Taco Salad for a Large Crowd Recipe
Taco Salad for a Large Crowd Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Taco Salad for a Large Crowd Recipe

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I made this huge taco salad to bring to a party and people were scrambling to figure out who made it. Needless to say I only brought home an empty bowl and the guests went home with a full stomach! Everyone loves this taco salad recipe. —Lisa Homer, Avon, New York
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 10 min.
MAKES:26 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Cook: 10 min.
MAKES: 26 servings


  • 1-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning, divided
  • 1 medium head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 package (12-1/2 ounces) nacho tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 1-1/2 cups Thousand Island salad dressing
  • 1-1/3 cups salsa
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Nutritional Facts

271 calories: 1-1/3 cup, 14g fat (4g saturated fat), 24mg cholesterol, 760mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 3g fiber), 10g protein .


  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef with 1 envelope plus 2 tablespoons taco seasoning until no longer pink; drain.
  2. In a very large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, chips, tomatoes, beans, olives, cheese, onion, chilies and beef mixture.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the salad dressing, salsa, sugar and remaining taco seasoning; pour over salad and toss to coat. Yield: 26 servings (1-1/3 cups each).
Originally published as Taco Salad in Taste of Home August/September 2008, p49

Light-Bodied White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a light-bodied white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

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Reviewed Aug. 19, 2016

"We loved this recipe. I have been on the hunt for the perfect taco salad and here it is !

I left out the sugar and switched the onions for green onions and didn't add the chilies as my salsa is pretty spicy. Thanks for sharing !! On my keepers list !"

Reviewed Aug. 15, 2016

"We thought the dressing was too sweet; leave out the sugar. If I were to make this again I would let people add their own dressing of their. It seemed to goopy to me and once you add the dressing you can't really save any leftovers."

Reviewed Jul. 30, 2016

"Made as directed, including the salad dressing with 1000 Island. Made a HUGE batch, plenty for a large potluck or picnic dish. Solid recipe, tasty and can be adjusted as needed (different flavors of chips, pinto or black beans instead of kidney, switch kinds of cheese, etc.) Would make again and experiment a bit more."

Reviewed Jul. 20, 2016

"To those of us who grew up in the '60's and '70's when there were few Mexican restaurants around - something like Catalina dressing or Ott's Famous Dressing was commonly used. We grew up with it so of course we like it. Now I just use plenty of a good homemade salsa Bottled Thousand Island has too much sugar and calories for my liking. That said, the salad ingredients are great so I give it four stars."

Reviewed Jul. 20, 2016

"Made exactly as recipe is written - like you should if you are going to rate the recipe. Turned out great. Everyone loved it - especially the dressing. Adding the salsa and taco seasoning to the thousand island dressing gave it a Mexican flavor. Can't imagine using Catalina or French on Taco salad as others did - not the right flavor."

Reviewed Jul. 3, 2016

"My mom's version uses catalina dressing instead of 1000 island (too much of a mayo base in the 1000 island). Omit the salsa and sugar as well (not really necessary because the salsa ingredients are already in the salad and the sugar serves no purpose). Beans and olives on the side. She made this for years for summer potlucks and now I do and we've never had leftovers!"

Reviewed Jun. 9, 2016

"With a few minor adjustments due to availability, this was a great success. Did half the recipe and offered the olives as an add on for personal preference. Quick, easy prep. and leftovers kept well for late comers."

Reviewed Mar. 1, 2016

"yummy all loved it soooo good and easy and too some who changed whole recipe lol what you described i wouldnt feed to my dog you must not know how to cook"

Reviewed Dec. 12, 2015

"The salad itself was good - basic, but good. However, the dressing was awful! I made the salad again the following weekend. I made a salsa ranch dressing and it won rave reviews. One item I changed in the salad, I left the meat unseasoned but added taco flavored tortilla chips and added a can of corn kernels. I try to keep salt to a minimum. My son (a schooled chef) ran to the kitchen to chop an avocado. Everyone added the cubed avocado to the top of their salad."

Reviewed Jun. 11, 2015

"As written, this is yummy. Can't rely on these ratings because people are rating their changes."

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