Monday, June 23, 2008

Taco Salad - Perfect for Summer

This easy Taco Salad recipe is the perfect light summer meal when it's too hot to cook.
On the menu tonight is........ Taco Salad!!! Serve this salad on a hot day for a perfect summer meal minus the stove. I don't know about you but when I hear Taco Salad, my sisters recipe is the one that comes to mind. The first time I had this salad was about 20 years ago.

I had never had taco salad prepared this way, but I was instantly hooked. This recipe contains traditional ingredients such as lettuce, tomatoes, kidney beans, ground beef, cheese, black olives and tortilla chips.  This salad does have a twist with a non traditional ingredient "French Dressing"

When I heard that she added french dressing, my first thought was no way!!! I told her don't think I'm going to like that, but I gave it a try and I was instantly hooked. As of today this is the only way I will make taco salad. You can adjust the amount of dressing added to suit your taste. I prefer not to add the whole bottle, but everyone is different. Just taste the salad as you add the dressing and find you own personal preference.

If you're taking this salad to a get - together to avoid a soggy mess, add all the ingredients except the chips and dressing. Place the taco chips in a plastic bag and cover the salad and keep it in a cooler while traveling. When ready to serve, add in the taco chips and dressing and toss to coat. This way the salad stays fresh and crisp. Lets get to the recipe!!!

Start by browning ground beef and drain off any grease. Add taco seasoning packet and prepare according to package directions (I use less water so it isn't so saucy). When the ground beef mixture is cooked, set aside to cool. 

While the meat is cooling chop up you veggies. Cut up the lettuce and tomatoes and add to a large bowl. Add the black olives and the cooled meat mixture, drained and rinsed kidney beans, cheese and tortilla chips. I break my chips up just a bit and I don't add all of the chips to the salad or they will get soggy. 

Finally add the French Dressing and toss together. At this point you can taste the salad and see how much dressing you would like. You can add anywhere from 1/2 of the bottle or you can add the whole thing its really your own preference.

With the big tomato scare and the FDA saying we cannot eat some of the tomatoes (Red Romas or Round Red Tomatoes) due to the Salmonella scare. Taco salad just wouldn't be taco salad without tomatoes!!!! but no worries. 

I'm so glad I don't have to go out and actually buy tomatoes, I am so lucky that we grow our own tomatoes so we have plenty every year. So be careful when purchasing your tomatoes. Always wash them first before adding to any dish but that's just common sense.

Add Salad to a large serving bowl and dig in. If you want more chips you can add them to each bowl. This is really the best Taco Salad I have ever had.

Disclosure: I’m excited that I’ve entered into a paid, formal partnership with Bush’s Beans and the post above represents part of that agreement.


Melissa said... #

oh I looooove tavo salad! Thanks for the recipe... this looks really good :)

Tina Butler said... #

Your welcome this is the best taco salad I have tasted. This recipe has now become a family favoirte in my house, a fast simple dinner on a hot summer night.

Anonymous said... #

This is very similar to one that I recently tried. I didn't add black beans though and I used salsa. But the french dressing makes it amazing!!

(Happy Momma from themomblogs)

Suzanne's Blog, Jane's Blog said... #

came over from the mom blogs, I make the taco salad, but have always used salsa, never would have guessed to use French Dressing, must give it a try. (Jane's Blog)

Anonymous said... #

Tina, This is a great recipe. I make this with Doritos and minus the beans. Everyone always loves it and you're right - it's great for hot summer days. We made the cheese enchiladas the other night and they were delicious as well!! Thanks!

Thistlemoon said... #

Man! It has been forever since I have had a taco salad! The Fernch dressing sounds good to me - I love weird flavors together! Most of the time they work out great!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said... #

Homemade taco salad will always be better than that stuff from Taco Bell. Great recipe.

Veronica said... #

Wow-I've never seen Mission Taco strips before. I wonder if that is a regional product? I would love to use those! Your salad sounds yummy!

Anonymous said... #

I love your food photos great job. I love taco salad too! I put avacodos in mine yum:)I found you on Foodie blog roll, I just joined.

ShellyH said... #

I love taco salad! I have never had it with french dressing but I do love it smothered in honey mustard dressing! Great blog!

Anonymous said... #

I just made this recipe last week. I never thought to add beans and olives to it. I'll have to try that next time.

Anonymous said... #

Just an FYI.. I, like you, LOVE Paula Deen!! Anyway she has a recipe very similar to this one of your sister's, if you try to look it up I think its under Mexican Salad. She used the catalina dressing also, which is what caught my eye. Never thought of that!! Anyway just wanted to share this with ya! Nice website by the way!! I have been meaning to try making the Peach Preserves-wish me luck!!

