Taco Salad

by KetoFocus.com

This healthy taco salad recipe is the perfect easy weeknight dinner. Drizzle sour cream and salsa over the top for a spicy and tangy finish to this Mexican classic..

Taco salad is filled with ground beef, homemade taco seasoning and is the perfect pairing with tortilla chips. For a Mexican-themed dinner or Taco Tuesday, top it with tomatoes, avocados, onions, cheese, and cilantro. 

a salad with red onion, avocado, jalapeno chips and tomatoes sits in from of corn chips

Easily add this dish to your menu for the week and meal prep at the beginning so you can have it ready to make a quick weeknight dinner. It’s one of those salads that you can whip up quickly if you aren’t prepared with dinner ideas. It’s easily adjustable to fit your tastes and preferences, so you can make changes wherever you want – mixing up the toppings, seasonings and meats (like chicken, ground turkey, steak or pork). 

How to make taco salad

There are only a few short steps to make this beef taco salad.

  1. Combine seasonings – Add all the seasonings to a small bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Brown ground beef – Sauté a pound of ground beef in a skillet and cook until browned.
  3. Add the seasonings – Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and pour in ¼ cup water. Simmer over low, medium heat until liquid has mostly evaporated.
  4. Assemble the salad – To a large bowl, create a layer of lettuce, seasoned ground beef mixture, tomatoes, avocados, cheese, onions, and cilantro. Top with sour cream and salsa.

a bowl of salad next to tortilla chips, tomatoes and jalapenos

Key ingredients

Use these taco salad ingredients to make the best quick and easy meal.

  • Seasonings – This taco seasoning recipe uses a variety of Mexican spices, including chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic, onion, red pepper, cayenne, and oregano.
  • Ground Beef – Use 80/20 ground beef for this taco meat recipe. You want a little fat but not too much since we’re simmering seasoned beef in liquid.
  • Toppings – Use your favorite toppings, including lettuce, diced tomatoes, avocados, cheddar cheese, red onions, sliced olives, green onions, guacamole and cilantro.
  • Sauces – Drizzle sour cream, pico de gallo and fresh salsa over the top for the dressing. Ranch dressing, guacamole and a squeeze of lime juice can be used as a salad dressing as well.

Taco Salad Recipe Video

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Taco Seasoning Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Taco Salad Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef, turkey or chicken
  • 2 hearts romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ½ avocado, diced
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons salsa or pico de gallo

Taco Salad Directions

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a bowl of taco salad with ingredients grouped together like avocado, red onion, tomato, ground beef and cheese

Additional ingredients to add

You can add other toppings that go well with this taco salad bowl. Here are some delicious options to try:

fresh taco salad sits on a terra cotta plate with shredded cheese and avocado falling down

What to serve with taco salad

If you want to add to this dish and make a complete meal, you can serve cold drinks like a keto margarita, cucumber lime margarita, or a keto strawberry daiquiri

Some side dishes that go well with this easy taco salad are keto cilantro lime cauliflower rice or keto Spanish cauliflower rice.

Tips and variations

This taco salad recipe is delicious with other variations and substitutions. Here are some excellent options to try: 

  • Ground turkey or ground chicken are lean meat options that can make this dish lighter.
  • Yogurt and even dairy free yogurt can be used in place of sour cream. 
  • Add more veggies as the topping for this dish. 
  • Pair with tortilla chips or pork rinds for a crunch.
a healthy taco salad on an orange plate with salsa ingredients around

Why homemade taco salad is the best

Making this salad from scratch is better than buying a premade salad kit from the store.

  • It’s much healthier!
  • The ingredients are fresh.
  • The ground beef recipe is perfectly seasoned. You’ll think it came from a taqueria.
  • You get to control what you add to remove from your meal.
  • Better for you compared to actual tacos or burritos.

Storage information

To Store: Keep leftover ground beef salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Try to keep the ingredients separate for storing. They will stay fresh longer if you keep them in individual containers.

To Reheat: If you can store the beef separately from the other ingredients, you can reheat it in the microwave in 30-second increments until it’s hot all the way through.

If the meat is in the same container as the lettuce and tomatoes, you can eat it cold, and if you heat it up, it will wilt.

To Meal Prep: The vegetables can be prepped, washed, and chopped, but they should be assembled right before eating.

Taco Salad: FAQS

Can I use store bought taco seasoning?

Yes, you can buy seasoning from the store, but you can’t control the ingredients that are added. If you’re trying to stay keto, it’s important to remember that companies may add sugar to their taco seasoning.

Should taco salad be served warm or cold?

The best way to serve this salad is for the meat to be warm and the other ingredients to be at room temperature.

What’s the difference between a taco salad and a tostada?

A taco salad is served in a bowl and eaten with a fork, and a tostada is served on a fried flat corn tortilla.

Nutritional information & Macros

Nutrition Information

Taco Salad

Servings: 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 493
Fat 37.6g
Protein 29g
Total Carbs 8.4g
Net Carbs 4.6g

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