The Ultimate Taco Salad

Here’s the tastiest taco salad recipe: a healthy and easy dinner everyone loves — and customizable for any diet! Don’t miss this hack for a quick salad dressing. Here’s an easy dinner recipe that seems to please just about everyone: Taco Salad! This Tex-Mex salad has been impressing for decades, and it gives us all the 1990’s nostalgic vibes. Here’s why we love this concept: it’s customizable for any eater and easy to scale up for a crowd. In fact, my mother in law often whips this up to feed anywhere from 4 to 20 people, all with different diets. Here are the tricks to how to make the best taco salad…that’s pretty darn healthy, too! Essential ingredients in the best taco salad recipe There are many ways to make a taco salad; it’s more of a concept than an exact recipe. The original idea is Tex-Mex in origin and started back in the 1960’s. Here we’ll cover all the essential parts of a taco salad, then you can customize it to your heart’s content! With that in mind, here are the essential ingredients in a taco salad recipe: Taco meat: To fit many diets, try either this killer vegan […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s the tastiest taco salad recipe: a healthy and easy dinner everyone loves — and customizable for any diet! Don’t miss this hack for a quick salad dressing.

Taco salad

Here’s an easy dinner recipe that seems to please just about everyone: Taco Salad! This Tex-Mex salad has been impressing for decades, and it gives us all the 1990’s nostalgic vibes. Here’s why we love this concept: it’s customizable for any eater and easy to scale up for a crowd. In fact, my mother in law often whips this up to feed anywhere from 4 to 20 people, all with different diets. Here are the tricks to how to make the best taco salad…that’s pretty darn healthy, too!

Essential ingredients in the best taco salad recipe

There are many ways to make a taco salad; it’s more of a concept than an exact recipe. The original idea is Tex-Mex in origin and started back in the 1960’s. Here we’ll cover all the essential parts of a taco salad, then you can customize it to your heart’s content! With that in mind, here are the essential ingredients in a taco salad recipe:

  1. Taco meat: To fit many diets, try either this killer vegan taco meat or traditional ground beef.
  2. Taco salad dressing: There’s a secret to the easiest dressing…scroll down.
  3. Veggies: You’ve got to have romaine lettuce, canned corn, and either tomatoes or pico de gallo.
  4. Optional toppers: Beans, cheese, avocado, etc are all optional
  5. Tortilla chips: Chips are absolutely required for a taco salad recipe: both for the crunch and the corn flavor. Do not omit!
Taco salad recipe

For the taco meat: use vegan or ground beef!

This taco salad recipe is flexible enough to feed any eater. Around here we eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes. But when we serve a crowd, we want a concept that works for everyone. This recipe is a classic taco salad, vegan taco salad, and healthy taco salad: all in one! That, in our minds, makes this one stellar meal worth putting in your regular rotation. Here are the two types of taco meat to use, vegan or classic:

  • Walnut taco meat is incredibly delicious. No judgement zone, here. This walnut taco meat might be a little different, but it receives rave reviews from meat eaters and vegetarians alike! Walnuts, mushrooms and spices make a texture that’s incredibly similar to real meat. (Promise. Try it!)
  • Or, use ground beef. The recipe below has instructions for how to cook the ground beef. In fact, you’ll use the exact same spices as the meatless taco meat.
Vegan Taco Meat | Walnut taco meat
Walnut taco meat is surprisingly delicious. But feel free to go classic!

Taco salad dressing: a quick and easy hack!

Our other favorite thing about this taco salad recipe: the dressing! Why make a fancy dressing when you can mix together a few fridge staples? Here’s what to mix together for this taco salad dressing:

  • Red salsa
  • Greek yogurt (or purchased vegan yogurt)
  • Sour cream (skip or use vegan mayo)
  • Hot sauce

The sour cream adds a needed richness to the Greek yogurt, making a creamy, zingy dressing that takes no time at all to put together! You can also use mayo if you prefer. For vegan or dairy free, just use purchased vegan versions of these dairy products. You can also try our Cilantro Sauce or Chipotle Sauce. But this dressing is so tasty…essentially what we put on our taco salad anyway, but better.

Taco salad dressing

Taco salad toppings

Once you’ve got the taco meat and dressing, it’s on to the toppings! There are some taco salad toppings that we believe are required, and then lots of optional ideas. We’ll start with what we think is absolutely required, then mention a few other ways to customize it:

  • Romaine hearts: Required! We like crunchy romaine hearts if you can find them, but you can also use a romaine lettuce head and make sure to mix in those crunchy inner leaves.
  • Canned corn: Something about the canned corn just makes it right. Trust us.
  • Organic corn chips: Chips are 100% required for crunch and flavor. For a healthy taco salad, look for organic corn chips that have only 3 ingredients: corn, oil, and salt! Check the back of the package when you’re shopping.
  • Tomatoes or pico de gallo: A tomato element is also required: chopped tomatoes or pico.
  • Avocado or guacamole: Use whatever you prefer. This starts to get into optional territory.
  • Other ideas: The sky’s the limit! Try our easy black beans, refried beans, or shredded cheddar cheese. Also add a zing with hot sauce, taco sauce or pickled jalapenos!

