This beef taco salad recipe is a great way to get your protein and veggies all in one meal. It’s simple, quick and perfect for any day of the week. Give Taco Tuesday a twist with this easy family dinner with simple ingredients and on the dinner table in a matter of minutes.
This easy ground beef taco salad is also great for meal prepping for a week of healthy lunches with lots of flavor using a variety of your favorite taco toppings to switch it up, much like this Mexican Burrito Recipe. It would be easy to swap out ground turkey for the ground beef.
Healthy Beef Taco Salad
This beef taco salad is the perfect meal for any occasion. It’s hearty, healthy and full of flavor. Plus, it’s so easy to make! You can whip this up in just 30 minutes with ingredients you probably already have on hand. It the perfect dinner for a special occasion or because you want a healthy choice for Taco Tuesday.
What Is Taco Salad?
Taco salad is a Mexican-inspired dish made with all kinds of healthy ingredients. Taco salad is basically everything you would add to a taco but in a salad form. You get to skip the taco shell. Usually, it will contain taco meat, lettuce or shredded cabbage, cheese and salsa. I am also including some other healthy salad ingredients like tomatoes, onions and avocado. There are some beans in this recipe too to add even more protein. While you can add in other vegetables, this veggie packed dinner is everything you need to have Taco Tuesday on a healthier level.
This beef taco salad recipe does not disappoint! It’s full of hearty flavors that are sure to impress even the pickiest eaters in your family.
Why you should make this salad
While this salad might look like a hearty dish and it will fill you up, it’s actually quite light. The combination of flavors in the beef taco salad recipe will have you going back for seconds. You need to make this salad because:
Healthy– This dinner is packed with healthy ingredients. The ground beef gives a punch of protein and there are loads of veggies.
Easy– This dinner couldn’t be easier. Cook up the ground beef and cut the veggies. You can have this dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Cook Once, Eat Twice- This is a great recipe to use for meal prep. You can cook the ground beef and chop the vegetables for dinner one night. Store everything in the refrigerator, in separate containers. Then you can eat the taco salad for either for another night or you can use it for lunch during the week. Save time and money by using this recipe as part of your meal plan.
Versatile– I am making this with ground beef but you could easily make it with ground turkey or ground chicken. Even ground sausage or diced chicken can be used that has been flavored the same way. Prefer a no meat taco salad? Add tofu instead of beef and make this a vegetarian salad.
Delicious- This dinner is absolutely amazing. Even the pickiest eaters will love it. With all the delicious flavors of tacos, no one needs to know just how healthy this dinner is.
Can I make this ground beef taco salad ahead of time?
It is easy to make this ground beef taco salad ahead of time. You can make the ground beef ahead and get everything chopped up. I wouldn’t assemble the salad before you are ready to eat it but you can have everything ready to go.
What goes in a ground beef taco salad?
This salad is packed with healthy ingredients that work together. In addition to the ground beef, you will be adding avocado, tomatoes, corn, and black beans over lettuce and topped with tortillas and cheese.
Of course, because this is based on tacos, you can add anything that you like to add to your tacos. There is no end to the creativity and choices for this meal.
Is taco salad healthy?
Everything in this taco salad healthy. There is no dressing other than a bit of lime. With ground beef and fresh ingredients, this is a great healthy dinner idea.
Is the meat In taco salad hot or cold?
The best part of this recipe is that you can eat this taco salad with the meat hot and cold. I like to eat it hot when I first make it and then I store the rest in the refrigerator. Then you can warm the meat up again when you are ready to eat the leftovers, but you can also just assemble and eat it cold.
What veggies for taco salad?
What veggies you use is completely up to you. You might like to include other things that I have listed in the ingredients. Some of my favorites that I like to add are: crisp lettuce (Green leaf, iceberg or romaine), roasted corn, tomatoes, onions and avocado.
