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Slow Cooker Forgot to Defrost Doritos Taco Salad

  • Author: 365 Days of Slow Cooking
  • Total Time: 40 minute
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This fun spin on taco salad is made even with frozen meat straight from your freezer. Use your slow cooker to cook the seasoned meat while you’re at work. Layer everything on a sheet pan and dig in for a delicious, healthy, family-friendly dinner.  



For the meat:

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey (frozen)
  • 1 package taco seasoning OR the following spices
    • 2 tsp chili powder
    • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel (diced tomatoes with green chiles)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black, pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained

For the salad:

  • 1 large head of romaine lettuce, washed and dried and cut into small pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 (2.25 oz) can sliced olives
  • 1 or 2 large roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup grated medium cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup diced green onions
  • 6 Tbsp sour cream
  • 6 Tbsp salsa
  • 1 (10 oz bag) nacho cheese Doritos


  1. Add meat ingredients to the slow cooker: Add frozen meat to slow cooker. Sprinkle the meat with the taco seasoning/seasonings. Dump the Rotel and beans on top of the meat.
  2. Cook the meat: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  3. Break up the meat: Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Make sure that it is cooked all the way through.
  4. Make your salad: On a sheet pan layer your salad ingredients. Start with the romaine lettuce and then sprinkle evenly with bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, cheese, green onions. Use a spoon to evenly dollop the sour cream and salsa on top of the salad. Sprinkle with the meat mixture and the doritos.
  5. Serve. Use tongs to serve your salad. If there are leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge, although the Doritos will be soggy.


I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.*

To make gluten free: Check taco seasoning to be sure it does not contain gluten. Nacho cheese doritos used to contain wheat but they no longer do. Be sure to check ingredients regularly in case they change. A good substitute would just be plain tortilla chips.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours on low
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe (93% lean beef)
  • Calories: 447
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 612 mg
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Protein: 25 g

Keywords: tacos