Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing

·

Taco salad is one of the best ways to turn what can sometimes be an unhealthy meal into something super nutritious yet still delicious! Delicious taco meat tossed with fresh produce and tangy Catalina dressing make this an exciting and fresh meal.

I love a good beef taco as much as anyone. However, I usually pack them full of cheese and other not so great for me ingredients. Let's be honest... who doesn't struggle with this? For those struggling with this dilemma, or for parents struggling to get some sneaky veggies into little picky eaters - I have a great recipe for you. This taco salad is an easy meal that is a great addition to your weekly rotation. It is surely to be a big hit with the little ones and adults alike at family gatherings or for a fun spin on taco night!

taco salad with Catalina dressing in white serving bowl
taco salad with Catalina dressing

What is a Taco Salad?

As the name suggests, a taco salad takes the main ingredients from the beloved Mexican dish and chops everything up together into a large bowl. It is a great main dish salad for a lightened up lunch or dinner! You can also make many alterations to make your salad a less traditional interpretation of the taco. Some people even add tortilla chips or nacho cheese Doritos to their salad to create a Dorito taco salad or Frito taco salad.

I am of the opinion that crunchy corn chips are delicious on their own and should not be added to a salad. I prefer to enjoy my salad and chips separately, so you will not find them in my recipe. If you wish to add them to this salad, go for it!
taco salad with Catalina dressing in white serving bowl
taco salad with Catalina dressing

What is Catalina Dressing?

Catalina dressing is a type of Kraft branded salad dressings with a bright red color and bright, tangy flavor. My best assumption is that the name was chosen by Kraft to evoke images of the sunny and lush Catalina Islands. The bright and zesty flavor of this dressing is a perfect pairing for the taco flavors with the meat, fresh produce, and sharp cheddar cheese!

Homemade versions of this dressing are often made with a blend of ketchup, vinegar, sugar, and oil. You can use homemade Catalina dressing or store bought versions for this delicious taco salad.

taco salad with Catalina dressing in white serving bowl
taco salad with Catalina dressing

What Do I Need to Make Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing?

While the full ingredient list is available in the recipe card below, here are some tips on what you will need to prepare this Catalina taco salad recipe.

  • Olive oil
  • Extra lean ground beef (you can also substitute with ground turkey)
  • Packet of taco seasoning (I prefer to use a reduced sodium option)
  • Water
  • Iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce
  • Red onion
  • Canned sliced black olives
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Green onions
  • Avocado
  • Store bought or homemade Catalina salad dressing
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (I love to use Tex Mex cheese for this)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Additional ingredients you could use include black beans, green peppers, red bell peppers, or a dollop of sour cream!

taco salad with Catalina dressing in white serving bowl
taco salad with Catalina dressing

How to Prepare the Best Tao Salad with Catalina Dressing

While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips on how to prepare this bright and sunny take on the traditional taco salad!

  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and beef to the pan, breaking it apart with the end of a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the beef is cooked through, add the taco seasoning and stir to incorporate. Immediately add the water and reduce the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until the water reduces, approximately three to five minutes. Once cooked through, set aside.
  • Slice your veggies and avocado, and add to a big bowl along with the cooked beef. Toss with your Catalina salad dressing. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro and serve. This easy taco salad recipe will surely be a crowd favorite around the dinner table!

This salad is arguably even better the next day. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days and enjoy this salad with a fun twist for lunch at the office!

taco salad with Catalina dressing in white serving bowl
taco salad with Catalina dressing

More Salads You Will Love

If you loved this great taco salad recipe and are looking for more salad main dishes, check out these quick links!

Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing

Taco salad is one of the best ways to turn what can sometimes be an unhealthy meal into something super nutritious yet still delicious! Delicious taco meat tossed with fresh produce and tangy Catalina dressing make this an exciting and fresh meal.

Author:
Kirsten

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 lb Extra lean ground beef (you can also substitute with ground turkey)
  • 1 Packet of taco seasoning (I prefer to use a reduced sodium option)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 Red onion, diced
  • 200ml Canned sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 Fresh tomato, diced
  • 2 Green onions, sliced
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup Store bought or homemade Catalina salad dressing
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Shredded cheddar cheese (I love to use Tex Mex cheese for this)
  • 1/2 cup Chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and beef to the pan, breaking it apart with the end of a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the beef is cooked through, add the taco seasoning and stir to incorporate. Immediately add the water and reduce the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until the water reduces, approximately three to five minutes. Once cooked through, set aside.
  2. Slice your veggies and avocado, and add to a big bowl along with the cooked beef. Toss with your Catalina salad dressing. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro and serve. This easy taco salad recipe will surely be a crowd favorite around the dinner table!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Thanks for contributing to our community! Your comment will appear shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Be the first to comment on this recipe