Dorito Taco Salad

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Dorito Taco Salad is a classic dish from the 80s and was a staple at potlucks for good reason. It consists of ground beef, canned beans, crispy lettuce, cheddar cheese, and of course, chips! Additionally, there are options available to make it healthier.

Overhead view of taco salad in a blue bowl with cilantro and chips off to the sides.

Who remembers this salad as a kid?? I do and I remember taking a huge helping of it every time. And you guys know I am not a salad fan but I will gladly eat this one, lol! And not because of the chips.

A few other salads I love to eat is this Strawberry Cobb Salad filled with so many delicious good for you ingredients it’s hard not to love! Another great one is this Asian Chicken Salad. And if you are looking for something different try this Chicken Waldorf Salad.

Why You Will Love This Easy Doritos Taco Salad:

  • It takes only 20 minutes to make.
  • Not only great for potlucks but perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
  • FULL of flavor and easy-to-find ingredients.
  • Options to make this retro salad a little healthier.
Ingredients: ground beef, taco seasoning, catalina dressing, tomato, onion, cheese, bell pepper, lettuce, beans, chips.


GROUND BEEF: If you aren’t using lean ground beef, drain off any excess grease.
TACO SEASONING: Use homemade or store-bought.
VEGGIES: Lettuce, tomatoes, bell pepper, and onion are the staples for this salad.

CHEESE: I like to use cheddar.
BEANS: I used black beans in this salad because that’s what we like. The classic salad uses kidney beans. Be sure to drain and rinse your beans before adding to the salad.

DRESSING: Western, Catalina, or creamy French are all great choices for this recipe.
CHIPS: To keep with tradition use nacho-flavored tortilla chips.

Overhead picture of taco meat in a cast iron skillet. Other ingredients off to the side.
Two pictures showing how to make the salad. One with all the ingredients in a bowl and the second showing the dressing being poured over it.

How To:

STEP 1: Start by browning your ground beef and be sure to drain the grease. Stir in the taco seasoning. Set aside.

STEP 2: Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in the seasoned ground beef.

STEP 3: Stir in crushed Doritos and dressing just before serving.

How To Make This Salad In Advance:

This salad will get soggy the longer it sits so to combat that leave out the salad dressing and chips. Add these just before serving. If you need a longer period of time layer the salad much like mason jar salads.

Put the seasoned meat at the bottom of the bowl then top with the tomatoes and beans. Next, top with the pepper and onion. Then the lettuce, then the cheese. When you get to where you are going top with the salad dressing and chips and stir to combine.

Close up of dorito taco salad in a blue bowl.



For this Doritos taco salad, I suggest using Western, Catalina, or Creamy French dressing to stay true to the retro version. Homemade versions of these dressings also work great! However, feel free to make it your own with different dressings.


Leftovers need to be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The fully assembled salad will get soggy as it sits but still tastes great!


Yes! You can use your own blend or try my Homemade Taco Seasoning. If using a homemade taco seasoning add a little water just like you would with the store-bought packet. I suggest using 1/4 cup. This just helps make the meat a little saucy.

How To Make Dorito Taco Salad Healthier?

  • LETTUCE: You can swap out the iceberg for romaine. You can also use mixed greens, kale, or spinach. Mixed greens won’t have the same crunch factor as romaine or iceberg.
  • GROUND BEEF: Use really lean ground beef or use ground turkey or chicken.
  • DRESSING: Make a homemade dressing instead of a store-bought. That way you control what goes in.
  • CHIPS: Use Simply Doritos instead of regular Doritos.
  • VEGGIES: Feel free to add more veggies!
Overhead view of dorito taco salad in a blue bowl with serving utensils getting ready to serve the salad.

Tips And Suggestions:

  • BEANS: Use any canned bean you have on hand.
  • CHEESE: Change up the cheddar and use pepper jack, colby jack, or another cheese you enjoy with tacos.
  • DRESSING: Use ranch, salsa, salsa ranch, or another dressing you enjoy.
  • CHIPS: Try a different Dorito flavor!

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Dorito Taco Salad
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Dorito Taco Salad is a classic dish from the 80s and was a staple at potlucks for good reason. It consists of ground beef, canned beans, crispy lettuce, cheddar cheese, and of course, chips! Additionally, there are options available to make it healthier.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy dorito taco salad
Servings: 8
Calories: 261 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
  • 1 pound (453g) lean ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 large heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (10oz) (283g) grape tomatoes or 2 large roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 (15oz) (425g) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounces (113g) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (9.25oz) (262g) nacho flavored chips
  • 8 ounces (235ml) Catalina dressing
  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet until no longer pink. Drain excess grease. Stir in taco seasoning and the amount of water specified on the packet. Set aside to cool.

  2. In a large bowl combine the lettuce, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, beans, and cheese. Toss to combine.

  3. Add seasoned beef, crushed chips, and dressing. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
  1. See post for details on making ahead, healthier alternatives, and substitutions. 
Nutrition Facts
Dorito Taco Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 261 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 0.4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 836mg36%
Potassium 267mg8%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 1239IU25%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 115mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

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