Chopped Taco Ground Beef Salad with Creamy Taco Ranch

This chopped taco ground beef salad is absolutely loaded with flavor and healthy ingredients. It’s full of classic taco flavors from taco meat, cheese, and tortilla chips plus it’s full of veggies and topped with a super easy (and amazing) creamy taco ranch salad dressing.

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A chopped taco bround beef salad tossed with dressing in a white bowl.

Why you’ll love this

As a Registered Dietitian, taco salads like this one are one of my all-time favorite meals because it’s they’re delicious and a great healthy meal option too. Let me tell you why this one is the absolute best taco salad.

First things first, this easy ground beef taco salad is absolutely packed with flavor. Because it’s chopped, you get the most delicious combination of salad and creamy dressing in every single bite.

And yes, it’s healthy too! This taco salad is high protein, high fiber, and loaded with nutrients from wholesome ingredients like greens, black beans, bell pepper, tomatoes, avocado, and corn.

The best part of this salad is that it’s simple! The only real cooking necessary is browning your ground beef. Otherwise, you just need to chop some veggies and whisk together a quick dressing. You only need 5 simple ingredients for the dressing and it comes together in seconds.

Whether you need a quick and healthy meal for yourself or you’re making this for a crowd, it’s going to be one of your new favorite meal for taco night, trust me!

Ingredients for taco ground beef salad on a countertop with labels.

Ingredients

Even though this ingredients list is a bit long, this easy taco salad recipe doesn’t require tons of time or prep. It’s surprisingly easy to throw together!

  1. Lean ground beef: I like to use at least 90% lean ground beef for less saturated fat, but you can use whatever you prefer. You can also use ground chicken, ground turkey or plant-based crumbles.
  2. Taco seasoning: My favorite taco seasoning hands down is Siete, but you can use whatever taco seasoning you enjoy. You can also make homemade taco seasoning by combining garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Cilantro: If you’re not a cilantro fan you can omit it, but I love adding fresh cilantro for the vibrant flavor it adds to the dish.
  4. Cherry tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes are my favorite for this one because they’re sweet and small, perfect for a chopped salad. You can also use grape tomatoes.
  5. Chopped lettuce: Romaine lettuce or green lettuce is best for this salad in my opinion because it maintains it’s a nice crisp lettuce, but you can use any lettuce that you enjoy or have on hand. Iceberg lettuce is also popular for taco salads.
  6. Bell pepper: Chopped bell pepper adds nutrition, sweetness and crunch to this taco salad. I recommend using red, orange or yellow for sweetness.
  7. Red onion: Red onion adds a mild onion-y bite to the salad, but you can also use a sweet white onion or green onions.
  8. Frozen corn: I love using frozen corn to add a burst of sweetness to this salad and I love that it’s always available and affordable. If you have fresh corn available, feel free to cook and use that too!
  9. Black beans: Black beans add fiber and plant-based protein. You can sub in pinto beans, chickpeas, or any other beans that you like too.
  10. Tortilla chips: Tortilla chips are an absolute must in any taco salad! They add saltiness and lots of crunch to this salad. You can also use tortilla strips or homemade tortilla chips too.
  11. Avocado: Avocado adds healthy fats, fiber and creamy flavor.
  12. Cheddar cheese: Any shredded or cubed cheese that you enjoy would work great, I like to use cheddar cheese, Monterey jack or even pepper jack for some extra spice.

Taco ranch dressing ingredients

  1. Greek yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt adds a tang similar to sour cream, protein and lots of creaminess to this dressing.
  2. Milk: Use whatever milk you normally drink to thin the dressing to the consistency you want.
  3. Ranch seasoning powder: My favorite ranch seasoning powder is Hidden Valley, but you can use whatever you have (I also like Trader Joe’s!).
  4. Taco seasoning: My favorite taco seasoning is Siete but use what you enjoy.
  5. Lime juice: Lime juice adds just the right amount of bright zesty citrus to this dressing.

