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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 this Dorito taco salad on a number of different occasions. It’s an easy dinner recipe and a crowd-pleasing party food that always wins rave reviews!

Overhead shot of a wooden bowl full of Dorito taco salad

Taco Salad with Doritos

Every picnic, potluck, or Taco Tuesday family dinner needs this classic taco salad recipe! The amazing combination of flavors and textures pleases both kids and adults. Plus, it’s an easy and satisfying meal that’s ready in about 15 minutes!

Ground beef taco meat in a white bowl.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite taco salad with Doritos. 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 homemade taco seasoning if you prefer (just omit the water).
  • Iceberg lettuce: crunchy, cool, and crisp, iceberg lettuce is a traditional throw-back to the 80’s! You can use romaine 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, or even green onions will work fine.
  • Kidney beans: or sub with pinto beans, black beans, or even a can of chili beans or ranch 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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 Italian dressing, Catalina dressing, or Ranch dressing.
Adding crushed Nacho cheese Doritos to a taco salad

How to Make a Dorito Taco Salad

This easy entree salad comes together with just a few simple steps, making it perfect for those evenings when you don’t feel like doing much cooking!

  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. Toss to combine.
  4. Add the Meat and Chips. Gently fold in the cooled taco meat, the crushed Doritos, and the dressing. That’s it! So simple, right?!
Overhead shot of hands tossing a Doritos taco salad in a wooden bowl

What dressing for Dorito Taco Salad?

The salad that I grew up with always used a creamy French dressing, so that’s my personal favorite! You can also use Catalina dressing, Ranch dressing, Salsa Ranch, Italian dressing, or any other dressing that you prefer. But trust me — the sweet, creamy French serves as the perfect cool, sweet, creamy contrast to the zesty meat and crunchy chips.

What to Serve with Dorito Taco Salad

Thanks to protein, veggies, and chips, this entrée salad is a meal on its own! That said, here are a few other easy sides that pair well with the dish:

Square overhead shot of a bowl of dorito taco salad with avocado, limes, and rice on the side.

Make Ahead

You can prepare the individual ingredients in advance (for instance, cook the meat and chop the veggies), but 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!

Storage

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.

Overhead shot of two wooden salad servers in a large bowl of the best dorito taco salad recipe

Recipe Variations

  • Iceberg lettuce works best in this retro classic (thanks to its cool crunch!), but you can substitute with romaine lettuce or other mixed greens if you prefer.
  • Creamy French dressing pairs so nicely with the zesty meat and salty chips, but you can substitute with Catalina, Ranch, Salsa Ranch, Italian, or any other dressing that you prefer.
  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground chicken or ground turkey.
  • Classic nacho cheese doritos are delicious in this recipe, but cool ranch doritos also work well.
  • Instead of kidney beans, use black beans, pinto beans, pink beans, garbanzo beans, chili beans, or ranch-style beans.

Tips for the Best Dorito Taco Salad Recipe

  • If using a homemade taco seasoning blend instead of a store-bought packet of seasoning mix, omit the water called for in the recipe. Water is necessary with the store-bought seasoning mix because the seasoning packet includes thickening agents that you don’t typically find in a homemade spice blend.
  • Add any of your other favorite taco toppings, such as diced avocado, fresh cilantro, sour cream, or sliced black olives.
  • 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.
Overhead shot of a taco salad with doritos in a large wooden bowl

More Taco Recipes to Try

Overhead shot of a wooden bowl full 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
This retro favorite is a blast from the past! If you're a child of the 80's, then you've definitely enjoyed this Dorito taco salad on a number of different occasions!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
  • cup water (or the proper amount of water called for on the taco seasoning packet)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can corn, drained
  • 2 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Place lettuce in a large bowl. Add onion, beans, corn, tomatoes, and cheese. Toss.
  • Add ground beef, Doritos, and dressing. Toss gently to combine and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Iceberg lettuce works best in this retro classic (thanks to its cool crunch!), but you can substitute with romaine lettuce or other mixed greens if you prefer.
  • Creamy French dressing pairs so nicely with the zesty meat and salty chips, but you can substitute with Catalina, Ranch, Salsa Ranch, Italian, or any other dressing that you prefer.
  • Swap out the ground beef and use ground chicken or ground turkey.
  • Classic Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos are delicious in this recipe, but Cool Ranch Doritos also work well.
  • Instead of kidney beans, use black beans, pinto beans, pink beans, garbanzo beans, chili beans, or ranch-style beans.
  • If using a homemade taco seasoning blend instead of a store-bought packet of seasoning mix, omit the water called for in the recipe. Water is necessary with the store-bought seasoning mix because the seasoning packet includes thickening agents that you don’t typically find in a homemade spice blend.
  • Add any of your other favorite taco ingredients, such as diced avocado, fresh cilantro, or sliced olives.
  • 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.

Nutrition

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, Doritos Taco Salad, Ground Beef Recipe, Taco Salad Recipe, taco salad with doritos
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in May, 2019. The photos were updated in May, 2022.

blair

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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Comments

    1. 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!

  1. 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

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

  3. 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.

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