Ground Beef For Taco Salad


Ground beef for taco salad recipe. I just love a great taco salad and this is a delicious one. By adding this ground beef to my taco salad, I have added extra protein. The beef needs to be cooked with the taco seasoning, chopped and mixed into the salad. This will add extra flavor to the beef and it cooks easily right in the pan.

Easy Taco Salad

It’s the perfect warm, crunchy, satisfying weeknight dinner!

easy taco salad recipe with tortilla chips in yellow bowl on white wood surface with red checkered napkin

You have a pound of ground beef and a craving for tacos, but it’s a weeknight and you’re feeling like something a little bit lighter… sounds like a good night for an easy taco salad with ground beef! This best ground beef taco salad recipe takes all of the best flavors, textures, and colors of a crunchy beef taco, and gives it a healthy spin. The best part of this salad? It’s ready in under 16 minutes!  

How do you make a taco salad from scratch?

To make our easy taco salad recipe, start by making your protein. Cook ground beef in a skillet with a packet of taco seasoning. The seasoning pack contains all of the spices that you would pull from your spice rack to make it yourself, but saves precious time and energy. Open one spice packet and you’re set. Once the beef is nearly finished, add 1 can of drained black beans. These add additional protein and a creamy bite to the salad, while saving a few calories.

Next, build serving bowls for each person. Individual portions of this taco salad work well, rather than a family sized platter, as this salad is highly customizable. Start with a bed of crisp romaine lettuce cut into bite-sized pieces. Romaine offers a sturdy base for all of the salad’s toppings, but you can use whatever type of lettuce you have. Iceberg, butter lettuce, and mesclun mix will all work well.

Top with the warm ground beef and bean mixture, then a shower of cheddar cheese. The heat of the meat will soften and slightly melt the cheese, which acts as a nice platform for the most important part… taco salad toppings! Pico de gallo and guacamole are the best, but finely chopping and mixing both of these dips isn’t something that one necessarily has the time and energy for on a week night. Instead, cut the components of each—diced avocado, chopped tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, sliced jalapeño and cilantro—and top on your salad as you wish. A squeeze of fresh lime and a dollop of sour cream give the salad a bright, creamy finish, and when mixed all together, act as the perfect taco salad dressing. Slide a few tortilla chips in the side of the bowl, or a warm, flour tortilla for the final finishing touch.

One of the best parts of this salad is that you can substitute so many things based on what you have or what you love. Ground turkey, chicken, or even soy protein can stand in for ground beef. Canned, frozen, or even fresh corn works great instead of beans. If you have kidney beans, use those in place of black beans. Multicolored cherry tomatoes add even more color to this beautiful salad mix. Plain Greek yogurt is a great sour cream substitute too, if you’re all out.

Should taco salad be warm or cold? 

A taco salad should be both warm and cold! A warm, saucy meat and bean mixture brings comfort to this weeknight dish, while cool, crispy toppings bring a fresh finish.

What goes with taco salad? 

The perfect pairing for a ground beef taco salad is some crunchy tortilla chips, a good queso dip, and a couple of strawberry margaritas! (Or better yet, a large Marg-a-Ree-ta!)

YIELDS:4 – 6 servings

PREP TIME:0 hours 15 mins

TOTAL TIME:0 hours 15 mins


1 tbsp. 

vegetable oil

1 lb. 

ground sirloin beef

1 oz. package taco seasoning

15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 c. 

grated cheddar cheese

1 c. 

halved cherry tomatoes

avocado, diced

1/2 c. 

sliced red onion

1/4 c. 

chopped cilantro leaves

limes, halved

For serving: tortilla chips and sour cream

Optional: thinly sliced jalapeño or hot sauce 


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook for 6-7 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Add 2/3 cup of water and the taco seasoning mix. Stir well to combine. Add the black beans and stir gently to combine. Cook until the beans are warmed through, about 3 minutes.
  2. Divide the lettuce among serving bowls. Top with grated cheese, the meat mixture, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and cilantro. Squeeze a lime half all over each salad, then dollop with sour cream. Add some fresh jalapeño slices or a dash of hot sauce if you like. Serve with tortilla chips.

Ground sirloin is great for this recipe. Its lower fat content keeps excess oil out of your skillet, but any type of ground beef will work!


Learn how to make taco salad in just 20 minutes, using common ingredients! The whole family will love this EASY, healthy taco salad recipe with ground beef.

Healthy taco salad recipe in a bowl

Healthy Recipes

In my kitchen, hot summers equal easy, one-pan dinners that avoid the oven and don’t require keeping the stove on for too long. Salads are perfect for checking those boxes, but of course you still need some protein in there to make it a full meal. That’s where this easy and healthy taco salad recipe with ground beef comes in — you’re going to love it!


You’ve probably seen ground beef taco salad at restaurants before. It’s basically like an enormous Mexican taco in bowl form — no taco shell needed! Unlike most restaurant versions, my healthy taco salad recipe is low carb and gluten-free.


Yes, this taco salad bowl is healthy! It uses natural and fresh ingredients.


  • The best ground beef salad
  • Healthier take on tacos
  • Quick and easy
  • Customizable taco salad ingredients
  • Ready in 20 minutes

What makes this the best taco salad recipe is simple ingredients and minimal prep. After browning the meat and chopping the veggies, all you have to do is mix everything together!