This taco salad is also really easy to customize- feel free to add any other taco salad ingredients you enjoy like salsa, pico de gallo, sour cream, jalapeños, etc!

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a large skillet, brown your ground beef in a pan on medium heat with 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning. When meat is browned, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Cooked ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning in a skillet.
  1. Next, make your taco ranch dressing in a small mixing bowl. Combine Greek yogurt, ranch seasoning powder, taco seasoning, lime juice and milk. Whisk for 30-60 seconds until completely smooth and creamy.
Greek yogurt, milk, ranch seasoning and lime juice in a bowl unmixed with a whisk.
Greek yogurt, milk, ranch seasoning and lime juice in a bowl mixed with a whisk.
  1. In a large salad bowl, add lettuce, cilantro, red onion, avocado, tomato, bell pepper, ground beef, crushed tortilla chips, corn, black beans and cheese.
Lettuce, cilantro, avocado, red onion, cheese, tomatoes, ground beef, corn, beans and chips unmixed in a bowl.
  1. Pour taco ranch dressing on top of salad ingredients.
Taco ranch dressing being poured onto ground beef salad.
  1. Using tongs or wooden spoons, toss the salad with dressing thoroughly until evenly coated with dressing.
Ground beef salad unmixed in a bowl with dressing on top.
Ground beef salad being tossed in a white bowl.
  1. Serve topped with additional dressing, tortilla chips or cilantro. Enjoy!
A close up shot of taco ground beef salad tossed with dressing.

Recipe FAQ

How to store leftovers

If you’re expecting to have leftovers or making for meal prep, store dressing and chips separately from the salad to prevent it from getting soggy. Keep each component (salad, dressing, chips) in it’s own airtight container and serve within 4-5 days.

Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

Absolutely- you can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even plant-based crumbles in place of ground beef.

Variations

  • Swap in whatever veggies or taco ingredients that you typically enjoy! One of the best parts about this salad is that it’s super easy to customize and you can add your favorite toppings.
  • No time to make dressing? Use your favorite creamy dressing, like ranch, instead. Experiment with different dressings to see what you enjoy best.
  • Serve with chips! Instead of mixing the crushed tortilla chips in, you can always scoop your salad with the chips instead!
  • Make your dressing spicier by choosing a spicy taco seasoning powder, adding hot sauce, or adding diced jalapeños.
  • Make it a Doritos taco salad by using Doritos instead of regular tortilla chips!

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A chopped taco ground beef salad tossed with dressing in a white bowl.

Chopped Taco Ground Beef Salad

A chopped taco salad with taco meat, tortilla chips and lots of veggies tossed in a creamy taco ranch dressing.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef or ground turkey/ground chicken
  • 3 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 cups romaine or green lettuce chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow) chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 15-oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 avocado cubed
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 4 oz tortilla chips crushed

Creamy taco ranch dressing

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp ranch dressing seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 lime juiced

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, brown your ground beef in a pan on medium heat with 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning. When meat is browned, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Next, make your taco ranch dressing in a small mixing bowl. Combine Greek yogurt, ranch seasoning powder, taco seasoning, lime juice and milk. Whisk for 30-60 seconds until completely smooth and creamy.
  • In a large salad bowl, add lettuce, cilantro, red onion, avocado, tomato, bell pepper, ground beef, crushed tortilla chips, corn, black beans and cheese.
  • Pour taco ranch dressing on top of salad ingredients. 
  • Using tongs or wooden spoons, toss the salad with dressing thoroughly until evenly coated with dressing. 
  • Serve topped with additional dressing, tortilla chips or cilantro. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 712mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3862IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 3mg

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2 Responses

    1. Yay! Definitely one of my favorites too! Thank you for leaving a review Bethany 🙂

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It's me, Jamie!

I’m a Registered Dietitian dedicated to helping you break free of the all-or-nothing dieting with balanced and realistic healthy eating.

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Meet Jamie

I’m a Registered Dietitian and I’ve been exactly where you are, right now. The all or nothing dieting, the constant food guilt, the scale obsession, absolutely no balance with food…. Sound familiar?