These individual Mini Fritos Taco Salad in Jars are the perfect dish to whip up for potlucks or picnics. They are incredibly easy to make and you can customize them to your own taste.
This post has been sponsored by Frito-Lay. All opinions are my own, as always. Thanks to all the companies, and readers, who help support Cravings of a Lunatic.
This recipe goes back to my teenage years. It's been around that long. I actually learned how to make a different version of this in home economics while I was in high school. Let's not even talk about how long ago that was.
When Frito-Lay asked me to participate in their campaign for summer recipes I knew this Mini FRITOS Taco Salad was a perfect fit. Then I jumped up and down a little. I'm a huge fan of Frito-Lay products.
Of course I acted professionally and did not say things like "I've been training for this my whole life" or "It's like my home planet is calling me home". That would be a dorky thing to do. We all know I'm above making a fool of myself. Always.
The goal here was to make something perfect for summer entertaining. Something that would be easy for others to whip up at home, or while out whooping it up during holiday weekends. This fits the bill, and then some.
This recipe is super easy to make and very customizable. You can add things that speak to you. Not literally, because that would be weird. You can also subtract things you don't like.
Although I'm not sure how you could not find this to be anything but perfection. You know, in my humble opinion, and all that jazz.
If you like olives toss those bad boys in there. If you like beans, those can get thrown in there too.
If you like chicken better than ground beef, well, knock yourself out. Add chicken. No biggie. It's all good in the hood. Or jar. Whatever.
One thing I will highly recommend is if you are making these ahead of time do NOT add the FRITOS until you are ready to serve these cutie-patootie little jars of happiness. If you add the FRITOS too soon they will be soggy.
So wait. Seriously. Trust me on this one thing. You want your FRITOS crisp and perfect. As they should be. Always.
I serve mine hot so this is something I try to make right before we have company. Having said that you can also serve this cold. Many people do.
There's a slight alteration if you serve this cold. Add a little Italian dressing to it. Shake it all up and it becomes magical.
Many people use Catalina dressing in their versions of FRITOS Salads. I just happen to be more of an Italian dressing kind of gal. No harm, no foul if you're a Catalina type of person. You do you.
Use whatever works for your own taste buds. You're the one eating it, so feel free to adjust to your own taste. That's the beauty of cooking.
This recipe is the perfect way to kick off summer. Frito-Lay products are served at every single summer function we throw at our house. Since as far back as I can remember. They are a staple in our house for entertaining.
If you're looking for more awesome summer hacks for Memorial Day, or summer entertaining in general, be sure to check out the Frito-Lay Summer Hacks Pinterest Board. You'll find oodles of inspiration for your next soiree.
In the meantime whip up some Mini FRITOS Taco Salads. I assemble mine in tiny mason jars so everyone gets their own individual jar.
Then you just flip that bad boy upside-down into a bowl, and blammo, you have a delicious meal to dig into. Perfection in tiny little mason jars. Enjoy!
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Mini Fritos Taco Salads
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- ½ cup water
For the Toppings:
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 head lettuce shredded
- ¼ cup salsa homemade or store bought
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ¼ cup sour cream if desired
- 1 cup FRITOS whole or crushed
- fresh cilantro if desired
Optional if serving cold:
- ½ cup Italian dressing
- Cook the ground beef in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat until the juices run clear, making sure to break up the meat as you cook it. Brown slightly.
- Add taco seasoning and ½ cup water. Cook over medium-low heat until the water dissolves. You don't want too much juice or your taco salad will be a soggy mess.
- Chop up all your other additions and set them aside.
- Start stacking your jars, remembering to put the wet ingredients at the bottom and the dry ingredients at the top.
- Top with full or crushed Fritos.
- Garnish with cilantro if desired. Don't garnish until serving or it will overwhelm your salad.
- Order to layering:1. taco meat2. veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, salsa or anything else you love3. sour cream, if desired4. cheese5. fritos6. cilantro
Optional if serving cold:
- If you plan to make these ahead of time and serve them cold I recommend making one small adjustment. Add a little Italian dressing to each jar over top of the veggies. Then, place the top on, and shake it like crazy. Pop in the fridge and allow it to work it's magic.
- IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT add Fritos until just before serving so they stay fresh and crisp!
- Add FRITOS and cilantro just before serving.
- Serve with a big old Frito-Lay loving smile!
Thanks for joining me today. Be sure to check out my FRITOS Pie recipe while you're here. It's delightful!
While you're here make sure you follow me on Pinterest and Instagram. Both are excellent ways to keep up with all the latest and greatest recipes. All my new recipes post to both so you'll never miss a thing if you follow me.
Hope you enjoy this recipe and poke about my recipe index a bit while you're here. Happy Cooking.
ashley - baker by nature
Oh man, these look so gooood!
Do you know that you are LITERALLY one of my favorite people in the world? You make me laugh and you make delicious food. So grateful for you. <3
i love that this can be portable.
Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet
Seriously everything you make is delicious! Pinning!
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
I am not sure I could have remained as professional. I LOVE Frito-Lay and could eat Fritos every single day and not get tired of them. This salad is perfect, and I love the jars! I actually have a little bag of fritos and leftover taco meat set aside for my lunch tomorrow.
Holy adorable! It's a perfect way to spice up the usual BBQ sides AND waaaay cuter than doing it taco-in-a-bag style. Totally loving this!
Awe, thanks so much Karly. I am so addicted to mason jars. They make me way too happy.
Jessy @ The Life Jolie
Football season is upon us and these could not be more perfect for game day! Can't wait to make them!
What a tasty looking idea for a picnic. I am drooling!
Amanda @ The Kolb Corner
Great idea for a summer party! And your pictures are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing at Merry Monday.
Thanks for sharing with us at Inspire Me Monday. You are one of my features this week. Hope you come by and check it out at http://www.farmhouse40.com
These would be so perfect for a party! Thanks for sharing at Welcome Home Wednesdays!
Love this idea! Great to take on a picnic or other event. Thanks for the idea!
I love this idea and will definitely make it for my friends and family one day soon. However, I'm having a blond moment though. How do you eat this? Do you dump the salad into another bowl/plate or dig right in? Are we scooping with the Fritos or using a fork? Thanks!
Ha, it's a good question Renee. And don't worry, I'm blond too.
You can leave a gap at the top and crush the fritos over top of the jars, that is what we do when travelling. You can use a bigger jar and fill halfway as well. Or you can dump it into a bowl or plate. When I do big batches I'll fill a monster size 1L jar halfway, then shake it and pour it out, or let people spoon it out. But if you're using them in the jar don't fill all the way to the top. Leave some room for the fritos to go in. You can also layer them in small layers so you can eat them right out of the jar. I know it's sort of misleading with the photos where they're filled. I'll make them again soon and add a how to in the post so it helps people out.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated. They say for every person who takes the time to email or comment it represents 1000 other people. So if you feel this way it means others do as well. So it's definitely something I should make clearer. Hoping to make a video to go along with this soon. Just polishing off my new camera and learning to use it first. Ha.
Very good, I loved it!
That's awesome to hear. Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know
If you want to serve them cold, do you add the dressing while they sit in the fridge?
I missed this comment somehow. Sorry about that. You can add it before or after. Just be sure not to add the chips until just before serving so they don't get soggy.
Great idea and perfect for summer barbeques with both kids and adults!
Thanks so much. They're great for day trips too. We taking them with us on local hikes.