When I think of Catalina, images of old Hollywood glamor and beaches filled with the likes of John Wayne, Joan Crawford or Marilyn Monroe spring to mind. That’s Santa Catalina Island off the coast of California, of course- Hollywood’s playground and location for more movies that I can count. Then there’s also Catalonia in Spain. It has it own marvelous beaches, Barcelona as its capital and other considerable claims to fame. There’s just no getting around it. It seems everything that has anything to do with Catalina is pretty fancy. And maybe that’s why this Catalina Taco Salad has been showing up at every picnic and backyard potluck since bouffants and pedal pushers hit the scene.
This retro salad full of crunchy Fritos, Ranch Style beans, and tangy Catalina Dressing is a great side dish. But throw in a little ground beef seasoned just right, and it makes an incredibly good complete meal too. It’s a serious favorite here at my house. Catalina Taco Salad shows up frequently on our summer menu because it’s quick and easy and doesn’t leave you feeling stuffed. And believe it or not, it’s my guys who are this salad’s biggest fans! One mention to my teenage son that we’re having “that salad with the Fritos” and he is off like a shot to procure the biggest bowl allowed so that he doesn’t miss out on one bite of this special meal.
What You’ll Need to Make Catalina Taco Salad:
- Romaine lettuce
- Iceberg lettuce
- red cabbage
- matchstick carrots
- green onions
- chopped tomatoes
- ground meat
- taco seasoning
- Ranch Style Beans
- Fritos corn chips
- Catalina dressing
Let’s Get Started:
Look at all those wonderful colors! I love dishes with lots of color. First, that usually means they contain a well-rounded dose of vitamins and nutrients. Secondly, isn’t eating with your eyes almost as marvelous as tasting it? Ok, not literally eating with your eyes, but you know what I mean. A panoply of color promises loads of flavor and texture!
Not to mention, this salad is a perfect way to use all those fresh veggies from your local farmer’s market. And as summer heats up, the veggies will only get sweeter and more tasty!
As I mentioned earlier, without the addition of taco seasoned beef, this salad is a great side dish. It makes a great companion for burgers when you’re looking for something other than potato salad, chips or pasta salad to complete your next cookout. But with the seasoned beef, this Catalina salad becomes one killer taco salad that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
Let’s not forget the Catalina dressing. It is after all what sets this salad apart. There is just something about this tangy tomato-based dressing that really makes this salad in a class all by itself. A little sweet, a little savory, a lot of summer. The dressing is what it’s all about.
(Check out this Easy Homemade Catalina Dressing Recipe!)
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Here are a few salad essentials you’ll need to prep and serve a fantastic salad!
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Love this salad recipe? Then might love these salads with homemade dressings too!
Homemade Smoky Catalina Dressing
Hearty Green Salad with Pears, Figs, & Molasses Vinaigrette
Easy Melon Salad with Rotisserie Chicken & Garlic Vinaigrette
Catalina Taco Salad
- 4 C chopped Romaine lettuce
- 2 C chopped Iceberg lettuce
- 1/2- 1 C chopped red cabbage
- 1/2 C matchstick carrots
- 1/2 C chopped green onion
- 2 C chopped tomatoes
- 1 lb. ground beef
- taco seasoning
- 1 15 oz can Ranch Style beans
- 1 9.25 oz bag Frito corn chips
- Catalina salad dressing
- Brown ground beef. Add taco seasoning. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Rinse and drain beans well.
- Mix together lettuces and cabbage.
- Add carrots, green onions, tomatoes and beans. Toss lightly.
- Add ground beef and Fritos. Toss lightly again, making sure the tomatoes, beans, chips, and beef are well distributed.
- Add dressing. Toss lightly one final time.
- Serve immediately.
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I love this stuff! Thanks for the recipe. I’ve had it several times but never made it myself.
Isn’t it so good? We just really started making it at home last year, but it has been around forever. I love being able to make it for a quick meal when nothing else sounds good!
I just love a Catalina Taco Salad, I could eat it once a week and your recipe looks delicious! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
We love it too! It is just such a good classic. Thanks, Miz Helen. I love sharing on Full Plate Thursday!
This is one of my favorite classic Taco Salad’s, it looks so good! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
What size bottle of dressing do you use?
I am so sorry for the late reply. We are in the middle of the move, so everything has been chaotic around here. I usually purchase the 16oz bottle. I don’t use the whole thing. I lightly dress the salad to serve it, but always put the left over dressing on the table so those who want a little more can add more!
I add grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese to mine. One of my favorite salads.
Isn’t it the best?! Yes, some cheese would be fab!