- Pinto beans
- Romaine lettuce
- Green onions
- Sour Cream
- Tortilla Chips
- Pico de Gallo
- Kidney beans
- Cherry tomatoes
- Flour tortilla
- Bell peppers
- Corn chips
- Black Olives
What goes well with taco salad for dinner?
This is easily a complete dinner. You get your protein and veggies all together in one. You won’t feel like anything is missing and you will definitely feel full when you are done. However, you can add other things to dinner if you want. You can add a sandwich or soup if you want to get more of a traditional salad feel.
You can also add things like garlic bread, cornbread, crackers or more tortillas as well.
How long does taco salad last?
When you store this taco salad in the refrigerator it will last for about 5 days. I recommend storing the ingredients in in separate containers. If the salad is stored all together as a completed salad, you might find that the lettuce wilts and the salad is unappetizing sooner.
Can I use other meats?
This recipe uses ground beef, but you can easily use other meats. Any type of ground meat can be used. Ground chicken or ground turkey are the most common choices but you can also use ground pork or even ground sausage. Each type of ground meat will give this hearty taco salad a different flavor.
You can also use other meats in this salad. Leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken can also be used.
If you want to make this a vegetarian option, you can use tofu or a meat substitute. The salad will still be hearty and filling.
What is the best lettuce to use?
I am using iceberg lettuce. It shreds up easily and has a mild taste so that the flavors of the salad shines. You can use other lettuce as well. Romain is a good one if you want a more smooth taste. Bib lettuce or red leaf lettuce will also work.
What kind of cheese goes well in taco salad?
You will need to use Mexican cheese for this recipe. You can use mild cheddar cheese or go for something completely different. Mozzarella will work if you want a cheese that is more subtle, or you can go for a cheese with a bigger flavor punch like smoked gouda or sharp cheddar. The options are pretty much endless for the type of cheese that you use.
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lbs. lean ground beef
- 2 t. ground cumin
- 1 t. smoked paprika
- ½ t. chili powder
- 1½ t. chipotle powder, divided
- ½ t. onion powder
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 large gluten-free corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
- 3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped
- 1 large ripe avocado, chopped
- 2 c. cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
- ½ small red onion, diced small
- 1 c. frozen sweet corn, warmed
- 2 T. fresh lime juice
- ¾ c. Mexican blend cheese, finely shredded
How to Make a Healthy Beef Taco Salad
Preheat the oven and prepare baking sheet.
In a skillet add the ground beef and seasoning and cook until the meat is browned.
While the beef is cooking, place the tortilla strips on the baking sheet, brush with oil and then bake until slightly crispy.
Add the black beans into the skillet and stir well. Drain the meat and place it aside.
Combine the lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and corn in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle it with remaining olive oil, chipotle powder, and fresh lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, transfer salad to a decorative serving platter and top with the seasoned beef and black beans, Mexican cheese, and crispy tortilla strips, if desired. Enjoy!
Healthy Beef Taco Salad
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1½ teaspoon chipotle powder divided
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 large gluten-free corn tortillas cut into thin strips
- 3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed
- ½ head iceberg lettuce finely chopped
- 1 large ripe avocado chopped
- 2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
- ½ small red onion diced small
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn warmed
- 2 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ¾ cup Mexican blend cheese finely shredded
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ground beef and season with ground cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, one teaspoon chipotle powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned, approximately 8-10 minutes. Break up the beef with a spatula into small chunks while it cooks.
- While the beef is browning, arrange the tortilla strips on the prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with one tablespoon olive oil. Place in the oven until slightly crispy, approximately 6-8 minutes.
- Stir the black beans into the skillet with the beef until thoroughly coated with the seasonings. Remove from heat and carefully drain excess fat from skillet and set aside.
- Combine the lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, and corn in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle it with remaining olive oil, chipotle powder, and fresh lime juice. Generously season with salt and black pepper, to taste, and toss to combine.
- To serve, transfer salad to a decorative serving platter and top with the seasoned beef and black beans, Mexican cheese, and crispy tortilla strips, if desired. Enjoy!