Taco Salad Skillet

Oops, do I make too many taco dishes?


Okay really, I’m sorry if you’re not as into tacos as I am, but I just can’t help it. Today I was craving the classic American style taco salad with seasoned ground beef, cheese, iceberg lettuce, and a crunchy corn chips. I changed up the presentation by layering all of the ingredients right into the skillet used to cook the ground beef, making it a Taco Salad Skillet. Not only did this cut down on the number of dishes that I had to wash, but it made the presentation a little more fun, which is always nice when you’re in a weeknight dinner rut.

What’s In Taco Salad Skillet?

This delicious dish starts with a base layer of seasoned ground beef, black beans, and corn. A little layer of cheddar cheese is melted on top of the beef, beans, and corn, then everything is topped with crunchy tortilla chips, crisp iceberg lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and green onion. 

Does it Need Salad Dressing?

In lieu of salad dressing, I just topped mine as I would top tacos—with sour cream. You could also use something like Lime Crema or Ranch Dressing. 

What Else Can I Add?

Just like tacos, this Taco Salad Skillet is extremely flexible. Check your refrigerator for other ingredients you may have on hand that need to be used up. Here are some other topping ideas:

  • avocado
  • jalapeño
  • black olives
  • pineapple
  • pickled red onions

Can I Make it Vegetarian?

Yes, absolutely! If you want to do a vegetarian version, you can either use two cans of black beans or a mix of black beans and pinto beans. Or, you can also go the other way and use all meat (1 lb.) instead of a half and half mix of beans and beans.

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Taco Salad Skillet

4.69 from 22 votes This entire taco salad is served right in the skillet used to cook the seasoned taco beef. Taco Salad Skillet. Fun, fast, and delicious. Author: Beth – Budget Bytes Servings 4 Prep 10 minutes Cook 15 minutes Total 25 minutes Save RecipeSaved! Print Recipe


  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef ($1.37)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder blend ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained ($1.19)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed ($0.50)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.30)
  • 2 cups broken tortilla chips ($0.50)
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce ($0.75)
  • 1 large tomato ($0.73)
  • 3 green onions ($0.17)
  • 8 oz. sour cream ($1.00)


  • Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the cooking oil and ground beef. Sauté the beef, breaking it into crumbles as you go, until fully browned. Drain the excess fat if needed.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to the skillet. Drain, but do not rinse, the black beans and then add them to the skillet. Stir until the beef and beans are coated in the spices. Continue to sauté until heated through (3-5 minutes).
  • Spread the corn kernels and shredded cheese over the beef and bean mixture. Place a lid on the skillet and let the mixture warm through until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, dice the tomato, slice the green onions, and shred the lettuce.
  • Once the cheese is melted, turn off the heat. Top the skillet with the broken tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, and green onion. Scoop the layered salad into each of four bowls, then add a dollop of sour cream to each serving.

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 521.3kcalCarbohydrates: 47.18gProtein: 28.58gFat: 25.45gSodium: 796.7mgFiber: 13.9g Read our full nutrition disclaimer here. Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

How to Make Taco Salad Skillet – Step by Step Photos

I got an incredible deal on a pound of ground beef because it was the last of its shelf life. When you find these sales, the meat needs to be cooked or frozen that day. I used a half pound for this recipe and froze the second half. Brown the beef in a deep skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp cooking oil. Once it’s fully browned, drain off the excess fat if needed.

After the beef is browned, add 1/2 Tbsp chili powder blend (not ground hot chile pepper), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/8 tsp salt.

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans, but do not rinse them. You want a little bit of that starchy liquid to help hydrate the spices and create a little bit of sauce. Add the beans to the skillet and stir until everything is coated in spices. Stir and cook the mixture until it’s heated through.

Add one cup of frozen corn kernels (thawed) and one cup of shredded cheddar to the skillet. Place a lid on top and allow everything to heat through until the cheese is melted (about five minutes). While that’s heating, dice a large tomato, slice three green onions, and shred 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce.

Once the cheese is melted, turn off the heat. Add about 2 cups of slightly crushed tortilla chips to the top of the skillet.

Finally, add the lettuce, tomato, and green onion to the top of the skillet.

Scoop individual portions (4-6 portions per skillet, depending on how big you want them), then top with a dollop of sour cream.

You can have extra tomato, lettuce, or chips near by incase anyone wants to customize their bowl. 🙂

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