Taco Salad

Taco Salad

A fiesta of colors and flavors make up this Taco Salad, including seasoned ground beef, beans, corn and your favorite toppings, served in a crunchy tortilla bowl. It’s healthy and easily adaptable for keto, vegetarian or gluten-free diets!

I love the authentic Mexican recipes I collected while living in Mexico but am just as big a fan of good old, American Tex-Mex! And when it comes to border cuisine, Taco Salad is indisputably El Jefe. Some of the other Tex-Mex staples I enjoy making are Chiles Relleno, Fajitas, and Taquitos. 

Things I LOVE about Taco salad:

  • Quick and easy to prep ahead
  • Healthy ingredients
  • Use what you’ve got
  • Everyone can customize to their own taste and dietary requirements.

Ingredients:

Taco meat: Lean ground beef, or ground turkey seasoned with store-bought or homemade taco seasoning [add link]. We also add black beans and corn to the taco meat.

Lettuce: Romaine, iceberg or other green leafy lettuce.

Toppings: Use what you have and what you like including: tomatoes, olives, avocado, cheese, onion, cilantro.

Dressing: Add a big scoop of salsa, sour cream and guacamole on top of your taco salad and that’s all the dressing you’ll need! You could also use ranch, or Italian dressing.

Flour tortillas or tortilla chips: I like to make my own baked taco salad shells with flour tortillas [add bookmark to recipe within post] for this recipe, but store bought bowls or tortilla chips also work. If you make taco salad often, these baking molds [missing link] are fun to make perfect shaped shells from any size tortilla.

How to make Taco Salad:

  1. Prep the lettuce and toppings.
  2. Brown the meat, drain, and add taco seasoning.
  3. Stir in the black beans and corn.
  4. Time to assemble: place each tortilla bowl on a plate or in a shallow bowl; add a handful of romaine; add the mix from the frying pan; add veggies; sprinkle with cheese; add a dollop each of sour cream, salsa and guacamole; sprinkle with cilantro (if everyone likes it)

For a crowd, or if uncertain of your guests preferences, set up a build-your-own taco salad bar.

Variations:

  • Vegetarian Taco Salad: Sub crumbled tofu or add additional beans or veggies.
  • Vegan Taco Salad: Sub Vegan cheese and crumbled tofu.
  • Keto/low-carb: Skip the shell
  • Try out this keto / gluten-free Tortilla bowls recipe.

Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: Everything can be prepped a day or two in advance. Reheat the meat mixture in the microwave or in a skillet, and serve hot.

To freeze: Allow meat mixture to cool completely and store in freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

What to serve with Taco Salad:

The nice thing is that taco salad is already a complete meal. That still leaves beverages and dessert! For beverages, try horchata (sweet rice milk) or one of our three delicious, ice-cold lemonades! For dessert, I recommend sopaipillas or fresas con crema (strawberries and cream).

DIY Bonus – Homemade Baked Tortilla Bowls

  1. Brush a thin layer of canola or vegetable oil on both sides of 8” flour tortillas.
  2. Place a 4’’ ramekin or similar size oven-safe bowl, face down, on a cookie sheet. Lay a tortilla over it. 
  3. Place a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil on top of the tortilla and press down, scrunching the foil and tortilla around the ramekin until it’s shaped like a tortilla bowl (think basket-style coffee filter). Now flip the whole assemblage so it’s open end up. Repeat for however many tortilla bowls you’re going to need (and an extra or two in case one breaks!).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 5 minutes. Take cookie sheet out of oven, use tongs to carefully remove each ramekin and then return the tray to the oven to cook for 5 more minutes. 
  5. Remove from oven, carefully lift each shell out of the foil and place bottom up, foil down on the cookie sheet. Gently secure the rim of the tortilla inside the foil so it doesn’t burn.
  6. Return to oven to cook for 7-10 more minutes or until crisp and golden.

Have fun with the Taco Salad? Check out our tostadas recipe! It’s like a Mexican open-faced sandwich on a toasted tortilla!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST for more great recipes!

Taco Salad

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Taco Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 293kcal
Author Lauren Allen

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef , or ground turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons Taco seasoning , or 1 packet
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce , chopped
  • 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas , or 1 bag tortilla chips

Topping options:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes , halved
  • ½ cup Sliced Olives
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped red or green onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Salsa
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole , or chopped avocado

Instructions

  • (Optional) See post for directions to make baked tortilla shells with flour tortillas.
  • Add ground beef to a skillet over medium heat. Cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until cooked through. Remove grease. Add taco seasoning and water and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in black beans and corn.
  • Assemble taco salads: Add baked tortilla shell or tortilla chips to the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with a handful of lettuce, then taco meat and desired toppings. Add salsa, sour cream and guacamole (or avocado) on top.

Notes

Make ahead Instructions: Everything can be prepped a day or two in advance. Reheat the meat mixture in the microwave or in a skillet, and serve hot.

Freezing Instructions: Allow meat mixture to cool completely and store in freezer-safe bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Allow to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Baked Tortilla Bowls:

  1. Brush a thin layer of canola or vegetable oil on both sides of 8” flour tortillas.
  2. Place a 4’’ ramekin or similar size oven-safe bowl, face down, on a cookie sheet. Lay a tortilla over it. 
  3. Place a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil on top of the tortilla and press down, scrunching the foil and tortilla around the ramekin until it’s shaped like a tortilla bowl (think basket-style coffee filter). Now flip the whole assemblage so it’s open end up. Repeat for however many tortilla bowls you’re going to need (and an extra or two in case one breaks!).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 5 minutes. Take cookie sheet out of oven, use tongs to carefully remove each ramekin and then return the tray to the oven to cook for 5 more minutes. 
  5. Remove from oven, carefully lift each shell out of the foil and place bottom up, foil down on the cookie sheet. Gently secure the rim of the tortilla inside the foil so it doesn’t burn.
  6. Return to oven to cook for 7-10 more minutes or until crisp and golden.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 755mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9715IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 134mg | Iron: 4mg
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?!

RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

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