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Taco Salad Bake

Dec 2021

Sinkology is proud to present Emily Schuermann, our food-loving guest blogger who runs Food for a Year. Emily is here to share some recipes she has created exclusively for the Sinkology blog that reflect her view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic. 

As a kid, Taco Salad was my very favorite meal! Maybe because it was almost like having nachos for dinner by the time I finished assembling my salad. No, but really – I think some of the best dinnertime solutions are those that involve a ‘build your own’ component. It makes for an easy meal solution and leaves room for even the pickiest eater to find satisfaction at the table.

I’m excited to share a simple twist on my flashback favorite 1980’s meal by adding many of the classic taco salad ingredients into the taco meat then topping it with shredded cheese before baking it in a casserole pan until gooey and bubbling. 

One of the best parts of this Taco Salad Bake is the flexibility to add-in and subtract any ingredients as you please. Depending on the season or refrigerator, each time you make this it may look a little different.

3 Quick Steps

There are 3 steps to this recipe:

  • making the taco meat
  • baking the meat + cheese until bubbly
  • serving with all the “salad extras”

Taco Salad Bake – the taco meat part

  • ground beef, browned
  • green salsa
  • red salsa
  • crushed tomatoes
  • sliced onion
  • taco seasoning 
  • s + p if needed

Combine the taco meat ingredients and seasonings, bringing the ingredients to a simmer.

Taco Salad Bake – the ‘baked’ part

  • diced tomato
  • frozen corn
  • black beans
  • sliced black olives
  • diced red + white onion
  • shredded Colby Jack cheese

Once these ingredients are combined with the Taco Meat, place in a preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the ‘bake’ is bubbly.

taco bake horz

Taco Salad Bake – the salad part

  • Doritos, nacho cheese flavor (that’s mom’s way!)
  • lettuce
  • additional diced tomatoes, onions, olives and cheese
  • toasted shredded coconut flakes
  • sour cream 
  • Catalina salad dressing

After the Taco Bake has finished cooking in the oven, it’s time to layer the salad toppings and serve. Of course – there are no rules here so feel free to add and omit according to your preferences — you’re the BOSS!

After this Taco Bake Salad was served, I practically kicked myself with a combination of excitement and frustration — Why don’t I make this more often?! It is SO EASY and SO GOOD and SO PRETTY!! And no kidding – that first bite {with the spicy taco meat and layers of cheese and toppings and the crunch of the nacho cheese Doritos and the all important drizzle of Catalina salad dressing – oh what a glorious and GIANT bite it was} – flashed me right back to the ‘hopper seat’ in the dining room of my childhood home in 1982.

You don’t know about a hopper seat? Well – I’ll save that for a post another time, but trust me, the hopper seat is a good thing (at least for everyone not in the hopper seat).

Taco Salad Bake, I love everything about you.

taco bake salad is served 

Taco Salad Bake
  • Taco Meat Ingredients

    • 1.5 lbs ground beef, browned
    • 1 c ea ::
      • green salsa
      • red salsa
      • crushed tomatoes
    • 1/2-1 small sliced onion
    • 1 T taco seasoning, your favorite
    • s + p if needed
  • Taco Bake Ingredients*

    • 2 medium diced tomatoes
    • 1.5 c frozen corn
    • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 c sliced black olives
    • 1/2 medium diced of each
      • red onion
      • white onion
    • 8 oz shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • Salad Ingredients

    • 1 medium bag of Doritos, nacho cheese flavor
    • 2-3 c chopped green lettuce
    • 1/2 c sour cream
    • Catalina salad dressing
    • shredded coconut flakes, toasted (optional)
    • sprouts for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium, 10″ skillet, brown ground beef and add “taco meat” ingredients. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium flame for 5 minutes.

Add “taco bake” ingredients (reserving the cheese for the top) and stir to incorporate. Top with cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Remove the taco bake from the oven and top with “taco salad bake” ingredients as desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 6


*more for garnish


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