This Dorito Taco Salad is the perfect quick and easy, veggie-packed dinner! It’s made with a fresh, crisp romaine, topped with ground beef, black beans, tomato, corn, red pepper, and shredded cheese, then finished off with nacho Doritos and Catalina dressing!
Table of Contents
We all love tacos right? I mean, how could you not. There’s something for everyone! Instant Pot Chicken Tacos, Cheeseburger Baked Tacos, Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken Tacos, Classic Weeknight Tacos…okay, you get it.
Well, as much as I love tacos, I also love a good taco salad!
And you know what makes taco salad even better? Doritos! Seriously.
This Dorito Taco Salad takes a classic taco salad recipe up a notch with Nacho Cheese Doritos (or another flavor!) It’s made with fresh lettuce, chopped pepper and tomato, ground beef, black beans, shredded cheddar, and more!
This easy taco salad recipe makes the perfect healthy comfort food dinner! For Taco tuesday or any day of the week 😉
- Ground Beef: I use lean ground beef. Be sure to drain the oil after cooking so you don’t end up with greasy taco salad.
- Black Beans: drained and rinsed, no salt added if you can find them. You can also use pinto beans if you prefer.
- Taco Seasoning: you can use a packet of taco seasoning or make your own. Check out the FAQs for easy homemade taco seasoning instructions.
- Tomato: you can use 1 chopped tomato or ½ cup of canned, diced, and drained tomatoes. Juicy tomatoes are the perfect complement to the spice!
- Lettuce: a head of romaine lettuce is the perfect base for this taco salad, but you can also use iceberg lettuce or a mix.
- Corn: I like to use canned and drained sweet corn for a pop of texture and sweetness.
- Cheese: use shredded cheddar cheese or another type of cheese. You can’t go wrong! Mozzarella, monterey jack cheese or something with kick will be fabulous.
- Red Pepper: you can use finely chopped fresh red pepper for more crunch or cook it with the beef to soften it up a bit.
- Catalina Dressing: Catalina dressing is the classic way to top off a taco salad.
- Doritos: I like to use the Nacho Cheese Doritos, but feel free to use another variety.
How to Make Doritos Taco Salad
This Dorito Taco Salad recipes comes together in a total of 25 minutes!
- Cook the beef: In a large skillet over medium heat to medium-high heat, cook the beef until browned. Drain the grease or use paper towels to mop up the grease right in the pan (be careful, it’s hot!).
- Add in beans and taco seasoning. Cook and stir until combined.
- Prep the veggies: Cut the tomato and squeeze out excess liquid, then combine lettuce, tomato, corn, cheese, and pepper in a large bowl.
- Combine and serve: Top the veggie mixture with the beef/beans, then stir in dressing. Right before you’re ready to serve, top with Doritos!
Dorito Taco Salad FAQs
While nachos and taco salad do share many of the same ingredients, they are different! Nachos are served hot and topped with melted cheese along with other usually warm toppings. Taco salad can be served cold or with a mixture of hot and cold ingredients, is served over a bed of lettuce, and is often tossed with a dressing of some kind.
Store-bought taco seasoning is great, but homemade taco seasoning is more economical and can be adjusted to fit your tastes! To whip up a batch of homemade seasoning, mix together:
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon paprika
1 pinch of black pepper.
Once the taco salad is fully assembled, I do recommend serving it right away so the lettuce is nice and fresh and the Doritos are nice and crispy.
However, different taco salad components can be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
First, the beef/bean mixture will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You can serve it cold or reheat it with a drizzle of oil in a skillet. This is perfect for meal prep!
Second, the tomato and pepper can be chopped and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Tips and Notes
- Drain the canned ingredients. Okay, this one might go without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway. No one likes a soupy taco salad!
- Serve right away. If it sits too long, the wetter ingredients can make both the lettuce and Doritos soggy. I recommend serving the salad right away for all that delicious texture contrast.
- To prep slightly ahead of time, combine everything except the dressing and Doritos. Let everyone add those themselves when they’re ready to eat!
Taco Salad Variations
- Use other mix-ins. Any of your favorite toppings are fair game! Try olives, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, homemade salsa, guacamole or avocado slices, diced onion, you name it!
- Try another Dorito. I love the classic Nacho Cheese Doritos, but literally any other flavor of Dorito works great. Try Salsa Verde, Spicy Nacho, Cool Ranch, regular tortilla chips, crunchy tortilla strips, you name it!
- Swap the meat. Ground beef is the classic taco meat, but feel free to swap it out for shredded chicken, lean ground turkey, or ground pork.
- Make it vegetarian. Make this into a meatless meal by using a meatless variety of ground beef or just adding more beans!
More Taco-Inspired Recipes to Try
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Dorito Taco Salad
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 package taco seasoning (or see simple taco seasoning in post)
- 1 tomato (chopped or ½ cup canned, diced, drained)
- 1 head romaine lettuce (or another variety)
- 1 cup sweet canned corn (drained)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ red pepper* (finely chopped)
- ¾ cup catalina dressing
- 2 cups nacho flavor Doritos (broken – about 80 grams)
- optional: jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, salsa, red onion, green onions, lime wedges, pico de gallo, black olives, etc, for topping.
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain grease if necessary (using paper towels to soak it up works great!) and stir in beans and taco seasoning. Remove from the heat to cool.
- Cut the tomato and squeeze out excess liquid — this keeps the salad from getting soggy.
- In a large salad bowl, combine lettuce, tomato, corn, cheese and pepper. Top with cooled ground beef.
- Stir in dressing and top with Doritos or, if making ahead, leave dressing and Doritos off and allow everyone to add their own before eating.
- If you prefer your pepper softened, you can add it to the ground beef to cook.
- To prep ahead, prepare the taco meat, slice the veggies and shred the cheese. Then have everyone assemble their own so that all the ingredients stay fresh.
- You can swap the ground beef for pork, chicken, turkey, shredded chicken breast, or a meatless variety.
- You can leave out or add more of any of the ingredients and toppings listed above — you do you! I’ve listed more great salad add ins in the recipe ingredients.
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