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Taco Bean Salad Recipe

Dive into the heart of Mexican cuisine with this vibrant taco bean salad. Bringing together a medley of beans, succulent ground beef, crunchy tortilla chips, and an array of herbs and spices, this recipe is perfect for a lively family dinner or a fun-filled social gathering.

Taco Bean Salad Recipe
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While most ingredients in this recipe are fairly common, you may need to specifically look for taco sauce and hot pepper sauce. These can usually be found in the ethnic or international aisle of your local supermarket. Keep in mind that taco sauce comes in various heat levels, so choose according to your preference.

Essential Ingredients for a Flavorful Taco Bean Salad

Olive oil: Used for sautéing the onions and ground beef, it adds a subtle flavor to the base of the salad.

Onion: Adds a sweet and savory flavor to the salad when cooked down.

Ground beef: Provides a hearty, meaty element to the salad. Can be substituted with ground turkey for a leaner option.

Chili powder, Dried oregano, Ground cumin: These spices add depth and warmth to the dish, giving it its characteristic Mexican flavor.

Black olives: Adds a tangy, briny note that contrasts wonderfully with the other flavors.

Assorted beans: The heart of the salad, they bring texture, flavor and nutrition to the dish.

Mayonnaise, Taco sauce, Hot pepper sauce: These ingredients combine to create a creamy, zesty dressing that ties all the other ingredients together beautifully.

Iceberg lettuce, Tomato: Adds a fresh, crisp element to the salad.

Cheddar cheese: Melts slightly when mixed with the warm ingredients, adding a creamy, savory touch.

Tortilla chips: Provides a satisfying crunch, contrasting the other textures in the salad.

One reader, Antonia Booker says:

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This taco bean salad recipe is a game-changer! The combination of flavors is simply amazing. The beans and spices create a delicious and satisfying dish. The dressing is the perfect finishing touch. It's a hit with my family and friends every time I make it. Highly recommended!

Antonia Booker

Key Techniques for Making Taco Bean Salad

How to caramelize onions: Caramelizing onions involves cooking them slowly over low heat until they turn golden brown and develop a sweet, rich flavor. This process usually takes around 30-45 minutes, and it's important to stir them occasionally to prevent burning.

How to drain and discard grease: After cooking ground beef, it's important to drain the excess grease by carefully pouring it out of the skillet into a heatproof container. Once the grease has cooled and solidified, it can be discarded in the trash.

How to assemble the taco bean salad: Layer the lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, bean mixture, and tortilla chips in a serving dish. Drizzle the prepared dressing over the top just before serving to ensure the salad stays crisp and fresh.

How To Make Taco Bean Salad

This bean salad has four different kinds of tender beans tossed with ground beef, crunchy lettuce, tomato, and savory taco sauce, for a delectable meal!

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 1tspolive oil
  • 1large onion,chopped
  • 2lbsground beef
  • ½cupchili powder
  • 1tbspdried oregano
  • 2tbspground cumin
  • ¾cupblack olives,sliced
  • 14ozlight red kidney beans,(2 cans), drained, rinsed
  • 16ozgarbanzo beans,drained, rinsed
  • 16ozpinto beans,(1 can), drained, rinsed
  • 16ozblack beans,(1 can), drained, rinsed
  • salt and ground black pepper,to taste
  • 4cupsmayonnaise
  • 1cuptaco sauce
  • 2tsphot pepper sauce
  • 1iceberg lettuce head,shredded
  • 1tomato,chopped
  • 2cupscheddar cheese,shredded
  • 2cupstortilla chips,crumbled


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion for about 5 minutes until it has softened and turned translucent.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue cooking and stirring for about 15 to 20 minutes more until the onion is very tender and dark brown.

  3. Cook and stir ground beef into onion for about 10 minutes until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease.

  4. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, and cumin for about 1 minute until incorporated. Remove from heat.

