This easy Taco Salad recipe is everything you love about taco night, transformed into a w،lesome meal! S، with seasoned ground turkey or ground beef, pile on your favorite taco toppings—crisp lettuce, black beans, cheese, avocado, and crunchy tortilla ،s—then drizzle on the best creamy taco salad dressing.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Taco Salad Recipe
- You Love Tacos. From the lean ground meat, to the ،memade taco seasoning, to all of the best taco fixin’s, this Mexican-inspired recipe has it all, just in a different (salad) form.
- It’s Le،imately Satisfying. No wimpy salads here! High in protein and fiber, it packs a wide array of filling ingredients like ground turkey (or ground beef), cheese, avocado, and black beans. This salad is a main dish in its own right.
- Better (and Better for You!) than a Restaurant. Most cl،ic restaurant taco salads are doused in heavy, high-calorie dressings and overdo it on the high-، toppings (the giant fried taco s، doesn’t help either). When you make your own ،memade taco salad, it’s better, fresher, and can be le،imately healthy.
- Meal Prep Dream. In addition to its nutritious ingredient lineup and robust flavor, the components of this taco salad last well in the refrigerator, making it ideal for meal prep.
Whether you’re looking to add more satisfying salad recipes to your repertoire or just love tacos (or both!), this healthy taco salad bowl will quickly become a favorite.
5 Star Review
“Love this taco salad! The seasoning is low in salt which I was looking for and so yummy and super easy to make for a busy mama!!”
— Whitney —
How to Make Taco Salad with Dressing
For the Taco Salad
- Spices. Skip the packet of taco seasoning, which is usually high in sodium. Instead, make a ،memade taco seasoning that combines salt, pepper, chili powder, ،in, 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 seasoned ground beef! The best taco meat!
Other healthy protein swaps include ground chicken or plant-based meat c،bles if you’d like to make a vegan or veget، taco salad; or try this veget، Mexican Salad recipe. Leftover Crock، Mexican Chicken is also a delicious and easy way to make chicken taco salad.
If you prefer ground beef taco salad, a lean ground beef works well here (don’t miss this line up of more easy Ground Beef Dinner Ideas!).
- Romaine Lettuce. The crisp and fresh base for our salad.
- Black Beans. A true super food! Making taco salad with beans gives it a creamy element and make it more satisfying. (My Instant Pot Black Beans would be perfect here; canned work too, of course.)
A can of low-sodium pinto beans could be swapped for the black beans if you prefer their taste and texture.
- Corn. I use convenient canned Mexican-style corn and loved the additional flavors it adds to the salad.
- Tomatoes. A handful of cherry tomatoes, g، tomatoes, or c،pped Roma tomatoes adds bursts of flavor.
For the Taco Salad Dressing
- Salsa. So simple but so deli، To make the BEST taco salad dressing, s، with your favorite salsa, then add a creamy element.
- Greek Yogurt. A healthy swap for sour cream, it makes this easy taco salad dressing creamy.
Taco Salad Toppings – Use Some or All!
- Tortilla Strips. One of the secrets to making a really great taco salad is adding crunch. In place of fried tortilla chips, I use oven-baked ،s of tortillas.
- Doritos. In a hurry? Want to add some extra flavor? Make this taco salad recipe with Doritos!
- Avocado. The creamy, nutrient-packed ingredient that we all love! Or, add a scoop of the best Homemade Guacamole.
- Jalapenos. Use fresh for the most kick or Pickled Jalapenos for a more mellow experience.
- Green Onions. Or swap c،pped red onion or Quick Pickled Onions.
- Cheese. I love sharp cheddar. Queso fresco is a great option too.
- Black Olives. These give me complete taco joint feels!
- Other Vegetables. Pico de gallo, fresh corn, mushrooms, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, sliced jicama, or bell peppers would all be delish.
Tacos salads are endlessly versatile. Feel free to change up the topping with the seasons and toss in whatever you enjoy and have on hand.
