- Healthy Taco Salad
- Is Taco Salad Good for You?
- About This Skinny Taco Salad Recipe
- How to Make Ahead and Store
- What Goes with Taco Salad?
- More Healthy Salad Recipes to Try
- Recommended Tools for Making This Salad
- healthy taco salad
- Using Ground Chicken to Make Healthy Taco Salad
- How To Make this Taco Salad More Healthy
- Tips for Making this Taco Salad
- A vegetarian taco salad packed with smoky roasted veggies! Crispy, creamy, smoky and filling, this veggie taco salad will soon become your favorite healthy Mexican-inspired dinner.
- Veggie Frito Taco Salad
- Chicken Taco Salad with Salsa Ranch Dressing
- Taco salad with spicy garlic dressing
Healthy Taco Salad
This Healthy Taco Salad is the universal delight of taco night, transformed into a wholesome package you can feel great devouring for nutritious lunches and dinners. From the juicy meat, to the Southwest spices, to the best taco fixin’s, this Mexican-inspired recipe has it all, even the tortilla crunch!
Adios wimpy salads. This is a ground turkey taco salad that satisfies. It’s high in protein and fiber packs a wide array of taco toppings like cheese, avocado, corn, and beans. It’s a fully loaded, filling fiesta.
This salad is inspired by classic taco ingredients, done lighter so you can enjoy it more often. It’s also far easier to eat than regular tacos. Instead of attempting to cram all the good stuff into a shell that shatters the moment you take a bite, I piled the taco fixings onto a bed of crisp romaine lettuce, then showered crunchy tortilla strips over the top. YUM!
In addition to its nutritious ingredient lineup and incredible flavor, this healthy taco salad lasts well in the refrigerator, making it ideal for meal prep. Make a big batch, and enjoy the reward of taco (salad) night all week long.
Is Taco Salad Good for You?
It depends on where you are finding it! Despite their perception as being “healthy” options, restaurant salads can have heavy dressings, contain a scant number of wholesome vegetables, and overdo it on the high-fat toppings. These often make salads a poorer nutritional choice than other items on the menu. It’s deceptive!
- Making your own taco salad at home means that you can control the ingredients and portions to make it as wholesome as you choose.
- Unlike restaurant taco salads, this homemade version is loaded with nutritious ingredients. It is filling, the homemade dressing is low in fat and even high in protein. This salad also swaps the typical fried shell for baked tortilla strips. You have the same crunch, for a fraction of the calories!
About This Skinny Taco Salad Recipe
Whether you’re looking to add more healthy recipes to your repertoire or just love tacos (or both!), this healthy taco salad will quickly become a favorite.
- Flour Tortillas. One of the secrets to making a really great salad is adding crunch. In place of fried chips, I use oven-baked strips of flour tortillas. It only takes a few minutes to toss the tortilla strips into the oven, and the texture they add is completely worth the small effort.
- If you’d like to keep the salad gluten free, you can cut and bake corn tortillas instead of flour.
- Spices. Skip the taco seasoning packets, which are usually high in sodium. Instead, combine salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to season the ground turkey meat.
- Ground Turkey. To create a lower-calorie taco salad recipe that still packs restaurant-worthy satisfaction, I used ground turkey. It’s equally as delicious here as ground beef!
- Romaine Lettuce. The crisp and fresh base for our salad. Romaine lettuce is high in minerals and low in calories, making it ideal for this slimmed down salad.
- Black Beans. I love adding black beans to this salad for protein and fiber. (My Instant Pot Black Beans would be perfect here; canned work too of course.)
- Corn. I used Mexican-style corn and loved the additional flavors it added to the salad.
- Tomatoes. A handful of cherry tomatoes added delicious bursts of flavor.
- Avocado. The creamy, nutrient-packed ingredient that we all love! Avocado adds oodles of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Cilantro + Green Onions. For a bit of bite and added flavor.
- Cheddar Cheese. I went lighter on the cheese quantity, so using an extra-sharp cheddar helps make sure you can still taste it in every bite.
- Salsa Yogurt Dressing. To make healthy taco salad dressing, mix together salsa and plain nonfat Greek yogurt. The yogurt tastes just like a big dollop of sour cream, without the additional calories, and it gives the salad an extra boost of protein, too.