  5. Stir in the olives, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and black beans. Allow to cool.

  6. Mix together the mayonnaise, taco sauce, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Assemble:

  1. Layer lettuce with tomatoes, Cheddar cheese, bean mixture, tortilla chips, and dressing.

  2. Serve and enjoy!


  • Calories: 1429.63kcal
  • Fat: 90.12g
  • Saturated Fat: 19.99g
  • Trans Fat: 1.16g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 26.21g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 39.45g
  • Carbohydrates: 106.46g
  • Fiber: 25.35g
  • Sugar: 9.28g
  • Protein: 52.13g
  • Cholesterol: 106.15mg
  • Sodium: 995.74mg
  • Calcium: 366.49mg
  • Potassium: 2297.41mg
  • Iron: 11.61mg
  • Vitamin A: 160.09µg
  • Vitamin C: 9.72mg

Helpful Technique for Enhancing Taco Bean Salad Flavor

When preparing the bean mixture, it's important to let it cool before adding it to the salad. This prevents the heat from wilting the lettuce and melting the cheese, ensuring that your salad stays crisp and fresh. Additionally, when layering your salad, consider placing the heavier ingredients, like the bean mixture and cheese, at the bottom and the lighter ones, like the lettuce and tomatoes, at the top. This helps to keep the salad from getting weighed down and maintains the texture of the ingredients.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Taco Bean Salad

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables, cook beans, and brown meat in advance to save time when assembling the salad.

Use canned beans: Opt for canned beans instead of cooking them from scratch to cut down on preparation time.

Invest in a food processor: Use a food processor to quickly chop vegetables and herbs for the salad.

Organize ingredients: Gather all the ingredients and tools needed before starting to cook to streamline the process.

Multi-task: While the meat is browning, prep the vegetables or make the dressing to make the most of your time in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Taco Bean Salad Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable replacement for olive oil in this recipe.

  • ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a leaner alternative to ground beef and can be used as a healthier option in this recipe.

  • chili powder - Substitute with paprika and cayenne mix: A combination of paprika and cayenne can replicate the flavor and heat of chili powder.

  • dried oregano - Substitute with dried marjoram: Dried marjoram has a similar earthy and slightly sweet flavor to oregano, making it a suitable substitute.

  • ground cumin - Substitute with ground coriander: Ground coriander can provide a similar warm and citrusy flavor to cumin in this recipe.

  • black olives - Substitute with green olives: Green olives can offer a different flavor profile but still provide a tangy and briny element to the salad.

  • light red kidney beans - Substitute with cannellini beans: Cannellini beans have a creamy texture and mild flavor, making them a good substitute for light red kidney beans.

  • garbanzo beans - Substitute with black-eyed peas: Black-eyed peas can provide a similar texture and nutty flavor to garbanzo beans in the salad.

  • pinto beans - Substitute with navy beans: Navy beans have a mild flavor and creamy texture, making them a suitable replacement for pinto beans.

  • black beans - Substitute with adzuki beans: Adzuki beans have a slightly sweet flavor and firm texture, making them a unique alternative to black beans.

  • mayonnaise - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can provide a creamy texture and tangy flavor while reducing the overall fat content in the dressing.

  • taco sauce - Substitute with salsa: Salsa can offer a similar tangy and spicy flavor to taco sauce, adding a different dimension to the salad.

  • hot pepper sauce - Substitute with chipotle hot sauce: Chipotle hot sauce can provide a smoky and spicy kick, similar to hot pepper sauce, enhancing the flavor of the salad.

  • iceberg lettuce - Substitute with romaine lettuce: Romaine lettuce offers a crisp texture and slightly sweeter flavor, making it a suitable alternative to iceberg lettuce.

  • cheddar cheese - Substitute with Monterey Jack cheese: Monterey Jack cheese has a mild and creamy flavor, making it a good substitute for cheddar in this recipe.

  • tortilla chips - Substitute with corn chips: Corn chips can provide a crunchy and salty element, similar to tortilla chips, in the salad.

Presentation Tips for a Delightful Taco Bean Salad

  1. Elevate the taco bean salad: Start by layering the salad in a ring mold for a clean and professional presentation. This will give the dish a refined and elegant look.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle the top of the salad with freshly chopped cilantro and parsley to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.

  3. Create a tortilla chip fan: Arrange the tortilla chips in a fan shape on top of the salad for a visually appealing and crunchy element.

  4. Drizzle with taco sauce: Use a squeeze bottle to create artistic drizzles of taco sauce around the plate, adding a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

  5. Use a variety of beans for visual appeal: Arrange the different types of beans in a visually appealing pattern, creating a mosaic of colors and textures on the plate.

