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Classic Taco Salad Recipe

Made with hearty ground beef and all the taco toppings, this Classic Taco Salad recipe is the perfect addition to your Taco Tuesday or the ultimate taco bar! Made with homemade taco seasoning, you can add as many toppings as you want.

classic taco salad

Classic Taco Salad

What you’re gonna love about this super easy recipe is that you can make it however you like it! Bulk it up for family gatherings or make your own big bowl of taco salad for an easy meal on the weeknights.

I think the things we can agree on is this – tacos are not stuffy or fussy and almost everyone likes them in some way, shape or form! This hearty salad is a fun way to switch up the classic ground beef taco.

Taco Bell’s got nothing on us!

Ingredients in this classic taco salad

ingredients in taco salad
  • minced garlic
  • ground beef
  • homemade taco seasoning – ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, chipotle powder, onion powder and salt and ground black pepper. If you have these seasonings (and I think you do) you can make your own taco seasoning mix.
  • olive oil
  • black beans – or substitute pinto beans or kidney beans. Whatever you like!
  • iceberg lettuce – romaine lettuce or butter lettuce are also delicious
  • avocado – for topping
  • tomatoes – grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or if you have tomatoes in your garden, use those!
  • red onion – yellow onion or white onions also work
  • sweet corn – fresh, canned or frozen
  • lime juice
  • Mexican blend cheese – you can also use cheddar cheese
classic taco salad recipe

Then your favorite toppings

I could basically write about taco toppings all day long. But in the interest of time, I’m thinking sour cream, salsa, tortilla chips, sliced green onions for topping/garnish are all good options. Or maybe a spoonful of homemade pico de gallo.

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Other taco salad add-ins

Want to bulk up your taco salad? Consider adding chopped green peppers, black olives, or drained and rinsed red kidney beans or pinto beans

This taco salad would be a great addition to a taco bar party, too!

taco salad in a bowl


Keep it low carb by omitting the tortilla chips from the recipe, or pick a low carb tortilla chip.

Other Mexican inspired recipes

Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef

Walking Taco Casserole

Mexican Chopped Salad

Sheet Pan Nachos

If you make this classic taco salad recipe, leave a recipe review or comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

made with love, Deanne
Yield: 4 Servings

Classic Taco Salad

classic taco salad recipe

Made with hearty ground beef and all the taco toppings, this Classic Taco Salad recipe is the perfect addition to your Taco Tuesday or the ultimate taco bar!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoon chipotle powder, divided
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 large ripe avocado, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ small red onion, diced small
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn, warmed
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¾ cup Mexican blend cheese, finely shredded
  • **sour cream, salsa or tortilla chips, for topping/garnish


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ground beef and season with ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, one teaspoon chipotle powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and broken into small pieces, approximately 8-10 minutes. Break up the beef with a spatula into small chunks while it cooks.
  3. Stir the black beans into the skillet with the beef mixture until thoroughly coated with the seasonings. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from skillet and set aside.
  4. Combine the lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and corn in a large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining olive oil, chipotle powder, and fresh lime juice. Generously season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and toss to combine. 
  5. To serve, transfer salad to a serving platter and top with the seasoned beef and black beans, Mexican cheese, and tortilla chips.


*use gluten free tortilla chips to make this gluten free

**nutrition is calculated without optional toppings/garnish

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 676Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 368mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 12gSugar: 14gProtein: 46g


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