When you need a great big bowl of salad for a potluck or a main dish meal, this Dorito Taco Salad with Catalina dressing will always win the day!
It’s filled with all your favorite taco flavors: seasoned taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, and cheese. Red onion and corn provide extra bursts of taste. Highlighted with the sweet flavor of Catalina salad dressing.
And, of course, the star of the show: Nacho Cheese Doritos. You can add them right to the salad or serve them on the side, but do not forget the Doritos. They give that special flavor and crunch to make this taco salad so delicious!
Why I love this recipe
I first had this salad at least 20 years ago at a work potluck. I fell in love immediately.
Its delicious, for sure. I love to make it as a meal, and by reserving the Doritos as a topping rather than mixing them in, I ensure that leftovers will still be delightful the next day.
Because you can never have too much taco salad!
How to make Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing
First, decide on the dressing. This salad is typically made using a bottle of Kraft Catalina salad dressing. And that is definitely the easiest way to go.
If you’d like an alternative, I did develop my own homemade Catalina dressing. Feel free to check that out if you’d like a homemade version. 😃
As for the salad, you simply need to cook the ground beef and season it with taco seasoning. Basically, make taco meat, pretty much like you would for taco night.
Then, prep all the other ingredients. Chop the lettuce, rinse and drain the black beans, halve the grape tomatoes, and slice the red onion.
Place all these ingredients in a large bowl with the corn and shredded cheese. I like to give all this a stir first, then add the taco meat. Toss to mix, then add the Catalina dressing and toss to coat.
If you are serving and expect the entire salad to be eaten right away, you can add the Doritos (I like them to be lightly crushed) and toss gently to mix.
When making this as a meal, I expect leftovers. So I serve the Doritos on the side, and add some to each bowl of salad as I have it. This ensures perfectly crunchy Doritos with every serving of taco salad. YUM!
This recipe makes a big bowl of salad! Suitable for a potluck or a family meal. Since there are just 2 of us in this house, I know I’ll have leftovers. The salad (with Doritos reserved) is still good the next day. It’s less so in 2 days, so I do recommend you finish all the leftovers the day after making it, if possible. It makes a fantastic lunch!
This salad is easy to customize. I have added a diced-up avocado to the mix and loved it. You could make it vegetarian by eliminating the taco meat and just going with the beans for protein.
In addition to topping with the Doritos, this salad can be garnished with black olives, green onions, salsa, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and/or lime wedges. Or you could mix some of those ingredients into the salad itself.
Try using Fritos instead of Doritos. So many options to make it your own!
More Recipes for taco night
Dorito Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning 1 packet
- ½ cup water
- 1 large heart romaine lettuce chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes cut in half
- 16 ounces Catalina dressing 2 cups
- 1 cup corn thawed from frozen
- 15 ounces canned black beans rinsed and drained
- ½ red onion sliced into half-moons
- 8 ounces shredded cheese 4-cheese Mexican blend
- 9 ounces Doritos Nacho cheese
- In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat, stirring to break up while the meat cooks. When the meat is cooked (no pink remaining), push it to one side of the pan and then use some paper towel in a cooking tong to blot out any excess grease. Add the taco seasoning and water, stir to mix. Heat through until the liquid is absorbed.
- In a large salad bowl, place the lettuce, tomatoes, corn, black beans, red onion, and shredded cheese. Toss lightly to mix, then add the taco meat and toss again. Drizzle the salad with the Catalina dressing and toss well to coat.
- Serve with nacho cheese Doritos on the side, as well as any additional toppings you like.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
So easy, so tasty! The Doritos were way better than the standard tortilla chip fare. 🙂
Yes, the Doritos add another layer of flavor!
I made this taco salad using lamb mince and it turned out great. Delicious and love all the flavors from the dressing.
ooo I love the substitution, yes its very easy to use other types of ground meat for this taco salad!
All you had to say was Taco salad, haha! I loved this salad recipe and the catalina dressing was a refreshing addition.
You can never go wrong with a good taco salad!
Oh my goodness this was delicious! It was my first time trying Catalina Dressing and I loved it. I also made homemade taco chips to serve it with. Heaven! Thanks for the delicious recipe!
Homemade chips would be amazing in this taco salad!!
So first off, taco salad is one of my truest loves. I remember trying it for the first time and being amazed!!! Second, the Catalina dressing is to die for. Will make this again tonight!!!
I am 100% with you! I think I could eat taco salad every day and never get tired of it!