Frito salad is a fun twist on a taco salad. It is loaded with flavor and is perfect for potlucks, but also makes a fun dinner main dish. The homemade Catalina salad dressing is easy to make and the salad is packed full of goodies.
Take a salad and make it a dinner they’ll actually ask for! Frito taco salad is so much fun and a great way to get your family to eat their vegetables.
Bring it to a carry-in as a super fun side salad. Or add taco meat and serve it to your family as an all in one dinner dish.
The homemade Catalina dressing doesn’t get easier to make and brings the whole thing together. You can use bottled if you want, but making your own only takes a minute and you can use it for other things as well.
Our Family’s History with this Salad
MiMi says she remembers a time where you couldn’t go to a BBQ or potluck without there being a Frito salad there. I don’t remember these times, so it must have been a LONG time ago. 😉
Just kidding MiMi, you are young and vibrant!
Anyway, we were having some really special burgers for family dinner this week. Don’t worry, you’ll get the recipe. You’ll just have to wait a little longer for it!
Spoiler alert: it was my Maw-Maw’s hamburger suprises. My Maw-Maw was making stuffed burgers before stuffed burgers were a thing!
Anyway, she thought this would be the perfect accompaniment for it. I wouldn’t exactly say it is the healthiest salad.
I mean really, the name is Frito salad people! But, it was a really tasty side to our burgers.
Even if it’s not exactly a superfood, it is a super fun way to get your family to eat some vegetables. So in my book that is still a win!
You can leave the taco meat out if you want and make it a side dish. Or you an add it and make the salad the star of the show. (Or add it and still make it a side dish, you do you!)
The catalina dressing is super simple to make and you may find yourself making that for other salads as well. You could keep a jar in your refrigerator for more salads or recipes like Catalina chicken.
All of the chopped veggies give a nice fresh flavor to the salad while the beans add lots of flavor and texture as well. The Fritos give it a nice salty crunch that makes it extra fun!
Prepping the Salad Ahead of Time
You can do most of the prep work ahead of time. Chop everything up and get it ready.
You can even toss most of it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready.
Just don’t toss in the Fritos, beans and dressing until you are ready to serve. Or the taco meat if you are going full monte! You don’t want anything getting soggy.
Can I use turkey instead of beef?
Yes, this salad is great a number of ways. It is perfect without meat as a vegetarian option. Or use ground turkey, beef or even venison with taco seasoning to make it that much more hearty.
Can I use a different dressing?
Catalina as been a classic addition to this salad for decades, but if you want to try something different salsa, ranch or a green goddess dressing would be good.
If you like this, you may also like some of these other salad recipes that are great as side dishes or dinner mains:
Grandma’s Napa Salad is the perfect mix of crunch and flavor. It is an amazing side dish, but we love it with chicken as a meal as well.
Portillo’s Inspired Chopped Salad is loaded with meat, cheese and even a little pasta. It is such a fun mix of ingredients and there is something for everyone!
Bok Choy Salad with Apples and Yogurt Peanut Dressing is loaded with crunch! It is topped with apples, peanuts and an easy homemade dressing. It is fun, different and flavorful.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
Frito Taco Salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 1 red onion
- 1 cucumber
- 1 large tomato
- 8 oz shredded cheese cheddar, co-jack or a mexican blend would be good
- 14.5 oz can pork and beans drained
- 9.25 oz bag Frito chips
- Optional: 1 pound ground beef & 1 packet taco seasoning
- ½ cup vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Shake and put in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- If using taco meat: brown ground beef in a skillet, then add taco seasoning according to package directions. Set aside until ready to use.
- Chop all of your vegetables and arrange in a large bowl. Top with cheese and mix.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Then add the drained pork and beans, taco meat if using and Fritos and toss with dressing.
- Serve immediately after adding chips and dressing.