Taco Salad

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My taco salad might possible one of the very first recipes that I made up on my own without using a recipe.  I remember making this for my friends in college.  It was something fast, easy, healthy and cheap!  Even the guys in my dorm would come over when I made this salad.  In college I added small noodles to the salad to make it even heartier.  Even though I have eliminated the noodles from my “grown up” recipe this salad is still very hearty.  My husband likes to heat up some tortillas and eat those on the side as well.  There are so many different things that you can add to this salad to make you own as well.  My recipe has a great mix of black beans, corn, black olives, tomatoes, onions, etc…. that really bring out the mexican flavors.  I also add some chopped cilantro to my salad which really adds a little “south of the border” flavor as well.  You can use any kind of ground meat, but I usually use ground turkey or chicken…less fat and a bit lighter which we like. Try out my recipe for a fun, fast family meal….I promise you ….you will make it again and again!


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  • 1 lb. ground meat ( I prefer ground turkey or chicken)
  • 1 TB. olive oil (if using ground turkey or chicken)
  • 1 – 14 oz can of chopped or diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 TB. taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 heads romaine lettuce chopped
  • 2 cup peppers chopped (red, yellow, green or orange)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes – quartered
  • 2 TB. fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 – 6 oz. can pitted black olives – halved
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 1 – 12 oz. can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup jicama (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or mexican mix cheese
  • 1 avacado sliced
  • jalapeno (optional for garnish)
  • Sour cream for garnish
  • tortilla chips or tortillas (optional) to serve on side
  1. If you are using ground turkey or chicken I always like to put a little olive oil in the pan first to add a bit of fat so the meat does not stick.  Heat olive oil, add ground meat and cook.  Break up pieces as meat cooks.
  2. Add chopped/diced tomatoes with juice and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add taco seasoning and water, stir well and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, assemble your salad; add lettuce and cilantro to a large bowl.  Mix well.
  5. Layer the next 8 ingredients in any order you would like.
  6. Cover salad with shredded cheese.
  7. Place avacado sliced over top of salad.
  8. Garnish with jalapeno, sour cream or tortilla chips if you would like.
  9. Serve immediately.

* You can also do a quick dressing for this salad if you feel like you need a dressing.  Just mix some sour cream, jar salsa, olive oil, a bit of apple cider vinegar, dash of tabasco and whisk well.  Drizzle over salad.

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