- The Toppings. My favorite taco salad toppings are tortilla strips and additional avocado, or jalapeño, but you can take this healthy taco salad recipe wherever else your Tex-Mex dreams may dare.
- Bake the tortilla strips: Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Cut the tortillas into strips, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and bake at 425 degrees F until golden.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high. Add the turkey and spices, stirring to coat. In a bowl, stir together dressing ingredients.
- Place the romaine in a serving bowl, add the salad ingredients, and top with the dressing. Toss to combine, sprinkle with tortilla strips, and serve. ENJOY!
How to Make Ahead and Store
This taco salad recipe is also ideal for meal prep.
- To Make Ahead. Chop the veggies and cook the turkey in advance, storing them individually in the refrigerator. You can quickly assemble individual portions and add any other toppings you desire throughout the week.
- To Store. Place leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What Goes with Taco Salad?
- Rice. Prepared brown rice or quinoa both make a delicious, classic side for this Tex-Mex dish.
- Beans. For a hearty, filling side, try this taco salad with Instant Pot Refried Beans or Crock Pot Pinto Beans. You can serve these either in addition to or in place of the black beans used in the salad.
- Cornbread. Serve this easy taco salad with a crowd-pleasing side like Mexican Cornbread.
- Margarita. Add a fun and festive Skinny Margarita, and call it a success!
More Healthy Salad Recipes to Try
- Mexican Salad
- Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Crispy Chickpea Croutons
- Balsamic Chicken Salad with Avocado Feta and Blackberry
Recommended Tools for Making This Salad
- Baking Sheets. These are an invaluable tool for your kitchen. I use them to bake up the tortilla strips in this recipe.
- Measuring Cups. An ideal way to measure AND mix your ingredients for salad dressing, without getting another bowl dirty. Plus, they can go in the microwave and dishwasher.
4.96 from 22 votes Leave a Review ” Yield: 4 servings Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 8 mins Total Time: 25 mins Healthy Taco Salad with ground turkey, black beans, avocado, and Greek yogurt salsa dressing. An easy, delicious, low-carb recipe.
For the taco salad:
- 2 fajita-size flour tortillas — swap corn tortillas to make gluten free
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil — divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt — divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper — divided
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 head romaine lettuce — roughly chopped
- 1 can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained — (15 ounces)
- 1 can Mexican-style corn, drained — (11 ounces)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes — halved
- 1 medium ripe avocado — peeled, pitted, and diced
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
For the salsa yogurt dressing:
- 1/4 cup prepared salsa
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Place a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Stack the tortillas and cut them in half, then slice each half into 1/2-inch strips. Scatter the strips in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat, then spread them into a single layer. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high. Add the turkey, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Break up the meat and stir with a spoon until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the salsa and Greek yogurt to make the dressing.
- Place the romaine in a large serving bowl. Top with 1/4 cup of the salsa-yogurt mixture, the turkey, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, cheese, and green onions. Toss lightly to combine, then sprinkle the tortilla strips over the top. Serve immediately with remaining salsa-yogurt dressing as desired.
- To make the recipe gluten free, swap corn tortillas in place of the flour tortillas. Check the baking time a few minutes early, as the corn tortillas may crisp more quickly.
- Make it ahead: Store the cooked ground turkey in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, the corn and black beans in a separate container for up to 4 days, the dressing in a container for up to 4 days, and the chopped tomatoes in a container for up to 3 days. Washed, chopped lettuce can also be stored in the crisper drawer for 2 to 3 days. Assemble the salad just before serving.
Course: Salad Cuisine: Mexican Keyword: Healthy Mexican Food Recipe, Skinny Taco Salad All text and images © Erin Clarke / Well Plated.
Amount per serving (1 (of 4)) — Calories: 487, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 109mg, Sodium: 1043mg, Carbohydrates: 54g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 9g, Protein: 39g
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Nothing beats this easy taco salad recipe in the summertime. Crisp veggies, creamy dressing & crunchy tortilla strips make it fresh & fun to eat.
summer / salad
As much as I love tacos, I really love taco salad. In fact, any time I make tacos for dinner, I usually have a taco salad for lunch the next day to use up any of the remaining ingredients. But today’s taco salad isn’t just any “kitchen sink” salad… what’s special about this taco salad is the yummy veggie “taco meat” that’s, well, the meat of the salad. Finely chopped sautéed shiitake mushrooms and ground walnuts take on a similar texture to ground beef taco meat, while tamari, chili powder, and a touch of balsamic vinegar give it a savory/spiced flavor. Combined with crisp romaine, veggies, juicy tomatoes, black beans, crispy tortilla strips, and a dollop of avocado cilantro lime sauce, this is my favorite salad to eat for lunch (or dinner) all summer long!
