Need dinner in a hurry? Try this 25 Minute Easy Taco Salad Recipe. This salad has all the flavors you love from a taco in a healthier salad form and can be customized to suite your family's tastes!
I love salad recipes, especially in the summer when there is plenty of fresh produce at the grocery stores. This Asian Chicken Salad and Thai Chicken Salad are a couple of my favorites! These are great for lunch or dinner!
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Why You'll Love This Easy Taco Salad Recipe!
I love a taco salad! It is so easy to make and feels so much lighter than a carb heavy taco. Plus I can really load my salad up with the good stuff. Lots of fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado and black beans are perfect in a taco salad. But you can also customize and make individual taco salads depending on what your family likes. My husband just isn't a fan of avocado, so no problem he can easily leave that off!
And did I mention how quick this recipe is? You can make this in just 25 minutes and that is making your own spice blend too! It is so easy and I promise everyone will love this dinner recipe, it's always a family favorite! Who doesn't love taco night, right?!
Customizable- You can add all of the ingredients to a large salad bowl and toss and serve but I really prefer to serve this taco bar style so everyone can make their salad according to their own tastes. Yes I have picky eaters in my house, but it makes it so easy for everyone to dress their salad to their liking.
Quick And Easy- this recipe is the perfect weeknight meal because you can have dinner on the table in just 25 minutes.
Healthier Option-this is a much healthier taco salad than what you will find at most restaurants. Plus you can skip the chips to make this a low carb salad too!
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skillet- to brown the meat
knife-to cut up the veggies
ground turkey- I like to use either ground turkey or ground chicken for my taco salads. It just makes it a little lighter, but feel free to use your favorite ground meat. A lean ground beef would also work well in this recipe.
taco seasoning- you will need taco seasoning to flavor your taco meat and for the dressing. You can use a packet of taco seasoning if you are really pressed for time or you can make your own Homemade Taco Seasoning! It is delicious with lots of garlic powder, paprika and other spices. And it can be used for more than just tacos so I suggest making a double batch so you can make these Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas next!
lettuce- you can use any type you like. I use a romaine lettuce and cut it into small pieces. Any crisp lettuce like iceberg lettuce, will work perfectly for this salad.
toppings- these are really all optional and you can add or subtract according to what you like. I like to add tomatoes, green onion, black beans, avocado and cheese to my taco salad recipe. Chips I use sparingly or not at all so I can keep this low carb and on the healthier side.
Greek yogurt- this makes a great creamy dressing and when the other ingredients are added you can not tell it is yogurt. If you prefer you can make this same dressing with sour cream.
green onions- I like green onions because they have a mild flavor but you can also use thinly sliced red onions or white onions.
tomatoes- I like little grape tomatoes that I can half easily and throw in salad recipes, but if you have a garden with roma tomatoes or any other varieties feel free to chop those into bite-sized pieces for the salad.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground turkey or meat of choice and brown the meat. Some people like to add a little oil and that may be necessary if you are using a fat free chicken but I usually go for the 93% lean variety so it has enough fat to cook without anything added.
Once the meat is mostly cooked through, make sure to drain the fat off. This is really important so that your salad stays nice and crisp and doesn't get bogged down with grease. Once drained off you can add the taco seasoning and salsa. I like to add both for flavor and especially if using turkey or chicken the salsa will keep the meat moist and help prevent it from drying out. No water necessary with this method.
While the taco meat is cooking, you can mix up the taco salad dressing. Add the Greek yogurt or sour cream to a small bowl along with lime juice, taco seasoning and salsa. Give it a stir and it's ready!
You can either add all of the ingredients to a large bowl or make separate bowls so everyone can add their favorite toppings.
Taco salads can be stored if you keep all of the ingredients separated. If you combine the ingredients the the salad will become wilted and soggy. Store the taco meat in a separate airtight container for up to 4 days and reheat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds to make your salad.
The salad dressing stores well for 3-4 days. It may need a stir before drizzling over the salad.
Taco salads are great for meal prep as long as you store the taco meat and dressing in separate containers from the salad. If you are adding chips, keep those in a separate baggie too so they stay crunchy.
You can prepare salad meal prep bowls 2-3 days in advance with the lettuce, beans, jalapeno, cheese and tomatoes. Then when ready to eat, heat the taco meat and add that to the salad along with the dressing.
Substitutions And Additions
ground turkey- you can make a taco salad with whichever type of meat you prefer. Beef, chicken turkey and even chorizo would be great options.
cheese- shredded cheddar cheese is always great on tacos. You can also use cotija cheese which is a Mexican crumbling cheese.
Greek yogurt- I like to use Greek yogurt for a lighter option for my dressing but you can also make this dressing with sour cream.
additional toppings- black olives, hot sauce and pico de gallo are all great additions for these taco salads.
beans- pinto beans and red kidney beans are also a nice addition.
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Did you try this recipe? Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below, and a 5- star rating. I would love to hear from you! Subscribe Here to get new recipes sent straight to your inbox!
25 Minute Easy Taco Salad Recipe
- cutting board
Taco Meat And Salad
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey (or meat of choice)
- 1-2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 3 tablespoons salsa
- 8 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1- 15 ounce can black beans
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- tortilla chips, optional
Taco Salad Dressing
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon salsa
Taco meat And Salad
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey or meat of choice. Use a spatula or spoon to break the meat up as it browns.
- Once the meat is cooked, drain off any fat. Add the taco seasoning and salsa to the cooked turkey and stir to coat. Remove the taco meat from heat and cover to keep warm.
- Prepare the salad by prepping all of the veggies and toppings. You can make this as one big salad or individual salads so everyone can dress the salad with their favorite toppings of choice.
- Add the Greek yogurt, taco seasoning, lime juice and salsa to a small bowl. Stir well and drizzle over salad.