Loaded Beef Taco Salad with Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing

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
  • Water
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • Tortilla chips
  • Corn
  • Canned black beans

And for the taco salad dressing, you’ll need: 

  • Mayonnaise 
  • 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 Beef Taco Salad with Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing

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. 

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (I used 85% 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

Instructions

  1. To a large skillet, add the olive oil, beef, and brown over medium-high heat, breaking up beef and stirring frequently for even cooking.
  2. 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.
  3. To a large platter or bowl, add the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, corn, black beans, and beef; set aside.
  4. To a small bowl, add the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, remaining taco seasoning, and whisk to combine.
  5. 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.

Notes

  • Extra dressing will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge and makes a great veggie dip.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 950 Total Fat: 66g Saturated Fat: 19g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 41g Cholesterol: 150mg Sodium: 1687mg Carbohydrates: 40g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 9g Protein: 49g

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!!

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