Taco Salad

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Try this taco salad recipe made with ground buffalo meat. You can watch Sue prepare the dish in this clip from Lakeland Cooks!



  • Dressing ingredients:
  • 1 cup light Ranch salad dressing
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeno peppers
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Emeril’s southwest seasoning
  • Enough liquid from the jar of pickled jalapenos to season as desired
  • Salad:
  • 4 to 6 cups Romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup minced, fresh cilantro
  • Layer 1:
  • Lettuce/cilantro mixture
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney, pinto or black beans, rinsed and well drained
  • 1/2 pound browned ground buffalo
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet red, yellow or green pepper or hot pepper, finely chopped
  • Layer 2:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • Serving choices:
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Sliced black olives
  • Corn tortilla chips, coarsely broken
  • Extra dressing


  1. In a non-stick skillet, brown ground buffalo meat with minced garlic. Season with Emeril’s Southwest seasoning. Set aside to cool.
  2. In medium bowl, mix dressing ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, toss Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces with minced, fresh cilantro.
  4. In a clear glass dish with deep straight sides (I use my trifle bowl), layer the toppings.
  5. Top with dressing, spreading to cover salad ingredients completely. You probably won’t need all of the dressing. Save some to serve on the side.
  6. Add layer 2 ingredients. Chill thoroughly.
  7. At serving time, offer the listed serving choices ingredients as toppers.


The salad looks pretty layered in a glass bowl, but you can also toss it all together in a large salad bowl. Tear the lettuce with your hands. Chopping the lettuce with a knife can cause it to turn brown. Making taco salad is a bit like making soup you can add any vegetables you’d like. Try grated carrots or radishes, frozen corn that has been thawed, thinly sliced zucchini or whatever you can pick up fresh at the farmer’s market. You can replace the ground buffalo with ground beef.
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