Taco Salad With Ranch Dressing is a big hit made with ground beef, taco seasoning, tortilla chips, spicy ranch dressing, and your favorite toppings.
This one-pan meal is the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner for your family. This delicious taco salad is a dish your whole family will love!
What is taco salad with ranch dressing?
Loaded taco salad is perfect for dinner tonight. It’s easily customizable, so you can use your favorite taco toppings like crisp lettuce, pepper jack cheese, and kidney beans or make it into a Dorito taco salad.
This is also a great recipe for meal prep to eat later in the week or to freeze and eat later in the month. Enjoy a crunchy salad for an easy dinner you’ll want to make all the time!
There are only six ingredients for this easy recipe, and you most likely have them all in your pantry or fridge already.
You can easily buy them from your local grocery store as well.
- Ground beef
- Taco seasoning
- Cheddar cheese
- Tortilla chips
- Spicy ranch dressing
How to make taco salad:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make this dish. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
Brown ground beef: On medium-high heat, cook the beef until browned in a large skillet.
Add the taco seasoning: Stir in the taco seasoning mix and water and bring to a soft boil.
Simmer: Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until it thickens.
Make your bowl: Place the lettuce on the bottom of a small bowl and top with beef mixture, chips, cheese, tortilla strips, and other toppings.
Add the dressing: Drizzle the salad with the spicy ranch dressing and toss it to combine.
Tips for success:
These tips and variations help you make this the best taco salad with ranch dressing you’ve ever eaten.
- Prep the other ingredients while the beef is cooking.
- Use a paper towel to absorb any extra oil after the beef is browned.
- Buy a bag of pre-chopped lettuce from the store for the topping.
- Drizzle on some of your favorite salad dressing like Catalina dressing, chipotle ranch dressing, or French dressing.
- Use ground chicken instead of ground beef.
Here are some tasty options to make this your favorite taco salad any night of the week.
- cherry tomatoes
- green onions
- pico de gallo
- sliced black olives
- chopped roasted red peppers
- minced garlic
- black beans
- red onions
- romaine lettuce
- iceberg lettuce
- green peppers
How to make it healthier
This taco salad recipe can be a healthy and keto-friendly option. Use these tips to make it even healthier on your next taco night.
- Bake your own homemade tortilla chips using corn tortillas, olive oil, and salt on a baking sheet.
- Use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a leaner meat mixture.
- Make your own seasoning instead of using a packet of taco seasoning from the store.
- Leave out the cheese and sour cream to make it dairy-free.
- Add more vegetables like bell peppers, corn, beans, radishes, zucchini, or mushrooms.
- Whip up homemade salsa in the food processor with tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, fresh cilantro, and lime juice.
- Make your own ranch salad dressing instead of using store-bought dressing.
How to make it ahead
Make this easy weeknight dinner ahead of time so you can whip it up when you’re short on time but still want a homemade meal.
Brown the ground beef in a skillet, add the seasonings, and prep the toppings.
Store everything in separate containers in the fridge for up to five days. You can also freeze the meat if you don’t plan to use it that same week.
How to store:
To refrigerate: Keep leftover ground beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days. Store the toppings separately so you can easily reconstruct your taco salad without the ingredients getting soggy.
To freeze: You can easily freeze the taco meat and save it for busy weeknights when you need a quick dinner.
To reheat: When you’re ready to use the leftover ground beef, reheat it in the microwave in 30-second increments until it’s hot. You can use it to make another taco salad, or you can use it to make a new dish.
Nachos are made with a layer of tortilla chips as the base, piled with your favorite taco toppings, covered with cheese, and then broiled. Taco salad is a deconstructed taco made with ground beef, tomatoes, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
You can pair this taco salad recipe with Mexican rice, roasted broccoli, chicken breasts, or a big salad.
Taco salad is eaten on a plate with your hands or a fork, whereas tacos are eaten in a shell with your hands.
Print the Recipe Card
Taco Salad with Spicy Ranch
Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
- 8 cups iceberg lettuce about 1 medium head of lettuce, torn
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 9 oz Doritos about 2 cups, broken
- 1/4 cup spicy ranch dressing
- Your favorite toppings: sour cream tomatoes, cilantro, olives, etc.
- In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain excess grease
- Stir in taco seasoning and water; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 4-6 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, add lettuce. Top with beef mixture and chips; cheese, toppings – drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information is estimated. For the most accurate info, always doublecheck with your ingredients.