Ultimate Taco Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing
This Ultimate Taco Salad is an explosion of contrasting flavors and textures, from spicy taco meat &amp; velvety black beans to acidic tomatoes &amp; crisp fresh corn, all topped with crunchy tortilla chips and a creamy, cilantro-flecked Avocado Ranch Dressing.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
FOR TACO SALAD:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning OR one packet store-bought seasoning
- 1 large head lettuce chopped (green leaf, iceberg, or 2 small heads hearts of Romaine)
- 1 can (15-ounces) black beans rinsed & drained
- 2 cups fresh corn sliced from two roasted cobs
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 2 cups grated cheddar
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Optional garnishes: sliced pickled jalapeños, sliced black olives, sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro
FOR AVOCADO RANCH DRESSING:
- 2 large avocados
- 1/2 cup Ranch dressing homemade or bottled
- 3 tablespoons milk or buttermilk plus more, as needed, to achieve desired consistency
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, brown ground beef and drain grease. Stir in taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Place chopped lettuce in a large bowl or on a large platter. Top lettuce with taco meat, black beans, corn, tomatoes, grated cheese, and crushed tortilla chips, layered or arranged in rows.
Prepare Avocado Ranch Dressing by scooping avocados into a blender or food processor. Add prepared ranch dressing, milk, cilantro, garlic salt, and pepper. Blend/process until smooth. Add a splash more milk if dressing is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more garlic salt and/or pepper, if necessary.
Drizzle dressing over salad, sprinkle with optional garnishes (if desired), toss all ingredients together, and serve immediately.
- You may use frozen corn that have been defrosted in place of the fresh corn.
- You may use your favorite cheese instead of cheddar. Grated Mexican blend cheese, Monterrey Jack, Colby Jack, or Pepper Jack are all good in this salad.
- If you have leftover Avocado Ranch Dressing, pour it into a container and tightly seal. The top layer that is exposed to air will discolor, but the dressing underneath should remain green. I just scrape off the brown layer and we enjoy the leftover dressing the next day.
Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 957mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1710IU | Vitamin C: 20.5mg | Calcium: 329mg | Iron: 3.9mg