Famous Taco Salad Recipe

They call this a salad but many folks we know make this Mexican-style treat for dinner—or as a very substantial appetizer. It’s made in layers, with good-quality protein from refried beans and cheese along with salsa, yogurt (healthier for us than the usual sour cream), and fresh veggies for added flavor, nourishment, and zip. Some of us like to scoop it up with taco chips, but the make-this-for-dinner people just crush the chips and add them as a layer.

Easy to make, fun to adapt, and a crowd-pleaser for people of all ages, Taco Salad is one of those recipes we find ourselves making again and again, all summer long. And we include a recipe for classic guacamole, too!


One 15-ounce can refried beans
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup guacamole (see below)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
6 scallions, chopped, including the green tops
1 large bag taco chips

1. Spread the beans in an even layer on the bottom of a decorative deep-dish non-metal serving pan. Sprinkle the cheese over the beans. Place in a microwave oven for 30 seconds on high, until the cheese melts.

2. Spread guacamole over the cheese, then a thin layer of salsa. Spread yogurt gently over salsa.

3. Arrange tomatoes evenly around the outer edge of the pan, then make another ring of chopped scallions inside the ring of tomatoes. If making as a main meal, crush taco chips and place inside the rings of tomato and scallion. If serving as an appetizer, place chips in a basket and serve alongside.

Serves 8.

Classic Guacamole

1 ripe Haas avocado
1 medium tomato, seeds and juice removed
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Juice of 1 lime

1. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out the flesh and place it in a medium-sized bowl. Mash the avocado with the back of a fork until smooth.

2. Add tomato, onion, hot sauce, and lime juice to the avocado and mix well. Place the guacamole in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes 1 cup.

Adapted from Picnic, by DeeDee Stovell (Storey Books, 2001). Coyright (c) 2001 by DeeDee Stovell. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from Picnic, by DeeDee Stovell (Storey Books, 2001).

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Penny B.
.2 years ago

Sounds great, thanks!

Vita Pagh
Vita P.2 years ago

Sounds good. Thank you.

Lady Kaira
Lady Kaira2 years ago


Celine R.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thanks for the recipe :)

Nils Anders Lunde


Natasha Salgado
Natasha Salgado2 years ago


Ethel Harris
Ethel Harris2 years ago

No garlic????

Adilene W.
Adilene W.2 years ago

I think this is what I will be eating for dinner tonight.

Patricia H.
Patricia H.2 years ago

thanks for sharing this recipe

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.