1980s Taco Salad

Food historians say taco salad began appearing in American recipe books during the 1960s although I don’t recall hearing of it until the 1970s. Taco salads were developed and served in Tex-Mex fast-food establishments beginning in the 1960s. As those franchises moved from the South-West U.S across the country home cooks began creating their own versions of the tasty salad.

The salad serves as a complete meal and will feed four. It doesn’t heat up the kitchen much during the summer. Put plenty of extras on the table so your family can add their own touches. Most kids like this salad.


  • 1 lb. of ground meat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 envelope of taco seasoning
  • 1 head of lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 3 or more tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can of beans, kidney or pinto, drained
  • 1 ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips or fried tortillas cut into pieces
  • Catalina or French salad dressing


Crumble the meat into a frying pan and add the onion, garlic and taco seasoning. Follow the directions on the envelope of the taco seasoning. Cook and stir over medium heat until the onion is transparent and the meat fully cooked. Let cool about 10 minutes.

Put the tortilla chips in a large bowl and add the lettuce, beans, tomatoes, and the cheese. Pour the meat over the other ingredients in the bowl. Pour on the salad dressing and mix.

Serve with salsa, extra cheese, sliced green onions, mashed avocado with lemon or lime juice, crisp crumbled bacon and sour cream.


You will notice I never mention adding hot peppers to any of my recipes. Why you ask? It is because I truly detest them but add them to this recipe if you feel you must.

I do not recommend using ground turkey in this recipe or in any other recipe other than homemade kitty food.

The same mixture of ingredients, minus the chips can be wrapped in flour tortillas.

Corn chips can be used instead of tortilla chips. The cheese and chili varieties are really good.

If made in layers in individual bowls use a large can of refried beans for the beans.

In winter canned tomatoes can be used. Don’t drain.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Lunch, Main Dishes, Recipes, Salad, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 1980s Taco Salad

  1. Thanks Dear, I love a good taco salad. i will have to try this one.

  2. Jewels says:

    Taco salad is one of my favorite foods. Like, I could literally eat it every day. This one sounds yummy, thanks for sharing! 🙂

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