Work Lunch – Taco Salad

Taco salad

Work Lunch – Taco Salad

The best taco salad consists of several ingredients, including a sturdy, crunchy green base like Romaine or iceberg lettuce, ground beef, vegetables like bell peppers, pickled jalapeños, corn, or chopped red onion, and crunchy fried corn tortillas. To add a crunch factor, a scoop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese can be added, but flour tortillas can also be used. To make the salad, cook and season the beef, then fry tortilla strips until golden brown. Layer lettuce, season with salt, add tomatoes, beans, and beef, toss to combine, add cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro, and tortilla strips, dollop with sour cream, and any desired extra toppings. For a thinner, more pourable dressing, add taco seasoning and lime juice to the sour cream. Serve the taco salad hot or cold, depending on your preference. If the beef is still warm, it might cause wiltage in the lettuce, but the contrast between the cold, crisp lettuce and the warm, tender beef is worth the contrast. If you prefer serving it fully cold, cook the beef and chill it in the fridge until ready to serve. This salad makes for a perfect make-ahead meal, as it can be prepared ahead of time, preparing toppings and cooking the meat, and storing in separate containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to assemble and serve.


  • Ingredients
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 c. or more vegetable oil
  • 2 4″ corn tortillas, cut into 1/4″ strips
  • 2 heads romaine chopped
  • 2 1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar
  • 1/2 c. pico de gallo
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • YIELDS:4 serving s
  • PREP TIME:20 mins
  • TOTAL TIME:35 mins
  • CAL/SERV:1682


  • In a large cast-iron skillet, cook beef, season with salt and pepper, add taco seasoning, tomato paste, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  • Pour oil into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Fry tortilla strips until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
  • Season lettuce with salt, add tomatoes, beans, beef, cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro, tortilla strips, and dollop with sour cream.
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