Matti’s Best Taco Salad

Matti’s Best Taco Salad

A layered salad that starts with crisp romaine lettuce, black beans, taco meat, corn, cherry tomatoes, cheese, olives, and green onions. Topped with thousand island dressing and nacho flavored taco chips. Matti’s Best Taco Salad is a crowd pleaser and will most definitely become a new favorite.

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Taco Salad is one of my favorite things to eat in the world. It’s cool and crunchy and I love all the fresh ingredients. Who doesn’t love Taco Salad?! It’s like the ultimate taco in a bowl.

I’ve named this salad in honor of my besties daughter Matti. From the time she could chew food, she has requested Taco Salad almost every year for her birthday. Her love for Mexican food is like a passion, and Taco Salad is definitely her top 5 favorites. If you were one of the lucky ones to be invited to her parties, you were sure to indulge in this great salad.

Matti’s Best Taco Salad loaded with lots of taco inspired ingredients. Crisp lettuce, seasoned ground turkey, black beans, southwest corn, tomatoes, olives, cheese, green onions, and nacho cheese tortilla chips. All these yummy ingredients are tossed with a creamy 1000 Island dressing. It is seriously the Best Taco Salad!

Ingredients For Matti’s Best Taco Salad:

  • Romain or iceberg lettuce
  • Black beans
  • Olive oil
  • Lean ground turkey or beef
  • Taco seasoning packet or homemade
  • Southwest corn
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced black olives
  • Green onions
  • Store bought or homemade 1000 dressing


  • Nacho cheese tortilla chips such as Doritos
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Avocado or guacamole

This salad feeds a handful of people and it’s easy to double if you’re feeding a crowd. It also makes great leftovers so if your family is small like mine, you can still enjoy this salad on any night of the week!

How to keep Taco Salad fresh and crisp, even for leftovers:

To keep the salad from becoming soggy and leftover worthy, I layer the salad ingredients starting with the lettuce first, then beans, cooled meat, and so on. This keeps the lettuce separated from the rest of the ingredients that might otherwise wilt or soften the leaves. I also serve the dressing and any other condiments like sour cream and salsa on the side to keep the salad crisp and fresh!

Other recipes you might enjoy:

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Let’s eat!🤍

Matti’s Best Taco Salad

A layered salad that starts with crisp romaine lettuce, black beans, taco meat, corn, cherry tomatoes, cheese, olives, and green onions. Topped with thousand island dressing and nacho flavored taco chips. Matti's Best Taco Salad is a crowd pleaser and will most definitely become a new favorite.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5
Calories 658 kcal


  • 10 cups chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 14.5 oz can black or red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or beef
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning or 2 tablespoons homemade see notes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 15 oz can southwest corn drained well
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half or quartered
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or favorite Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 2.25 oz can sliced black olives, drained
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 3/4 cup store-bought or homemade 1000 island dressing see recipe notes for additional info


  • 4 cups crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips such as Doritos
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • hot sauce
  • avocado or guacamole


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and ground turkey. Cook and crumble until no longer pink. Add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper. Toast for 1 minute and add water. Stir and cook 5 minutes until liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and cool completely. Note: Adding warm meat to the salad will wilt the lettuce so make sure it's cooled.

Layer Taco Salad

  • In a large wide bowl add the the chopped lettuce. On top of lettuce scatter beans, then cooled meat, corn, tomatoes, cheese, olives and green onions. At this point you can place in refrigerator until ready to eat.
  • When ready to serve set out layered salad, dressing, chips, and any other condiments you choose to serve with it. I like to use large salad tongs to scoop straight down into the salad. This ensures you get a little of everything. Enjoy!


Dressing- 1000 island dressing is so good in this taco salad, but you can also set out ranch (My Avocado Ranch) or other dressings you like. Check out my homemade 1000 island dressing. It’s easy, healthy, and so yummy. 
Customize Taco Salad- Taco salad is great because you can use lots of different fresh ingredients and/or meat of choice. Here are some ideas:
  • Freshly sliced jalapenos for heat
  • Diced Bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
  • Thinly sliced radishes
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Ground beef or turkey
  • Shredded chicken
Leftovers- Layering the salad ensures the ingredients stay as fresh and crisp as possible. Cover tightly with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate up to one day. This makes great leftovers for weekday lunches. 
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Nutritional facts include layered salad, 1000 island dressing, and Nacho flavored tortilla chips. It does not include additional condiments like sour cream avocado, etc..
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be understood as an estimate rather than a guarantee. The Menu Maid makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving  
Calories  658
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29.2g 37%
Saturated Fat 7.6g 38%
Cholesterol 304mg 101%
Sodium 482mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 64.6g 23%
Dietary Fiber 13g 46%
Total Sugars 4.4g  
Protein 37.1g  
Vitamin D 2mcg 11%
Calcium 278mg 21%
Iron 8mg 45%
Potassium 1576mg 34%
Keyword 1000 island dressing, Black beans, black olives, Cheese, Ground Turkey, Lettuce, Taco meat, tomatoes


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2 thoughts on “Matti’s Best Taco Salad”

  • 5 stars
    This recipe is everything!!! It’s filling, delicious, versatile, hearty, and truly addictive! Once you make it you will see why and you will make it over and over too because your family will continue to ask for it!!

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