Easy Taco Salad Recipe

Set-up a Taco Salad Bar to Serve 25-50 people

Believe it or not a taco salad bar is an easy, interactive and fun way to throw a party!  I like to think of a taco salad as an "expanded" taco...with less mess. 

taco salad

A taco salad is usually served in a fried bowl-shaped flour tortilla, layered with salad ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes and onions.  It is then topped with ground beef or shredded chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and tomato salsa. 

To keep things interesting and sophisticated, serve a variety of meats, veggies, cheeses and sauces or salsas, such as:

Sliced ribeye or sirloin steak
Pulled pork
Minced ground chicken or turkey
Diced cooked bacon
Diced, sautéed Canadian bacon
Cooked chorizo
Italian or pork sausage
Fried or pan-seared shrimp
Roasted salmon, flaked into chunks

Blue cheese
White American

Mixed baby greens
Baby spinach
Arugula or watercress
Grape tomatoes
Caramelized onion
Roasted zucchini, mushrooms

Guacamole and Salsa for a Crowd
Homemade Salsa
Roasted Tomato Salsa
Corn Guacamole
Chipotle and adobo sauce
Tomatillo salsa
Melted cheese sauce
Crème fraiche
Remoulade sauce - link
Mayo and roasted garlic

Easy Mexican Chicken Recipes


Set-Up The Taco Bar for a Crowd

To set-up a taco salad bar, see tossed salad bar for hints.   Serve taco meat from the buffet table using an electric skillet or chafing dish(link).  To make ahead, prepare meat up to two days in advance. Cover

well and keep refrigerated.  Shred or prepare cheeses one day in advance.  Cover well and keep refrigerated

To save time and energy, use shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and cheese from your supermarket's salad bar

Taco Salad Recipe

3-4 pounds ground beef, pork, turkey or mixture
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 teaspoons ground cumin, more or less to suit your taste
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder, more or less to suit your taste
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 small can tomato paste
3-4 cups water


The Fixins
2-3 heads lettuce, shredded
3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, about 1 pound
3 cups chopped tomato, about 3 large
1 large red or white onion, finely diced or sliced into thin rounds

Optional - 32-ounce can kidney, black or chili beans, well drained
15.5-ounce can chopped or sliced ripe olives, drained
16-ounce jar of your favorite salsa
16-ounce carton of sour cream
2 16-ounce bags large-size, corn tortilla chips

In large skillet brown ground meat, making sure there is no pink left, drain off fat.  Mix in onions, garlic, seasonings and salt and pepper and cook over low heat until onions cook slightly and seasonings

become fragrant.  Stir in tomato paste and water.  Simmer for 15-20 min or until the water is absorbed. 

In 1-2 serving bowls, here is the suggested order to layer the taco salad: chips, lettuce, onions, beans, if using, meat, cheese, tomatoes, olives.  Serve salsa and sour cream on the side  OR put taco fixings in individual bowls and allow each guest to prepare their own salad


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