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This retro favorite is a blast from the past! If you’re a child of the 80’s, then you’ve definitely enjoyed a Dorito taco salad on a number of different occasions. It’s an easy dinner and a crowd-pleasing party food that always wins rave reviews!

Overhead shot of a Dorito taco salad in a wooden bowl.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Recipe
  2. Ingredients
  3. Directions
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. Preparation and Storage Tips
  6. More Dinner Salad Recipes to Try
  7. Dorito Taco Salad Recipe

If you love taco recipes, be sure to try this taco pie, these taco quesadillas, and a pot of easy taco soup, too!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy. If you can brown ground beef, then you can make this taco salad with Doritos. Helpful shortcuts like a packet of taco seasoning mix and store-bought dressing get the dish on the table in less than 30 minutes.
  • Flavorful. With cool, crisp iceberg lettuce, savory taco meat, crunchy chips, and plenty of cheese, this is one salad that truly eats like a meal! The combination of bold flavors and the variety of textures makes it incredibly satisfying.
  • Crowd-pleasing. Every picnic, potluck, or Taco Tuesday family dinner needs this classic taco salad recipe! It’s one of those great meals that both kids and adults enjoy. There’s a reason it’s been popular for decades!
Overhead shot of the best Dorito taco salad recipe served on a wooden table with a blue and white cloth.


This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite Dorito taco salad with Catalina dressing. As always, specific measurements and complete step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Ground beef: or substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken for the taco meat.
  • Taco seasoning mix: a packet of taco seasoning, along with the water called for on the package, gives the dish that classic zesty taco flavor. You can substitute with your own taco seasoning if you prefer.
  • Iceberg lettuce: crunchy, cool, and crisp, iceberg lettuce is a traditional throw-back to the 80’s! You can use romaine lettuce, mixed greens, or other types of lettuce if you prefer, but iceberg really is perfect in this dish.
  • Onion: I like a sweet onion, such as Vidalia, but white, yellow, green onions, or red onions will work fine.
  • Kidney beans: if you don’t want to use red kidney beans, you can sub with black beans, pinto beans, pink beans, garbanzo beans, chili beans, or ranch-style beans.
  • Corn: we use canned corn for ease, but thawed frozen corn kernels or fresh corn cut off the cob are also good options.
  • Tomatoes: seeded and diced for even more fresh flavor in the salad. Halved cherry tomatoes are fine, too!
  • Cheese: shredded cheddar cheese is a classic addition to taco salad, but Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Colby Jack, Cheddar Jack, or a grated Mexican cheese blend will all work well.
  • Nacho Cheese Doritos: the original nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips add great zest and crunch to this dish. Substitute with plain tortilla chips, Cool Ranch Doritos, or other chips if you prefer.
  • Creamy French salad dressing or Catalina dressing: you have some flexibility when it comes to the dressing here. We love the sweet, cooling contrast of a creamy French dressing when paired with the spicy meat and crunchy chips. Other traditional choices include Catalina dressing, Thousand Island dressing, Italian dressing, Salsa Ranch, and Ranch dressing.
Ground beef taco meat in a white bowl.


This Dorito taco salad recipe comes together with just a few simple steps, making it perfect for those evenings when you don’t feel like cooking! You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the overview with my added notes:

  1. Cook the Taco Meat. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and then drain off the excess grease.
  2. Season the Meat. Add the taco seasoning mix and the water, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened. Set the meat mixture aside to cool while you work on the rest of the salad.
  3. Assemble the Salad. Chop up a head of iceberg lettuce and place it in a large serving bowl. Add onion, corn, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and grated cheese to the bowl with the lettuce. At this point, you can also add any of your other favorite taco toppings, such as diced avocado, fresh cilantro, sour cream, or sliced black olives. Toss everything together to combine.
  4. Add the Meat and Chips. Gently fold in the cooled taco meat, the crushed Doritos, and the dressing. So simple, right?!
Process shot showing how to make the best dorito taco salad recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Thanks to protein, fresh veggies, and chips, this easy Doritos taco salad recipe is a satisfying main dish dinner on its own. If you’d like to offer some additional sides, try Spanish or Mexican rice, refried beans, ranch-style beans, black bean and corn salad, jalapeño cheddar Mexican cornbread, a loaf of jalapeno cheddar bread, or additional chips for scooping and dipping.