My Taco Salad Recipe Ingredients
To make a great taco salad, you need a mix of textures & tastes – something creamy, something zesty, something crunchy, something tangy, and something crisp – all over lots of greens. Here’s what I use to make this taco salad recipe so filling, fresh & fun:
- Romaine lettuce, because it wouldn’t be a taco salad without a base of crispy greens!
- Shiitake Walnut Taco “Meat” and Black Beans, for savory, smoky flavor and hearty texture
- Tomatoes and pico de gallo, for a juicy contrast to the crunchy veggies and tortilla strips
- Tortilla strips, for that irresistible toasted corn flavor and crispy texture
- Red cabbage and radishes, for bright pops of color and extra crunch
- Jalapeño, for a little heat
- Sliced avocado & avocado cilantro lime salad dressing, for a zingy, creamy finish
A Few Taco Salad Tips
- I like to make my own tortilla strips by toasting corn tortillas in the oven. That way, I can control how crispy they get and how much oil I use. But if you’re crunched for time, crushed tortilla chips could work too.
- If you’re not a fan of spicy food, feel free to leave out the jalapeño! You could also use pickled jalapeño for an extra tangy pop.
- If you prep the components ahead of time and store them separately, this recipe is a great choice for a make-ahead lunch. Assemble the salad in the morning, and toss on the dressing and the avocado right before you’re ready to eat! See this post for more of my best lunch-packing tips.
Taco Salad Recipe Variations
Like all salad recipes, this one is great to play with. Swap in the veggies you have on hand or adjust the toppings to make something you really love. Here are some suggestions:
- Switch the sauce. I love topping this salad with big dollops of avocado cilantro lime dressing, but any of the 3 versions of this sauce would work here. Omit the avocado and serve it as a vinaigrette, or use Greek yogurt instead of the avocado to make it creamy (see this post for the variations). Or skip the dressing entirely, and finish the salad with tomatillo salsa.
- Change up the creamy component. I love avocado here, but guacamole is just as good. Alternatively, try adding crumbled Cotija or grated cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, or Greek yogurt!
- Make it fruity. Substitute mango or pineapple salsa for the pico, or use both!
- Vary the veggies. Raw or sautéed bell pepper, charred poblano, corn, or green onions would all be great additions.
- Make it a burrito bowl! Reduce the lettuce by half and add a scoop of cilantro lime rice to the bottom of your bowl.
If you love this taco salad recipe…
Try these veggie tacos, this burrito bowl, or these chipotle nachos next!
For more easy dinner ideas, check out this post!
rate this recipe: 5 from 4 votes Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 10 mins Total Time: 25 mins Serves 2 to 3 This fresh, easy taco salad recipe makes a filling lunch or fun dinner. Prep components ahead of time and store them separately for quick taco salad assembly!
- 2 corn tortillas, sliced into strips
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 medium head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- ½ cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 red radishes, thinly sliced
- ½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes and/or pico de gallo
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Jalapeno slices, optional
- Cilantro Lime Dressing, the creamy avocado variation
- Sea salt
- Lime wedges, for serving
Shiitake Taco “Meat”
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and diced
- 1 cup crushed walnuts
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the tortilla strips with a tiny bit of olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Spread onto the sheet and bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until crispy.
- Make the Shiitake Taco “Meat”: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring only occasionally, until they begin to brown and soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and lightly toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tamari and the chili powder. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir again. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble the salad with the romaine lettuce, cabbage, black beans, taco meat, radishes, tomatoes, avocado, jalapenos, if using, and generous dollops of cilantro lime avocado dressing. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve with lime wedges and extra dressing on the side.
healthy taco salad
If you’re trying to find a really delicious but Healthy Taco Salad recipe then you’ve come to the right blog my friends, because today I am spilling my secrets (and some step-by-step photos) on how to make the biggest boldest fiesta for your taste buds all for under 500 calories!
