JESSICA’S TACO SALAD WITH CREAMY TACO DRESSI

JESSICA’S TACO SALAD WITH CREAMY TACO DRESSING

yield: 6 TO 8 SERVINGS by http://www.afarmgirl’sdabbles

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (you could also use ground or diced turkey or chicken)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 package of your favorite taco seasoning, portioned for 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 1 to 2 heads of iceberg lettuce or 2 to 3 heads of romaine, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 4 to 8 green onions, sliced
  • 3 c. halved cherry tomatoes or chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 to 3 c. lightly crushed Doritos nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips, plus whole chips for scooping up the salad

FOR THE OPTIONAL SIDES AND DRESSINGS:

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 c. chopped cilantro
  • sour cream
  • guacamole or slices of fresh avocado
  • 1 fresh lime, cut into wedges
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • spicy ranch dressing
  • zesty French dressing
  • mild taco sauce

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE SALAD:

Brown beef in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When beef is about halfway browned, add garlic and onion. Once beef is browned and onion is softened, remove any excess fat from the pan. Then sprinkle taco seasoning over the mixture and toss to coat evenly. Add 1/3 cup of water and let mixture simmer over medium-low heat until water is dissolved. Remove pan from heat. This can be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.

This salad is all about creating a dish that works for you and those you are serving. Delete ingredients you aren’t fond of. Add in some that aren’t listed here. I’ve seen this salad served many different ways:

  1. With all salad ingredients tossed together in one large bowl, with or without the salad dressing mixed in. (To avoid soggy chips, be sure to wait until you are ready to eat to toss the ingredients together.)
  2. With all the salad ingredients, optional ingredients, and dressings, in their own separate bowls, for each person to assemble their own salad. (This is typically how Jessica serves her taco salad.)
  3. With all the salad ingredients layered, as shown in my photos, with crushed Doritos and optional ingredients and dressings served on the side.

FOR THE OPTIONAL SIDES AND DRESSINGS:

I like to incorporate black beans and cilantro into my taco salad, but it seems that these two ingredients are the most likely ones that people might dislike. So…I always serve them on the side, for people to add as they wish. Same goes for the sour cream, guacamole and/or avocado, and lime wedges. Again, these are all optional.

The dressing(s) for this taco salad is whatever you want it to be. Most often, Jessica offers bottles of Thousand Island, spicy ranch, and/or zesty French dressings, for people to drizzle onto their salads as they wish. I especially like a mixture that my friend Bobbi Jo serves with her taco salad. She combines 1 cup of Thousand Island with 1 cup of zesty French and 1/4 cup of mild taco sauce, which is shown in my first photo. It’s delish!