Make it a meal!

Taco salad is a complete meal in itself: the original bowl meal! But you may want to add a few sides if you’re entertaining or serving a larger crowd. Here are some ideas:

And that’s it! Let us know if you try it…especially that vegan taco meat (wondering what you’ll think!).

Taco salad

More Tex Mex recipes

Love Tex Mex cuisine? Here are a few more stand-out recipes you’d love:

This taco salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print

The Ultimate Taco Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s the tastiest taco salad recipe: a fast and easy dinner everyone loves — and totally customizable for any diet! Don’t miss this hack for a quick salad dressing. 


Ingredients

For the taco salad

  • 1 recipe Vegan Walnut Taco Meat or 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 romaine lettuce hearts (enough for 8 cups chopped)
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 handful ripe cherry tomatoes or pico de gallo (purchased or homemade)
  • 1 ripe avocado or 1 cup guacamole
  • 2 handfuls finely chopped red onion or thinly sliced green onion, or both
  • Crushed tortilla chips (about 1 handful per serving)
  • Optional toppings: Easy black beans or refried beans, shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese, taco sauce, or pickled jalapenos or pickled onions

For the dressing (or use Cilantro Sauce or Chipotle Sauce)

  • 1/2 cup red salsa (mild or medium)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (for vegan, substitute purchased vegan yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or mayonnaise; for vegan, omit or add more yogurt to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 pinches kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Make the Walnut Taco Meat. Or if using ground beef, add it to a skillet with 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 teaspoon each smoked paprika (or chili powder), onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook for about 8 minutes until browned, then drain the fat. 
  2. Chop the romaine, drain the corn, half the tomatoes and dice the avocado. Thinly slice the onion. Prep any additional toppings. 
  3. Make the taco salad dressing by stirring together all ingredients. 
  4. To serve, place romaine in a bowl or on a plate. Top with veggies, taco meat, crushed tortilla chips, and drizzle with taco salad dressing. 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: Taco salad, Taco salad recipe, Healthy taco salad

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Bostock

One of the lesser-known French pastries is Bostock. Perhaps it’s the funny name that doesn’t sound very French, as pain au chocolat or chausson aux pommes do, that’s been keeping it out of the spotlight. True, the name does sound like a Swiss bouillon mix and although I’ve read it’s from Normandy, I haven’t found any conclusive evidence of that. But wherever it’s from, the…

One of the lesser-known French pastries is Bostock. Perhaps it’s the funny name that doesn’t sound very French, as pain au chocolat or chausson aux pommes do, that’s been keeping it out of the spotlight. True, the name does sound like a Swiss bouillon mix and although I’ve read it’s from Normandy, I haven’t found any conclusive evidence of that. But wherever it’s from, the good thing about Bostock is that it’s one of the easiest desserts to make and doesn’t require rolling out any pastry, spending a day making brioche, or rely on any fancy techniques. It’s one of my very favorite things to eat.

Bostock was likely invented to use up leftover brioche that bakeries had on hand after they closed their doors. Bakers everywhere are naturally thrifty and this is a clever way to use up leftover bread, whether it be brioche, challah, or any firm-textured white bread, such as pain de mie.

Continue Reading Bostock...

Bolognese Stuffed Peppers.

These bolognese stuffed peppers are cheesy, saucy and a weeknight dinner dream! Seriously, these will quickly become a new favorite. They are a quick and delish way to make dinner feel special and satisfying. And if you have leftover bolognese, this will come together in MINUTES!! Bolognese is probably the #1 favorite meal made in […]

The post Bolognese Stuffed Peppers. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These bolognese stuffed peppers are cheesy, saucy and a weeknight dinner dream!

bolognese stuffed peppers

Seriously, these will quickly become a new favorite. They are a quick and delish way to make dinner feel special and satisfying. And if you have leftover bolognese, this will come together in MINUTES!!

bolognese stuffed peppers

Bolognese is probably the #1 favorite meal made in this house. My original, AMAZING recipe is in The Pretty Dish. It’s definitely one of the most popular dishes in the book and it is so, so good.