Square overhead image of a bowl of Dorito taco salad.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead. You can prepare the individual ingredients in advance (for instance, cook the meat and chop the veggies). I do not recommend tossing the salad together until just before serving. The dressing will make the chips and vegetables soggy as it sits, so this is best enjoyed right away.
  • To prep in advance, I suggest cutting up the vegetables, cooking the taco meat, and grating the cheese up to 1 day in advance. Keep the ingredients wrapped in an airtight container in the fridge and then combine them when you’re ready to enjoy!
  • How to Store: Leftovers will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. However, the chips and lettuce will get soggy as it sits. The salad is best enjoyed immediately. Do not freeze the salad, as the lettuce and other vegetables will become soft, watery, and mushy when thawed.
An overhead shot of a Dorito taco salad with catalina dressing on a wooden table.

More Dinner Salad Recipes to Try

Square overhead image of a bowl of Dorito taco salad.

Dorito Taco Salad

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 27 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 433 kcal
A flavorful Dorito taco salad with Catalina or French dressing is the perfect weeknight dinner or crowd-pleasing party food!


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning (or use homemade taco seasoning)
  • ¾ cup water (or the proper amount of water called for on the taco seasoning packet)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups Doritos Nacho Cheese tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
  • 8 ounces creamy French salad dressing (or Catalina dressing)


  • Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain and return to skillet. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes (stirring often), until thickened. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
    Ground beef taco meat in a white bowl.
  • Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add onion, beans, corn, tomatoes, and cheese. Toss. Add ground beef, Doritos, and dressing. Toss gently to combine.
    Process shot showing how to make the best dorito taco salad recipe.
  • Serve immediately.
    Square overhead image of a bowl of Dorito taco salad.


  • Add any of your other favorite taco toppings, such as diced avocado, fresh cilantro, sour cream, or sliced black olives.
  • Use your favorite taco salad dressing. If you don’t want creamy French or Catalina, other good options include Italian dressing, Ranch dressing, Salsa Ranch, and Thousand Island.
  • The chips and lettuce will get soggy as the salad sits in the dressing, so wait to stir everything together until right before serving.
  • Cooking for a smaller family? Cut all of the ingredients in half. The rest of the cooking instructions remain the same. If you prefer to cook a full 1-lb. of taco meat, you can save half of the cooked taco meat in the freezer for another meal.


Serving: 1/8 of the saladCalories: 433kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 22gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 845mgPotassium: 634mgFiber: 5gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1360IUVitamin C: 12.8mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 3.1mg
Keyword: dorito taco salad, dorito taco salad with catalina dressing, Doritos Taco Salad, Taco Salad Recipe, taco salad with doritos
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in May, 2019. It was updated in May, 2024.


Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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  1. Kathy N Thigpen says:

    5 stars
    just like the good old days!!!! Easy Quick and so good

    1. Blair says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Kathy! 🙂

  2. Patricia Bergman says:

    I remember this salad and it was thousand island not French

    1. Blair says:

      Yes — you can definitely use other dressings. I like the French, but other versions include Thousand Island or Catalina. Some people even prefer Ranch. Whatever you like best will work!

  3. Sandra W says:

    Blair: On second note, I won’t be looking for the bottled taco sauce. Too many people gave it a bad rating; not because of the sauce, but because of the bottle. It’s because the bottle is so difficult to use, & the amount cannot be controlled either.
    Doritos does make Taco flavored chips which we really like. But it’s very rare that these are on the shelves at stores. But I sure would appreciate it if they would keep it on the shelves regularly. You also can eat these just as is, without it being used for Taco salad.
    I make a different version ofTaco salad (there’s a gazzilion versions of taco salads out there), but I don’t like to use different flavors of their chips. Every one in the family also likes it the same way as we do.
    Sandra W.

    i sure

  4. Helen Gonyea says:

    I like to use taco Doritos. I don’t use any dressing.

  5. Toni says:

    Western dressing is the best if I can’t find it then I make my own usuing ketchup and oil. Recipe on line

  6. Angela says:

    I do the exact recipe only I use Fritos. Very good!

    1. Blair says:

      Also delicious!! 🙂

  7. Leah says:

    I like to mix everything except the lettuce and Doritos and then people can put it together as we eat it. . It makes a great do ahead salad and I don’t end up with leftover soggy chips.

    1. Blair says:

      Great tip! Thanks, Leah!

  8. Rae Nikolai says:

    5 stars
    I leave out the doritos and lettuce and brown the meat in microwave (3minutes) add the remainder of the ingredients and heat 3 minutes more. I call it tacos in a bowl but use a glass pie plate to cook it in. You can substitute diced tomatoes and eliminate water. Don’t forget to drain the beans and corn.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Love that idea — especially in the summer when you don’t want to stand at the stove. 🙂 Thanks, Rae!