Layered Mexican Salad

Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy.

A simple Mexican salad with layers of veggies, seasoned ground beef, cheese, crunchy tortilla chips and a special 3-ingredient sauce. 


Layered Mexican Salad Recipe

Mexican Salad!

I’m generally not a salad eater unless it is loaded up with cheese, protein, lots of veggies besides lettuce and dressing.

One salad I’m always ready for?

Mexican Salad. This layered salad is full of some very good, hearty ingredients.


What is in Mexican Salad?

Iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes and diced onions are the basic veggies involved in this Mexican salad.

I love that this salad can be a complete meal since it is loaded with protein.

  • First comes black beans. I’ve seen this recipe made with kidney beans, but to be honest, I’d rather have small beans. Black beans fit this salad perfectly. The kids don’t complain that there are beans in their salad because they hardly notice them. Win!
  • For more protein, I add lean ground beef seasoned with our homemade taco seasoning. I went with 90% lean ground sirloin. Use your favorite ground beef, just be sure to drain any excess fat off.
  • Freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese adds another boost of protein.
  • Crushed tortilla chips give Mexican salads an extra crunch and a boost of flavor. I put two layers of tortilla chips in this salad. You could use Fritos or I’m guessing even Doritos would work.

Dressing for Mexican Salad

Lastly, but certainly not least comes the three ingredient special sauce. It’s simply thousand island dressing, taco sauce and taco seasoning. An unlikely combination, but one that tastes so fresh and spicy on this simple Mexican salad. We use it on our taco pasta salad, too!

It’s best if you make up this salad right before serving. I got all the layers ready ahead of time and kept them in the fridge, then layered them in a 4-quart glass bowl just before we wanted to eat it.

I did eat leftovers the next day and still enjoyed it. Because the tortilla chips weren’t crunchy anymore, I added a few extra crushed chips in my leftover salad and didn’t notice the difference!


This salad is going to be a hit at your upcoming picnics and family get-togethers.

Other Mexican Recipes

bowl of layered mexican salad
bowl of layered mexican salad

Layered Mexican Salad

5 from 5 votes
A simple Mexican salad with layers of veggies, seasoned ground beef, cheese, crunchy tortilla chips and a special 3-ingredient sauce.
Servings 8 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Email Me This Recipe!
Enter your email and get the recipe sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week.


  • 1 pound ground sirloin 90% lean
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 4 cups tomatoes diced (about 2)
  • 1 cup large onion chopped (about 1)
  • 1 can black beans (14 ounces, rinsed and drained)
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • 10 ounces tortilla chips lightly crushed

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1 tablespoon taco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • Chopped green onions for garnishing optional


  • In a skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain off the fat.
  • Add 2 tablespoons taco seasoning to the ground beef and mix well. Set aside.
  • Place the lettuce in a 4-quart glass bowl.
  • Top with chopped tomatoes and onions.
  • Add the drained and rinsed black beans.
  • Add the seasoned ground beef.
  • Sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese.
  • Sprinkle with half of the tortilla chips.
  • In a small bowl, combine the dressing, taco sauce and taco seasoning for the special sauce. Mix well and pour over the layered salad.
  • Top with additional cheese and tortilla chips.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.
  • Serve immediately.



*If you are making this salad in advance, keep the layers in separate sealed containers and layer together right before serving. **You could also layer the lettuce, tomato, onion and beans ahead of time, then add the remaining ingredients right before serving.


Serving: 280g | Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Calories 534
About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

Get 5 Classic Recipes with a Deliciously Secret Twist

You might also like

Join the Discussion

5 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Rosemary Clayton
2 years ago

5 stars
I made this years ago and you put it in taco salad bowls, the kind you can eat. It made a nice company dish.

Lou Zimmerman
4 years ago

5 stars
Family has lived on Taco Salad for over 35 summers and more than a few winters. I add chopped cucumber and green & red bell peppers. Instead of Thousand Island, we toss the salad with Creamy French Dressing (makes the dish perfect for camp-outs and picnics – no mayo. And I always have to make triple the recipe – we all LOVE leftovers (yes, throw on some fresh taco chips) – pile it in a soup bowl and microwave for 30-60 seconds to bring out the flavors and spices again. H-m-m, think I’ll make some in the morning 🙂

ChrisTina Elliott
4 years ago

5 stars
Gonna make it tonight!

8 years ago

If you want to have the salad the next day leave the chips as an option then they won’t get soggy

Olivia @ livforcake
8 years ago

This looks SO delicious. Wish I was having this for lunch!

Melanie @ Gather for Bread
8 years ago

Looks so scrumptious!