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Ultimate Taco Salad with Avocado Ranch Dressing

This Ultimate Taco Salad is an explosion of contrasting flavors and textures, from spicy taco meat & velvety black beans to acidic tomatoes & crisp fresh corn, all topped with crunchy tortilla chips and a creamy, cilantro-flecked Avocado Ranch Dressing.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 572kcal
Author Samantha Skaggs

Ingredients

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 jalapeƱos, 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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