Okay, I love love love this taco salad, and here’s why. Not because it is ridiculously easy to make (and it is). Not because it tastes ridiculously good (and it does). It’s because — unlike 99.9% of most taco salads — the crunchy part of the taco salad is actually worth eating.
You know what I am talking about. Usually you order a taco salad and it comes in a giant tortilla “bowl.” You say to yourself, Self, I’m just going to eat the salad part, and you work through all that good stuff in the bowl. The spicy taco meat, the avocado chunks, the chopped tomatoes, the cheese (ah! the cheese!!) and pretty soon your taco salad is gone and the only thing left standing is the tortilla bowl.
So you break off a piece of the side of it, and honestly? It’s not that good. It’s okay….but it’s kind of bland and not that tasty…but it’s there on your plate, and pretty soon you have picked off most of the sides of it. And so your awesome taco salad has ended with a whimper.
But in MY taco salad, my friends, that tortilla bowl is transformed into Fritos, which are added to the salad at the very end and tossed right into the salad along with everything else. So every other bite contains a hit of salty corn chip wonderfulness along with all the other taco salad taste sensations. Now there are those among you out there (my oldest friend? are you listening to me?) who will say Fritos are the work of the devil. And maybe they are…but DANG! they are good. And all I have to say is, if you are going to eat the taco salad bowl — and you KNOW you are — let’s at least make sure it tastes pretty great going down.
These pictures show the ingredients before the tossing (and the lettuce is underneath all that other good stuff) just because it is more photogenic that way, but let me be clear — you should be toss, toss, tossing all those great ingredients together so that each bite is a mixture of all those rocking taste sensations. So for all of you who like to walk on the wild side with the Fritos, here is my favorite taco salad recipe.
- 1 pound ground beef
- Taco seasoning mix
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 3 chopped tomatoes
- 2 chopped avocados
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 2 cups Fritos
- Whatever else you like in your taco salad. Corn, beans, onion, etc etc.
- Prepare taco meat with ground beef according to taco seasoning mix directions.
- Combine all ingredients except Fritos in large mixing bowl. The taco flavoring in the meat juices will serve as the "dressing" for the salad.
- Add Fritos and toss again.
- Throw caution to the wind and have seconds.