This Doritos Taco Salad is a delicious 20-minute dinner filled with fresh veggies and Cool Ranch Doritos, then topped with cheese, cilantro and taco sauce!
Should taco salad be warm or cold?
Honestly, this is up to your personal preference. Because there is ground beef on this salad, I truly think it tastes the best when the meat is warm and the lettuce and other vegetables are cool.
I recommend storing the ground beef separately from the veggies then reheating it in the microwave if enjoying leftover salad, and serving the salad with the hot ground beef on top right away once it's been cooked.
Using chicken instead of ground beef
To make your Doritos taco salad a little bit healthier, feel free to swap out the beef for lean ground chicken or turkey. You can also use a store-bought rotisserie chicken.
Simply remove the skin and carve the breast meat from the bones. Then, use two forks to shred the meat, or simply cut it into bite sized pieces.
If you have the time (and the weather is decent), consider grilling a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts on your barbecue grill. If the weather isn't cooperating, you could poach them. Or, you could even use my recipe and make the Perfect Baked Chicken Breast!
One of the nice things about salads is that they are really easy to customize. Here are the ingredients I use in my taco salad, along with some ideas for substitutions.
- taco seasoning – It is really easy to make homemade taco seasoning. The flavor is much better than prepared seasoning blends… you never known how long they've been sitting on the store shelves. My recipe for it is in the recipe card below.
- black beans – If you don't care for black beans, pinto beans are a good substitute.
- bell peppers – I typically use a combination of red, green, and yellow bell peppers. They add great crunch and of course, they're great for visual presentation, too. If you don't tolerate peppers well, you could always swap them out for a different crunchy veggie, like celery or jicama.
- red onion – Red onion has a sweeter flavor than white or yellow onion, but they'll work just as well.
- romaine lettuce – Any salad greens of your choice can be used instead of romaine. Add some baby spinach or chopped kale for a boost of extra nutrients!
- frozen corn, defrosted – If you're making Doritos taco salad in the summer months, try it with grilled corn. The flavor of grilled corn in the salad is amazing!
- shredded cheddar cheese – Feel free to use any type of shredded or crumbled cheese that you like. Even dairy-free cheese would be delicious.
- cilantro – I love the flavor of cilantro but it isn't everyone's favorite. Italian leaf parsley is a good substitute.
- Doritos – Cool Ranch is my flavor of choice, but any flavor you like can be used.
- taco sauce – Feel free to swap this out for enchilada sauce or fresh salsa.
To really amp up the flavors and get creative, add some different veggies to your salad. Especially if you have produce on hand that is about to go bad, or if you're craving a certain veggie in particular. Here are a few ideas for you to consider:
- Sour cream
- Jalapenos (pickled or fresh)
- Avocado slices
- Diced chilies in adobo sauce
- Sliced black olives
- Pico de gallo
- Mango or tomatillo salsa
What do you serve with Doritos taco salad?
This is a huge salad, full of protein, healthy veggies, and dairy products. Honestly, it is a full meal on its own! If you truly want to serve something along with it, a small cup of soup or some fresh fruit would be nice.
Freezing the meat
A recipe like this is fantastic for easy meal prep. Cook a pound or two of ground beef and allow it to cool. Then, transfer it to individual airtight freezer storage containers, or use Ziploc freezer bags.
When you're ready to use the beef, transfer the container(s) to the refrigerator to thaw. Then reheat and stir the meat into your prepared salad.
More easy salad recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Here are some bento box containers that would be handy to separate the beef and veggies
- Use these Ziploc bag holders if you're freezing the ground beef in reusable freezer bags
20-Minute Doritos Taco Salad (Video!)
- 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1/2 each red, green and yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning (recipe below - mix spices together to make seasoning, or use store bought)
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 field tomato, diced and deseeded
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 20 Cool Ranch Doritos (or any other flavour your heart desires!)
- 1/2 cup taco sauce (I like the Old El Paso kind)
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 1/4 cup cumin
- 2 tbsp coriander
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp dried minced onion
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp red chili flakes
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over high heat. Add bell peppers and red onion, sauteeing for 2-3 min.
- Remove veggies from heat and set aside. Lower heat to med-high. Add ground beef, breaking up with a spoon. Add ingredients under the taco seasoning heading, then cook for another 10-12 min until beef is fully cooked.
- Add lettuce to four bowls, followed by sauteed peppers and onions, ground beef, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, cheese and cilantro. Add 5-10 Doritos to each bowl. Drizzle each salad with taco sauce and enjoy!