Midwestern Taco Salad

2017-04-08 17.50.16RECIPE #478, DAY #660


ORIGINAL RECIPE: This is something my mom made frequently when I was growing up*

TIMING: 20 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy, just chop, chop, chop

TOOLS: A skillet and something to cut on and with. You also want small serving bowls or a platter with dividers

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: There’s really nothing wrong with making this now and then, all summer long. With protein, spices, and tons and tons of veggies, you can afford some tortilla chips. Make it healthier by using fancy-pants tortilla chips as well as ground chicken or pulled pork.

2017-04-08 17.46.47-1EXPERIENCE: I can’t imagine a summer without this salad. If I don’t make it, my mom or sister will. Several times. It’s not that it’s super special, but it is tasty and very easy to throw together. And everyone loves it, especially since you can choose to omit what you don’t want, as well as how to assemble the whole thing. When I was a kid, I started with a hefty layer of chips and meat, but now I start with lettuce and more lettuce. And yes, sour cream can make a great “dressing.”

NOTES: You could add avocado, but that is something we never would have done growing up. Also, some people add salsa. Black beans? Corn? They could all be options. If you want a fancier taco salad, just wait around and I will post one eventually. This is a weeknight wonder.

I used plain tortilla chips for this, but these days you can get natural nacho cheese tortilla chips, so I strongly suggest that you use those if you can.


  1. Brown 1 pound ground beef in a skillet. Remove extra fat, then add 1 package taco seasoning and cook according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, set out in individual bowls: 1 head shredded Romaine lettuce, 1 diced tomato, 1 diced small white onion, 2 cups grated Jack or cheddar, 1 cup sliced black olives, and 1 cup sour cream.
  3. Set everything out on the table with a bottle of hot sauce and 1 package nacho cheese tortilla chips.


Serve with mojitos or at least lime spritzer. Build your salad how you want, but traditionally they chips are broken up.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: You have to package up all the ingredients separately, but they make great ingredients for other things throughout the week.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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