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by La Tourangelle Artisan Oils . All opinions expressed here are my own. I was compensated for my time.
I find it fascinating when I look at the calorie counts for entrée salads on the menus at some popular chain restaurants. (Actually, I say fascinating, but I really mean depressing.) If you’ve ever done this, then you know that a taco salad can sometimes be shockingly high in calories. Take the Quesadilla Explosion Salad at Chilis, which banks 1400 calories. Or you could be much more conservative and order their Santa Fe Chicken Salad with Crispers for a mere 940 calories. Stats like those make the Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken from Panera (650 calories) seem angelic.
This Healthy Taco Salad is far lower in calories, but still has that big cheesy taco salad flavor we all love, crispy tortilla chips and zesty chicken for less than 500 calories. Taco Salad lovers rejoice!
Taco Salad Dressing
I’m going to get to the details on how I managed to shave down the calories on this Taco Salad in a sec, but first I want to cut straight to the dressing. Because, guys and gals, this stuff is BIG NEWS! This dressing, Citrus Chipotle, is one four new certified Organic dressings from La Tourangelle. The collection also includes Sesame Tamari, Classic Balsamic and Creamy Ranch. I love that the ingredients are simple, free of chemicals and include La Tourangelle artisan oils.
You know I love homemade salad dressings, but sometimes, life happens and you gotta grab a bottle off the shelf. I am so psyched to have these dressings as an option now!
Using Ground Chicken to Make Healthy Taco Salad
How to Shop for Ground Chicken: Did you know all US chicken is free from added hormones? So packages that say so may be trying to get your attention. Don’t fall for it. There is so much confusion when it comes to poultry labeling. That’s why, when I shop for ground chicken, I first look for the certified Organic label.
Certified Organic Chicken: I know that the chickens were fed organic, non-GMO, vegetarian feed. And I know they have access to the outdoors and they don’t receive antibiotics.
Support Local: If you have a local farm that produces organic chicken, all the better! I love the Organic ground chicken from Maple Wind Farm, which is right down the road from me. Supporting local farmers reduces your carbon footprint, and helps to maintain the beautiful working landscape.
Lower Fat: I love using ground chicken for taco meat, like for 20 minutes ground chicken tacos, but just keep in mind that some ground chicken is not as lean as others. In a recipe like this, we will be adding in seasoning and tomato paste, so the extra fat won’t make a big flavor difference. You’ll save about 45 calories per serving by choosing lean chicken!
How To Make this Taco Salad More Healthy
Add extra veggies: I used a red bell pepper (which is high in vitamin C), and a bunch of scallions to bulk up the portion size of these entrée salads. The veggies are lower in calories, but add bulk, vitamins, fiber and flavor. I used this trick in this Sweet Potato Hash I shared last month.
Bake the Tortilla Strips: Instead of using tortilla chips, bake your own tortilla strips in the oven. Simply brush a little oil (I used La Tourangelle avocado oil) over the corn tortillas, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Then cut them into strips and bake them until they’re crispy.
Go Easy on The Toppings: Though avocado is arguably the nectar of the gods, I’d recommend saving it for tomorrow morning’s avocado toast. Doing so will save you 60 calories (for a quarter of an avocado.) The same goes for sour cream. If you really want a dollop of creamy dairy, use Greek yogurt instead and save more than 40 calories.
Go For Big Flavors: Add extra flavor to your Taco Salad, and you won’t miss the extra calories. To do so, add in Mexican Seasoning, cilantro, salsa and scallions. Plus did I mention the 1-2 punch this Citrus Chipotle dressing has?! It’s got a kick!
Tips for Making this Taco Salad
Use a Non-Stick Skillet: In order to save on calories, I used a non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray. La Tourangelle makes a Non-GMO propellant free olive oil cooking spray that should be in every cook’s cabinet. Just Sayin’! Bonus: using this spray instead of oil saves 30 calories per serving! Cook the red bell pepper, scallion whites and Chicken in the skillet, while breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
Bloom The Spices: Once the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are softened, add in the spices to bloom their flavor. I tested this with two different purchased Mexican seasonings, and I also made my own version too. Mixing the spices into the skillet before adding in any liquids will bloom them and make their flavors more pronounced. This is a technique I highly encourage you to apply throughout your cooking. You can read more about it in this 5-Spice Sweet Potato Recipe.
