Beef & Pork, Food, Quick & Easy Main Dishes, Salads

Chopped Fiesta Taco Salad with Homemade Catalina Dressing


This weekend the hubby and I celebrated our anniversary with a beach getaway.

It was so so nice, and of course, the beach was absolutely gorgeous.  We didn’t do a whole lot besides lay out on the beach (oh, and eat ice cream!).  Anyway, we got burned of course.  I say of course, because it seems like we always get burned when the hubby and I go to the beach even though we are using sunscreen.  We applied it twice, but I guess that wasn’t enough.

The next day after we burned, we just sat under an umbrella on the beach.  It worked for the most part, until it got super windy and the umbrella stopped working…and actually uprooted from the sand a couple of times!!

We went to a yummy seafood place for dinner one night, and I ordered the stuffed flounder with crab meat.  It had a delicious yellow cream sauce covering it, which made it extra amazing.  If that wasn’t enough crab for us, we also ordered the crab dip and oooh-eee was it delicious!  The hubby ordered fried shrimp and oysters and loved his as well.  We had some leftovers for lunch the next day, and I scarfed down most of the leftover crab dip while he wasn’t looking.  It was just as good the next day.

On to this salad…

We had this right before we left for the beach.  We both loved it, especially the hubby now that he’s wanting to eat uber healthy.  It’s so good that I think it’s going to have to be for lunch again today.

This was my first time making a chopped salad and I definitely enjoyed eating it more than a traditional salad.  There’s something about the fact that everything is all chopped up and mixed together that makes it seem less like a salad and more like a main course.  That, I like.

No taco salad is complete without catalina dressing, and I’ve got some delicious homemade dressing for you.  Nothing seems to kill “healthy” faster than a bottle of store-bought dressing.  Anyone agree with me here?  Homemade catalina to the rescue!


I cut down on the sugar in this recipe in the interest of making it healthier, but you can definitely up the sugar content if you prefer a sweeter catalina.  Also, the onion can be a bit strong so you could try for a 1/4 cup of onion instead if you don’t like much onion.

Also, I did use my homemade taco seasoning in this recipe, but I haven’t posted the recipe because I thought mine was a bit too spicy for my tastes.  I have been trying to use it up so I can mix up a new batch, and it’s finally gone.  I would promise to post a recipe for taco seasoning soon, but I’m a pretty big procrastinator so who knows when I’ll actually get around to it.  Just do a quick google search for “homemade taco seasoning” and you’re sure to come up with something.  Most recipes I’ve seen just use normal pantry ingredients so hopefully you’ll already have everything on hand.

(Oh and I realize that doritos aren’t super healthy…ok, not at all healthy…but they are so good on this salad!  If you’re trying to go healthier, just leave them off, substitute them for tortilla chips, or do like my hubby did and crush 1 or 2 chips over your whole serving!)


 Chopped Fiesta Taco Salad with Homemade Catalina Dressing

Adapted from: Simply Scratch
For the dressing:
1/2 a small onion, halved
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
For the salad:
1/2 pound ground meat (or 1 cup cooked)
1 Tablespoon homemade taco seasoning
1 heaping teaspoon flour
3 Tablespoons water
1 small/medium bunch green leaf lettuce, chopped (or whatever kind you prefer)
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 – 1 bell pepper, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 can black beans (15 ounces), drained and rinsed
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1 cup crushed Doritos (or more, if you want to be less healthy!)

1. For the dressing: Place the onion in the food processor and pulse til smooth. Add the ketchup, vinegar, honey, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and pepper.  Pulse again til smooth.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, blending til mixed (or just whisk it by hand).
2. For the chopped salad: Brown meat in skillet until no longer pink and cooked through. Stir in the taco seasoning and flour til absorbed.  Add in the water and stir.  Remove from heat and chill before adding to salad. (You don’t want your lettuce to wilt!)
3. In a large bowl, toss chopped lettuce, cheese, bell pepper, tomatoes, black beans, olives, and cooled taco meat.  Drizzle catalina dressing over top and toss till mixed.  Add crushed Doritos just before serving.


6 thoughts on “Chopped Fiesta Taco Salad with Homemade Catalina Dressing”

  1. I absolutely love Mexican taco salads, this looks incredible. COngrats on the anniversary… it’s always nice to celebrate and go out to dinner at the very least. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s