Taco Salad Skillet

Oops, do I make too many taco dishes?


Okay really, I’m sorry if you’re not as into tacos as I am, but I just can’t help it. Today I was craving the classic American style taco with seasoned ground beef, cheese, iceberg lettuce, and a crunchy corn shell. I changed up the presentation by layering all of the ingredients into one Taco Salad Skillet. Not only did this cut down on the number of dishes that I had to wash, but it made the presentation a little more fun, which is always nice when you’re tired of your “same-ole, same-ole” weeknight dinners.

I was really lucky and got another “last day” type sale on my ground beef, which made it about half price. The deal with these sales is that the meat is on the last day of its shelf life, so the store needs to offload it fast or risk a 100% loss. So, they cut prices deep in order to try to reduce their losses. The catch is that it needs to be either cooked or frozen that day (or at least very soon after).

I also cut costs by using half beef and half black beans. You can do all ground beef if you prefer (use a whole pound) or do two cans of black beans for a vegetarian version. It’s quite flexible. Use the same blend of seasonings for either option. And, as with any taco dish, you can customize the toppings to your liking. Want more topping ideas to make this Taco Salad Skillet your own? Try avocado, jalapeño, black olives, or pineapple. They’re all winners in my book.

Taco Salad Skillet - BudgetBytes.com

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4.65 from 17 votes

Taco Salad Skillet

This entire taco salad is served right in the skillet used to cook the seasoned taco beef. Taco Salad Skillet. Fun, fast, and delicious.
Total Cost: $7.86 recipe / $1.97 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ($0.04)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef $ ($1.37)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder blend ($0.15)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained ($1.19)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed ($0.50)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese ($1.30)
  • 2 cups broken tortilla chips ($0.50)
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce ($0.75)
  • 1 large tomato ($0.73)
  • 3 green onions ($0.17)
  • 8 oz. tub sour cream ($1.00)


  • Heat a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil and ground beef. Sauté the beef, breaking it into crumbles as you go, until fully browned. Drain the excess fat if needed.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to the skillet. Drain, but do not rinse, the black beans and then add them to the skillet. Stir until the beef and beans are coated in the spices. Continue to sauté until heated through (3-5 minutes).
  • Spread the corn kernels and shredded cheese over the beef and bean mixture. Place a lid on the skillet and let the mixture warm through until the cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, dice the tomato, slice the green onions, and shred the lettuce.
  • Once the cheese is melted, turn off the heat. Top the skillet with the broken tortilla chips, lettuce, tomato, and green onion. Scoop the layered salad into each of four bowls, then add a dollop of sour cream to each serving.

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.
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Taco Salad Skillet

Taco Salad Skillet - BudgetBytes.com


Step by Step Photos

Ground Beef Sale

I got an incredible deal on a pound of ground beef because it was the last of its shelf life. When you find these sales, the meat needs to be cooked or frozen that day. I used a half pound for this recipe and froze the second half. Brown the beef in a deep skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Once it’s fully browned, drain off the excess fat if needed.

Browned Beef and Spices

After the beef is browned, add 1/2 Tbsp chili powder blend (not ground hot chile pepper), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/8 tsp salt.

Seasoned Black Beans and Beef

Drain one 15oz. can of black beans, but do not rinse them. You want a little bit of that starchy liquid to help hydrate the spices and create a little bit of sauce. Add the beans to the skillet and stir until everything is coated in spices. Stir and cook the mixture until it’s heated through.

Corn and Cheddar

Add one cup of frozen corn kernels (thawed) and one cup of shredded cheddar to the skillet. Place a lid on top and allow everything to heat through until the cheese is melted (about five minutes). While that’s heating, dice a large tomato, slice three green onions, and shred 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce.

Crushed Tortilla Chips

Once the cheese is melted, turn off the heat. Add about 2 cups of slightly crushed tortilla chips to the top of the skillet.

Lettuce Tomato Green Onion

Finally, add the lettuce, tomato, and green onion to the top of the skillet.

Taco Salad Skillet - BudgetBytes.com

Scoop individual portions (4-6 portions per skillet, depending on how big you want them), then top with a dollop of sour cream.

Taco Salad Skillet - BudgetBytes.com

You can have extra tomato, lettuce, or chips near by incase anyone wants to customize their bowl. :)

Taco Salad Skillet - BudgetBytes.com