Make it Saucy: I tried this with fresh tomatoes, and everyone in my family preferred this version better. I used tomato paste to coat the chicken mixture, then water. The texture ends up like that of old school taco meat with the seasoning packets of my youth.
Build the Salads: Start with your base of Romaine (it’s sturdy crunch will hold up to the heat and weight of the toppings.) Then add on the chicken mixture followed by the cheese. The heat from the chicken will start to melt the cheese. (Can you say yum!) And then arrange the other topping on as you like. We just passed the bottle of dressing and jar of salsa at the table so everyone could add to their tastes.
More Entrée Salads To Try
Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs – This is one of my family’s all time favorite salads.
Green Salad with Chicken Strawberries and Goat Cheese – I dare you to find a more springy salad!
Wasabi Glazed Salmon Power Salads. Love this review from Eve “If you are considering making this salad – DO! Made it tonight and just served it for dinner. Salmon is sweet with a hint of wasabi heat and salad is crunchy and full of texture. I practically drank the sesame dressing at the bottom of the bowl at the end!”
Thanks so much for reading. If you try this recipe, make sure to come back leave a rating and review! It helps a ton!
If you’re trying to find a really delicious but Healthy Taco Salad recipe then you’ve come to the right blog my friends, because today I am spilling my secrets (and some step-by-step photos) on how to make the biggest boldest fiesta for your taste buds all for under 500 calories!
3 corn tortillas
1 teaspoons La Tourangelle avocado oil
1 ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
La Tourangelle Cooking Spray
1 pound ground chicken
1 diced red bell pepper
1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning *see ingredient note
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup water
2 hearts of romaine, chopped, washed and spun dry
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
½ cup La Tourangelle Ranch Dressing or Citrus Chipotle Dressing
½ cup salsa
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lay tortillas on cutting board. Brush oil over the tortillas. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and cut into strips. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake until crispy and just starting to turn golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Coat a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Add chicken, red pepper and scallion whites and cook, crumbling the chicken with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with Mexican seasoning and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and stir to coat. Add in tomato paste and stir to coat. Add in water and stir until the mixture becomes saucy. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallion greens.
- Divide romaine among 4 large pasta bowls or plates. Top with the chicken mixture and cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Top with chips, cilantro and salsa on top.
Ingredient Note: Look for Salt Free Mexican or South-west seasoning in the spice section of the supermarket alongside other spice blends. You can also make your own by Mixing 4 teaspoons Chili powder, 4 teaspoons ground cumin, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder. Alternatively, you can use Taco seasoning, which is sold in the Mexican section of the supermarket. Taco seasoning contains salt, and no added kosher salt should be added to the chicken mixture.
Tip: Ground turkey or beef can be substituted for the ground chicken. If you prefer a meatless main course, cook the peppers and scallion whites in 1 tablespoon oil until softened. Then add in 1 cup drained canned black beans and 1 cup frozen and thawed corn kernels. Cook, stirring until heated through. Then remove from the heat and add in the scallion greens.
Make Ahead: The chicken mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead and rewarmed in the microwave or in a covered saucepan, with a couple tablespoons water.
- Serving Size: 1 salad
- Calories: 477
- Fat: 28 g
- Carbohydrates: 26
- Fiber: 6
- Protein: 32
A vegetarian taco salad packed with smoky roasted veggies! Crispy, creamy, smoky and filling, this veggie taco salad will soon become your favorite healthy Mexican-inspired dinner.
I can think of few meals more satisfying than a taco salad, with it’s myriad of different textures and flavors. There is just soooo much going on. Love it.
So this won’t be one of my “OMG so easy” dinners, but I have tried to come up with a reasonable workflow to get all the components of this salad ready around the 30 minute mark.
But that may be ambitious if you are making it for the first time and are trying to enjoy yourself and chill a little.
Vegetarian taco salads usually replace the traditional taco meat with spicy grains or faux meat, or sometimes just skip it and add more of the other stuff.
I love either of these approaches but today I am going for a salad with some extra veggie power. So we’re going to roast up some finely chopped veggies which have been sprinkled with taco seasoning.