  6. Incorporate edible flowers: Garnish the dish with edible flowers such as nasturtiums or marigolds to add a delicate and elegant touch to the presentation.

  7. Serve in a stylish bowl: Present the taco bean salad in a modern, stylish bowl that complements the vibrant colors of the dish and enhances its visual appeal.

  8. Add a sprinkle of queso fresco: Finish the dish with a delicate sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco on top for a touch of creaminess and a beautiful finishing touch.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Taco Bean Salad

  • Skillet: A flat-bottomed pan used for frying, searing, and browning ingredients.
  • Knife: A sharp tool used for cutting and chopping ingredients.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for combining and mixing ingredients.
  • Spatula: A flat utensil used for flipping and turning ingredients while cooking.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen tool with holes used for draining liquids from food.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Tools used for accurately measuring ingredients for recipes.
  • Cutting board: A flat board used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Can opener: A tool used for opening cans of ingredients.
  • Salad spinner: A kitchen tool used to wash and dry salad greens and herbs.
  • Tongs: A utensil with two arms and a pivot used for gripping and lifting ingredients.
  • Grater: A tool used for grating or shredding ingredients such as cheese or vegetables.
  • Ladle: A long-handled spoon with a deep bowl used for serving soups and stews.
  • Whisk: A utensil used for blending and mixing ingredients together.
  • Food processor: A kitchen appliance used for chopping, blending, and pureeing ingredients.
  • Skewers: Long, narrow metal or wooden sticks used for holding and grilling food items.
  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking and roasting dishes.
  • Refrigerator: An appliance used for storing and preserving perishable ingredients.

Storage and Freezing Guidelines for Taco Bean Salad

  • To store leftover taco bean salad, place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. The lettuce and tortilla chips may become soggy over time, so it's best to store them separately and add them just before serving.

  • If you want to prepare the taco bean salad ahead of time, you can mix the beans, ground beef, and seasonings together and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Prepare the dressing and store it separately in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, assemble the salad with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and tortilla chips.

  • For longer storage, you can freeze the bean and beef mixture for up to 2-3 months. Allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or resealable bag. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Thaw the mixture in the refrigerator overnight before using it in the salad.

  • It's not recommended to freeze the entire assembled taco bean salad as the lettuce, tomatoes, and tortilla chips will lose their texture and become soggy upon thawing. Always assemble the salad with fresh ingredients for the best quality and taste.

How To Reheat Taco Bean Salad Leftovers

  • Reheat the taco bean salad in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired temperature. This method is quick and easy, but may cause the lettuce to wilt slightly.

  • For a crispier texture, reheat the taco bean salad in a skillet over medium heat. Add a small amount of olive oil or butter to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the salad is heated through and the tortilla chips regain their crunch.

  • If you have time, reheat the taco bean salad in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), spread the salad evenly on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through. This method helps maintain the texture of the lettuce and tortilla chips.

  • For a cold taco bean salad, simply remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the salad to reach a more palatable temperature.

  • If the dressing has separated or the salad seems dry after reheating, add a fresh dollop of sour cream, salsa, or guacamole to revive the flavors and texture.

Interesting Trivia About Taco Bean Salad

The taco bean salad recipe is a delicious and nutritious dish that is packed with protein and fiber from the variety of beans used. It's a great way to incorporate different types of beans into your diet, providing essential nutrients and a satisfying meal. Beans are also known for their cholesterol-lowering properties, making this salad a heart-healthy option. Additionally, the combination of spices and taco sauce adds a flavorful kick to the dish, making it a crowd-pleaser for gatherings and potlucks. Enjoy this versatile salad as a side dish or a main course, and feel free to customize it with your favorite toppings and ingredients.

Is Making Taco Bean Salad at Home Cost-Effective?

This taco bean salad recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The combination of ground beef, various beans, and vegetables makes it a budget-friendly option. The versatility of the ingredients allows for easy customization based on what's available, reducing potential waste. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $20, making it an economical choice. The overall verdict rating for this recipe would be 8 out of 10, considering its affordability, nutritional value, and delicious flavors.

Is Taco Bean Salad Healthy or Unhealthy?

