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Layered Taco Salad

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close up shot of a spoonful of Layered Taco Salad
Easy to make and full of delicious flavor, this simple layered taco salad is a fun twist on classic Mexican favorites.
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Table of Contents
  1. Layered Taco Salad Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Layered Taco Salad Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

This simple layered taco salad is loaded with flavor! Seasoned ground beef, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, taco seasoning, onion, black olives, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips are put together for a hearty and tasty dinner option the whole family will love.

Layered Taco Salad in a baking dish

Layered Taco Salad Ingredients

Layered Taco Salad raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Salad

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can of Rotel tomatoes with chiles, drained
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning mix or homemade taco seasoning
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans of refried beans
  • ⅛ cup water
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, cored, chopped, and dried
  • 1½ cups of your favorite salsa
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ⅓ cup sliced black olives, drained
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • Tortilla chips

For the Ranch Sour Cream

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CHIPS: Use flavored tortilla chips to add an extra kick to your dish.

CORN: Add corn into the layers.

PEPPERS: I love adding chopped green or red bell pepper on top of this before serving.

GUACAMOLE: You can never go wrong with a little guacamole… yum!

BACON: Cook and crumble some bacon to add on top, because bacon makes everything better!

SPICE: Don’t love heat? Leave out the jalapeños.

GROUND MEAT: Ground turkey or ground pork are two great alternatives to ground beef.

How To Make This Layered Taco Salad Recipe

STEP ONE: In a medium mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch dry dressing mix. Whisk together until well combined. Cover with saran wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to allow it to set fully.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

You can batch cook ground beef ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer for use later. This makes for a quicker prep time.

sour cream, mayonnaise and dry ingredients whisked together in a bowl

STEP TWO: In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain grease and return the beef back to the skillet.

PRO TIP:

Use a potato masher to break meat into small pieces. You don’t want big chunks of meat in your salad so make sure the pieces are nice and small.

beef in a skillet and then cooked in a skillet

STEP THREE: Add onion and minced garlic and cook with the beef for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onions are tender. Add 1 can of drained Rotel and taco seasoning to the beef mixture and stir well. Cook until all liquid has evaporated. Remove from the skillet and place in a glass bowl and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes.

onion, garlic, taco seasoning, and rotel in a skillet and then folded together in a skillet

STEP FOUR: Cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until completely chilled, about 1 to 2 hours.

STEP FIVE: In a separate saucepan, add the refried beans and water. Stir well. Cook over medium heat until beans are cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Place in a separate glass bowl and place in the refrigerator until the taco meat is finished chilling, about 1 to 2 hours.

STEP SIX: In a 9×13-inch dish, use a spatula to make even layers in this order; Ground beef mixture, refried beans, half of the lettuce, half of the ranch sour cream, the rest of the lettuce, remaining ranch sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced olives, green onions, chopped tomatoes, then chopped jalapeños.

ingredients layer on top of the beef mixture in a baking dish

How To Serve

This layered salad is an easy dinner idea for taco Tuesday. Serve with tortilla chips on the side along with our Spanish rice or Mexican corn salad for a complete meal. Don’t forget to offer everyone salsa, sour cream, and guacamole along with this dish.

Our Mexican casserole and Mexican beef and rice casserole are both loaded with plenty of flavors for a hearty meal.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: This tasty layered taco salad recipe is the very best when served and eaten immediately. It will keep in the fridge though, but the lettuce won’t be as crisp the next day.

IN THE FREEZER: We don’t recommend freezing this salad as all the crispy layers will become soggy.

close up shot of Layered Taco Salad on a plate

Ground beef taco salad great meal for family taco night. Loaded with every possible taco topping and filling you can think of, there is so much deliciousness and plenty of satisfying crunch in all of the layers of this yummy salad.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I keep the leftovers of this salad?

This layered salad is best enjoyed right away, but any leftovers can be kept until the next day. The lettuce won’t be quite as crisp as when made fresh.

Can I use different ground meat for this salad?

This easy recipe would be tasty with ground pork or ground turkey as well.

Can I add other layers of veggies if I want?

If you’d like to customize this salad, you certainly can. There are no rules about how to make this delicious layered salad.

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close up shot of a spoonful of Layered Taco Salad

Layered Taco Salad

5 from 2 votes
Easy to make and full of delicious flavor, this simple layered taco salad is a fun twist on classic Mexican favorites.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

Salad

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes with chiles, drained
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans refried beans
  • cup water
  • cups your favorite salsa
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • cup sliced black olives
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • Tortilla chips

Ranch Sour Cream

  • 1⅔ cups sour cream
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 1 packet ranch dry dressing mix

Instructions
 

  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch dry dressing mix. Whisk together until well combined. Cover with saran wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours to allow it to set fully.
  • In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain grease and return beef back to the skillet. Use a potato masher to break meat into small pieces.
  • Add onion and minced garlic and cook with the beef for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onions are tender. Add 1 can of drained Rotel and taco seasoning to the beef mixture and stir well. Cook until all liquid has evaporated. Remove from the skillet and place in a glass bowl and let sit on the counter for 10 minutes.
  • Cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until completely chilled, about 1 to 2 hours.
  • In a separate saucepan, add the refried beans and water. Stir well. Cook over medium heat until beans are cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Place in a separate glass bowl and place in the refrigerator until the taco meat is finished chilling, about 1 to 2 hours.
  • In a 9×13-inch dish, use a spatula to make even layers in this order; ground beef mixture, refried beans, half of the lettuce, half of the ranch sour cream, the rest of the lettuce, remaining ranch sour cream, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced olives, green onions, chopped tomatoes, then hopped jalapeños

Video

Notes

  • You can batch cook ground beef ahead of time and store in the fridge or freezer for use later. This makes for a quicker prep time.
  • Use a potato masher to break meat into small pieces. You don’t want big chunks of meat in your salad so make sure the pieces are nice and small.

Nutrition

Sodium: 739mg | Calcium: 307mg | Vitamin C: 16mg | Vitamin A: 1436IU | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 3g | Potassium: 673mg | Cholesterol: 96mg | Calories: 404kcal | Trans Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Fat: 30g | Protein: 22g | Carbohydrates: 13g | Iron: 3mg
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