This taco salad it’s super easy to make in just 20 minutes from scratch with wholesome ingredients. It’s a healthy salad recipe with ground beef, fresh lettuce, avocado, and cheddar cheese. Loaded with flavor, you have to try this taco salad recipe that’s delicious, creamy, and perfectly spiced.
A taco in a bowl is perfect for taco night when looking for a nutritious but equally delicious option. In my books, hot weather calls for less time spent in the kitchen and recipes that don’t keep the stove on for hours.
Salads are just my favorite way to cope with the heat as they are refreshing, packed with nutrients, protein, and perfect for a satisfying meal on a busy day.
You are going to love this healthy taco salad recipe that’s super versatile, Mexican-inspired, and a breeze to make. It’s the ultimate weeknight recipe that everyone should try.
Also read: Taco Salad Recipe – The Forked Spoon
Watch the step-by-step video below to see exactly how I make the best taco salad recipe!
What is Taco Salad?
Taco salad is a delicious recipe made with crisp lettuce, well-seasoned ground beef, taco salad dressing, seasonings, and it’s topped with shredded cheddar cheese. Restaurant’s taco salads are served in a deep-fried taco shell, in a tortilla bowl, or with tortilla chips.
Reasons You’ll Love Taco Salad Recipe
- It’s extremely adaptable: if you don’t like all the ingredients of this salad, you can simply switch!
- It’s gluten-free, low-carb, and keto-friendly. If you don’t use cheese and use dairy-free yogurt, you can make a dairy-free and paleo taco salad!
- A Taco salad bowl is a quick and easy way to meal prep lunches for the week! Changing up your protein, vegetables, and cheeses can help you stick to your eating plan without getting bored.
Taco Salad Ingredients
For this ground beef taco salad, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients that I’m sure you already have on hand. The salad dressing is incredibly delicious and easy to make.
Here’s a note on the taco salad ingredients:
- ground beef – I used a lean 85% ground beef, but you can use ground turkey, pork, or chicken.
- olive oil – to cook the ground beef.
- homemade taco seasoning – often loaded with sugars, I chose to make a big batch of taco seasoning and store it in my pantry.
- Romaine lettuce – my favorite is romaine lettuce but any green leafs such as iceberg or baby spinach will work.
- tomatoes – for a boost of freshness and flavor use cherry tomatoes or chopped Roma tomatoes.
- cheddar cheese – shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese it’s the best. I like to shred my cheese because most shredded cheese has additives that you should avoid.
- avocado – chose a ripe avocado that’s super creamy. If you prepare this ahead of time, make sure you add this just before serving.
Taco Salad Dressing
There’s no need to make a separate salad dressing. The salsa and sour cream perfectly coat all the ingredients making the salad creamy and delicious.
- sour cream – For a lighter, low calorie taco salad replace sour cream with Greek yogurt.
How to Make Taco Salad?
Also read: Taco Salad – A Family Feast®
The most “complicated” part is browning the meat, but that takes less than 10 minutes. I like to season the meat when it is almost cooked.
Being a huge fan of wholesome ingredients, I am also making the taco seasoning at home. The store-bought mixes often have plenty of added sugars, starches, and other unhealthy ingredients that I want to avoid. It is super easy to make, and in the end, you will save some money and watch the quality of the ingredients.
- Brown the ground beef – Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the ground beef, season with taco seasoning, and cook until browned for about 8 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat to cool slightly.
- Assemble taco salad– In a large bowl, combine taco salad ingredients: lettuce, cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, salsa, sour cream, and top with the ground beef.
- Toss to combine, and sprinkle with tortilla chips.
The main benefit of cooking meals at home is to adjust the quantity of the ingredients to taste. It is also easier to calculate the macros in a specific meal if you know exactly what are the ingredients.
Great for Meal Prep
The taco salad recipe is also great for meal prep. Cook the beef in advance, chop the vegetables and prepare the dressing. Store in individual containers in the refrigerator.
Also read: Layered Taco Salad – Irish American Mom
You can easily combine all the ingredients during the week and add any keto toppings you like. The salad would be great served with some cheese chips or tortilla chips.
If you want to save some calories, you can use greek yogurt instead of sour cream and ground turkey instead of ground beef.
Customize Your Taco Salad
Toppings on this healthy taco salad can be customized to your taste buds.
- I used romaine lettuce, but you can use any leaves you love like baby spinach, kale, iceberg lettuce, or the same quantity of a salad mix.
- Replace the avocado with guacamole.
- You can omit ingredients that you don’t like and replace them with other vegetables such as cucumber, red pepper, or olives.
- You can choose between various salsa types that come with different hotness levels. Use mild salsa if you want to balance the spicy flavor that comes from the meat.
- Make the taco salad healthy by adding some freshly chopped cilantro on top.
How To Store
To store this ground beef salad and keep it fresh for a few days, prepare all the ingredients and store them in different containers. Combine when ready to enjoy. Leftover taco salad is best to be consumed the next day or else it will become soggy.
Looking for More Salads Recipes? Try these:
- Easy Authentic Pico de Gallo
- Big Mac Salad – Keto Cheeseburger Salad Recipe
- Creamy Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Easy Italian Caprese Salad Recipe
- Low Carb Guacamole
The full recipe is in the recipe card below. Readers that love this aslo made these recipes:
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