Easy Taco Salad to Feed a Crowd

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Labor Day is the ideal time to gather a crowd for one last summer hurrah. Host a BBQ or a pool party and just enjoy these last few carefree days of summer.

It’s not a great party, though, without some great eats. And feeding a crowd can be a huge undertaking. One of my favorite meals to serve to large groups is the Taco Salad.

Yeah, yeah, I know, real men don’t eat salad. But they will if you load it up with all these macho taco fixings. Lay out a DIY bar with a variety of toppings like spicy pico de gallo and hearty proteins like seasoned taco meat, shredded beef or chicken, and cooked pinto beans. Yum!

And yes, it’s okay if some of the males in your midst don’t add lettuce. Then you call it, Not Soggy Nachos.

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Easy Taco Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

A taco salad is a great dish to take to a potluck or serve to a crowd on a hot, summer night. Loaded with veggies as well as savory taco meat, cheese, and beans, it's filling without being heavy.

Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: taco salad
Servings: 6
Calories: 439 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 head romaine lettuce chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
  • 15-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups tortilla chips coarsely broken
  • 2.25- ounce can sliced black olives
  • 1 green onion chopped
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and chopped
  • Additional toppings: sour cream salsa, and/or hot sauce
  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef until no longer pink. Season with the taco seasoning mix, stirring well. Drain off the fat.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the lettuce, cheese, beans, broken chips, black olives, green onions, and cilantro. Toss gently to combine.
  3. Divide the salad among four dinner plates. Divide the meat mixture among the plates. Top with the avocado and additional toppings and serve.
Recipe Notes

To prepare in advance, store the salad components separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days. Do not cut open the avocado until ready to serve.

Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1/6Β the recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Taco Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 439 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 67mg22%
Sodium 564mg25%
Potassium 537mg15%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 807IU16%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 219mg22%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Coby says

    I just fed 15 or so on Sunday. My good friends were moving into a new house and had been living on take out. I made lunch for them and everyone that was helping them move. I made a huge batch of teriyaki chicken with homemade teriyaki sauce and a big pot of rice. Then I cut up veggies and made ranch dip and a fruit salad with all the odds and ends of fruit I had in the fridge. Satisfied everyone and it was cheap and simple to do. Can’t beat that!

  2. We make a similar recipe, but use those veggie crumbles instead of ground beef. I also mix up a “dressing” with equal parts of mayo and bottled taco sauce. Gosh, I haven’t made it in a long time, but my husband definitely loves it!

  3. I think Mexican food is always great for a crowd. A fixings buffet can be stretched to accomodate however people you are serving. Thanks for hosting the blog hop. My post is on breakfast burritos – another dish easy to make for a crowd.

  4. The taco salad looks great! Mexican is awesome to feed crowds! Just lay out a bunch of toppings and you’re good to go! Thanks!

  5. We recently had a graduation party for my son and he wanted Mexican food. I made “Chipotle bowls”. It is very much like your taco salad, only we had a choice of taco meat or seasoned chicken. Here are some of the toppings we added… lime cilantro rice, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips, etc. It was a quick and easy way to feed 70-ish people.

  6. Lisa Sayre says

    The taco salad looks really good. I layer mine in a glass bowl. It looks pretty served like that.

  7. We are doing Sloppy Joes for 10 on Sunday. I have an old blog post about it I could link up?

  8. Annette says

    My husband is the Pastor of Students at our church and one thing we love serving to our kids occasionally is called Tacos in a Bag. Everyone always thinks it’s a little weird at first, but then they LOVE it. All you do is buy the little individual bags of Doritos. We buy them by the case at Sam’s Club. Then, just like with tacos or taco salad, you set out all the toppings. Open the bag of Doritos and gently crush the chips in the bag and pour all the toppings in on top. Shake it gently or stir with a fork and eat right out of the bag. It’s awesome for a big crowd because it’s so easy to clean up, and did I mention, EVERYBODY loves it!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      That is hilarious! Love the concept!

  9. Mmm… looks delicious! Right after C was born so early, the hospital would deliver whatever meal I wanted to the NICU waiting room because I was a nursing mom (and nice perk of that hospital!!!)… I ate more taco salads than you can imagine during that stretch! It’s been awhile now though… and yours looks amazing. πŸ™‚

  10. A taco bar is always a crowd-pleaser at casual gatherings. I make mine so people can either make salad or tacos/burritos with the makings. That way, everyone is happy (except for people who don’t like Mexican food…but they can stop at Burger King on the way home if they want). πŸ™‚

  11. Hi there, this is my first Ultimate Recipe Swap. I’ve posted my blackberry and apple muffin recipe. I’m looking forward to visiting the yummy sounding links! Thanks for hosting.

  12. I linked to pizza bites recipes… which is more of an appetizer, but it is so good! I grew up the oldest girl (second oldest child) of 11 and I used to have TONS of recipes to feed a “crowd”! Now it is just me, my hubby, and 12 mo old girl so I’ve had to downsize all of my recipes!! My dad always put 3 whole chickens in the crockpot (we had a huge crockpot) with lots of carrots and potatoes and everyone would get nice and full!!! πŸ™‚

  13. Taco salad…yumm! Always a party pleaser!

  14. Jenny says

    Your taco salad looks tasty. Never thought of that for a crowd, but it would work out great. My go to meal for big groups is either sloppy joes or chili. The main dish can go together in the crockpot early, then we just set out the sides later. For sloppy joes, we like to make veggie mac and cheese, and sweet potato fries. For chili, we have cornbread or peanut butter sandwiches, then bowls of fritos, onion, cheese, salsa, sour cream for toppings.

  15. I love the U.R.S. always great links! Mine is chicken noodle soup. My mom feeds up to 40 people with it because it is so stretchy!

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