Growing up, we were generally on a weekly meal rotation of spaghetti (with ragu mushroom flavor sauce only thank you very much), meatloaf, biscuits and gravy, goulash, chili, pizza, and my personal favorite: taco salad. But this isn’t just any taco salad. Mom always uses a McCormick brand taco seasoning packet and Doritos for her taco salad, and for me that’s what gives it the flavor I remember from my childhood. It’s a totally un-fancy, comforting classic and I’m here for it.
I healthified mom’s recipe a bit (don’t worry, there are still Doritos), but believe me, all the flavor is still there!
As for toppings, as always, change it up with whatever you’d like. My mom classically topped hers with halved cherry tomatoes, Ortega brand taco sauce, lots of Mexican blend cheese and sour cream. I loved it just as much then as I do today and I’m genuinely so happy to share this recipe with you. Food has such memory and every time I eat this with my own little family it takes me right back home.
As for the healthifying part, I use fat free greek yogurt (personally I love fage brand) in place of the sour cream and I use lean ground turkey instead of 80/20 ground beef as my mom uses. I still use doritos, just probably not as many as I used to as a 16 year old 🙂 I also cut back on the amount of cheese that I use, but that is just a personal preference. You totally get to do you in this scenario (as you always should with any recipe!). Add avocado, add cilantro, use beef if you want, use ground chicken, use pepperjack cheese, use romaine instead of iceberg I mean, go crazy, just don’t mess with the doritos or me and my mom will have to have a talk with you.
I’m obviously joking, use whatever you need, but this is one of those recipes that doesn’t have rules. Basically you brown your ground meat, add your taco seasoning, and the rest of the game is up to you! I want to sign off by saying something cutesie like “from my house to yours,” but I just don’t feel like this recipe even needs that! It’s a weeknight staple for obvious reasons, and I hope that it can be something easy for you to add to your own weeknight meal repertoire that the whole family will enjoy!
Mom’s Taco Salad
- 1 bag of Doritos (we use Nacho Cheese flavor)
- 1 lb of lean ground turkey (93/7) or ground meat of your choice
- 1 Packet McCormick brand taco seasoning (or homemade taco seasoning)
- Iceberg lettuce
- Mexican blend cheese (or whatever you like)
- Taco sauce
- Halved cherry tomatoes
- Black or Pinto beans
- Refried beans
- Louisiana hot sauce (my husband’s fave)
- Red Onion
Over medium high heat, cook the ground turkey, breaking it up as it cooks. Add packet of taco seasoning and follow package directions (or add your own spice blend).
Place a serving of doritos on a plate, crunch them up a little with your hands (my mom always does this) or leave them whole, put on your meat mixture and add your toppings. Enjoy!