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Catalina Taco Salad

Follow Me on Pinterest This taco salad is one of my favorites from my childhood.  I remember my mom making it fairly often, especially for pot luck luncheons at our church.  I love the tangy flavors of the Catalina dressing combined with the salty, crunchy corn chips.  My mom didn’t always add the meat and we liked it just as well, but these days, I generally make mine with ground beef to make a heartier salad.

This recipe grows and grows!  It makes a very large salad and can serve around 12 people.  You can add other ingredients, like avocados, black beans and corn, as well as substitute the beef for cooked, ground turkey or diced chicken.




Catalina Taco Salad

Catalina Taco Salad


  • 8 cups torn romaine lettuce or lettuce blend
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 (15 ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained thoroughly
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup pitted ripe black olives, drained
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 (14 ounce) bag Fritos corn chips
  • 1 (24 ounce) bottle Catalina salad dressing


  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Set aside and cool slightly while preparing other ingredients.
  2. In a very large serving bowl, combine lettuce, grated cheese, beans, tomatoes, olives, and onions. Toss gently to blend.
  3. Just before serving, add cooked ground beef and corn chips; toss gently to combine with salad ingredients. Begin drizzling salad dressing over salad mixture and lightly toss salad until the desired amount of dressing is used.

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Locklin is the writer of Jennifer Cooks, a vibrant food blog that features all kinds of recipes from home cooking to foods from around the world. She is passionate about cooking and food photography.


  1. Simple Girl says:

    Oh, this salad has GREAT memories for me! We used Western dressing, which you can’t even find in some parts of the country. I mean, what kid wouldn’t eat a salad with sweet and tangy dressing topped with Fritos?
    Simple Girl recently posted..Glimpses Week 22 | A Boy and His DogMy Profile

  2. I live in Romania right now, where the food is slightly different from the ones in the USA, and every time I see recipes from there, well, it brings back memories. Thank you for sharing Jennifer!
    Adriana Deacon recently posted..7 Wheatgrass Benefits That No One Talks AboutMy Profile

  3. Gina says:

    I love this salad – I used to fix it a lot. It’s great for summer. Looks like I need to add it back into the menu rotation!
    Gina recently posted..A summer jobMy Profile

  4. Heather from French Press

    what a great looking salad!
    Heather recently posted..Nutella BraidMy Profile

  5. That has got to be the BEST taco salad that I have ever seen! The BEST!
    Richard Blaine recently posted..Beef Jerky: Thai Chili Lime Beef Jerky RecipeMy Profile

  6. cindy says:

    This is a great recipe. I tried it about 20 years ago at a church ladies luncheon–it was delicious.
    And we still enjoy it.
    cindy recently posted..Chocolate Iced Cookie BarsMy Profile

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