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Taco Salad Deluxe

Taco Salad DeluxeTaco salad is a complete meal that's easy enough for a busy week day supper, or for casual entertaining. Line up the toppings buffet-style so your dinner guests can build their own taco salad.

Recipe Ingredients:

Taco Meat:
Cooking spray
2 pounds ground beef, pork or chicken
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Refried Beans:
2 tablespoons lard* or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
2 (16-ounce) cans refried beans
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Salad Base:
Tortilla chips (preferably Juanitas Tortilla Chips)

Salad Toppings:
Cheddar cheese, grated
Iceberg lettuce, chopped
Tomato, diced
Onion, chopped
Fresh or pickled jalapeños, chopped or sliced
Black olives, whole or sliced
Avocado, diced or sliced
Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Sour cream
Salsa and/or hot sauces
Lime wedges

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Taco Meat: In a large skillet sprayed with cooking oil, cook and crumble the ground beef, pork or chicken with the seasonings over medium heat. Drain excess grease, if needed.
  2. For Refried Beans: In a medium pan, melt lard (or heat vegetable oil) over medium heat, when hot add the seasonings and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat and stir in the refried beans, mixing well; season to taste with salt and pepper. Return pan to medium-low heat and cook the refried beans just until hot and bubbly, stirring frequently.
  3. To Serve: Allow each person to build their own taco salad, starting with a base of tortilla chips topped first with small dollops of refried beans distributed evenly over the chips and then the taco meat. Layer with toppings of choice in the order given, or as desired, ending with a dollop (or small dollops) of sour cream, chopped cilantro, salsa and/or hot sauce, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

*Lard gives a more authentic Mexican flavor.

Recipe and photograph by Hope Cantil; copyright © 1999; property of See Terms of Use.