Taco Salad Recipe

For a light supper that's easy to make and fun to eat, try this Taco Salad recipe. It's a complete meal.

This is one of our favorite summer suppers.

taco salad recipe

I like to take this with us when we go camping. I make the bean/meat mixture at home, and freeze it. I throw the frozen mixture in the cooler just before we leave home. By the second day out, it is thawed and ready to use. All I have to do at the campsite it heat it up and assemble the salad. (I even grate the cheese at home.)

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • vegetable oil
    • garlic
    • chili powder
    • dried oregano
    • salt
    • pepper
    • canned kidney beans
    • tortilla chips
    • bottled salsa

  • in the fridge or freezer

    • onion
    • ground beef (about 1 lb/500 g)
    • Cheddar cheese
    • sour cream

Buy these fresh ingredients

  • lettuce
  • tomatoes

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a large skillet
    • a cutting board and sharp knife
    • a sturdy spoon (I like using a wooden spoon)
    • a can opener
    • measuring cups and spoons
    • a grater

  • Nice to have but not necessary

    • a garlic press (if not, mince the garlic with a sharp knife)
    • a metal strainer (for draining and rinsing the beans)

    The recipe

    2 tsp/10 mL vegetable oil

    1 onion, chopped

    2 cloves garlic, pressed

    1 lb/500 g ground beef

    1 Tbsp/15 mL chili powder

    2 tsp/10 mL dried oregano

    salt, to taste

    pepper, to taste

    1 can (19 oz/540 mL) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

    4 cups/1 L tortilla chips

    1 cup/250 mL shredded lettuce

    2 tomatoes, chopped

    1 cup/250 mL shredded Cheddar cheese

    In a large skillet, heat the oil.
    Add the onion.
    Cook until soft.
    Add the garlic.
    Cook for one minute.
    Add the ground beef, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
    Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until the meat is no longer pink.
    Drain off the fat.
    Add the beans.
    Stir to combine.

    Spread the tortilla chips on dinner plates.
    Divide the meat mixture over the chips.
    Scatter the lettuce, tomatoes and cheese over the chips.

    Top with sour cream and salsa.


    • Buy fresh salsa - or make your own.

    • Use plain, unflavored yogurt instead of sour cream - or use a mixture of the two.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Try using another type of ground meat - like ground chicken or turkey.

    • Grow an herb garden and use freshly picked oregano - or add other spices too. (As a general rule, use 1 tablespoon/15 mL of a fresh herb in place of 1 teaspoon/5 mL dried.)

    • Make this dish as spicy as you like by adding diced chili peppers or your favourite hot sauce.


    • Most brands of canned beans include added salt or other additives. If yours doesn't, you don't need to rinse the beans.

    Menu suggestion

    This taco salad recipe makes a complete meal! If you want to get really fancy, serve some more tortilla chips with Guacamole.

    If you enjoy this taco salad recipe, you may also like these other recipes for ground beef:

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