I’ve shared a few quicker weeknight versions of it on the blog, so that’s what you’ll find below! I’m making a ground turkey version today for these peppers and it’s one that you can throw together in 30 minutes. Most bolognese recipes do taste better as they simmer and sit with time. This is no exception, but it’s still REALLY good if you stuff the peppers immediately. 

bolognese stuffed peppers

You can also make the bolognese part ahead of time. My original bolognese recipe in the book makes a large amount and I always freeze (at least!) half. That means I constantly have bolognese on hand, which makes throwing these peppers together a BREEZE. 

Oh and P.S. – I also have a vegetarian version of this bolognese right here! My lentil bolognese is equally as delicious and I have actually served it to Eddie WITHOUT HIM REALIZING there is no meat.

Yes. Let’s just say that may have been one of the greatest successes in my life. It’s true.

bolognese stuffed peppers

Now, this recipe!

Before the holidays, I saw something similar on the kitchn and was like… whoa. I always have bolognese on hand so I gotta make this. So I did!

I made a big batch of my bolognese to make lasagna for Christmas Day, and this is what I did with the leftovers. In less than a month, this alone has become a hugely requested meal in our house. Eddie loves it, wants to take versions of it for lunch – it’s just so good.

bolognese stuffed peppers

Now here’s the secret! I first shared this in my turkey taco stuffed pepper recipe last year. The key to fabulous stuffed peppers? Roast the peppers first.

YES!

Roast them first while you’re preparing the filling. This allows them to get a bit of that roasty, caramely, flavor on their own. It makes the peppers taste SO GOOD! I realize this doesn’t seem like much, but I promise it’s a game changer and many of you have raved about the outcome.

The same goes for this recipe. Roasting the peppers ahead of time is just wonderful and adds a lot to the recipe. Plus, you have the time for it – the bolognese will take about 30 minutes to come together, so you may as well do a quick roast of the peppers while you cook! 

bolognese stuffed peppers

Now I hope I’ve convinced you to try it this week!

bolognese stuffed peppers

Bolognese Stuffed Peppers

Print

Bolognese Stuffed Peppers

These bolognese stuffed peppers are the perfect weeknight meal! Use beef, turkey or even lentils to make the bolognese you love. So delish!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 to 6 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 4 bell peppers, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey, I like 94% lean
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella or provolone cheese

Instructions

  • NOTE: Remember that you can use my LENTIL BOLOGNESE recipe linked above in the post for this to be vegetarian!
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the peppers (inside and outsides) with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While the peppers are roasting, make the bolognese.
  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add in the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and mushrooms. Stir and cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, until the mushrooms soften. Add in the turkey and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Brown it, stirring and breaking it apart, until it's cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, pepper flakes and brown sugar. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add in the wine, tomatoes and parmesan. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for 15 minutes (or even longer if you wish!). You can make this ahead of time, FYI!
  • Remove the peppers from the oven. Fill the peppers with the bolognese mixture. Top with the grated cheese. Stick them back in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melty. Remove and top with parmesan before serving.

Notes

inspired by the kitchn

bolognese stuffed peppers

That cheese pull though.

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Turkey Tacos

Taco night is a weekly occasion at our house. We don’t always do Taco Tuesday, but I promise Taco Thursday or Taco Saturday is just as fun and just as delicious. Tacos are good any day of the week. We love mixing up the tacos we have: steak, swee…

Taco night is a weekly occasion at our house. We don’t always do Taco Tuesday, but I promise Taco Thursday or Taco Saturday is just as fun and just as delicious. Tacos are good any day of the week. We love mixing up the tacos we have: steak, sweet potato, shrimp, chicken, cauliflower, and more.…

The post Turkey Tacos appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

A Week In The Life, Vol 3.

Who else is secretly excited that January is half over?! This past week I finally felt like I was back in the groove, you know? Only took half the month! Finally took down the christmas stuff last week! Man, it was hard! I was so sad once it was all down. I think it’s because […]

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Who else is secretly excited that January is half over?!

This past week I finally felt like I was back in the groove, you know? Only took half the month!

Finally took down the christmas stuff last week! Man, it was hard! I was so sad once it was all down. I think it’s because I’m basically afraid to live through 2021 to get to christmas again. Ha!

Mornings! Winter skies are so pretty.

Some roasted veg with balsamic vinegar going into orzo.

Can’t handle her!

The driveway totally looked like leopard print one morning. Also this time of year I live in my black uggs.

This could be a problem!!

My house salad with crispy chicken fingers for dinner one night.

Little love bug! Why is he so big.

A gigantic pretzel starter seemed reasonable with our takeout one night.

Also been roasted some garlic balsamic mushrooms as a side! They are so good.

Annnd I made chrissy teigen’s drunken noodles one night. We love this meal but it is a bit time consuming.

