This Ultimate Taco Salad is an explosion of contrasting flavors and textures, from spicy taco meat and velvety black beans to acidic tomatoes and crisp fresh corn, all topped with crunchy tortilla chips and a creamy, cilantro-flecked Avocado Ranch Dressing.
3tablespoonsmilk or buttermilkplus more, as needed, to achieve desired consistency
3tablespoonschopped cilantro leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, brown ground beef and drain grease. Stir in taco seasoning and ½ 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.