Ground Beef Taco Salad

Taco Salad
Rita Maas/Photodisc/Getty Images
  • Total: 22 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
424 Calories
27g Fat
12g Carbs
33g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 424
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 805mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 33g
Calcium 348mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple taco salad recipe uses ground beef, lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, ripe olives, and corn chips, along with taco sauce, plus other ingredients. See the tips and variations for a quick taco sauce recipe and how to make your homemade tortilla chips, baked or fried.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef, about 85% tor 90% lean
  • 1 envelope (1 1/4 ounces) taco seasoning or burrito seasoning
  • Optional: a few dashes hot sauce to taste
  • 1 medium head lettuce, shredded, about 4 cups
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack 
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 cups corn chips
  • Taco sauce (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a heavy skillet, over medium, heat the ground beef, stirring and breaking up, until the beef is no longer pink, but is brown. Drain off excess fat. Sprinkle the taco seasoning mixture over the beef and mix well. Stir in hot sauce.

  2. In a large bowl, combine shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, tomato, olives, and green bell pepper; toss. For each serving, place lettuce mixture on a salad plate or bowl, top with some of the seasoned ground beef and garnish the taco salad with taco chips. Alternatively, the salad may be served atop taco chips or in a taco shell "bowl." 

  3. Serve with taco salad with taco sauce, if desired.

Tips and Variations

  • Baked Tortilla Chips: Heat the oven to 400 F. Cut corn tortillas into quarters and lay on a baking sheet in a single layer. Season as desired and bake for about 6 to 9 minutes, until crisp. 
  • Fried Tortilla Chips: Heat the oven to 350 F. Place corn tortillas on a baking sheet. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until dried. Cut them into quarters or sixths. Heat about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is about 350 F, place several tortilla pieces in the oil. Don't crowd. Fry for about 2 minutes, then remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining tortilla pieces.
  • Homemade Taco Sauce: Combine an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce with 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon each of onion powder, garlic powder, and sugar, and a dash of cayenne. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add a few tablespoons water to thin, if desired.