I am so excited to share this Cold Taco Salad recipe with y’all. This was a potluck dish brought to a recent church fellowship meal and it is SO good. The next morning I decided we were having this for supper. I messaged my friend, Melissa, who had brought this yummy taco salad – didn’t get a reply before I had to leave. I tried calling her on the way to the store – no answer. Then, while in the grocery store and still determined to have this for supper, I sent her a text. Can anyone say desperate? Hey, the third times a charm.
Interestingly enough, upon closer inspection, I realized this is practically the same taco salad I have made for YEARS. The one my kids would have eaten every night of the week, when growing up, if they could have. No wonder I loved it! Instead of tossing ours like a salad and serving it with everything already mixed up – we would build ours in layers. We have always eaten ours with the browned hamburger warm right off the burner. As we build ours it’s a sure bet that a big ‘ole dollop (dallup) of sour cream would get mixed in along with everything else.
I’m always open to fresh ideas though and actually loved the salad with the meat cold. I will be doing it this way for summer get-togethers for sure. I’m still amazed at the difference it makes between serving it tossed and layering the ingredients directly on your plate, and I like it both ways. A lot. I love that Melissa uses the Honey BBQ Twist Fritos. We always used plain Fritos and/or tortilla chips. The honey BBQ definitely adds a nice “twist”. I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite taco salad chip now.
I made this later that evening and decided to take pictures outside. Our deck is in the woods. Literally. The lighting is fantastic out there about any time of day. It really comes in handy when it’s too dark in the house to use natural light for a photo shoot.
Here’s a little peek at a very small section of the deck. (Please pretend you don’t see the mildew on the handrails. We haven’t pressure washed back there yet. Thanks!) It is an ideal place to retreat to in the evenings for a relaxing meal. Pete and I enjoy eating outside and will be back at it again this summer and fall. This is a nice, shaded place where we’ll entertain and eat many meals with family and friends – everything from Cold Taco Salad to all things grilled. Y’all will be seeing more happening out here before to much longer.
This delicious Cold Taco Salad is a perfect summertime meal. I thought we had cheese at home and didn’t get any while at the store, so there’s no cheese in these pictures. It was still plenty good without it. In fact, Melissa’s variation of the recipe doesn’t even call for cheese.
As the name suggests, all of the ingredients are chilled before tossing…even the browned hamburger and onions. You’re gonna love how easy it is to make. A perfect weeknight meal when you’re in a hurry to get to the ball field and need something quick to make for supper that night. You can even brown some hamburger and freeze it. Since it’s served cold all you have to do it take it out in enough time for it to completely thaw, and you’re good to go. SO. EASY. I had fun “mixing it up a little” with Melissa’s recipe. I think y’all will love it too! Thanks Melissa!
Cold Taco Salad
- 1 medium head of lettuce, shredded or torn into smaller pieces ( I use romaine)
- 8 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 pound hamburger
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 packet taco mix, divided
- 1 can kidney beans
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 bag Frito Honey BBQ Twists, corn chips, or tortilla chips
- 8 ounces Thousand Island (I prefer Ken's)
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning, reserved from packet
- 1 tablespoon taco sauce
Reserve one tablespoon of taco seasoning from the packet.
Brown hamburger and onion and drain. Add kidney beans and the remaining taco seasoning packet, stirring to coat.
Layer hamburger in a bowl, then add lettuce and tomato.
Mix all ingredients.
When ready to serve add the dressing and chips. Toss all ingredients together and serve immediately.
If serving buffet style place all ingredients in individual bowls allowing everyone to build their own. When serving this way, I always double everything.