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Tex-Mex Taco Salad

Tex-Mex Taco Salad

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Assemble salad: Prepare lettuce, beans and vegetables. Place lettuce into a large, attractive salad bowl. Add the vegetables in a grouping around the circumference of the bowl, resting on top of the lettuce. 
  2. Cook beef: Place large skillet on stovetop over medium-high heat. Crumble the beef into the pan. Cook for a few moments to render some of the fat then add the onion and garlic, tossing to combine. When the onions are soft and translucent and the meat is no longer pink, sprinkle pan with Tex-Mex seasoning. Toss to coat and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, draining off and discarding any excess fat, if required.
  3. Assemble: Add almost all of the sautéed beef to centre of salad bowl. Reserve remaining to add to salads when served.
  4. Serve: Pour half the quantity of dressing onto the salad and toss. Add more dressing as required, tossing again before serving.
  5. Serve onto plates, into tortilla salad bowls or with a collar of corn tortilla chips.
  6. Add jalapeño slices, if using, plus more beef. Add more dressing, cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.
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Tex-Mex Taco Salad

4 / 5. 4

An array of fresh veggies nestled in crispy romaine, topped with cheese, TEX-MEX-seasoned sautéed beef and buttermilk ranch dressing…

  • clock icon
    25 MIN
  • 6 SERVINGS
The best Tex-Mex Taco Salad!

Craving an easy-to-make salad with big flavours? Try this sensational TEX-MEX TACO SALAD!

If the prospect of a delicious salad recipe is what brought you to Weekend at the Cottage, you’ve come to the right place – we love salads too. So do our subscribers and followers, which is why you’ll find a wide assortment, from our famously simple AVOCADO, CUCUMBER AND FETA SALAD to a classic CREAMY COLESLAW. We also have unique favourites like our WARM POTATO SALAD, this CRISPY MUSHROOM SALAD and our feed-a-crowd COBB SALAD. This delicious TEX-MEX TACO SALAD is certainly in good company.

Here are a few reasons why we think it’s perfect:

  • We take crispy romaine lettuce and add an assortment of healthy veggies including tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, corn, black beans and red onion.
  • We serve it topped with sautéed lean ground beef flavoured with our TEX-MEX SPICE MIX. Super tasty!
  • It’s a dairy delight with grated Monterey Jack cheese, plus our CREAMY BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING and a dollop of sour cream.
  • You can serve it on plates, or take your presentation from simple to amazing with homemade TORTILLA BOWLS or corn chip collars.

Before we share the details on how to make this salad, a reminder to check out our line of food products, available for purchase. Our SPICE BLENDS, RUBS AND DIPS are just the thing to add a pop of flavour to any recipe, and our famous BBQ SAUCE works with everything. Click HERE to order online, or HERE to find a nearby retailer selling WATC products. Thanks!

We know you’ll look at this salad recipe as a keeper. Make sure to PIN it on a favourite Pinterest board and SHARE it with friends. We also appreciate seeing pics whenever you make our recipes, so use #weekendatthecottage when you post your photos on Facebook and Instagram. Thanks for sharing with the world!

Could you use a tasty salad right about now? Let’s make this TEX-MEX TACO SALAD!

All of the ingredients needed to make the Tex-Mex Taco Salad.
One look at these ingredients and you know; this salad is going to be mighty tasty!

INGREDIENTS

I often think of this homemade salad recipe as an “on-hand” special, as it puts things we already have to good use. Additional taco salad ingredients can also be added to taste, but for the most part, we’re talking romaine lettuce, some favourite veggies, ground beef, cheese and dressing. We expect you’ll make it once and then feel as we did; “Wow! With so few prep steps, this is so easy to make again and again!”

A pouch of the Weekend at the Cottage Tex-Mex Spice Mix
Links to purchase down below.

TEX-MEX SPICE BLEND

I know this might sound like a preamble to a PBS miniseries; the delicious taste of this recipe was made possible by the fine flavours of our TEX-MEX SPICE BLEND. In this particular recipe, it takes the Tex-Mex vibe to the next level. This mix is a classic blend of Mexican chili powder, garlic, red pepper and cumin. We’ve done all the work for you, so no need to make your own homemade taco seasoning. Simply add four teaspoons per pound of ground meat. Good news, it also works perfectly with pork, chicken, ground turkey, lamb and sausage meat – think chorizo! Click HERE to order online and click HERE to find a retailer in your area carrying WATC products.

A skillet filled with the sautéed ground beef seasoned with Tex-Mex spice blend.
Make sure to hold a bit of the cooked taco meat back to garnish the salad.

