Taco Salad has a delicious homemade Western dressing to accompany a delicious combo of ground beef, beans, onions, tomatoes and Fritos!
Taco Salad was a staple dinner that was routinely made over the years. It is a tasty, salty salad that almost tastes so good you won’t view it as a salad! But we had routinely always made it with store-bought Western Dressing which was high in calories and full of high fructose corn syrup, so with this in mind we first set out to improve the dressing of this delicious salad.
Upon analyzing countless Western dressings, we found a wide array of bases that were used to start this dressing. Some people use literal tomato soup from a can, others used a simpler approach using tomato paste. We found the tomato soup to be too extreme to be incorporated into a dressing, but the tomato paste to not provide enough flavor that we needed to replicate Western dressing. We then turned to the recipes that used Ketchup as the base of the tomato flavor. This provides the nice slightly acidic taste we needed. Although, ensuring that it was an all-natural ketchup as to keep the high fructose corn syrup out of our dressing.
We also found that even the recipes that used ketchup, included way too much additional oil into the dressing (some had a whole cup of oil!). We found this unnecessary as it resulted in an oily mess that took away the smooth consistency we wanted, it also added additional calories that we did not want! So, we pulled pack the oil to just a 1/3 cup, enough to help the ketchup get to the smoother consistency we needed.
The next key ingredient to replicating the Western dressing flavor was the addition of Worcestershire sauce. Most recipes only included ½ tsp, but we found that was not enough to provide the correct flavor profile, so we upped the amount to a full 2 teaspoons. This combo of ketchup, less oil, higher Worcestershire sauce paired with some sugar, vinegar, and a few spices made for the perfect dressing.
Outside of the dressing, this taco salad is packed with flavor and sustenance. It has bean dip coating the ground beef and kidney beans soaked in the western dressing. This pairs with the fresh flavors of tomatoes and onion followed by the saltiness of the Fritos crumbled on top.
We would love to hear how your Taco Salad turned out!