Taco Salad with Chili-Spiced Catalina Dressing

overhead photo of a taco salad in a white dish

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This ground beef taco salad is tossed in a simple homemade Catalina dressing with a chili twist. The flavors are bright and fresh and it takes all of 30 minutes to pull it all together.



For the Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons chili seasoning (see note)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For the Ground Beef

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chili seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (see note)

For the Salad

  • 6 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 cup canned black beans
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup crispy tortilla strips (see note)


  1. Make the dressing: Combine the honey, vinegar, ketchup, and chili seasoning in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continously, until well combined. Depending on how much dressing you like (I used all of it for the salad) you may have leftovers which will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
  2. Cook the beef: Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook it, breaking it apart with a spatula, until it’s browned and cooked through. Drain off the fat, add the chili seasoning and salt and stir until the beef is evenly coated.
  3. Assemble the salad: Place the lettuce, corn, black beans, bell pepper, and onions in a large bowl. Top with the ground beef. Pour the dressing over the top and toss the salad together until the dressing is evenly distributes. Add the shredded cheese and tortilla strips and toss again.


Be sure to use chili seasoning (or taco seasoning) for this recipe and not just chili powder. Chili seasoning is a combination of several ingredients.

For the beef, you may need to add more salt depending on how much sodium your chili seasoning has. I use Chugwater Chili Gourmet Chili Blend which doesn’t have a lot of sodium, which is why I add more salt to the beef.

I use little tortilla strips sold in packages which you can usually find in the produce department. You can also use crushed tortilla chips.