Frito Taco Salad

by Sarah on January 28, 2013

I posed this question on Facebook the other day:  “Can you call a salad a ‘salad’ if it involves Fritos and cheese”?  The overwhelming response was YES.  Therefore, Readers, I present to you the Frito Taco Salad in all its glory.

I actually clipped a recipe similar–damn similar–out of the Sacramento Bee approximately 25ish years ago.  I was myself a wee teenager, living in my own apartment for the first time, and looking for recipes that fit into my brief flirtation with vegetarian eating–not to mention teenaged sensibilities and ease of preparation.  This guy wins on all counts.

Vegetables?  Check.  Yellow cheese?  Check.  Beans for protein?  Check. Bottled salad dressing?  Check.  FRITOS?  Check.

Everyone loved this stuff.  Rave reviews from even the most discerning and picky teenaged eater.  We probably washed it down with a cold Lucky Lager (in a squat bottle) or fine Schaffer beer (in a can).

I have no earthly idea why, but this concoction popped into my head the other day.  I had some vaguely fond recollections of it–though as a general rule I don’t eat a ton of iceberg, cheese in salads, or bottled salad dressing.  Fritos? Yeah, I still eat plenty of those.

Of course I couldn’t find the original clipped recipe, so I just had to make it up. The core ingredients are still there, though I added some other ingredients just to make it more appealing to my current idea of what a salad is.

I think this thing would be a great addition to a Superbowl table or a potluck. Why not?  You can tell people it’s good for them (it’s SALAD!), but you and I will know the truth.  Maybe is wasn’t as delicious as I thought it was at age 18, but pretty tasty nonetheless.

Frito Taco Salad


  • 3/4-1 bag Fritos (depending on your preference of chip ratio)
  • 1 large head iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced
  • 1 large ripe tomato, cubed, or a handful of grape tomatoes, sliced (the grape ones are better in winter)
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced thin (red, green or yellow--your preference)
  • 1/3 cup or more of bottled Catalina dressing (just coated)
  • 1 can Ranch beans, drained of most liquid
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar


  • Chop lettuce and mix with other vegetables. Add beans, cheese and Fritos and mix through. Add dressing, a bit at a time until lightly coated and tastes good. Season with freshly ground black pepper and a little salt (if necessary--the chips are salty).
  • Serve immediately.


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