Mom’s Taco Salad

Mom’s Taco Salad
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I grew up enjoying mom’s Dorito taco salad. She was taught by her mom and since then, every generation has either made it as it was or added their own magical flair. I tried to keep to the original recipe as much as I could but as you all know, I had an attention span of a flea back then and didn’t always keep up with her recipes. So, here I hoped to preserve what I have remembered and have made for my family. It’s oh my gravy good!

Ethel Mae Busby Taylor Schiller
My mom, Ethel Mae Busby Taylor Schiller

Let’s start by making our taco meat. Brown a pound of hamburger and drain the grease. Add taco seasoning according to directions on the pack or you can add 2 tablespoons of your bulk taco seasoning. You can find the recipe here.

hamburger cooking

Chop your tomato, lettuce and onion and put it in a large mixing bowl. Add your undrained can of ranch style beans and the taco meat.

Mix in a full bottle of Thousand Island dressing or you can use the bonus recipe for my own Thousand Island dressing found below.

taco salad in a white mixing bowl

Crush a bag of Dorito nacho chips (or the generic/store brand like I use) to the size you like. Below shows how my family prefers theirs but you can break them as small or large as you like. Experiment!

Mix the chips in with the other goodies right before serving.

crushed Dorito nacho chips in a red bowl

This taco salad is amazing the next day since all those flavors marry up during the chilling. You can make this the day before and add the chips right before serving if you want those amped up flavors without waiting for leftovers.

I did something new with our leftovers this last time around. I added another cup of shredded cheese and made large burritos using the extra large tortillas. They freeze great! Just microwave for 4 minutes. Enjoy!

taco salad on a white plate
taco salad on a white plate

Mom’s Dorito Taco Salad

Mom's Dorito Taco Salad is full of flavors of the Southwest and will wow your family for generations just as it has mine. It is oh my gravy good!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 560 kcal


  • `1 15 oz. nacho tortilla chips crushed
  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1 small onion shredded or chopped
  • 2 cups lettuce shredded or chopped
  • 1 can ranch style beans
  • 1 16 oz. bottle Thousand Island dressing
  • 1 cup shredded cheese


  • Brown 1 pound of hamburger meat in a skillet. Mix in taco seasoning and set aside.
    hamburger meat cooking with a blue spatula
  • Chop lettuce, onion and tomatoes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix taco meat, vegetables, dressing, shredded cheese and ranch style beans (don't drain the beans).
    taco salad in a white mixing bowl
  • Add crushed nacho chips right before serving for a crunchy texture.
Keyword Mexican food, mom, salad, simple recipes, Southwest, taco salad
Thousand Island dressing on lettuce

Thousand Island Dressing

This Thousand Island dressing has a punch you won't find in the bottled varieties. Smooth and flavorful blends kick up a salad instantly!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment, Salad


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • ½ small onion chopped small
  • 2 Tbsp sweet dill relish
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • Mix all ingredients well and keep in a sealed container.
Keyword dressing, salad, thousand island dressing

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