This yummy taco salad recipe is perfect for easy dinners or parties and tastes amazing! It is made with basic salad ingredients that you probably already have at home.
One of the best things about this recipe is the versatility! You can add whatever toppings you’d like and cook it in the slow cooker or on the stove top. This is perfect for those picky eaters at home who love classic tacos flavor.
Making recipes in the crock pot or instant pot is such an easy way to cook dinner. My instant pot hamburger soup is another quick dinner recipe that my kids love! I like to make instant pot meatballs and pair with instant pot spaghetti!
To make this recipe even easier, feel free to use leftover taco meat from making gluten free tacos or ground beef! Ground beef reheats well in the instant pot and you won’t even be able to tell it’s leftover.
For more of a full meal, I like to serve with green Chile rice and maybe even a virgin margarita! Or you can serve with our taco casserole and more tortilla strips, queso, salsa, and/or refried beans.
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How do you eat taco salad?
Taco salad can be tricky to eat considering it’s half nachos and half salad! But I recommend eating the chips first and then using a fork to eat the rest of the salad. You can also grab extra chips at the end for those last bites.
Ingredients in a taco salad
One of my favorite things about this recipe is you can add/swap most of the ingredients to your preference! Here are the basics you need for your taco salad with some alternative ingredients.
Crispy tortilla chips are perfect on taco salads but feel free to use a flour tortilla or corn tortillas if you don’t have chips. Doritos also work well for a Dorito taco salad!
We prefer lean ground beef for this recipe but you can use almost any taco meat. Lean ground turkey works well as well as ground chicken. If you have different leftover meats, combine them for a taco meat mixture and nobody will know the difference.
I love cooking the beef mixture with tomato sauce because I think it gives it lots of flavor and gives it such a nice texture! Feel free to add cherry tomatoes if you please.
Shredded romaine lettuce is a great way to add more volume to your taco salad as well as provide a nice crisp texture. Crisp lettuce makes such a huge difference in salad recipes!
Your favorite toppings
Feel free to add sour cream, black beens, cheddar cheese, pinto beans, lime juice, avocado slices, black olives, etc. to your taco salad! The options are almost endless.
How to make taco salad
You can make the best taco salad in the crock pot instead of dirtying a large skillet. There’s no advanced cooking skills required for this recipe!
Step 1: Place the beef, beans, tomato sauce and salsa in the crockpot
Step 2: Cook on medium-high heat for 2-3 hours
Step 3: Crush tortilla chips on plates then add some shredded lettuce
Step 4: Top that with the crockpot chili
Step 5: Garnish with sour cream, salsa, cheese and fresh lime juice and taco salad dressing if you would like.
Pro tip: Add homemade taco seasoning, chili powder, or garlic powder to the crockpot for extra flavor.
Expert tips and FAQs
Sometimes yes and sometimes they are very similar. You can make a healthy taco salad recipe by add more ingredients like grape tomatoes, red onion, green onions, creamy avocado, and plain greek yogurt (instead of sour cream).
Taco salad will last up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. You want to make sure you store vegetables, toppings, and meat in separate containers because they will get soggy if stored together.
Yes! A taco salad is a traditional Mexican dish although a classic taco salad has a large tortilla bowl instead of chips. We use chips because chips are easier and cheaper!
Absolutely! Simply cook it on the stove for 30 minutes instead of in the slow cooker.
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Taco Salad Recipe
- 1/2 pound cooked ground beef
- 2 cans kidney beans drained
- 15 ounces salsa
- 15 ounces canned tomato sauce
- 140 grams gluten-free tortilla chips
- lettuce shredded
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- additional salsa
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ranch optional
- Place the beef, beans, tomato sauce and salsa in the crockpot
- Cook on high 2-3 hours
- Crush tortilla chips on plates then add some shredded lettuce
- Top that with the crockpot chili
- Garnish with sour cream, salsa, cheese and fresh lime juice and ranch if you would like
This recipe was originally posted in April 2017 but was updated in April 2022.
Crockpot meals are the BEST!!! I threw this in the crockpot before work the other day and it smelled so yummy when I got home. It tasted even better.
Thanks for the crock pot idea Chandice! I like to cook a big batch of this type of mixture and keep it on hand, but I’ve never tried cooking it in the crockpot. That would make it even easier. It is good not just with chips, but also on baked potatoes, rice, noodles/spaghetti squash or even salad greens.
Thanks Genie, I love those suggestions for topping it with too!!
Casey the College Celiac says
I’ve never heard of Mexican goulash, but this looks like the perfect comfort food with chips!
Thanks Casey, it was one of my favorites even at 5 years old 😉