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Three-Step Taco Salad Recipe
Three-Step Taco Salad Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Three-Step Taco Salad Recipe

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This Southwestern-style salad is layered with crunchy tortilla chips, lettuce, beans, tomatoes, olives, cheese and a zippy meat mixture, then drizzled with a snappy salsa dressing. "My family loves it," says Phyllis Schmalz of Kansas City, Kansas. "You will, too!"
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES:10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 20 min.
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 4 cups baked tortilla chip scoops, broken
  • 8 cups shredded lettuce, divided
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped, divided
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2/3 cup salsa

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups with about 2 tablespoons dressing equals 213 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 514 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 16 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1 starch 1 vegetable


  1. In a nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add water and taco seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a large bowl, layer tortilla chips, 7 cups lettuce, beans, half of tomatoes, olives, half of cheese and meat mixture. Top with remaining tomatoes, cheese and lettuce. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and salsa. Serve with salad. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Three-Step Taco Salad in Light & Tasty August/September 2004, p21

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 May. 7, 2015

"This is so pretty on the table. Everyone loved it! This is a keeeper! Thank you for sharing"

Reviewed May. 25, 2013

"This is so easy to prepare and quite frankly mom says as good as any "full fat" version she's had!! I use less tomatoes because I'm not a fan and half the black olives and I add jarred jalapenos. Just made it for the 3rd time yesterday to take to a potluck at went in no time flat!!"

Reviewed Dec. 7, 2008

"A very pretty presentation of a favorite!  Thank you for the easy printing recipe.


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