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Fort Smith
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Catalina Taco Salad


It’s a running joke in the church that you aren’t Pentecostal unless you have potlucks, although I’ve heard that it’s popular with the Baptists as well! Either way, most all churches love to have fellowship dinners. Since I talk a lot and love to cook, I absolutely love church “get-togethers.” This recipe is one I’ve crafted from the help of my mother. As a kid, this was her go-to recipe item to make for Sunday fellowship dinners. I don’t actually remember ever having this for dinner as a kid, but I always remember my momma making it for church functions. This past weekend, it was only fit that I make this dish for Mother’s Day and our Decoration Dinner. It’s simple, easy, and doesn’t heat up your kitchen in the summer time. It’s also not extra fattening if you just load up with more veggies than dressing or corn chips.


  • 1 Bag of Corn Chips
  • 1 1/2 pounds of Cooked & Scrambled Ground Beef
  • 1 Head of Lettuce
  • 1 Bag of 8oz Taco Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Small Can of Red Beans
  • 1 Bottle of Catalina Dressing
  • Optional: Tomatoes, Olives, Peppers, and Onions


First, the night before serving the taco salad, scramble ground beef in a skillet until cooked thoroughly. If you do not have time to cook your meat ahead of time, then simply cook the day of, but make sure before adding your meat to the salad that it has completely cooled so that way it does not wilt the lettuce when making the taco salad. Next, after meat is cooked, place in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator overnight until you are ready to make your salad. When you are ready, remove and place in the microwave for approximately 1 to 2 minutes. You do not want to warm up your meat completely, but you do not want the meat to be ice cold either when you add it to the salad.

Shred your head of lettuce and add to a large bowl. Next, add your cheese (about 3/4 of the bag) and scrambled ground beef. Stir gently. Next, open the can of beans and drain all excess liquid and add beans to the bowl of salad. Now, add your corn chips and stir lightly again.* Add any optional vegetables you would like. After serving a portion, this taco salad is delicious topped with Catalina dressing! But, if you are watching calories, be careful about how much dressing you add! You can always switch this up and add a different type of dressing if you would like. Enjoy!

*Tips*- If you are eating this dish at home, I would not add your corn chips to the taco salad while making it. Just add to each serving instead. This way if you have leftovers and you refrigerate them, you won’t have soggy corn chips the next day. I only add the chips ahead of time if I am taking the dish somewhere because it is less hassle.

It’s yummy! It’s light! It’s dinner time!

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