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Taco salad with jalapeno ranch dressing

  • Author: Mansee
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Mexican


A delicious, filling taco salad made with a quick spiced ground beef mix and your favorite toppings all tossed in a spicy jalapeno ranch dressing.



Taco meat:

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil 
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water

Jalapeno ranch:

  • 1 egg*
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil*
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 jalapeno, roughly chopped (seeds in or out - your call!)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

For the salad:

  • 2 romaine hearts
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup roasted corn
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced (or use guacamole!)
  • Optional: sliced jalapeno, radish, cheddar or cojita cheese


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add 1lb ground beef and break up a little to get things started. Let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes. 
  2. Flip meat over in large sections and then using a wooden spoon begin to break meat down into small crumbles. (If using ground turkey, or another lean meat, go ahead and add a little oil at this stage.)
  3. Add  2 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano and 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and stir well. Reduce heat to medium and let meat cook, stirring occasionally, until almost cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. 
  4. Push meat aside to clear up a little space. Add 2 teaspoons oil to that space in the pan, along with 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Using your spoon, begin to break up the paste and let it fry a little in the oil for 30 seconds before mixing it back in with the meat. 
  5. Add 1/4 cup stock or water, increase heat again to medium high and let cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until meat is fully cooked and some of the liquid evaporates. 
  6. Make jalapeno ranch dressing
    1. Add 1 egg and 3/4 cup light olive oil to a measuring cup or large, narrow jar. Using an immersion blender, trap the egg and blend for 30 seconds. Once everything looks combined at the bottom, start moving the blender up slowly to emulsify all of the oil.
    2. Add 2 teaspoons dried dill, 2 teaspoons dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 chopped jalapeno pepper and combine. 
    3. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/4 cup buttermilk.
  7. Make salad: To create a platter salad, arrange romaine leaves on one side of large platter. Pile on taco meat, roasted corn, cherry tomatoes, onion, avocado/guac and any other toppings you want! Add bowl of dressing on the side. 


  • You can replace the egg and olive oil with 3/4 cup store-bought mayo
  • The jalapeno ranch dressing will stay well in the fridge for up to a week