I chose cauliflower, peppers, onions and mushrooms for my line up. The mushrooms add some juiciness, the peppers and onions are smoky and sweet, and the cauli adds crunch. They are the dream team.
How to make this roasted veggie taco salad
Right. Let’s discuss how this goes down.
The veggies need to be chopped and seasoned while the oven pre-heats. I like to chop my veggies pretty small so that they roast quickly, but also so that they disperse through the salad easily.
Note that the cauliflower should be chopped just a little smaller than everything else. In an ideal world the cauliflower might have longer to cook than the other ingredients, but we want everything to go in and out at the same time. So we can mitigate that imbalance by making those pieces smaller.
While the veggies roast… we prepare the bowl.
I like to use romaine lettuce for my taco salad, for nice crisp and crunch. I lay a bed of romaine in each bowl.
The rest of your toppings are all cold ingredients that you can just chop or get from a can. It’s up to you but I’m going with
- Black beans
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grated cheddar cheese
- A few crumbled tortilla chips
- A sprinkling of chives (You could use some raw onion if you prefer, I like chives for a more subtle flavor)
Some other solid choices would be
- Sliced olives
- Fresh or canned chilis
- Sliced cucumber
- Feta cheese
I’m going to go with this ridiculously simple two ingredient creamy salsa dressing.
Ingredient 1: fresh salsa. Ingredient 2: greek yogurt. Job done.
Taco salad complete.
Make sure to eat it while the veggies are still warm! While normal taco salad works well with purely cold ingredients, this one goes a little meh if you don’t love cold ‘shrooms and cauliflower.
Oh and if you’re wondering where the tortilla chips are in these photos, well, they are there. Sort of? I got these weird (but delicious) corn and lentil chips thinking they’d look the same as tortilla chips. They don’t. They’re kinda puffed up? And the color doesn’t really stand out in the pics unfortunately.
But hey, I have always wanted to try those Puffed Tacos. This is basically a Puffed Taco Salad.
For the sake of ease, this recipe does call for packaged taco seasoning and ready made salsa.
If you’d like to shun those lazy ingredients, no problem! Here are some ideas for you:
- House of Yumm has a very easy taco seasoning recipe with just 5 ingredients.
- The Kitchen Girl will get you making salsa in your blender in just 5 minutes. Though it’s a large batch so unless you have another use for it…
- … You could make a from-scratch salad dressing that would match this salad. I have a Smoky Yogurt Ranch Dressing that would work very nicely.
This makes two pretty huge bowls, enough for a dinner size, or you could put it all together and make 4-6 smaller servings from it.
- 1 head of romaine lettuce
- A few tablespoons of canned corn
- About 1/2 can of black beans
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Couple handfuls of grated cheddar cheese
- Handful of crumbled tortilla chips
- Tblsp of chopped chives
- Fresh lime (optional – if you want to squeeze a little on top)
- 1/4 cup of salsa
- 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
- 1/2 small cauliflower, chopped into tiny pieces
- About 100g of mushrooms, chopped into small chunks
- 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
- About 1/2 packet of taco seasoning
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 360F. Chop your veggies into small pieces and lay them on a lightly oiled baking tray. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and spray with oil.
- Roast veggies for 20mins until they are browning at the edges.
- Meanwhile, prepare your dressing by mixing the greek yogurt and salsa together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Assemble your salad bowls. Lay a bed of romaine lettuce down and top with tomatoes, beans, avocado and corn.
- When the veggies come out of the oven, sprinkle them on top of the salad.
- Add the grated cheese and tortilla chips.
- Top with a few dollops of dressing, to taste, and finally scatter the chives on top.
The total time of 30 minutes assumes you are overlapping your prep time with your cook time (that you are preparing the cold ingredients while the veggies are roasting). It will almost certainly take longer if you’re making this for the first time.
This serves 2 as a lunch or dinner, but can serve 4 for side dish portions. Nutritional information is for when the salad is split in 2 and treated as a whole meal.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Oven Tray
- Perfect Tortilla Taco Bowl Maker
- Gran Luchito Smoky Chipotle Fajita & Taco Mix
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 587 Total Fat: 32.5g Saturated Fat: 9.9g Cholesterol: 37.2mg Sodium: 1011mg Carbohydrates: 54.8g Fiber: 23.2g Sugar: 15.1g Protein: 29.1g Please note that the nutritional information is an estimate based on software calculations and will not be completely accurate – please use this as a guideline only.