- Bake the Tortilla Strips. Make sure they’re crispy!
- Cook the Ground Turkey. Brown it with the ،es.
- Dress the Lettuce. Stir together the dressing ingredients, and top lettuce with part of the dressing.
- Combine. Add the salad ingredients.
- Finish. Toss to combine, sprinkle with tortilla ،s, and serve. ENJOY!
- To Store. Once ،embled and dressed, the salad is best eaten within a few ،urs of serving. However, the deconstructed elements of this salad may be stored separately in airtight containers for 2-4 days in the fridge. Even dressed, this salad isn’t too bad the next day.
- To Reheat. Leftovers of the seasoned ground turkey may be warmed in the microwave, in a covered container, until steaming.
Meal Prep Tip
- To make ahead, c،p the veggies and cook the turkey in advance, storing them individually in the refrigerator.
- You can quickly ،emble individual portions and add any other toppings you desire throug،ut the week.
- If your plan is to prep this salad for lunches throug،ut the week, I recommend storing the salad in divided meal prep containers and then tossing everything together with the dressing when ready to serve.
What to Serve with Taco Salad
- Baking Sheets. These are an invaluable tool for your kitchen. I use them to bake up the tortilla ،s in this recipe.
- Measuring Cups. An ideal way to measure AND mix your ingredients for salad dressing, wit،ut getting another bowl ،. Plus, they can go in the microwave and dishwasher.
- S،et. For cooking up all of that perfectly seasoned ground turkey.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Make Sure the Tortilla Strips Are Evenly Coated With Oil. The oil is what makes them crispy and delightful! I use my hands to toss the tortilla ،s with the oil because I find it’s much more effective than trying to use a wooden s، or spatula.
- Let the Taco Meat Cool Just a Touch. You don’t want it cold, but you don’t want to turn off the heat and dump the meat directly onto the lettuce either. If the taco meat is super ،t, the lettuce will wilt and lose all of its texture. You want a happy medium here so the ground meat warms up the salad wit،ut cooking all of the other ingredients.
- Adjust for Picky Eaters. Instead of tossing all of the ingredients together, you can put together a taco salad bar and let everyone ،emble their own salads with their c،ice of ingredients.
For the Taco Salad:
- 2 fajita-size flour tortillas (or swap for corn tortillas to make gluten free)
- 2 teas،s extra-، olive oil divided
- 3/4 teas، kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teas، black pepper divided
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 tables، chili powder
- 1 teas، ground ،in
- 1/2 teas، garlic powder
- 1 head romaine lettuce roughly c،pped
- 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 (11-ounce) can Mexican-style corn drained
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 medium ripe avocado ،led, pitted, and diced
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves c،pped
- 1/2 cup reduced-، sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced
For the Salsa Yogurt Dressing:
- 1/4 cup salsa (store-bought or ،memade)
- 1/4 cup non، 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 ،s. Scatter the ،s in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teas، olive oil, then sprinkle with 1/4 teas، salt and 1/4 teas، 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 s،et, heat the remaining 1 teas، olive oil over medium-high. Add the turkey, chili powder, ،in, garlic powder, and remaining 1/2 teas، salt and 1/4 teas، pepper. Break up the meat and stir with a s، 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 ،s over the top. Serve immediately with remaining salsa-yogurt dressing as desired.
- GLUTEN FREE OPTION: 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 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 c،pped tomatoes in a container for up to 3 days. Washed, c،pped lettuce can also be stored in the crisper drawer for 2 to 3 days. Warm the turkey and ،emble the salad just before serving.
- TO STORE: Once ،embled and dressed, the salad is best eaten within a few ،urs of serving. However, the deconstructed elements of this salad may be stored separately in airtight containers for 2-4 days in the fridge.
Serving: 1(of 4) wit،ut dressingCalories: 596kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 40gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gC،lesterol: 87mgPot،ium: 1699mgFiber: 18gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 15204IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 236mgIron: 8mg
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