This 7 Layer Taco Salad is an easy recipe to make for parties. Full of delicious Mexican-inspired flavors it’s got seven (or more) layers of things like beans, cheese, corn, tomatoes and is served with a creamy taco ranch dressing. Top it with chicken for a healthy main dish or serve it on it’s own as great side dish to pass. This is perfect to bring to a Cinco de Mayo get together!
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Contrary to what I may have thought before actually becoming a parent (imagine that- a person without kids making sweeping assumptions about parenting that are wrong- guilty as charged!) the hardest part of parenting is not keeping your newborn alive.
I mean, yes, it’s terrifying at the beginning, particularly as a first time parent. I can remember many a late night staring at the video monitor having that is-she-breathing panic. But no. That is not the hardest part.
The hardest part is having to turn that kid into a civilized, kind, contributing member of society; a good person. It is downright terrifying. And I say that as mom of kids who are, admittedly, pretty easy and overall well-behaved.
I was having a conversation with one of A’s daycare teachers. We were discussing the fact that A never really went through the Terrible Two’s. She’s certainly not perfect, but I can count on less than one hand the amount of full-on tantrums that she’s thrown. A’s teacher mentioned how some kids that don’t have much action in the Two’s get some serious Sassiness in the Three’s. God help us all.
I attribute this, in part to our unwillingness to engage that type of behavior (there is no question in our home as to who the bosses are- hint: not the kids. Tantrums get no attention). I also attribute this to the fact that A is pretty even tempered like her daddy.
But now-a-days, as we get closer to A’s big third birthday, she has begun fighting us a bit more and has been a bit more liberal when it comes to tears, whining and dare I say, a tantrum here and there. Ugh, it’s not exactly delightful.
This doesn’t happen all the time, by any stretch of the imagination. But compared to what we’re used to, it feels like a lot. We’ve noticed it often occurs around bed time. And it’s so tough to figure out the right approach. We don’t want to give poor behavior extra attention in a way that sends a signal that those behaviors are how she can get attention.
We try to lead with compassion but that can be difficult when we also want to get the point across that crying and screaming and whining is not an appropriate reaction when things don’t go your way.
Now I realize that this is pretty developmentally normal and she’s still learning to express herself and handle all these new emotions. I also recognize that we have it pretty easy compared to some other family’s situations. I still really want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to teach her to recognize her emotions and feelings and express them in a healthy, civilized way. And also how to deal with the inevitable disappointments that life sometimes brings.
So Cinco de Mayo is coming up quickly. Though I’m not of Mexican ancestry, there are so many beautiful things about the Mexican culture, not least of which is the delicious food!
While I’m certainly no expert and won’t even try to tell you that any of these type of recipes that I create are authentic, I still enjoy creating recipes that highlight the amazing flavors that you typically find in Mexican food.
I thought this 7 Layer Taco Salad would be a fun and lighter twist on a 7 Layer Dip. It’s perfect to throw together and bring to a picnic or get together. This makes a very large amount, so it’s perfect to feed a crowd. But you can always cut it down if need be.
And if you’re looking to make this into less of a side dish and more of a full meal, it tastes fantastic with chicken over it (try my Easiest Slow Cooker Taco Meat EVER– it’s SO good!)!
This was darn hard to photograph, and even harder not to eat while I was taking the photos. My window kept casting a reflection on my giant trifle dish (similar). But I plowed through and promptly went to town on a giant bowl of this salad and then proceeded to send the rest of the week enjoying it for lunch with chicken on top.
And in the interest of keeping things simple and tasty, I made a quick little taco ranch dressing. It was quick and easy and added a great creaminess. I also threw a dollop of salsa on top. Ya know, for good measure.
Other great recipes for Cinco de Mayo:
- Super Easy Baked Breakfast Tostadas
- 30 Minute Turkey Chili
- 20 Minute Taco Pasta
- The Most Delicious Guacamole Ever
- Roasted Corn Salsa
- Sheet Pan Chicken Nachos
- Mexican Bean Salad
- Cilantro Cauliflower Rice
- The Easiest Slow Cooker Taco Meat EVER!
Yields 8-10 side dish servings or 6 main dish servings
This 7 Layer Taco Salad is an easy recipe to make for parties. Full of delicious Mexican-inspired flavors it's got seven (or more) layers of things like beans, cheese, corn, tomatoes and is served with a creamy taco ranch dressing. Top it with chicken for a healthy main dish or serve it on it's own as great side dish to pass. This is perfect to bring to a Cinco de Mayo get together!
15 minPrep Time
15 minTotal Time
- 1 package of prewashed lettuce, chopped (my package was 5 oz.)
- 2 15.5 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and well drained
- 1 16 oz. bag of frozen corn, thawed and well drained
- 5-6 medium tomatoes, cut to a large dice
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1-2 2.25 oz. small cans of sliced black olives
- A couple of scallions, chopped
- Added bonus: crumbled tortilla chips
- 1 cup of ranch dressing
- 2 Tbsp. low sodium taco seasoning
- In a deep, clear glass bowl, start by placing the lettuce. For each layer, begin by placing it around the perimeter of the bowl to define each layer and then fill the middle with the rest.
- The second layer is the black beans and the third is the corn.
- After the corn, add a layer of tomatoes and top it with a layer of cheddar cheese.
- Finally, sprinkle on the olives, scallions and crumbled tortilla chips if you're craving some crunch.
- Mix the ranch dressing and taco seasoning until fully combined.
- Drizzle over the salad.
Add some chicken or other protein to make this a delicious main dish!
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