If you’re someone who likes dried beans, this Black Bean Taco Salad might be something you’ll make over and over! And when I used to teach school I’d eat this for lunch pretty much ever week and never get tired of it!

PIN the Black Bean Taco Salad to try it later!

Black Bean Taco Salad shown in bowl with fork, on striped napkin.

When I was teaching school, this recipe for Black Bean Taco Salad was one of my standby lunches, and this favorite taco salad was something I could eat over and over without getting tired of it. Of course everyone who likes taco salads has their own taco salad preferences, and I’m pretty emphatic about mine.

Chips aren’t even something I think of any more when someone says taco salad, but don’t try taking away my ranch dressing! I also like a seasoned mixture of lean ground beef and black beans, simmered together with some cumin, chile powder, and ground chipotle chile powder (or use Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning mix).

I make a double or triple batch of the meat and black bean mixture and keep it in the freezer, so I can get that taco salad fix whenever I need it. If that combination sounds good to you; I hope you’ll try the recipe.

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

What beans do I use for Black Bean Taco Salad?

I make this salad most often with canned black beans, but pinto beans or red kidney beans would also be great.

How many carbs are in the Black Bean Taco Salad?

Even though this taco salad has black beans, it also uses plenty of lower-carb ingredients like lettuce, ground beef, and cheese, so one serving has about 17 net carbs.

Want low-carb Taco Salad?

If you don’t want carbs from the beans check out my Perfect Low-Carb Taco Salad. Now that I’m not eating beans so often, that’s the one I make regularly these days.

An easy way to make Taco Meat for salads or for the freezer:

And if you like the idea of making a lot of Taco Salad meat at once, use the recipe for Slow Cooker Taco Meat or Instant Pot Taco Meat!

Beef and Black Bean Taco Salad process shots collage

How to make Black Bean Taco Salad:

(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)

  1. Brown the ground beef until it’s starting to brown.
  2. If you have some I’d use Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning for the seasoning mix, but in the recipe I’ll list individual spices as well.
  3. When meat is brown, add the seasonings and cook a few minutes more. 
  4. Then add beans with two cups water. Let simmer until nearly all the water has evaporated.
  5. While the meat simmers, wash and spin dry lettuce of your choice (I like romaine for this.) 
  6. Mix the lettuce with 2-3 T BYU Creamery Ranch Copycat Recipe or other dressing of your choice. 
  7. Add desired amount of the meat/bean mixture and gently combine.
  8. I always use some cherry tomatoes and sliced olives in my Taco Salad.
  9. Then sprinkle grated cheese over the top of the salad.
  10. I think this is just delicious; hope you enjoy!

Black Bean Taco Salad in large bowl with fork and napkin.

More Taco Salads to Enjoy:

Weekend Food Prep:

The recipe for Black Bean Taco Salad has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Beef and Black Bean Taco Salad finished salad in serving bowl
Yield: 4 salads

Black Bean Taco Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

If you like dried beans, this Black Bean Taco Salad is so simple and good that you'll make it over and over!


Ingredients for meat/bean mixture:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • one 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but good, see notes)
  • 1 T ground Ancho chiles (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle chiles (see notes)
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce, torn, washed, and spun dry
  • 3/4 cup Ranch Dressing (more or less to taste; see notes)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • one 6 oz. can black olives, drained and cut in half
  • 1 cup grated Mexican Blend cheese, more or less to taste


  1. Dump the can of black beans into a colander in the sink, then rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. (This removes some of the undigestible carbohydrates that can make beans hard to digest.) Let drain while you cook meat.
  2. Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add ground beef, breaking apart with your fingers as you add to the pan. Cook beef over medium high heat until partly browned, breaking apart with metal turner as it cooks.
  3. When beef is browned, add Spike Seasoning, ground Ancho chile, ground cumin, and ground Chipotle chile powder, and cook a few minutes more. You can also substitute 2 T Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning for the spices used here.
  4. Add drained black beans and water and simmer until nearly all water is evaporated.
  5. Let meat cool slightly before using it salad. (The meat can be made ahead and frozen. To use after freezing, thaw and then reheat for a couple of minutes in a microwave.)
  6. To assemble salad, put lettuce in large plastic bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing.
  7. Add slightly warm beef/bean mixture and diced tomatoes and olives and gently toss.
  8. Arrange on serving plate and sprinkle with grated cheese.


I confess, usually I make the dressing from Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix that’s combined with buttermilk and mayo. Use any all-purpose seasoning blend if you don't have Spike Seasoning (affiliate link). I like ground Ancho chiles (affiliate link) and ground Chipotle chiles (affiliate link) but use any ground chile powder you have.

The meat/bean mixture freezes very well, so I highly recommend making a double or triple batch of this if you have the freezer space.  And if you come to my house, this is something I will always have in the freezer!

Recipe created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 794Total Fat: 55gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1529mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 11gSugar: 5gProtein: 46g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

Square image for Black Bean Taco Salad in large bowl with fork.

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
All the ingredients in Black Bean Taco Salad are good for any phase of the original South Beach Diet. However, for South Beach it’s best to use low-fat ground beef, low-fat cheese, and a dressing without too much fat, because the combined fat in the meat, cheese, olives, and mayonnaise could make it a pretty high-fat salad. For low-carb or Keto diet plans, you’d probably prefer my recipe for Perfect Low-Carb Taco Salad.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salads to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for This Recipe:
Beef and Black Bean Taco Salad was first posted in 2008. I’ve been making it ever since that time, and the recipe was last updated with more information in 2024.

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