Healthy Taco Salad Recipe is a lean and mean Tex-Mex salad, combining lean ground beef, homemade taco seasoning, fresh veggies, tortilla chips, and a skinny chipotle ranch dressing. Super tasty and lightened up too!
My husband and I are originally from Iowa, born and raised. We’ve lived in Texas for over 27 years now, over half of our lives. So it may be no surprise to you when I say that we LOVE Tex-Mex. Gimme all the tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, guacamole, and margaritas. I like it spicy, while Mike is more of a medium taco lovin’ guy.
If you look below at the nutritional content, you’ll see that ONE LARGE TACO SALAD comes in at under 600 calories, and has lots of protein and fiber. That’s pretty remarkable, considering that it tastes like one big taco. It’s a salad that fills you up, and leaves you thinking about eating another one the following day (which I often do)!
There are so many things about this salad to love.
- how the homemade taco seasoning makes the meat so flavorful (without a bad aftertaste)
- the way the fresh veggies give the perfect crunch
- the creamy, yet healthy dressing, and that little hit of spice
- the saltiness from the chips (which are optional, but yummy)
- the flavor bomb of ALL of these ingredients together 😀
We LOVE taco night, and it’s especially fun when you can tailor each salad to everyones tastes. So if you have picky eaters, you can go light on the veggies and go heavy on the meat, cheese, and chips. So many things to choose from!
Healthy Taco Salad Ingredients:
- Taco Meat – Use lean ground beef or turkey, plus diced onions and jalapeños.
- Homemade Taco Seasoning – My homemade seasoning won’t leave a bad after-taste, and it’s great to keep a large stash on hand for all the taco things.
- Fresh veggies – Lettuce (any fresh greens), tomatoes, and avocado.
- Canned veggies – Black beans and Mexicorn are the perfect salad toppers.
- Cheese – Shredded Mexican Cheese, or your favorite cheese works too.
- Chips of any kind.
- Skinny Chipotle Ranch Dressing – My favorite Tex-mex topper for salads, tacos, enchiladas, etc.
My salad? It’s got ALL of these toppings piled high!
If you’re feeding EXTRA picky eaters, go ahead and make up some easy cheese quesadillas too.
- Lay a large flour tortilla on countertop.
- Sprinkle cheese on half of it.
- Fold it over and press down.
- Heat some olive oil in a skillet.
- Lightly brown both sides of tortillas, until the cheese is all melty.
- Cut into wedges, and serve with these taco salads.
Lately, I’ve been making ALL of the taco things.
Make this taco dish next: Easy Taco Crunch Wraps
Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.
Healthy Taco Salad Recipe
For the taco meat:
- 1 pound lean ground beef – or ground turkey
- 1/2 medium yellow onion – diced
- 1 medium jalapeno – diced (half with seeds, half without), optional
- 2 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning – on my site (or use store-bought)
For the salad:
- 12-16 cups romaine lettuce (or other fresh greens) – chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 15 oz. black beans – rinsed and drained
- 8 oz. Mexicorn – drained
- 1 large avocado – diced
- handful of tortilla chips – optional
For the dressing:
- 5.3 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons light mayo
- 1 Tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobe sauce – finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1 medium lime – freshly squeezed
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- Mix up the dressing by combining the yogurt, mayo, chipotle peppers, cilantro, lime juice, smoked paprike, and salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Heat a skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil, ground beef, diced onions and jalapeños – and cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Add seasoning and cook for another few minutes. Set aside.
- Assemble the salads in four bowls by arranging the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, black beans, corn, and avocado. Add the taco meat and a drizzle of the dressing. Serve immediately, with tortilla chips and quesadilla wedges (optional).
- Use my homemade taco seasoning for best results.
- Either ground beef or ground turkey work great in this.
- Adjust the veggies to your liking. Slices of bell pepper are great in this salad as well.
- The chipotle peppers add the kick. If you don’t like a little spice, use a creamy ranch dressing instead.