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Frito Taco Salad – A Potluck Favorite

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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.

close up bowl of frito taco salad, served and ready to eat,

    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 to make it a veggie filled dinner. The homemade Catalina dressing doesn’t get easier to make and brings the whole thing together!

Pouring homemade red Catalina salad dressing over salad loaded with goodies.

   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!

Big glass serving bowl full of taco salad with Fritos, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, lettuce and homemade Catalina dressing.

    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.

serving spoon full of frito taco salad.

      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!)

small bowl of frito taco salad in front of large serving bowl of salad.

      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!

looking down at a bowl of frito taco salad, served and ready to eat.

      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.

fork getting a bite of frito taco salad.

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.

Yield: 12 Servings

Frito Taco Salad

small bowl of frito taco salad in front of large serving bowl of salad.

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.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

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

Catalina Dressing

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Instructions

  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a mason jar. Shake and put in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
  2. If using taco meat: brown ground beef in a skillet, then add taco seasoning according to package directions. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. Chop all of your vegetables and arrange in a large bowl. Top with cheese and mix.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Then add the drained pork and beans, taco meat if using and Fritos and toss with dressing.
  5. Serve immediately after adding chips and dressing.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 414Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 815mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 19g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

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.

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Unknown

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Pork and beans will have to be substituted....my crowd is not a fan. Maybe black beans for us?!

Carlee

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Black beans would be delicious! The pork and beans seems weird (they aren't normally my favorite either...) but they blend in to the whole mix really well.

Brenda

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

Carlie, I love the way you post your ideas and recipes! The Southern in you just makes all the difference in the way it comes out. Thank you very much for sharing "Maw-Maw's" special Hamburger recipe with us! It looks and sounds delicious, and only on a charcoal grill, not gas! I can't wait to try it! Thanks again, Enjoy the rest of the Summer!

Carlee

Friday 3rd of July 2020

Thank you so much! Maw-Maw definitely makes one heck of a burger. I hope you enjoy them!

Brenda

Friday 16th of August 2019

What happened to Mamaw's Secret Hamburger Recipe? I waited for that one until the end, and never learned what it was.

Carlee

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

I posted it! It's Maw-Maw's hamburger surprises!

Family Around the Table

Saturday 9th of February 2019

This looks so good! So many delicious textures. I love using iceberg lettuce in salads.

Carlee

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Me too, especially loaded salads with tons of goodies.

Miz Helen

Friday 8th of February 2019

Congratulations! Your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us and hope you are having a great week. Miz Helen

Carlee

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Thank you!