Veggie Frito Taco Salad
I am really fortunate to live in a small city with a great farmer’s market. It is busy and hopping in the summer time! We have an adorable main street here and it’s enjoyable to walk around and shop. My son and I like to go up there on Saturdays and see the local goodies. This week we got to sample some local honey. I ended up buying some clover honey and a blackberry infused honey. And my son actually tried it and loved it! There was also some in-season peaches and tons of veggies and fresh lettuce.
So my brain started working with what I could make with my farmer’s market finds. I had purchased romaine lettuce, green onion, cherry tomatoes and corn. Someone there was also selling some fresh guacamole so I bought that too! I can never turn down guac. Never.
When I got home I started rummaging around in my pantry and I saw that I had some of my favorite BUSH’S® Organic Black Beans, a can of olives and corn chips. I knew exactly what I needed to make – taco salad!
This salad is so filling (black beans have lots of fiber and protein!) that you won’t even miss the meat!
I love the crunch the corn chips add but it is totally optional. Use whatever you love! Tortilla strips would also be wonderful in this. Also, I made this a second time and also added in some BUSH’S® Organic Pinto Beans and BUSH’S® Organic Dark Red Kidney Beans. All of them were delicious. More beans = more better!
2 ears fresh corn
2 Romaine lettuce hearts, roughly chopped
1 (16 oz) can BUSH’S® Organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1 can sliced olives, drained well
2 cups corn chips
1 cup catalina (or French) dressing
pico de gallo
First, cook your corn. This is so easy to do in the microwave. Arrange both ears of corn, un-shucked, in the microwave. If you prefer, you can set them on a microwaveable plate or tray. Cook for 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Set the ears on a cooling rack or cutting board to cool. When the silks and top leaves are cool enough to handle, quickly shuck the husks off the cobs. Then cut the corn off the cob.
In a large salad bowl, add chopped lettuce, BUSH’S® Organic Black Beans, tomato, cheese, olives and corn. When ready to serve, add corn chips and dressing to salad.
Serve with optional toppings: sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo.
I love ALL the toppings!
Toss to coat.
Then dig in!
My Chicken Taco Salad has all your favorite taco toppings in a crunchy salad with a spicy cream Salsa Ranch Dressing. It’s Taco Tuesday in a bowl!
I have been making this Chicken Taco Salad for years now. It’s the perfect way to use up any leftovers from my Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, or just for an easy taco style meal when we really just want a refreshing salad. Sometimes I’ll even throw in some leftover Mexican Rice for even more flavor.
I add all of my favorite things about tacos – tomatoes, black beans, olives, corn, green onions and lots of sharp cheddar. I actually will usually crushed tortilla chips from the bottom of a bag but was toatlly out when I made this salad! Baking some tortilla slices is an excellent substitution though; just arrange the strips on a baking sheet (no oil needed) and bake in a 350 degree oven until golden. Takes about 5-7 minutes for nice, crunchy tortilla strips.
The dressing is probably my favorite part of this Chicken Taco Salad. It’s super simple too – 1 part Ranch dressing, 1 part sour cream and 2 parts of your favorite salsa. I always serve the salad with lime wedges because I just love that tart bite from that little squeeze of lime.
This easy Chicken Taco Salad is a quick meal to throw together making it perfect for those busy weeknights or the summer months when it’s just too hot to cook. Any leftover chicken will do; I have used my seasoned Baked Chicken Breasts or even just my go-to Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken. Keep extra on hand and this easy Chicken Taco Salad is just a toss away.
Chicken Taco Salad with Salsa Ranch Dressing
Pin Author: Kristin
- 2 cups cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use this recipe/method)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cups Romaine lettuce
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes diced
- 1 bunch green onion chopped
- 1 15- ounce can sweet corn
- 1 15- ounce can black beans
- 1 3- ounce can sliced olives
- 1 cup shredded cheddar-jack cheese
- 1 avocado diced
- ½ cup crushed tortilla chips
- 1 lime
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/4 sour cream
- 1/4 cup bottled Ranch dressing
- In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients.
