have easy and delicious recipes for salsa and guacamole, as well as a handy tip for slicing tomatoes.

chopping veggies

Ultimate Taco Salad Tips and Tricks

  • Easy meal prep. Cook a big batch of ground beef in the crockpot, then divide it into 1-pound portions and freeze. 

    When you need a quick dinner, thaw a portion in the refrigerator the morning of and reheat it for a simple taco salad.
  • Protect your skin! If you will be adding jalapeños or other hot peppers to your meal, be sure to wear food prep gloves. 

    The oils from the pepper skin can cause irritations when transferred to the face, and it’s easy to miss a few spots with just soap and water.
  • Serving guests? Set up a buffet-style table with all of the toppings and sauces on platters or in individual bowls. 

    You can prep everything for this taco salad recipe in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and pull it out when it’s time to eat.

Taco Salad Recipe FAQ

What’s the best lettuce for taco salad with ground beef? 

Romaine or iceberg are the most common choices since both are crunchy and hold up well under all of the toppings.

Chop or tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces for the ultimate taco salad, and be sure to run the greens through a spinner before using.

Can I double this taco salad recipe? 

Yes! In fact, you can triple or quadruple my best taco salad recipe to accommodate any number of people.

Simply adjust the amount of ground beef and seasoning accordingly and scale up the amounts for the toppings.

What else can I serve with simple taco salad? 

This taco salad recipe makes more than enough for a full meal, but you could add some Mexican or cilantro lime rice to make it more filling.

Grab some beers or mix up a pitcher of margaritas and you’re ready to go!

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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taco salad recipe in a bowl

ultimate taco salad, close up

Best Taco Salad Recipe with Seasoned Ground Beef

Donna Elick
My taco salad recipe comes together in 10 minutes with simple, fresh ingredients. Make taco salad with ground beef for a quick, hearty meal!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican
Method Stovetop
Servings 4 – 6


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning, or 1 envelope
  • 1/2 cup water
  • head lettuce


  • tomatoes
  • Fiesta corn
  • black beans
  • shredded mild cheddar cheese , or Mexican blend cheese
  • avocado
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • chips
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • black olives, sliced
  • green pepper. , diced
  • jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • red or green onions, sliced


  • Brown ground beef until no pink remains, drain if necessary
  • Return to pan and add 2 tablespoons (or 1 envelope) taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water
  • Cook until all liquid is absorbed
  • Serve on lettuce with toppings of your choice or serve in a taco bowl

Donna’s Notes

Whisk together 1/2 cup ranch dressing with 2 tablespoons (or more if desired) taco sauce
Adjust for amount needed


Serving: 1 | Calories: 246cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 177mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for easy taco salad recipe

Originally published May 2021, updated and republished May 2024

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  1. Looks divine. I do use a lot of the canned Southwestern corn by Del Monte which already has the peppers in. Just making sure that when you make this recipe when using canned corn, to make sure you drain the liquid first before adding to the recipe.
    Great recipe for large gatherings.

  2. 5 stars
    This taco salad tasted amazing. Spicy, fresh tasting, and with such a great texture compared to restaurant versions.

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