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Fiesta Taco Salad

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Fiesta Taco Salad

A Blast from the Past

When I was a kid, my mom taught my brother and me how to make some easy, tasty meals – things like spaghetti, tacos, and even meatloaf. One of the dishes that stands out in my mind is her fiesta taco salad. This was a meal that we loved to prepare together, as it allowed us to customize it to our individual tastes.

We would start with a bed of crushed Doritos and add the taco-seasoned ground beef on top. Then, the fun began as we got to pick and choose our favorite toppings from an array of options – shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and a drizzle of Catalina dressing. It felt like our own personal taco salad bar, and we reveled in the freedom to build our perfect plate.

Mom’s recipe was a hit, and now my brother and I make it for our own families. It’s a dish that’s near and dear to my heart, as it reminds me of those carefree days in the kitchen, learning to cook and bonding over a delicious meal.

A Taco Salad Fit for a Fiesta

Nowadays, when I make fiesta taco salad, I still stick to the basic formula, but I’ve also found ways to put my own spin on it. For instance, I might swap out the Doritos for regular tortilla chips or add in some unexpected ingredients like chopped pecans, shredded coconut, or black olives – a combination that was introduced to me by some new friends back in the ’80s.

The great thing about this dish is its versatility. You can easily customize it to suit your own tastes or the preferences of your family and guests. It’s also a fantastic option for feeding a crowd, as you can double the recipe and set up a taco salad bar, allowing everyone to build their perfect plate.

Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen has a delightful take on the fiesta taco salad, where she imagines the toppings as a lively house party, each ingredient with its own distinct personality. I love the playful, humorous approach, and it resonates with my own experiences of bringing this dish to gatherings and watching everyone dive in with enthusiasm.

A Crowd-Pleasing Favorite

One of my favorite memories of fiesta taco salad comes from when my husband was stationed on submarines in Groton-New London, Connecticut. When the guys were out on the boat, the wives would get together for various events, and I would always bring a big tray of this salad.

The first time I brought it to a potluck, the other wives were a bit skeptical – most of them had never even heard of a taco salad, let alone seen one. But by the time the dinner was over, that big bowl was completely empty! The guys loved it, too, and my husband would often bring them home for a homemade meal, with the fiesta taco salad being a major crowd-pleaser.

These days, when I make this dish, it still brings back those fond memories of community, camaraderie, and good old-fashioned home cooking. It’s a recipe that has stood the test of time, and I’m sure it will continue to be a favorite for years to come. After all, what’s not to love about a fiesta in a bowl?

Customizing Your Fiesta Taco Salad

One of the best things about fiesta taco salad is that you can make it your own. Here are some ideas to help you create the perfect taco salad for your taste buds:

  • Protein: Ground beef is the classic choice, but you can also use ground turkey, shredded chicken, or even plant-based meat alternatives for a vegetarian option.
  • Tortilla Base: While Doritos are a tasty option, you can also use regular tortilla chips, taco shells, or even a bed of lettuce for a low-carb version.
  • Toppings: The possibilities are endless – shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, black beans, olives, guacamole, salsa, and much more. Let your creativity (and your taste buds) be your guide.
  • Dressing: Catalina dressing is a popular choice, but you can also try ranch, vinaigrette, or even a combination of dressings.

No matter how you choose to build your fiesta taco salad, the key is to have fun with it and make it your own. After all, the best recipes are the ones that bring people together and create lasting memories.

So, gather your ingredients, put on your best fiesta attire, and get ready to enjoy a delicious and customizable taco salad that’s sure to be a hit with your family and friends. ¡Buen provecho!


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