Taco Salad Recipe

Do you ever need a quick and easy to make dish to pass? Taco salad is one favorite that is always a crowd favorite. This is one dish that anyone can make – no matter your skill level! One spin I take on this taco salad is to use my homemade taco seasoning instead of buying it from the store. Check out the end of the post for the full recipe I then use for all of our taco meals!

This past weekend, my husband and I joined friends for a weekend away. It was just what was needed as with the last two years of crazy we all have not gotten together. We then drove a few hours north of our homes and stayed at an AirB&B. This was the annual Friendsgiving weekend. No kids allowed, had a hot tub, we brought too much food, and great friends. It was just fantastic, especially after isolation from the last two years. We all decided ahead of time who was making specific dishes each day, and I brought two Taco Salads for snacking. As a result of planning ahead, the funniest part of this weekend, was with four couples we all brought along cheese, sausage and crackers and a lot of wine. Not surprising as we live in Wisconsin and this is a basic staple for any get-together.

taco salad

Disclosure
Monica is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission incomes by advertising and linking to Monicas Scratch Kitchen Blog.
Published November 27, 2021
Updated March 25, 2022
This page might contain affiliate links. In the event of a sale, I will be awarded a small commission (at no extra cost for you). Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network, and Amazon.
AirB&B is not a sponsor of this post

Typically we have been using Greek yogurt for any of our cooking needs. However, with going to a group outing and sharing this with friends, we decided to use sour cream as I was not aware if everyone enjoyed Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is helpful if you are trying to cut down on fat, as you can buy fat free containers.

What you will need

Firstly, to make taco salad, you need either a decent baking dish or a tall sided baking sheet. Personally, using a baking sheet is easier to use, as you can spread the ingredients out and have a bigger dish than just using a 9 X 13 pan. A 9 X 13 baking dish with a cover would also be an ideal way to bring Taco Salad with you anywhere. I used aluminum foil to cover my baking sheets, and it worked and yet smashed everything down. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Baking sheet
Sour Cream
Taco Seasoning
Tomatoes
Olives
Lettuce
Shredded cheese
Green onion
Cutting board
Knife

That is it! Once you have your ingredients all set up, it takes very little time to get this Taco Salad all finished. Making this recipe only takes 20 minutes with the longest time in prepping the vegetables. Also, Taco Salad can be made up to a day ahead of time. On our Friendsgiving weekend, we brought a tray out on Saturday for lunch and had a tray for snacking Friday night while playing cards, both were super delicious. Having let the sour cream and taco seasoning rest for a day made the flavors bloom and taste so amazing!

friendgiving with taco salad as a snack
Food!!!

Cost for this recipe

This recipe is honestly not that expensive to make, and this time I did make two baking sheets worth of Taco Salad. As a side, or a dish for an event, this is by far the best to bring as everyone loves Taco Salad. You can customize it however you want with which veggies you want to add. I knew ahead of time that some friends did not like olives, so one tray was made without them. Lettuce is inexpensive, and so are the green onions. One way to really cut down on the cost of this recipe is to use Homemade Taco Seasoning. Buying a pack, or two or three can get quite costly compared to making it from scratch.
Sour Cream $3.50
Taco Seasoning $0.25
Tomatoes $2.75
Olives $0.45
Lettuce $1.00
Shredded cheese $2.00
Green onion $0.25

The total cost to make two sheet pans of Taco Salad was $10.20. By making two whole baking sheets of Taco Salad, I was able to stretch the vegetables and then only one was with olives. Both had lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and green onions.

Taco Salad Recipe

Ingredients

Sour Cream
Taco Seasoning
Tomatoes
Olives
Lettuce
Shredded cheese
Green onion

ingredients to make taco salad
Ingredients.

Directions

1. Open the sour cream container and then use a spatula to empty it into a medium bowl. Measure 2 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning and mix it into the sour cream and let rest while you prep the vegetables. Click that link below for my recipe for Taco Seasoning, it is literally the most deliciously tasting taco seasoning, so much cheaper than buying those packets from the store also. Once you make your own seasoning in an airtight jar, you can store it in a cabinet and use it when you need it.

2. Using a cutting board, slice the lettuce very thin as no one wants a giant piece of lettuce in their Taco Salad.
*Pro-Tip* If you bang your lettuce, stem-side-down on the counter three times, the entire stem will then easily be pulled out! I have been removing the stems of lettuce like this for the better part of two decades, maybe it was my dad who showed me, which is hilarious as he does not eat lettuce.

3. On a cutting board, cut tomatoes into small slices. Not being able to find decent tomatoes lately, we opted to use cherry tomatoes and they worked just fine and then can be cut into little tomato circles which are actually kind of cute! Just make sure, when cutting tomatoes, to use a sharp serrated knife so it will not smash your tomatoes down.

4. Slice olives if you bought whole ones, or drain a can of sliced olives if you bought pre sliced ones. At ALDI, they sell a 6oz jar of whole olives for the same price as you can buy a jar of 2oz sliced olives, which actually saves our family money by buying olives whole and then spending a minute slicing them myself.

