My Mom’s Taco Salad

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Happy birthday Mom!! Yup, today is her birthday, so in honor of this day I’m posting one of my favorite things she made for us regularly while I was growing up. Please meet…. the only salad I willingly ate as a child!! It’s a miracle! Though truth be told, I probably picked out the lettuce….

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This one is so delicious, and I always loved it. It’s Tex-Mex to the core, extremely flavorful, and pretty adaptable to your own tastes. It’s perfect for when you want a rich, hearty Tex-Mex fix but the weather is too warm for chili (which is about half the year where I grew up).

I received this recipe around the time when I got married, and I’ve definitely made it from time to time over the years (Matt loves it). It deserves a space on the blog. I haven’t really changed it much except to make the dressing myself. My mom always uses Thousand Island dressing for this, and I have too; I just made it myself, which is extremely easy to do!

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This is a wonderful recipe to have in your repertoire – it’s very easy and perfect for tired, busy weeknights. Thank you Mom!! And I hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration today!

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{One Year Ago: Fattoush Salad, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding, Salted Honey Pie, Rhubarb Crisp}

1 cup mayo
½ cup ketchup
1/3 cup pickle relish
1 tbs chopped jarred pimentos
Couple dashes of hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Olive oil
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 small-medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs ground cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz.) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped, divided
1-2 heads of iceberg lettuce, cored and thinly sliced
1 avocado, chopped
Shredded cheddar
Crushed tortilla chips

First make the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise and ketchup in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk or stir until well combined. Refrigerate until needed.
Now make the salad. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and add the sirloin. Use a spoon or a potato masher to break up the meat. Cook until no traces of pink remain and it is nicely crumbled. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook another 5 or so minutes, until the onion has softened and appears translucent. Add the chili powder and cumin, plus season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
Shut off the heat. Add the kidney beans, black olives, and 2 of the chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine. Let this meat mixture cool slightly while you prep the salad ingredients.
To assemble, place a nice amount of lettuce on a dinner plate. Top with some of the taco meat, then spoon some Thousand Island dressing on the meat and lettuce. Garnish with avocado, cheddar, and tortilla chips.

7 responses to “My Mom’s Taco Salad

  1. We make the same salad except but with ranch dressing! And it’s always a hit! Now I need to try the thousand island version!

  2. Barbara Wallace

    Thank you SO much, Julie! I did do that or some sort of taco salad a lot, didn’t I. I never remember you picking out the lettuce!! Ha. This makes me want to fix it again SOON. Thanks so much for helping to make my birthday special!

  3. How fun to share this! Boy does Taco Salad bring back memories. I still love a good Taco Salad.

  4. Pingback: Spanish Caesar Salad | The Texan New Yorker

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