When my mom was my age, she used to eat this salad – taco salad with Russian dressing. That was a long time ago!
The one thing about this main-dish salad that surprised everyone in my family was the temperature. It’s not cold like a typical salad. The cooked ground beef and warm beans make everything else ideally at room temperature. Even the chips are warm! The chips get a little bit soggy but in a good way.
You crunch them up and toss them in, and the dressing soaks into them. As a finishing touch, you stack up chips all around the bowl. I like white corn chips, but my mom likes blue corn chips: It is your choice. The beans and the meat are excellent in this salad because they partner well with the rest of the ingredients. This taco salad with Russian dressing is the best salad I have ever had.
Crunchy Taco Salad With Russian Dressing
- ½ cup white onion - diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ pound ground beef (minced beef) - 90%
- 15 ounces red kidney beans - drained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (chilli powder in British English)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 hearts Romaine lettuce - chopped
- 3 sprigs green onions (scallions or green shallots) - small sliced, white and green parts
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes - halved
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese - shredded
- 6 ounces tortilla chips
- Heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until just starting to brown about 8 minutes.
- Add 3/4 pound ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon.
- Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until ground beef is cooked and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add kidney beans and heat until beans are warm. Turn heat down to low.
- Meanwhile, toss Romaine, all but one Tablespoon of sliced scallions, the tomatoes, 1 cup of the cheese and most of the chips with 3 ounces of the dressing. Ensure everything is coated in dressing.
- Add the beef and bean mixture along with the rest of the dressing and toss. Add more dressing if the salad is too dry – you need to be able to see that red ketchup dressing on everything.
- Stack whole chips around the perimeter of the salad and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, scallions, and a few drops of dressing. Serve immediately.