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Patriotic Taco Salad

One year, my daughter decided to celebrate her July birthday with a patriotic theme. This colorful and refreshing salad was the main dish on the menu. The kids gobbled it up! —Glenda Jarboe, Oroville, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 6 cups tortilla or corn chips
  • 4 to 5 cups shredded lettuce
  • 9 to 10 pitted large olives, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved


  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • Place chips in an ungreased 13x9-in. dish. Spread beef mixture evenly over the top. Cover with lettuce. For each star, arrange five olive slices together in the upper left corner. To form stripes, add cheese and tomatoes in alternating rows. Serve immediately.
Editor's Note: If you wish to prepare this salad in advance, omit the layer of chips and serve them with the salad.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 357 calories, 20g fat (9g saturated fat), 63mg cholesterol, 747mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 20g protein.

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  • Susan
    Nov 29, 2020

    So cute! I used white cheddar instead of orange and put sour cream in the corner and sliced olives set as stars in the corner. I put extra ingredients on the table (like sour cream and olives) so people who didn't get the stars could have some of the flavor). So good! I make for everything! July 4th, Election day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day!

  • mrsh318
    Jul 5, 2014

    I added a can of refried beans on top of the beef mixture. It was very good. I also used gluten free tortilla chips as I am trying to cut down on my gluten. My guests really enjoyed it. I served it as a light dinner on July 4th as we had already eaten a big amount of food that day.

  • lollyx8x
    Jun 18, 2014

    To make it more 4th of July I'll use taco sauce for more flavor, white cheese and out line the casserole with blue tortilla chips. Ill serve it with grilled tequilla lime chicken and pineapple/coconut slushies.

    Jun 18, 2014

    Cslowcookjw - you could use black beans instead of the olives. As Kristens198 suggested add a can to the meat mixture, reserving a few to sprinkle in the corner.

  • Cslowcookjw
    Jun 18, 2014

    Have not made this yet. Would like to know what I can use rather than olives.

  • Kristens198
    Jul 4, 2013

    This was a great idea but I customized it for my cooking style. I added a can of black beans to add more protein and make it a meal. I also put chips on the side instead of the bottom layer. I used taco sauce and salsa instead of taco seasoning and tomato paste. Lastly, I used shredded mozzarella cheese for more red/white effect. It was a crowd favorite!

  • bnrudy
    Oct 27, 2012

    I use a White Cheddar Cheese instead of yellow, also can of slice olives. Serve the chips on the side=^..^= Yummmmmmm

  • robisonh
    Aug 29, 2012

    No comment left

  • hillbillyhick
    Jul 1, 2012

    This Is SOOOO GOOOD. I will Make This Over and Over Again...

  • vickdn
    Jul 7, 2011

    see my blog post at