2013 – Gluten Free Living
This is a wonderful Mexican Taco Salad recipe where the beans are cooked with the meat mixture before tossing with the salad. It is quite tasty. I’ve made a few substitutions from the original recipe, such as sharp cheddar cheese instead of Velveeta, and pinto beans instead of kidney beans but I’ve left the original recipe intact so you can make it either way.
Mexican Taco Salad is quick, easy and a delicious main dish entree for your family. It’s completely satisfying in itself but it’s also great with cornbread or corn muffins, or Quick Sourdough Bread. I also served it with Chunky Homemade Guacamole! This recipe calls for French or Catalina Dressing so I made up a batch of my homemade Easy French Dressing to serve with it.
Years ago (like 30), I belonged to a young mother’s group which met every month for a time of encouragement, prayer, and Bible study. We brought our kids and we always had a nice potluck luncheon afterwards where all of us would try out new and favorite recipes on one another. The host home came up with the main dish idea and everyone else brought sides and desserts.
Pam Branch brought this delicious salad recipe one time and I’m so glad I asked her for the recipe. It’s really a healthier version than some Taco Salads that use packaged taco seasoning. Because I’ve switched cheeses from processed Velveeta cheese to sharp cheddar cheese it’s also made with less preservatives and other fillers. I collected several great recipes from those gals when we were meeting together, and this is just one of them.
We love Mexican Taco Salad and believe your family will enjoy it too. It’s a healthier version than most taco salads, gluten free, and while your family will enjoy this recipe for regular meals it’s festive enough for company and potlucks, too.
When I initially published this recipe in April 2013, it was just before I started using my Canon camera. I had made this for a new mom and while my pictures weren’t bad, they weren’t crisp and clear either. I’ve been remaking all my first year blog recipes to get better pictures and this one came up for remake this past week (June 2016). We had friends over for dinner who are moving to Florida next week. I served this salad along with Santa Fe Enchiladas, Chunky Homemade Guacamole and Easy French Dressing. It turned out great.
I do have a recommendation if you are making this salad and you are not going to eat it all in one sitting: Leave the meat and tortilla chips off the salad and add them to individual servings. This way the salad will stay fresher in the refrigerator a few days and the chips will not get soggy from the meat mixture.
Mexican Taco Salad is so very tasty. I substituted pinto beans for the Kidney beans in the recipe because I didn’t have kidney beans on hand. I actually liked them better with pinto beans (which are a staple here in Texas).
Here’s a close up of the salad so you can see the Easy French Dressing I spooned on top. Mexican Taco Salad is pretty easy to make. This is a great main dish entree for summer time when you are trying not to heat your house by having the oven on.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients plus salt and chili powder. A friend has a garden down the street and I tossed in some fresh swiss chard.
Brown ground beef. I use 93 or 97% lean which has so little fat I rarely have to drain ground beef. Add diced onion and saute.
Add kidney or pinto beans, salt and chili powder.
Stir to combine and cook over medium heat approximately 10 minutes.
Measure four cups of chips in a quart measure. Then crush the chips with your hands. Set aside. You may or may not want ALL of the chips in the salad.
While beef and beans are cooking prepare the rest of the salad: Toss lettuce into a salad bowl. Any kind of lettuce will work. Add chopped tomatoes, diced bell pepper, cucumbers, cheddar cheese, crushed tortilla chips and meat mixture.
TIP: Do not add chips or beef mixture to salad if you’re not going to eat all of it right away. This will prevent the lettuce and chips from getting soggy and spoiling prematurely.
This is a great main dish meal any time of the year, but it’s perfect for hot summer days when you don’t want to heat up your house.
Here’s a serving of Mexican Taco Salad with Easy French Dressing.
Doesn’t this salad look amazing? I have to admit I love taco salads. I really enjoy eating the crunchiness of the tortilla chips even though they aren’t the healthiest food item in the world! Sit down to a plate of this delicious salad and you will have a filling and completely satisfying hearty main dish meal. Serve for lunches or suppers.
Here’s the recipe.
MEXICAN TACO SALAD
(Recipe adapted from Pam Branch, when we attended First Baptist Church Indian Rocks, Largo, FL)
- 1 lb. ground chuck
- 6 cups shredded lettuce (I used 2 10-oz. bags romaine plus 4 leaves Swiss Chard)
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (I use 4-6 Romas)
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 cucumber scored with a fork and sliced
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 16-oz. can kidney beans, drained, rinsed, dried (I used Pinto beans)
- 4 cups tortilla chips (measured then crushed)
- ½ cup French or Catalina dressing (I used [url href=”http://cantstayoutofthekitchen.com/2013/04/29/easy-french-dressing/” target=”_blank”]Easy French Dressing[/url])
- 8-oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed (I used sharp cheddar cheese)
- Brown beef and drain.
- Add onion, cook until tender.
- Add beans and seasonings.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Combine remaining ingredients.
- Add meat mixture.
- Mix lightly.
- Serve immediately.
This salad is so tasty. It serves about 6-8 hearty appetites as a main dish.
Here’s a close up so you can see the texture.
Some people prefer Ranch dressing. You can use oil and vinegar if you are trying to watch what you eat.
This lovely, festive salad is great for potlucks if you can warm the meat prior to mixing and then toss to serve. The original recipe calls for the dressing to be added with all the other ingredients as well.