Finally we did a bit of valentine’s day decorating. FUN FUN FUN!

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House Special Fried Rice

House Special Fried Rice is the perfect one-pot dish– made with a combo of frozen brown rice and cauliflower rice and loaded with chicken, shrimp, steak, and eggs for mega protein. House Special Fried Rice Fried rice is one of my favorite guilty pleasures! I love it so much and crave it frequently. If we […]

The post House Special Fried Rice appeared first on Skinnytaste.

House Special Fried Rice is the perfect one-pot dish– made with a combo of frozen brown rice and cauliflower rice and loaded with chicken, shrimp, steak, and eggs for mega protein.

House Special Fried Rice
House Special Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of my favorite guilty pleasures! I love it so much and crave it frequently. If we order it at a Chinese restaurant, we usually get the house special fried rice made with beef, shrimp, pork and chicken. There’s never enough
protein and vegetables in the dish we order to make it a main dish, so I set out to make it myself with a healthier twist. This has 35 grams of protein per serving, plus the cauliflower adds a healthy dose of veggies. For more of my favorite fried rice recipes, try my Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice, Low-Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice, or Vegetarian Asian Edamame Fried Rice.

(more…)

The post House Special Fried Rice appeared first on Skinnytaste.

Veggie Power Bowl

If you need a little something to brighten your day (your week, your month, or even your year…), make this power bowl! It has so many vivid colors and textures that I start smiling whenever I see it. I mean, seriously. How could you not ooh and a…


If you need a little something to brighten your day (your week, your month, or even your year…), make this power bowl! It has so many vivid colors and textures that I start smiling whenever I see it. I mean, seriously. How could you not ooh and ahh at that stunning purple daikon?! Power bowl recipes are always some of my favorite things to make in January, when I’m craving lighter and brighter foods after the holidays. This year, this particular power bowl recipe has really hit the spot. Crisp veggies play off creamy avocado, nutty black rice, and a […]

The post Veggie Power Bowl appeared first on Love and Lemons.

How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs

There’s something so crave-able about a perfect soft boiled egg. The tender white, the runny yolk. If you ask me, it’s something everyone should know how to make. It takes minutes, it requires 1 ingredient, and it’s an easy way to add…


There’s something so crave-able about a perfect soft boiled egg. The tender white, the runny yolk. If you ask me, it’s something everyone should know how to make. It takes minutes, it requires 1 ingredient, and it’s an easy way to add protein and healthy fats to just about anything! Want to round out a salad or turn a slice of toast into a meal? Put a soft boiled egg on it. Below, you’ll find my foolproof method for how to soft boil an egg. It yields soft boiled eggs with perfectly cooked whites and gooey, jammy yolks. This simple […]

The post How to Make Soft Boiled Eggs appeared first on Love and Lemons.

The Best 20 Sauces for Gnocchi

Gnocchi are these delicious Italian potato dumplings that look like fluffy pillows. The variety of sauces to serve gnocchi with is just as versatile as the sauces for any other pasta dish. We have collected the best 20 sauces for gnocchi that will knoc…

Gnocchi are these delicious Italian potato dumplings that look like fluffy pillows. The variety of sauces to serve gnocchi with is just as versatile as the sauces for any other pasta dish. We have collected the best 20 sauces for gnocchi that will knock your socks off. Are you ready to get some inspiration? Gnocchi...

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The post The Best 20 Sauces for Gnocchi appeared first on My Pure Plants.

What To Eat This Week: 1/17/21.

This is how we’re going to keep January delicious! Lots of my fave meatless options this week and we finish things off with pizza! What To Eat This Week Kick things off this week with some winter citrus butter salmon! I love serving this with rice and something delicious like my bacon roasted carrots. Pizza […]

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This is how we’re going to keep January delicious!

what to eat this week

Lots of my fave meatless options this week and we finish things off with pizza!

what to eat this week

What To Eat This Week

Kick things off this week with some winter citrus butter salmon! I love serving this with rice and something delicious like my bacon roasted carrots.

Pizza stuffed shells are up next! Oooh we love this comforting meal – everyone enjoys this and leftovers are delicious.

For for this salsa chicken quinoa pot for a mid-week meal. This comes together fast and can be loaded with toppings.

Chickpeas and dumplings are the ultimate comfort food. Of course, you can make my chicken version too!

We love these halloumi hummus bowls. They are satisfying but light and just taste so darn good.

For the weekend, go with my veggie supreme detroit style pizza. This is our favorite kind of pizza to make!

I’m in a pumpkin mood, so I’m making my cinnamon toasted pumpkin pie oatmeal for breakfasts. And these tuscan tuna melts for lunch!

what to eat this week

What’s on your menu this week?!

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