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Layered Taco Salad

Layered Taco Salad has all the flavors of tacos piled on top of each other in a trifle dish. It’s easy to make ahead for a potluck or party and it will feed a huge crowd. So many great flavors are combined and with just a few substitutions, you can make this salad low carb.

Taco Salad in a trifle bowl.


Layered Taco Salad is totally customizable. I use iceberg lettuce, black beans, corn, cucumber, taco meat, tomatoes, olives, red onion, avocado, pepper jack cheese, and cilantro. So may ingredients! I think that’s why I love it so much.

There really aren’t any ingredients that are mandatory in this salad. Just pick the ones that you like most. Bell pepper, romaine lettuce, pinto beans, and cheddar cheese are also good.

If you want to make this salad low carb, use homemade taco seasoning and ditch the beans, corn, and Doritos. You might want to double up on the avocado and add some chopped cauliflower.

Layered Taco Salad in a trifle bowl.


Tips for making Layered Taco Salad:

  • I love the beautiful presentation it has in a trifle bowl, but you could use a glass serving bowl, or even a 9×13-inch pan.
  • The great thing about layered salads is they can be assembled a day in advance. But you do need to make sure that your ingredients are drained well and that your lettuce is dry. Otherwise you will have a watery mess after a day or two.

Layered Taco Salad


  • You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef.
  • Wait to cut the avocado just before serving or it will turn brown. Put the crushed Doritos on last minute as well.
  • A great tip for taking the bite out of red onion is to dice it and place it in a bowl of ice water for a good twenty minutes. Drain it and blot it dry with paper towels.

Close-up of Layered Taco Salad showing the layers.


You can add the layers in any order you like.

Layered Taco Salad

More Layered Salads

Taco Salad in a trifle bowl.

Layered Taco Salad

Layered Taco Salad has all the flavors of tacos piled on top of each other in a trifle dish. It's easy to make ahead for a potluck or party and it will feed a huge crowd. 
PREP: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 25 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen corn, cooked and cooled
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack, cheddar cheese, or a Mexican blend
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup crushed Doritos or Tortilla chips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  • Brown ground beef in a large nonstick pan, breaking it apart as it cooks. When there is no more pink left, add the water and taco seasoning. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool.
    Note: If there is a lot of grease, drain some off before adding the water and taco seasoning.
  • In a 3-quart glass bowl or trifle dish, layer the iceberg lettuce, the bean, corn, and cucumbers.
  • Spread the cooled taco meat on top of the cucumbers.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sour cream, salsa, and lime juice.
    Spread on top of the ground beef.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top of sour cream mixture.
  • Make circles of tomato, black olives, red onion, and avocado.
  • Top with crushed Doritos and cilantro.
  • Serve right away or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Calories: 242kcal
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Cinco de Mayo, layer salad, Southwestern Layer Salad

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Layered Taco Salad

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5 thoughts on “Layered Taco Salad”

  1. I made this recipe tonight using leftover chicken from a roasting chicken. I just cut it up and added my taco seasoning to it. We omitted the black olives and avocado due to allergies. The recipe was a hit! My granddaughter who doesn’t like sour cream even liked it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Even better for the onion, cut it up and put it in a small container, add salt, some white vinegar and boiling water to cover it. Cover it, shake it up, and let it sit for a minimum 30 minutes. You have a nice pickled red onion, very flavorful and easier to digest. It would add a nice tang to this salad you have posted.

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