Taco salad bowl with ingredients separated


This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for taco salad recipes, what each one does, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

  • Ground beef – I prefer 85/15 for a ground beef taco salad, but you can use any kind you like. If you don’t like beef, you can also replace this with ground turkey, or even shredded chicken.
  • Avocado oil – Just a bit for browning the beef. Olive oil works fine as well.
  • Taco seasoning – I like to make homemade taco seasoning, but store bought saves time and is convenient. Check labels to avoid fillers and sugar if possible. I like this store bought taco seasoning, but it does not contain salt, so you’ll need to add 1 teaspoon of salt if your seasoning is unsalted.
  • Romaine lettuce – Romaine is my go to for ground beef salads, but you can use any kind of greens you like.
  • Grape tomatoes – Served halved in the salad. You can also use cherry tomatoes, or chop up larger tomatoes, such as roma.
  • Shredded cheese – I usually use cheddar cheese, but you can also try a Mexican cheese blend, or pepper jack if you like a kick. You can omit if you want to avoid dairy.
  • Avocado – Avocado is a must for a healthy taco salad! You can also swap this with guacamole if you like.
  • Onions – I used green onions, but any kind you like will work. Diced red or white onions also work great.
  • Salsa – I like this pre-made one — medium heat and clean ingredients! Choosing different kinds is an easy way to get creative without adding complexity. Use mild salsa if you want it mellow, spicy if you want a kick, or go outside the box with more unique flavors like green chile or peach. You can totally make your own, too — try simple fresh tomato salsa or avocado salsa verde.
  • Sour cream – Salsa and sour cream stand in lieu of a dressing here, which works out surprisingly well. Why spend time creating a complicated taco salad dressing, when these work just as well? When you mix it all up, it tastes like there’s dressing in there. If you need a dairy free option, swap this with coconut cream and a bit of salt.
Taco salad ingredients in bowls

You can easily customize this healthy taco salad recipe to your liking. Feel free to throw in any other veggies you have on hand, or omit anything you don’t like. That’s one of the great things about easy salad recipes – you don’t have to be that precise!

Ultimately, what goes in a taco salad is very much up to you, but no matter what combo you choose, the key to making taco salad healthy is using natural ingredients.

You really don’t need any store bought dressings or chips in there. But, for those that do want a little crunch, you can try adding tortilla chips (I make these low carb tortilla chips!).


This section shows how to make taco salad with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

Possibly the best part of this taco salad recipe is that the whole thing is on the table in merely twenty minutes. The only cooking involved is browning the ground beef on the stove. So simple.

  • Brown beef. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
Browned ground beef in a skillet
  • Add taco seasoning. Stir seasoning into the ground beef until combined. If you like, you can also add 1/4 cup of water when adding the seasoning and let it simmer a bit.
Ground beef with taco seasoning
  • Combine taco salad ingredients. Place the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, onions, salsa, and sour cream into a large bowl. When the taco salad meat is done, add it to the bowl.
Assembled taco salad in a bowl
  • Toss and enjoy! Serve in bowls or plate individually.
Beef taco salad in a bowl with fork


This taco salad recipe also makes a generous amount – six large servings to feed even a larger family. But if you don’t need that many, don’t worry. It’s also super easy to adjust it to fewer servings if you need to, or store it for later if you plan ahead.

  • To store: Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you know you’ll have leftovers, set extras aside without the sour cream, salsa, and avocado, as these are best added fresh. The beef is also best stored separately so that you can reheat it later.
  • To reheat: Reheat ground beef taco meat in a hot skillet or in the microwave before adding to the salad.
  • To meal prep: Brown the meat with taco seasoning and chop all your taco salad ingredients. Store in meal prep containers untossed, with the sour cream, salsa, and beef stored separately. Don’t cut the avocado ahead of time. Right before serving, heat the meat and add to the salad. Add sour cream, salsa, and freshly cut avocado, and toss together.


Beef taco salad is a flavorful and easy to make family meal that’s sure to be on repeat all summer long! It’s loaded with all your favorite taco goodies.

Beef Taco Salad

Hi! It’s Natasha here from Salt & Lavender bringing you this easy beef taco salad recipe. Now that it’s warm out, I’m ALL about salads for dinner. I love salads that you can eat as a meal. This salad is good and filling – it has plenty of veggies, protein, and healthy fats. It also has a fun crunch from the Doritos. I have to say that not eating the rest of the bag of chips while I’m making this salad is the hardest part of this recipe!

The best part of this salad? The dressing. It’s super easy and kinda magical, actually. All it requires is two ingredients – salsa and sour cream. Use your favorite salsa and you’re guaranteed to love it. You can use low-fat sour cream if you wish. If you want to thin the dressing out a little bit, add some fresh lime juice.

How to make beef taco salad

  1. Brown the beef. Cook it in a skillet with the spices for 8-10 minutes or until it’s cooked through. If there’s excess fat, drain it.
  2. Prep your salad ingredients and add them to a large salad bowl.
  3. Make the dressing. Mix the salsa and sour cream together until smooth.
  4. Toss the salad. Add the Doritos last so they retain their crunch!

You can use pre-made taco seasoning in this Doritos taco salad if you like – I just like to make my own with spices I have on-hand.

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