Wonderful potluck recipe your family is sure to enjoy. It’s delicious, healthy, and low in calories if you stay away from all the sweet or creamy ranch-type dressings! I serve mine with cooked ground beef or chicken seasoned with my Homemade Taco Seasoning. It is so much healthier without all the extra MSG, sugar and preservatives in most seasoning packets that actually cause your body to crave more food. Leave off the tortilla chips or Fritos if you are cutting down on calories and refined foods. Otherwise, sit down and enjoy!
This is a combination of several of my taco salad recipes.You can use seasoned ground beef, chicken, or steak in this recipe or leave it off entirely. Whatever you prefer. We like using a hot spicy cheese instead of plain cheddar cheese to give it a little more zip. I add cilantro on top of the salad and serve avocados on the side since they deteriorate so quickly. Most taco salad recipes call for the salad to be tossed with Catalina dressing. But since more and more people prefer ranch dressing I usually just set out several different kinds of dressing and let each person take their choice.
This picture shows the salad with some of the leftover salad dressing for my Mandarin Spinach Salad which has hot sauce in it.
Here’s what I did.
I started with a plastic container of spring mix and a bag of butter bliss lettuce and mixed them together. I like the Fresh Express brand better than Dole. For some reason it stays fresher a lot longer than Dole lettuces do. I think it’s the packaging and drying process they use.
Place lettuces in a large mixing bowl or salad bowl.
I normally use sliced Roma tomatoes, but I had a lot of grape tomatoes so I used them instead.
Wash and slice 1 cucumber and layer on top of tomatoes.
Dice up one bell pepper and spread over top the cucumbers. We prefer red, orange, or yellow peppers instead of green bell peppers.
Sprinkle olives over the top. We prefer green olives to black olives, but you can use either and you can add them sliced or whole as you prefer.
Add a half can of black beans that have been rinsed well and patted dry. If you prefer you can use red, kidney, or pinto beans or a combination of any two.
Add a half can of drained whole kernel corn.
Wash and pat dry as much cilantro as you desire. I used more than is in the picture.
Remove cilantro leaves from stems and place on top of corn in salad. The avocados will be peeled and sliced just before serving.
Meanwhile, brown ground beef. I usually never buy anything less than 90% lean.
Drain off any grease from the meat. This is my grease jar. It is recycled from pasta sauce jars. I drain off all fat from meat into this instead of rinsing it down the drains. Grease is really hard on septic or sewer systems and drains causing them to clog up. So I store my jar under the sink until it is full and then throw it out with the trash.
Mix together a batch of homemade taco seasoning.
Stir ingredients together and stir into drained beef mixture.
Set meat with taco seasoning aside until ready to serve.
Peel and slice up 2 avocados. Serve Taco salad with a hot cheese like chipotle or habanero, sliced avocados, taco flavored meat and either fritos or crushed tortilla chips.
Ready to dish up.
Seasoned taco meat.
Here we tossed the salad mixture.
This is some of the salad without meat, cheese or avocados on it.
This salad has meat, cheese and avocados.
Here’s the recipe.
MEXICAN BEAN TACO SALAD
(My own concoction based on a couple of different recipes off the Internet and old family recipes)
15-oz. spring mix and romaine hearts or other combinations like butters or ruby reds
8-oz. pkg. Nacho and Taco shredded Cheddar cheese (chipotle or habanero work also)
1 ½ lbs. ground beef, cooked and drained
1 packet taco seasoning or 1 recipe of Homemade Taco Seasoning
1/2 can black beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1/2 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed, drained and patted dry (I omitted this)
1/2 can whole kernel corn, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1 pt. container grape tomatoes
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced (I used yellow and used the whole thing)
½ large green bell pepper, diced (I omitted this)
2 slices red onion, diced fine (I omitted this)
¼ to 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 or 2 avocados, peeled, diced and dipped in lemon juice to preserve color (if not ripe, microwave a few minutes at 50% power until softened)
Tortilla chips, crushed or Fritos
1 jar Walden Farms Calorie Free Bacon Ranch Dressing (or any dressing you prefer)
Brown beef in skillet and drain. Stir in taco seasoning. Set aside. Layer lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions (if using), black beans, kidney beans (if using), corn, and cilantro, in a very large salad bowl. Toss if desired before serving and serve with avocados, cheese, seasoned meat, dressing of your choice and tortilla chips.
NOTE: Many taco salads are served with Catalina dressing. This is great if you like a sweet French dressing.
NOTE: This makes a huge amount for a potluck. Cut ingredients down to about ¼ to 1/3 of this amount to serve about 4 regular (not large) servings or in half to have about 6 large servings.
This plate had salad, slow roasted summer vegetables and Mexican corn casserole.
This taco salad has meat, avocados, dressing, cheese, and tortilla chips. Very tasty. Leave off chips for lower calories. This recipe is gluten free if you don’t use commercial taco seasoning mix.