Easy Taco Salad Cups

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These Easy Taco Salad Cups are the perfect, family-friendly appetizer for all of your tailgate and football watch parties!

Easy Taco Salad Cups

The next time you get friends together for tailgating or football watching, consider making these little taco salad cups.  The ingredients are very basic, they’re super easy to make, and they are delicious grab-and-go munchies that everyone loves to eat!

Ingredients for Easy Taco Salad Cups

This recipe was created in partnership with Red Gold® Tomatoes.  They’re a fourth generation, made-in-the-USA, family owned company that knows how to grow tomatoes– they’ve been growing them for over 75 years! Every Red Gold Tomato is grown sustainably on local, Midwest family farms – by farmers they personally know. 

I’ve been using their products in my recipes– different varieties of diced tomatoes, ketchup and salsa– and I must say that I’m a fan.  They really are a high quality, great-tasting brand. Red Gold® products are made with Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients and are packed in Non-BPA/BPS lined cans. Check their Store Locator, to see where they are sold near you.

Ingredients needed for Easy Taco Salad Cups:

Making the meat for the Easy Taco Salad Cups

How to make the taco meat:

The only thing you have to cook in this recipe is the taco meat.  You’ll saute onions and ground beef. Then you’ll add some spices to the ground beef to create the perfect taco flavor.  The final touch is adding a can of Red Gold ® Original Tex-Mex Petite Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles.  Then you can let the taco meat mixture cool off so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce when you assemble your taco cups. In fact, at this point if you’d like to refrigerate your taco meat until you’re ready to use it, then that’s perfectly okay to do.

Making Easy Taco Salad CupsMaking Easy Taco Salad CupsMaking Easy Taco Salad Cups

How to make Easy Taco Salad Cups:

Layering the taco salad cups couldn’t be any easier.  I like to use small, clear plastic cups so you can see the layers.  You can also choose to use small mason jars if you don’t want to use plastic cups. Layer lettuce, taco meat and cheese.

Adding salsa to Easy Taco Salad Cups

Spoon a couple tablespoons of the Red Gold® salsa on top of the cheese.

Easy Taco Salad Cups

Add a spoonful of sour cream and an avocado wedge.

Easy Taco Salad Cups

Add a tortilla chip to each cup for the final touch.  Serve with plastic forks, and add them to your food table!

Easy Taco Salad Cups

What else can I add to my taco salad cups?

The great thing about these layered taco salad cups is that you can change up the ingredients a bit.  Add a layer of refried beans, olives, corn chips instead of tortilla chips, and add chili beans to your taco meat mixture.  It’s all a matter of personal preference.  They’re so easy to make family-friendly, and they’re such a good one to add to the party food table.  Everyone loves taco salad!

Easy Taco Salad Cups

Check out the Red Gold® Tomatoes website for more recipe inspiration using their products.  

Here are a few more tailgating recipes you might like to try:

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5 from 6 votes

Easy Taco Salad Cups

This is a great treat to serve at a tailgate party or a gathering with friends!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 cups
Calories 254kcal
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword easy taco salad cups, taco salad, taco salad cups



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 16 ounces ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One 10-ounce can Red Gold Original Tex-Mex Petite Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles


  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • One 15.5-ounce jar Red Gold Medium Salsa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 12 tortilla chips
  • 12 9-ounce clear plastic cups and forks



  • Heat a large saute pan to medium-high, swirl a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute onions and mix in ground beef. Cook until lightly browned. Tilt the pan and scoop out any accumulated fat (or take a bunch of paper towels and let them soak it up. Discard the fat. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixed spices onto the cooked meat. Pour in the Red Gold tomatoes. Heat for about 10 more minutes. Set aside to cool. Let the meat cool almost to room temperature before assembling taco cups.


  • Line up the taco cups on your work surface. Divide the lettuce between the twelve cups. Add taco meat on top of the lettuce, dividing between the cups. Sprinkle cheese on top of the meat. Spoon 2 tablespoons of salsa on top of the cheese in each cup. Add a spoonful of sour cream on top of the salsa in each cup. Garnish with a small avocado slice and a tortilla chip. Stick a fork in each cup for an easy grab-and-go appetizer.



  • You can also use small glass mason jars to make these Easy Taco Salad Cups if you don't want to use plastic.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 549mg | Potassium: 488mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 690IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 196mg | Iron: 2mg
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  • Suzy wrote:

    Made these for our game day party and it was a hit! Our guest really loved the individual cups and I loved the presentation!

  • wilhelmina wrote:

    These cups are the perfect tailgating snack! So delicious and easy to make and a great twist to our usual game day eats!

  • Toni wrote:

    This was really a huge hit! Our new game day favorite!

  • Lauren Kelly wrote:

    Brilliant! I am going to make these for our friends on Sunday when we watch football! Love these!

  • Laura wrote:

    These are so delicious and I love the presentation!

  • Cheryl S wrote:

    Such a great recipe for entertaining and tailgating!

  • Barbara Schieving wrote:

    These are perfect for parties. Everyone loves them.