Chopped & Layered Taco Salad Recipe

Chopped & Layered Taco Salad Recipe.

The story behind my Chopped & Layered Taco Salad comes from my childhood. It was something my mom made all the time when I was growing up.

Even though she’s an amazing cook in her own right, she’d expand her repertoire by adopting others recipes, like her friend, Elizabeth’s, Layered Taco Salad. It was one of those retro, faux-Mexican dishes that we kids loved.

It combined cooked ground beef, taco seasoning, tubs of sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, and olives. I remember eating bowls of creamy taco salad as an afterschool snack.

Recreating a layered taco salad

I decided to recreate Elizabeth’s Layered Taco Salad as a chopped and layered taco salad. And I wanted to make it pretty by serving it in a trifle bowl.

I also wanted to turn it into a healthy taco salad by using more wholesome ingredients.

I was inspired by recipes like my 7 Can Taco Soup and Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos and ingredients like beans, corn, low fat shredded cheese, diced red onions, salsa, and homemade Greek yogurt guacamole.

This healthy taco salad recipe turned into such a hit with my kids that I make it at least once a month – and we rarely have leftovers.

It’s a shame, because I think Chopped & Layered Taco Salad tastes even better the second day.

So you have leftovers when you make it, double the recipe!

Chopped & Layered Taco Salad in a trifle bowl with onion, avocado and serving utensils.

How to make Chopped & Layered Taco Salad even easier!

How to prepare the ground meat

Along with canned beans and corn, I use one pound of ground beef or ground turkey.

While you’re browning the meat over medium high heat, add your favorite taco seasoning, and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water.

(You can also use this easy Crockpot Taco Meat recipe.)

Just remember to let the taco meat cool before using it in this layered taco salad recipe so you don’t wilt the lettuce. You want it nice and crunchy!

What kind of taco seasoning?

I use 3 tablespoons of my Homemade Taco Seasoning.

I like making my own, since I don’t have to worry about hidden gluten, MSG, sugar, or weird fillers.

Save your broken tortilla chips

Also, this easy taco salad recipe is a a great way to use up some of those broken up tortilla chips you’re left with at the bottom of a bag.

You’ll want to keep your broken tortilla chips in a Ziploc bag in the freezer so they don’t get stale and absorb any funky smells or flavors.

A plate of taco salad on a striped plate with taco salad in a trifle bowl in the background.

How to serve up this easy taco salad recipe

You got to have a trifle bowl!

It’s time to dust off your trifle bowl and use it for something other than whipped cream, berries, and cake during the holidays!

This healthy taco salad recipe looks best when layered in a trifle bowl or a punch bowl. However, any large bowl with high sides, like a mixing bowl, is good in a pinch, too!

This easy taco salad recipe is easy to double, so it’s ideal to feed a party crowd.

Take this healthy taco salad on the go

For potlucks, serve it in a lasagna pan

If you’re taking your layered taco salad to a potluck, make it in a large lasagna pan with a lid and carry it to the party in a Rachael Ray Lasagna Lugger.

I love the Rachael Ray Lugger Bag since it keeps your easy taco salad cold and tidy.

If anything spills, it’s kept inside the bag – and not all over your car. The straps make it easy to carry and it’s super cute, too!

Don’t forget those salad tongs, too! Nothing worse than asking your hostess for a serving spoon and all she has is a plastic fork!

I love these because they can grab big portions of this yummy layered taco salad.

Love Mexican food? Here are a few Mexican recipes you'll adore:

Check out these easy to make Mexican food recipes:

Easy Mexican Rice can be made 10 minutes as a side for tacos or burritos.

Mexican Christmas Salad is also served in a breakfast bowl.

Easy Breakfast Chilaquiles is also terrific for dinner.

Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken Recipe can be used for tacos or to make chicken and rice bowls.

Make your own Quick & Healthy Horchata at home.


Chopped & Layered Taco Salad Recipe

Chopped & Layered Taco Salad Recipe

This Chopped & Layered Taco Salad Recipe is a family favorite. Serve this healthy taco salad at parties and potlucks.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 whole ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 pound ground meat (turkey or beef)
  • 1 12-ounce package taco seasoning (or 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning)
  • 4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce, divided
  • 1 cup crumbled tortilla chips
  • 1 cup salsa (your favorite style)
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15- ounce can corn with red and green peppers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup low fat Mexican style shredded cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion


  1. To make the guacamole, cut the avocado in half. Remove the pit and scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a small bowl. Add the Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt, and hot sauce (to taste). Mash with a fork to break up avocado and stir until ingredients are combined.
  2. Cook taco meat. Let cool.
  3. Assemble the taco salad in a glass trifle bowl in the following order. The beef crumbles go at the bottom. Follow with half the Romaine lettuce. Then add the pinto beans, corn, salsa, tortilla chips, and remaining Romaine lettuce. Finally, add the guacamole, shredded cheese, chopped tomato, and diced red onion.
  4. Keep chilled until served.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 581Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 3831mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 12gSugar: 12gProtein: 29g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on August 12, 2015. Updated with new pictures and information.

Chopped & Layered Taco Salad Recipe

One thought on “Chopped & Layered Taco Salad Recipe

  1. Karen

    I made this salad tonight for dinner, love it, and will make it again. Very good recipe for a hot, in the 90’s. night. thanks for the recipe.


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