This taco bean salad recipe is quite unhealthy due to several factors:

  • The recipe calls for a large amount of ground beef (2 lbs), which is high in saturated fat and calories.
  • The use of 4 cups of mayonnaise adds a significant amount of unhealthy fats and calories to the dish.
  • The inclusion of cheddar cheese further increases the saturated fat and calorie content.
  • The recipe lacks a balance of nutrients, as it is heavy on proteins and fats but low on vegetables and fiber.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of ground beef and replace some of it with additional beans or vegetables to increase fiber and nutrients while decreasing saturated fat and calories.
  • Use a healthier alternative to mayonnaise, such as Greek yogurt or a light vinaigrette dressing, to cut down on unhealthy fats and calories.
  • Opt for reduced-fat cheddar cheese or use a smaller amount to minimize the saturated fat content.
  • Incorporate more vegetables into the salad, such as bell peppers, cucumbers, or carrots, to increase the nutrient density and fiber content of the dish.
  • Use whole-grain tortilla chips or replace them with a healthier option, such as baked pita chips or whole-grain crackers, to add more fiber and nutrients to the recipe.

Editor's Opinion on the Taco Bean Salad Recipe

This taco bean salad recipe offers a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The combination of various beans, seasoned ground beef, and a zesty dressing creates a satisfying and hearty dish. However, the excessive use of mayonnaise may overpower the other flavors. Consider reducing the amount or substituting with a lighter alternative to enhance the overall balance. Additionally, incorporating fresh herbs or citrus elements could elevate the dish's complexity. Overall, this recipe has great potential with some adjustments to enhance its appeal.

Enhance Your Taco Bean Salad Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty and creamy guacamole dip with ripe avocados, fresh lime juice, and a hint of garlic for a perfect accompaniment to the taco bean salad.
Cornbread: Whip up a batch of golden, buttery cornbread muffins to serve alongside the hearty and flavorful taco bean salad.
Fruit Salad: Prepare a refreshing and colorful fruit salad with a mix of seasonal fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple for a sweet and juicy contrast to the savory taco bean salad.

Tasty Alternatives to Taco Bean Salad

Spicy Chicken Enchiladas: These enchiladas are filled with tender, spicy chicken and topped with a flavorful homemade enchilada sauce. They're sure to be a hit at your next dinner party!
Mango Salsa Chicken: This dish features juicy, grilled chicken topped with a refreshing mango salsa. It's the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
Creamy Potato Leek Soup: Indulge in this creamy and comforting soup made with tender potatoes and flavorful leeks. It's the perfect dish to warm you up on a chilly evening.

Appetizers and Desserts That Complement Taco Bean Salad

Stuffed Mushrooms: Delight your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a delicious blend of cheeses, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Indulge in the creamy and flavorful spinach and artichoke dip, served with crispy tortilla chips for the ultimate appetizer experience. A crowd-pleasing dish that will leave everyone wanting more.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Berry Parfait: Layered with fresh berries, creamy yogurt, and crunchy granola, this berry parfait is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors. The vibrant colors and refreshing taste make it a perfect dessert for any occasion.

Why trust this Taco Bean Salad Recipe:

This recipe is a trusted favorite, crafted by a seasoned chef with a passion for flavorful and nutritious dishes. Each ingredient, from the ground beef to the assortment of beans, is carefully selected for quality and taste. The combination of chili powder, oregano, and cumin creates a rich and aromatic blend that infuses the dish with irresistible spices. The addition of taco sauce and hot pepper sauce elevates the flavors to new heights. This recipe promises a delightful fusion of textures and tastes, making it a must-try for any food enthusiast.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this Taco Bean Salad Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
What type of beans can I use for this taco bean salad recipe?
You can use a variety of beans for this recipe, such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans. Feel free to mix and match based on your preferences.
Can I make any substitutions for the mayonnaise in the dressing?
Yes, you can substitute the mayonnaise with Greek yogurt or sour cream for a lighter alternative.
How can I make this recipe vegetarian?
To make this recipe vegetarian, you can substitute the ground beef with plant-based meat alternatives or simply omit it and add extra beans for protein.
Can I prepare the taco bean salad in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the bean mixture and dressing in advance and store them separately in the refrigerator. Assemble the salad just before serving to keep the ingredients fresh and crisp.
Is there a way to make this recipe spicier?
If you prefer a spicier flavor, you can increase the amount of hot pepper sauce in the dressing or add diced jalapeños to the bean mixture for an extra kick.

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