TACO MEAT

Cooking up the taco meat  is an easy step of just sautéeing it up in a large skillet. Adding chopped white onion and finely chopped garlic to the pan adds a pleasing flavour to the beef, and that gets even tastier once our TEX-MEX spice is sprinkled in. Although we used lean ground beef for this taco salad recipe, there was some excess grease in the skillet after the meat was fully cooked. We suggest following our lead and spooning or draining it away before adding the cooked meat to this salad. 

Corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, avocados, romaine lettuce and Monterey Jack cheese.
Fresh veggies + cheese = delicious!

FRESH VEGETABLES & CHEESE

Feel free to experiment and make this the best taco salad recipe for your taste, adding your favourite vegetables. Although we like the usual taco salad suspects like tomato, avocado, cucumbers, corn, black beans and red onion, don’t let that stop you. Feel free to add other delicious, healthy vegetables like bell peppers, celery, black olives, grated carrot, green beans, tomatillos, chickpeas and even asparagus. 

The same goes for the cheese. Although we used grated Monterey Jack cheese for this story, feel free to swap it out with others. Try it with grated cheddar cheese, pepper jack or a traditional Mexican cheese like Cotija. Some folks also like cheese mixed with salsa, so it’s up to you. Again, make this recipe your own.

A small pitcher filled with creamy buttermilk ranch dressing.
Leftover dressing can be refrigerated and used for another salad recipe, later in the week.

DRESSING

We opted to dress this salad with our classic CREAMY BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING – click HERE to watch our easy-to-follow 1-minute video on how to make it. Crafted with buttermilk, the dressing also has a hit of mayo, onion, garlic and a gathering of fresh herbs including dill, parsley and chives. It’s really an excellent taco salad dressing choice. Making homemade dressing also helps with meal prep. Simply place everything into a bowl or canister and use an immersion blender to zip it up.  

An overhead photo of the large salad bowl filled with all of the salad fixings.
Take it to table like this. Then, dress, toss and serve!

LARGE BOWL

We love presenting this salad in a large bowl, where all of the various ingredients are grouped on top of the lettuce. The look is so fresh and appetizing, and the colours are bold and beautiful. If you prepare this TEX-MEX TACO SALAD for a dinner party or weekend get-together, send it to the table with the dressing on the side, then toss and serve table-side. It’s a pretty sweet moment.

The Tex-Mex Taco Salad served in an attractive soup plate.
Such an appetizing, easy presentation.

SERVE

Once that large bowl arrives at the table, there are three options on serving this exceptionally tasty salad. First is to simply toss and serve in beautiful bowls, soup plates or luncheon plates. Add a spoonful or two more of the seasoned beef and then another bit of dressing plus a dollop of sour cream. I love adding sliced jalapeño (optional) plus cilantro and lime wedges for a hit of lime juice on the side.

Tex-Mex Taco Salad presented in an edible tortilla salad bowl.
Wait! What? We get to eat the salad bowl too?

Second serving option is to do the exact same as described above, but serve a portion in crispy, edible TORTILLA BOWLS. Check out this video for a crash course on how to make them; so easy!

Tex-Mex Taco Salad served on a large plate surrounded by crispy corn tortilla chips.
The collar of corn chips is nice for munching along with the salad.

Last serving option is to create a collar of crispy corn tortilla chips around the plate, then add the salad and finishing touches, as described above.

No matter how you serve it, the key to this TEX-MEX TACO SALAD is simple; just make it and enjoy!

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Tex-Mex Taco Salad

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Products used in this recipe

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Tex-Mex Taco Salad

Ingredients

  • For the beef:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 4 teaspoons WATC TEX-MEX SPICE BLEND, more to taste
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • For the salad:
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed and ripped or cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup cooked corn, grilled or boiled
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • To serve:
  • 1 cup WATC BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING
  • sautéed, seasoned beef
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • grated cheese
  • sour cream
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • tortilla salad bowls or corn tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Assemble salad: Prepare lettuce, beans and vegetables. Place lettuce into a large, attractive salad bowl. Add the vegetables in a grouping around the circumference of the bowl, resting on top of the lettuce. 
  2. Cook beef: Place large skillet on stovetop over medium-high heat. Crumble the beef into the pan. Cook for a few moments to render some of the fat then add the onion and garlic, tossing to combine. When the onions are soft and translucent and the meat is no longer pink, sprinkle pan with Tex-Mex seasoning. Toss to coat and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, draining off and discarding any excess fat, if required.
  3. Assemble: Add almost all of the sautéed beef to centre of salad bowl. Reserve remaining to add to salads when served.
  4. Serve: Pour half the quantity of dressing onto the salad and toss. Add more dressing as required, tossing again before serving.
  5. Serve onto plates, into tortilla salad bowls or with a collar of corn tortilla chips.
  6. Add jalapeño slices, if using, plus more beef. Add more dressing, cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

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