Sunday, June 12, 2011

Taco Salad: The Cookout Must Have

I don't know about you, but when summer gets here, it seems like there's something to do almost every weekend. It becomes the busiest time of year with birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and best of all, cookouts. I've had a few over the past month or so and when you're the one hosting the events, there's so many things to do that I try to make food prep as easy as possible. I've modified the following taco salad over the years to make it something that's pretty easy to put together and light on the budget as well. 

Taco Salad
  • 2.5  lbs ground chuck, cooked and drained (ground turkey works well also!)
  • 4 tsp taco seasoning, divided
  • 1.5 heads iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped and drained
  • ½ c onion, minced
  • 1 can, black olives sliced
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 24 oz Western Dressing 
  • large bag (17oz) of Nacho Doritos, crushed 

1. Cook and drain the ground meat. Set aside to cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, mix 3 tsp of the taco seasoning into meat.  
3. Mix next six ingredients with the meat mixture.
4. Mix salad dressing and 1 tsp taco seasoning together and then mix into meat mixture.
5. Crush Doritos into small to medium pieces and add to the salad about 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Makes 2 half foil pans, which enough for about 30 - 40 servings.

If you're making this the day before, omit lettuce until a few hours before serving so it doesn't get too soggy and add an extra 1/4 cup Western Dressing.

Having a party with fewer guests?  Here's a scaled down version that will serve 6 to 8:
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 1/4 tsp taco seasoning, divided
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 c onion chopped
  • 1/3 of a can black olives, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 12 oz Western Dressing
  • about half of a large bag (17oz) of Nacho Doritos, crushed 

Follow the same directions as above.

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