Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing Recipe

Need a simple and quick meal that the whole family will love? This Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing can be made in less than 30 minutes and is easier to eat and put together than regular tacos.

Need a simple and quick meal that the whole family will love? This Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing can be made in less than 30 minutes and is easier to eat and put together than regular tacos.

Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing

Sometimes you just want a quick meal to make that you know the whole family will enjoy. I’ve been making this Taco Salad with Catalina dressing ever since my children were little. It’s always a hit with the family because it has all of the delicious taco flavors without all the taco mess.

This recipe is one of my favorites because it can be made and assembled in less than 30 minutes. It also gives you the opportunity to use many from-scratch homemade foods like Catalina Dressing.

Ready for an easy 30 minute meal? Keep reading!

Taco Salad Ingredients

Ingredients in Taco Salad Recipe

  • Hamburger. A lean ground beef works great in this recipe. If you don’t have a lean meat, make sure to drain after browning. You could use shredded chicken, ground chicken, or ground turkey instead of beef if you’d like.
  • Onion. I use yellow onion in this recipe but you can use what you have on hand.
  • Taco Seasoning. If you don’t regularly buy taco seasoning packets, you can always use Homemade Taco Seasoning.
  • Iceberg lettuce. Iceberg works best in this recipe because it can stand up to the heavy ingredients and dressing. You can use a different lettuce if you have something else from your garden. Romaine Lettuce will also work.
  • Shredded cheese. I use shredded cheddar cheese in this recipe but Monterey jack and pepper jack also work good for a little bit different flavor.
  • Pinto Beans or Black Beans. I use my homemade canned beans in this recipe but you can use a regular size can of store bought beans as well.
  • Tomatoes. You can use fresh or canned. Fresh works a little bit better. Be sure to drain and rinse canned tomatoes if you use them.
  • Catalina dressing. I make Homemade Catalina Dressing but you can also buy it. If it’s all you have, French Dressing can be a good substitute.

Optional Ingredients:

  • Cilantro
  • Tortilla chips (or Fritos or corn chips)
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Black Olives
  • Avocados
  • Red Onion
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • Ranch Dressing

Salsa and Chips

What to Serve with Taco Salad

Taco Salad makes a great meal on its own since it contains protein, veggies, and carbs. Here are a few other things you could potentially serve with it.

  • Salsa and Chips
  • Queso and Chips
  • Spanish Rice
  • Cilantro Rice

Taco Salad

FAQs About Making Taco Salad

Is French and Catalina dressing the same?

French is a sweeter, more mild tasting dressing, whearas Catalina dressing has a little more tang.

What’s another name for taco salad?

Right now, it’s popular to call a taco salad a taco bowl or a deconstructed taco.

How do you cut lettuce for a taco salad?

Shredding lettuce finely with a sharp chef’s knife is the best.

Homemade Catalina Dressing

Instructions for Making Taco Salad

Browned Burger

Brown burger over a medium heat with the onion in a large skillet. I prefer to use my 12 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. Add taco seasoning into the meat mixture with 1/4 cup water. Let cool down.

Note: Many other recipes for taco salad call for adding spices like chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, or others to the meat. We eliminate the need for all that here but just using taco seasoning but of course, you can always add in more spices if your family prefers that.

Pinto Beans and Ground Beef

Once cooled down, transfer to a large bowl. Add drained beans.

Lettuce, Cheese, Tomatoes in a Bowl

Chop lettuce and add to bowl, along with shredded cheese, cilantro, and tomatoes.Toss gently. You can always add other fresh veggies in if you have them!

Tortilla Chips and Dressing

Add in the lettuce and crushed tortilla chips. I save the ends of bags of chips (the crushed ones) to use for salad making.

Taco Salad with Sour Cream

Mix together and add in salad dressing last. Stir all together, gently. Serve this main dish immediately with a dollop of sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Can be made ahead of time, like for a potluck. I wait to add in the dressing and crushed chips right before serving.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Need the printable recipe for this Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing for your Recipe Binder? Grab it below!

5 from 1 vote
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Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 384 kcal
Creator Julie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning can be homemade
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 8 ounces shredded cheese
  • 1 can pinto or black beans can be homemade, rinsed
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • Cilantro optional
  • Tortilla chips crushed
  • Sour cream optional
  • Salsa optional
  • 1/2 cup Catalina dressing can be homemade

Instructions

  1. Brown burger with onion. Add taco seasoning with 1/4 cup water. Let cool down.
  2. Once cooled down, transfer to a large bowl. Add drained beans. Chop lettuce and add to bowl, along with shredded cheese, cilantro, and tomatoes. Add in the lettuce and crushed tortilla chips. I save the ends of bags of chips (the crushed ones) to use for salad making. Mix together and add in salad dressing last. Stir all together, gently. Serve immediately with sour cream and salsa, if desired.
  3. Can be made ahead of time, like for a potluck. I wait to add in the dressing and crushed chips right before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing
Amount Per Serving
Calories 384 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 84mg28%
Sodium 616mg27%
Potassium 365mg10%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 972IU19%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 214mg21%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Dairy Free Taco Salad

To make this taco salad dairy free, you can leave out the cheese and sour cream. You could also replace those with dairy free alternatives. In Merissa’s home, since only half are dairy free, we would leave out the cheese and sour cream and put both on the table as an optional addition.

Gluten Free Taco Salad

This recipe is naturally gluten free as long as all of your ingredients (like the taco seasoning) are gluten free.

Little House Living’s Taco Salad Tips and Tricks

  • If you have picky eaters or family members with special needs and eating issues, you could serve this more as a “taco salad bar style” meal. Have all the components on the table for the family to make their own taco salads.
  • To make this a faster-to-make meal, you can assemble the entire thing ahead of time and add the dressing and chips right before serving. Make it the night before for a quick meal the following day!

Ground Beef REcipes

More Ground Beef Recipes


Mom Bio


 

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4 Comments

  1. What can we use in place of Tortilla chips? I have a family member who seems needs to avoid corn or foods made with corn.
    Thanks

    1. I know there are some tortillas out there that are grain free…maybe look into that for an option? Something like Siete brand or anything that would work with their allergies.

  2. Making this tonight for a quick and easy Saturday night supper. Also making the taco seasoning and Catalina dressing from your recipes.

  3. 5 stars
    Recipes for taco salad, Catalina dressing, and taco seasoning were delicious. I did modify the red pepper flakes to 1 scant teaspoon because I cannot take much heat. A definite 5 star recipe