Taco Tuesday leftovers can transform your Western Wednesday dinner with this recipe! This fresh, hearty entrée salad serves big flavors and healthy nutrients.

This is a “chopped salad.” Chopped salads are simply a different form of salad presentation. Instead of layered ingredients, all of the greens and add-ins are chopped to be more uniform in size. They are then incorporated along with wet ingredients and dressing before serving. It is a small difference, but one that allows for many toss-in options! You can easily substitute ingredients to your taste and with seasonal availability!

This Western Salad has many of the ingredients traditionally used in tacos, making it the perfect vehicle to repurpose those Taco Tuesday leftovers. Start with the crunch of lettuce, onion, and tortilla chips. Add taco meat, beans, and a variety of vegetables like tomatoes or corn. All of these fresh flavors are then pulled together with creamy avocado, cheese, and a tangy dressing.

Enjoy this salad as a hearty main dish, take it as a picnic pitch-in, or easily pack it for the campground or a tailgate!

Western Wednesday Dinner Salad

You will need:

8 cups of lettuce, washed and chopped

1 pound of lean ground beef OR ground turkey

½ packet of taco seasoning

16-oz. can of red kidney beans OR black beans, rinsed and drained

½ cup sliced black olives

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 small onion, diced

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 avocado, diced

15-oz. can whole kernel corn, rinsed and drained

16-oz. Catalina or “Western” dressing

Tortilla chips (Optional)

Sour Cream to top (Optional)


Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Brown the lean ground beef or turkey. Once browned, drain excess grease from the pan.

Stir taco seasoning into the meat and set aside to cool.

Prep all toss-in ingredients: wash and dice all veggies and rinse and drain all canned goods.

In a large bowl, combine lettuce, beans, olives, onion, tomatoes, avocado, corn, cheese, and cooled meat. (Note: you can add, omit, or substitute ingredients to your liking!)

Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the bowl and mix thoroughly.

Optional: Once served, top your salad with crumbled tortilla chips and sour cream.

This recipe serves six to eight.

For more information about healthy, easy recipes, contact Janet Steffens, Purdue Extension Educator in Floyd County at jsteffens@purdue.edu.

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