This Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing is going to be a new family fave! All the delicious taco flavors come together in this simple salad and is topped with the most amazing, tangy Catalina dressing! If you’ve never had a taco salad with Catalina dressing, you have been missing out! The best part is, you can make this taco salad AND the homemade dressing in less than 30 minutes!
The first time I made this salad, I could not believe how good it was! I have made taco salad before (it’s actually on regular rotation at our house). But the addition of the homemade Catalina dressing…OMG, it just put it over the TOP!!
Catalina dressing is such a #throwback product, isn’t it?! My grandma ALWAYS used to have this dressing in her fridge! So what in the heck took me so long to discover it’s amazingness on a taco salad?!!
Take 5 minutes to whip up this homemade dressing–you will never go back to the bottled stuff! It’s SO. GOOD.
This salad stands alone as an entire meal, no need for anything else…don’t you love salads like that?! Try my Chopped Thai Salad with Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette or Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing if you want more delicious salads that stand alone as a meal!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Super easy meal, kid-friendly, great for picky eaters! (there’s Doritos in it, need I say more?!)
- Can be made ahead of time for a hassle-free dinner.
- The most delicious homemade Catalina dressing you’ll ever have!
- Great recipe for entertaining–it’s always a big hit!!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious Catalina Taco Salad Recipe:
Ground Turkey: I like using lean ground turkey (93% lean or more). Lean ground beef or chicken work perfectly, too!
Doritos: For flavor and crunch!!! Classic nacho cheese Doritos (original flavor) work best!
HOW TO MAKE DORITO TACO SALAD WITH CATALINA DRESSING: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: In a large skillet over medium heat, brown up your ground turkey with a packet of taco seasoning.
Step 2: To a large bowl, add your lettuce.
Step 3: Whisk all salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl. OR put all dressing ingredients in a medium jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until ingredients are combined.
Then, top lettuce with all the toppings: taco meat, tomatoes, corn, cheese, olives, onion and crushed Doritos. Drizzle with dressing, toss and serve!
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Making the dressing in a jar with a tight fitting lid is SO EASY and it makes it easy to store any extra.
- Using a potato masher to break up your meat while cooking works so well! Use the potato masher in the last minute or so of cooking.
- If you don’t think you will finish the whole salad in one day, toss individual portions with the dressing vs. the entire bowl. This will allow you to store the leftovers without them getting too soggy.
- If you are running short on time, use a bottled Catalina dressing.
HOW TO STORE THIS DELICIOUS TACO SALAD
- Store leftover salad (without dressing) in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days. Store dressing in a jar or small container up to two weeks.
ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Additions: Here are some yummy additions to this salad!
- Beans: Beans are a great addition to this salad! Black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans add a little extra protein.
- Sour cream
- Ranch dressing: The mix of the Catalina and Ranch dressing is divine!
- Pico de Gallo
- Substitutions: Try these substitutions!
- Fritos: Make this a Fritos Taco Salad and add crushed crunchy Frito chips in place of Doritos.
- Green Onions/Scallions: Use these in place of the red onion.
- Dressing: Bottled Catalina, French or Ranch dressing all work well if you’re short on time.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Without dressing, this salad with last up to 3 days. If there is dressing on the salad, it will last until the next day, at most.
Yes! This delicious taco salad can be made ahead of time for family gatherings, BBQs and parties!
To make this salad up to 24 hours in advance: Assemble the salad in a large bowl with all the “toppings” (taco meat, tomatoes, corn, cheese, olives, onions) on bottom of the bowl, and the lettuce on top. This will prevent the lettuce from getting soggy. Store the dressing separately.
When you’re ready to serve, toss salad with the dressing, add your crushed Doritos and serve.
This salad stands along as a main dish. However, if you want to serve it as a side salad, it goes great alongside grilled meats!
Fun fact: “Catalina” dressing was actually trademarked by Kraft Foods back in the 60’s! It’s a variation of French dressing. I will say, however, this quick and simple homemade Catalina dressing blows the bottled dressing out of the water!
OTHER SALADS YOU’LL LOVE
- THE BEST TOSSED SALAD FOR A CROWD
- PEACH AND BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE
- QUINOA ARUGULA SALAD WITH CHICKEN
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Dorito Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing
Homemade Catalina Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar Sherry vinegar works, too
- 1 tsp smoked paprika sweet paprika is good, too!
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp Worcestershire
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
Dorito Taco Salad
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 packet taco seasoning, low sodium if possible or about 2 tablespoons
- 8 cups romaine lettuce, torn or chopped into small pieces or iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup corn (frozen or canned)
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives about one cup
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- crushed Doritos, to taste
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until combined. OR add all ingredients to a medium sized jar and shake until combined. Set aside.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook 2-3 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Pro Tip: Using a potato masher when the meat is almost cooked through works really well to break up the meat!
- Drain off excess fat (in necessary) and add in taco seasoning. If your taco seasoning packet calls for water, add that in as well. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
- In a large serving bowl, add lettuce.
- To the bowl, add all of your other "toppings" (turkey, tomatoes, corn, olives. cheese and onion).
- Drizzle on Catalina dressing, toss and serve immediately.