Anonymous said... #

Your taco salad is alot like one of my families favorites. I use same ingred. as you, but mix salsa with the French dressing in a container so everyone can pour on amount wanted, and do not add the chips to the bowl. I crush the chips then everyone puts the amount they want on the plate first then top with the salad. This is a great meal for summer but my family loves it through out the year. So for the cooler weather I heat the beans and mix while the burger mixture is still warm. During cool months any leftovers gets heated in microwave next day. My kids beg for this regularly.
I really love your site and all the wonderful food options you're giving us. I'm really loving trying all your new recipes. Keep up the great job!!

Shari said... #

I was looking at some of your recipes the other day, and I found this one. I haven't made taco salad in a long time, but it is a good summertime dinner. I make mine pretty much the same way you do, except we don't like tomatoes so I don't add those. I have used Catalina dressing on ours for a long time. Ranch dressing is really good, too. Thanks for all the recipes. You have some good ones on here. I also just wanted to let you know my family and I are headed to Savannah on Sunday for a few days. I don't know if we will go to Paula Deen's restaurant or not, but I thought about you since I knew you were a big fan.

brokeintrovert said... #

Oh, I have not had this version since I was a teenager...I am now 45 years old. Thank you for posting the recipe. I remember this salad as being very delicious...I cannot wait to share it with my family.

Anonymous said... #

Love your site and your recipes. Several of your recipes remind me of dishes I've had over the years, one being this taco salad. My family always got together in the summer at our place at the lake and you know everyone has their signature dishes and my cousin always brought this one and she always used fritos instead of tortilla chips. Keep your great recipes coming!!!!

Amy said... #

YUM!Thanks for reminding me about this recipe.I got (almost) the exact same one from my sis-in-law back in 1988!
She made it the same except she used Ranch instead of french and I've made it both ways and love it!
I know what we're having tomorrow night!

jennifer said... #

hi, just found your site! i'm a southerner living in the middle east and originally was looking for a 'tea cake' recipe to replace our family one lost in the nashville flood in may. so, i found that and then i found this recipe!! i've been hoarding a bottle of french dressing i found at the market (a rare find, here!) w/the intention of making this salad...also knowing i needed a recipe! now i have one.
thanks for posting! :-)

jennifer said... #'s russian dressing, i've been hoarding. but still....hard to find/get here.;-)

GiGi said... #

Love taco salad! I use Catalina salad dressing & Fritos. On the side, I also have sour cream, guacamole, green chile sauce, & salsa. Yummy!

Anonymous said... #

My mother-in-law makes a similar taco salad. She uses creamy italian dressing instead of french, no ground beef, instead of kidney beans she uses brooks chili beans and uses the juice from them. Very good

Anonymous said... #

This is even better if you use Doritos Nacho Cheese chips!

Anonymous said... #

the taco salad sounds good... we put pico de gallo, avacados, and sour cream on ours., but i'm going to give this new twist a try...i'm sure my kiddos will love it!!

Anonymous said... #

If you don't like alot of salt that is in the taco seasoning packets use salsa and cumin to taste.:)

Anonymous said... #

YUM...made this tonight for dinner...its a HIT! Will be keeping it for our summer salad meals.

Anonymous said... #

use catalina dressing instead of french, add green onions with lettuce and tomato, and use nacho doritos on top with mexican cheese - fabulous!!

Patricia P. said... #

We make a similar taco salad, except for the salad dressing. I use a mixture of equal portions of mild taco sauce and thousand island dressing.

The Better Baker said... #

Love this recipe! We just served taco salad to company last week...used black beans instead of kidney, and had fresh avocado too. One of my most favorite meals. Great tutorial.

Anonymous said... #

That's my Taco Salad, got it from my Mom and yes have always used French dressing, but we too but our own together like a salad bar and use Crushed Fritos vs other chips. My Husband loves it but eats his with Taco Sauce. Thank you for your Blog

Anonymous said... #

I use Catalina and it is the best. I even put a little in the meat mixture while it is cooking. Love it. My husband will not eat any dressing on salads so this way he is eating the dressing and likes it.

debi53 said... #

This is how we make ours but we have always used Western Dressing. It just has a little extra zing to it!!!

Anonymous said... #

My dressing combines Catalina dressing,sour cream or Greek yogurt and salsa with a packet of truvia.
It is delicious!