Cheryl’s Taco Salad

This is the recipe for my Mom’s famous taco salad. Okay, maybe it’s not world famous but it was definitely highly requested at all our family reunions. I’m not sure where she picked up the recipe but I have vivid memories of her making this throughout my childhood. Now she’s in a nursing home and unable to cook but I did take her some of this salad I made recently and she was so excited. She was sharing it with friends and staff. It was a special moment for her to brag about something she used to make. It made my heart happy!


Mom used to make this for large crowds so the recipe is easily adjustable to serve as many as you need. The ingredients shown here was enough to serve 8-10 people.



Cheryl’s Taco Salad


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 box (12) hard taco shells, broken into pieces
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 jar taco sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5-6 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped


  1. Chop lettuce into bite size pieces and pat lettuce dry with paper towels.
  2. Seed and chop tomatoes.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, add ground beef and sprinkle with taco seasoning. 
  4. Cook ground beef until browned and drain grease. Allow ground beef to cool before adding to other ingredients. 
  5. In a large bowl, combine lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.
  6. Break taco shells into bite-size pieces. 
  7. Add ground beef over other ingredients in the bowl and then add taco shell pieces. 
  8. Pour in taco sauce and mix well until all ingredients are coated. Serve immediately.

Chef’s Note: It is important to keep as much moisture out of this salad as possible. Drying the lettuce and seeding the tomatoes is a must. Also, if you’re taking the salad somewhere, I would recommend you don’t add the taco sauce until you’re ready to serve. This salad is best when you eat it the same day it’s made.

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