This Beef Taco Salad is loaded with crisp romaine lettuce, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, and more! It comes together in just 20 minutes and is topped with the most incredible cilantro lime dressing.
Easy Taco Salad Recipe
About a year ago I made a Loaded Chicken Taco Salad and it’s been such a hit with readers that I came up with a beef version. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner because it’s easy, ready in 20 minutes, loaded with flavor, and a hit with everyone.
My family loves tacos of any kind, even in salad form. Think tacos, minus the shells, and with more lettuce and plenty of veggies to keep things healthier.
Along with juicy beef, there’s crisp romaine, sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, hearty black beans, creamy avocado, and crunchy tortilla strips. So many flavors and textures in every bite of this loaded taco salad recipe!
Beef Taco Salad Ingredients
For the taco salad itself, you’ll need:
- Olive oil
- Ground beef
- Taco seasoning
- Romaine lettuce
- Mexican shredded cheese blend
- Tortilla chips
- Canned black beans
And for the taco salad dressing, you’ll need:
- Sour cream
- Lime juice
- Fresh cilantro
- Granulated sugar
How to Make Taco Salad
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil. Once it’s browned, drain any excess grease before sprinkling with taco seasoning. Add water, and simmer over medium heat until sauce has thickened some.
Meanwhile, prep the other taco salad ingredients (dice the tomatoes, cube the avocado, etc). Add the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, corn, black beans, and beef to a large platter or bowl.
Make the taco salad dressing by whisking together the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, and taco seasoning. Add the cilantro and and lime juice and stir to incorporate. Evenly drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine.
Tips for the Best Taco Salad
Feel free to mix and match toppings based on your favorite taco fixings and what you have on hand. Swap black olives for black beans, or add red onions or bell peppers.
I used 85% lean beef for this taco salad recipe, but if your beef contains more fat than mine you’ll definitely need to drain the excess grease before adding the meat to the salad.
The creamy lime cilantro dressing is a duplicate of the dressing I used for my chicken taco salad. It goes just as well with beef as it does with chicken and if you have any leftover, it makes a great veggie dip. You could also try this creamy avocado cilantro dressing with this beef taco salad.
Lastly, you can use plain Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream in the cilantro-lime dressing, if desired. You won’t taste much of a difference, and the dressing will be slightly healthier!
More Mexican Salad Recipes:
- Loaded Chicken Taco Salad with Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing – Fast, easy, fresh and healthy! All your favorite taco flavors in one big kickin’ salad that everyone will love!
- Mexican Wedge Salad with Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Dressing — A Mexican twist on the classic wedge salad with black beans, peppers, corn, crunchy tortilla strips, and more!! Easy, healthy, and the dressing is so flavorful!!
- Avocado, Black Bean and Corn Salad with Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette – Everything tastes better with avocado! Easy, healthy and tons of flavor!
- Taco Pasta Salad — EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and loaded with great Mexican-inspired ingredients including corn, black beans, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and more!
- Creamy Mexican Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad — A healthy and easy salad that’s ready in 15 minutes and so flavorful! Corn, zucchini, cilantro, queso fresco and more are tossed in a DELISH creamy lime sauce!
Pin This Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef (I use 90% lean)
- one 1.25-ounce packet taco seasoning, divided (I use reduced sodium, medium heat), divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 cups romaine lettuce
- 1 or 2 medium tomatoes, diced (I used Roma, vine-ripened or cherry tomatoes may be substituted)
- 1 medium ripe Hass avocado, peeled and diced
- 1 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend
- 1 cup tortilla chips, crushed
- 3/4 cup corn (I used frozen, fresh may be substituted)
- 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (lite okay)
- 1/4 cup sour cream (lite okay, plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice, or as necessary for flavor and consistency
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional and to taste
- To a large skillet, add the olive oil, beef, and brown over medium-high heat, breaking up beef and stirring frequently for even cooking.
- After beef has browned, optionally drain it (I didn’t need to) and evenly sprinkle with 2 tablespoons taco seasoning, add 1/4 cup water, and simmer over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until sauce has thickened some. Allow beef to rest in pan off the heat while you assemble the salad.
- To a large platter or bowl, add the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, corn, black beans, and beef; set aside.
- To a small bowl, add the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, remaining taco seasoning, and whisk to combine.
- Add the cilantro and stir to incorporate. Add additional lime juice to thin out dressing if desired. Taste dressing and depending on how much lime juice was used, optionally add sugar to taste if desired. Evenly drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Extra dressing will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes a great veggie dip.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 616Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 1114mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 7gSugar: 5gProtein: 30g
Even More Mexican Recipes:
Layered Beef Taco Salad – A classic taco salad that everyone LOVES, it’s EASY, and it’s ready in 20 minutes!! There’s ground beef, refried beans, red peppers, tortilla chips, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes!!
Layered Beef Taco Dip – A FAST and EASY layered dip with taco-seasoned cream cheese, sour cream, ground beef, black beans, cheese, tomatoes, and more!! Perfect for your next FIESTA and a guaranteed WINNER with everyone!!
Layered Loaded Chicken Taco Salad – Juicy chicken, avocado, tomatoes, corn, black beans, cheese, tortilla chips, and more in this LOADED salad that’s EASY and ready in 15 minutes!! A creamy lime-cilantro dressing adds tons of FLAVOR!!
Beef Taco Pasta Skillet – An EASY recipe that’s ready in 20 minutes, made in ONE skillet, and loaded with Mexican-inspired flavors!! A family favorite that’s great for busy weeknights!!
Beef Tater Tot-Chos – Crispy tater tots topped with taco-seasoned ground beef and melted cheese is a DELICIOUS and fun twist on nachos!! EASY, ready in no time, and perfect for PARTIES!!
Loaded Beef Skillet Nachos – EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and LOADED with taco-seasoned ground beef, black beans, corn, cilantro, and lots of CHEESE!! Great for parties, game days, after school snacks, or a cheat night dinner!!
Mexican Taco Pizza – EASY, ready in 20 minutes, and like eating a taco in pizza form!! Taco-seasoned ground beef on top of refried beans with melted cheese and your favorite taco fixings!!
Cheesy Beef Taco Pie – Your favorite taco ingredients baked into a savory, CHEESY pie!! Ground beef, tomatoes, tortilla chips, and more! Great for parties, tailgating, or EASY family dinners and everyone loves it!!
Chicken Tortilla Lettuce Wraps – Filled with Mexican flavors, there’s taco-seasoned chicken, tomatoes, corn, peppers, cilantro, and cheese! Easy, healthy, ready in 10 minutes, and a family favorite!
Lime Cilantro Chicken with Mixed Rice and Black Beans – Easy, one skillet, 15-minute meal! Tons of textures and bold flavors in every bite! The lime makes this dish just pop!
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Quinoa – All the flavor of chicken enchiladas, minus the work of rolling them!! Juicy chicken, corn, black beans, peppers, and loads of melted cheese! Easy, one-skillet, and ready in 30 minutes!!
Originally posted July 19, 2019 and reposted April 22, 2022 with updated text.