- Combine salad ingredients (except avocado and tortilla chips) together in a large bowl. Toss with the salsa mixture.
- Divide into bowls or on plates and garnish with avocado, tortilla chips and a lime wedge.
For more quick and easy salads, try these:
Baked Crispy Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard
Creamy Taco Pasta Salad
For more delicious Mexican recipes, try these:
Taco Stuffed Bread
Chicken & Black Bean Baked Tacos
Slow Cooker Mexican Beans
For all salads go HERE.
For all dinner recipes go HERE
For all Mexican recipes go HERE.
For the Recipe Index go HERE.
Does a salad always have to be served on a salad plate and eaten with a salad fork? If bread forms part of the salad, does the bread always have to be in the form of croutons? As far as I am concerned, the answers are no and no. I like variety.
So, a couple of nights ago, when Speedy asked what we were having for dinner, I said “taco salad.” I told him I’d put salad vegetables on a warmed tortilla and top them with pan fried slices of beef. He asked what the dressing would be and I said sour cream and chili sauce. And he was happy.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have sour cream. We didn’t even have cream so I could whip up some homemade sour cream. It turned out that I used all the cream in the house when I made dulce de leche ice cream (which was too sweet so I have to do a take two before I can write about it).
So how did I make good on my promise that the taco salad would have sour cream and chili sauce? I didn’t. But the dressing was tangy and spicy so, at least, I didn’t short-change him and his expectations to eat something that had sour and spicy notes. You don’t do that to Speedy — tell him you’re having one thing then serve something else. His mother told me a long time ago about that particular trait of her son. When you tell him he’s going to eat a particular dish, he imagines and anticipates and builds up a sort of gastronomic suspense. And if you kill the suspense by serving something else, he sulks.
So, there. At the very least, I had to make good on the “sour” and “spicy.” How? I improvised, of course. I took whatever was in the fridge and pantry and used them — including mayo, olive oil, lemon rind and juice, onion, garlic, dried herbs and finely chopped fresh bird’s eye chili.
The best beef for a salad like this is a cut that you’d ordinarily cook as a steak. Like rib-eye. Just ask the butcher to slice them for you — about an eighth of an inch (like for making cheese steak sandwich) thick is ideal.
Season the beef slices lightly with salt and pepper, cook over very high heat in a little butter, no more than 30 seconds per side.
Taco salad with spicy garlic dressing
Pin Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 2 minutes Total Time: 12 minutes Servings: 2 Author: Connie Veneracion
- salad vegetables whatever you like (I used Romaine lettuce and alfalfa sprouts)
- 150 grams thin slices of beef
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 to 6 six-inch flour tortillas
- fried shallots
For the dressing
- finely grated zest of one lemon
- 1 one clove of garlic finely grated
- 1/2 small half of a small onion also finely grated
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (twice as much if using fresh)
- 1/4 tspteaspoon dried tarragon (again, twice as much if using fresh)
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 bird’s eye chili finely sliced
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- sugar to taste
- extra virgin olive oil enough to get the consistency that you like
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- Rinse the vegetables and dry. A salad spinner helps.
- Make the dressing.
- Place the grated zest, garlic and onion in a bowl. Add the mayonnaise, tarragon, parsley, lemon juice, a little salt, pepper and sugar, and about a tablespoonful of extra virgin olive oil. Stir until smooth.
- Add the chili. Stir. Add more olive oil if the mixture is too thick. Add more salt, pepper or sugar, as needed.
- Let the salad dressing sit and infuse while you cook the beef.
- Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
- Heat the butter in a pan. Over high heat, cook the beef slices in a single layer and without overcrowding the pan. Once the underside browns (30 seconds or so), flip, cook another 30 seconds and transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil.
- Assemble the taco salad.
- Warm the tortillas. I do this on an oil-free pan and I sprinkle some water on the tortillas.
- Place two to three warmed tortillas on a plate slightly overlapping one another. Place the salad vegetables along the middle. Drizzle some dressing over them. Arrange the beef slices on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with more dressing. Sprinkle with crisp onion slices.
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Just in case you missed the very useful links in the post, here they are again:
Dried chili flakes and chili sauce
If you want your chilis mildly hot instead of very hot
How to zest a lemon, orange or lime
Fried crisp onion slices