5. Use a scissors and cut the green onion, however knife works just the same, but I have found that using a kitchen scissors helps to keep the shape of the green onions.

6. Now it is time to assemble the Taco Salad. Begin by spreading the sour cream and seasoning mixture, using a spatula, evenly over the pan. One container of sour cream was enough for both baking sheets.

taco seasoned sour cream spread on baking sheets

7. Sprinkle the shredded lettuce over the sour cream in an even layer and also not too thick.

shredded lettuce on taco seasoned Sour Cream
Lay lettuce over sour cream.

8. Sprinkle shredded cheese all over the lettuce, however completely forgetting myself, the cheese was added last. Either way, wherever you add the cheese, it will be a fantastic result. Using pre-shredded cheese is totally fine with this recipe as you are not going to make the cheese into a sauce as pre shredded cheese will not melt well. This day I used a block of sharp cheddar cheese and then shredded it in my Cuisinart Food Processor.

taco salad
Add shredded cheese.

8. Then lay the sliced tomatoes and olives on the Taco Salad tray. I made two pans, one with olives and one with olives and tomatoes.

9. Finally sprinkle green onions over the other vegetables.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
~Monica

Friendsgiving Traditions

For our main dinner at Friendsgiving, I challenged my inner Martha Stewart and ended up decorated the dinning room table before we ate. The land around the cabin we rented in Minocqua, Wisconsin, was full of birch and pine trees. I then went around the cabin with a cute little metal pale and collected birch sticks and pine needles on branches and pine cones. These were the cutest pine cones ever, they were still closed and adorable and super sticky with sap. I had the best time decorating the table for our Friendsgiving meal! Additionally, in one of the closets, which were all full of such eclectic pieces of art, vintage pieces and random clutter, were two antlers which added such a perfect touch of texture and color to the decoration.

And the best yet, our friend Jason made the most delicious turkey and he found a recipe that made a compound butter with herbs, rubbed it inside the skin and on the outside, and while it was cooking he basted it every half hour. You guys, it was incredibly delicious and filled with such amazing flavor. Plus, it looked incredibly beautiful before it was sliced up.

turkey at Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving dinner
Friendsgiving dinner!!!

Along with an amazingly delicious herb roasted turkey, we had friends who made homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, steamed vegetables and I also brought stuffed mushrooms.

taco salad

Recipe for Taco Salad

Ingredients

Sour Cream
Taco Seasoning
Tomatoes
Olives
Lettuce
Shredded cheese
Green onion

Taco Salad Directions

1. Firstly, open the sour cream container and empty it into a medium bowl. Measure 2 Tbsp Homemade Taco Seasoning and mix it into the sour cream and let rest while you prep the vegetables.
2. Secondly, using a cutting board, slice the lettuce very thin.
3. Thirdly, cut tomatoes into small slices.
4. Then slice olives if you bought whole ones.
5. Fifth, shred cheese and then set aside.
6. Time to assemble! Then spread the sour cream and seasoning mixture, using a spatula, evenly over the pan.
7. Using a spatula, sprinkle lettuce the lettuce over the sour cream in an even layer and additionally not too thick.
8. Sprinkle the shredded cheese all over the lettuce.
8. Finally lay the tomatoes, green onion and olives on the taco salad.
Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
~Monica

taco salad

Published by Monica's Scratch Kitchen

I have not always had the skills to cook and bake from scratch. As a young wife, I bought every meal frozen or boxed and presented it to my husband with a flourish, believing myself a decadent cook. As our budget shrunk, and our family grew, I looked for ways to stretch our money to nourish our kids with the best for their hungry appetites. Hoping to find recipes and meals that they would love to eat. Through the last 5 years, I have learned so many cooking and baking lessons, and experienced many wins and failures. Come along with me on this journey as I share my recipes that work, how to make them on the cheap, and my tips and tricks to get my kids to eat homemade deliciousness! I will also share updates to our house that we have done in the last year since our move. With one income, we do most of the work ourselves and with amazing family and friends to help out, cutting costs but keeping style and money in the bank! I am a wife and mother of 3 boys and 1 princess. When I was a kid, I remember being asked what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. My response was, "a mom", and I am proud to grow up and be a mom to 4 amazing kids! Samuel is 11, Matthew is 8, Levi is 4, and Elliana is almost 2. We have been blessed to have kids who love to explore foods, to try new recipes, and enjoy helping us around the house. With 4 kids, you better believe they help clean! My husband Tyler and I have been married almost 13 years. We love our kids, we love outdoors, camping, canoeing, grilling, watching movies, and just hanging out making memories. A few years ago I gifted Tyler with his own "menu" book, where we write meals and foods we have loved to eat. Weekly our family decides what our meals will be and I make up a grocery list with what we need. It literally is my favorite chore! I love to shop, so shopping for food on a budget is my biggest win! Thank you for taking the time and visiting my site, Subscribe so you do not miss a post! Keep coming back to hear about new recipes, updates on our home, fun times with our kids, and how to make homemade deliciousness! ~Monica

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