Winter is full of lots of heavy, slow cooked, or stewed comfort foods and right around this time every year I start craving something lighter and more fresh. Enter this super simple Turkey Taco Salad. It comes together quickly, it gives me all the flavors I need, and it’s still super filling. Oh, and did I mention how flexible it is? Read on for tons of ideas for substitutions and add-ins!
I used my homemade Creamy Avocado Dressing for this taco salad, but you can definitely swap that out with your favorite creamy salad dressing. A taco or chipotle flavored ranch, green goddess dressing, or even a tangy Catalina dressing would all be great.
Can I Substitute the Ground Turkey?
Yes, this recipe works great with ground beef or pork, or you can even make it vegetarian using tempeh. To use tempeh, simply crumble the tempeh into a skillet, add a cup of water, and let the tempeh simmer until the water mostly evaporates, then add the taco seasoning and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more.
Other Add-ins and Substitutions
Taco salads are so flexible! Here are some other ingredient ideas that you can use in place of or in addition to anything listed in the recipe below:
- Tortilla chips
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Pickled red onion
- Cotija cheese
- Red or yellow bell pepper
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Green onion
Turkey Taco Salad
Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing
- 1 avocado $0.89
- 1/2 cup sour cream $0.24
- 1 clove garlic $0.08
- 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
- 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice $0.50
- 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20
- 1/4 cup water $0.00
Taco Seasoned Turkey
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil $0.08
- 1 lb. ground turkey $3.49
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning* $0.67
- 1 head romaine lettuce $0.86
- 1 cup frozen corn $0.35
- 1 pint grape tomatoes $1.99
- 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.18
- 2 oz. shredded cheddar $0.85
- Make the salad dressing first so the flavors have time to blend. Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Add the avocado to a food processor or blender along with the sour cream, garlic (minced), salt, lime juice, cilantro, and water. Purée until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
- Next, cook the taco seasoned turkey. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking it into pieces as you stir. When it's about half-way cooked, add the taco seasoning and continue to stir and cook until the turkey is cooked through.
- Thaw the frozen corn (I use the microwave). Wash and chop the romaine lettuce, rinse and drain the black beans, slice the grape tomatoes in half, slice the jalapeño, and shred the cheddar cheese.
- To build the salad, lay a bed of the chopped lettuce in each bowl, top with beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, seasoned turkey, and a few slices of jalapeño. Drizzle the creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!
How to Make Turkey Taco Salad – Step by Step Photos
Make the creamy avocado dressing first, so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. In a food processor or blender, combine 1 avocado (peeled and pit removed), ½ cup sour cream, 1 clove of garlic (minced), ¼ tsp salt, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ¼ bunch cilantro, and ¼ cup water. Process until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until ready to use.
Add ½ Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add 1 lb. ground turkey and break it into pieces as it cooks. When it’s about half-cooked, add 2 Tbsp taco seasoning (or one store-bought taco seasoning packet) and continue to cook and stir until the turkey is cooked through.
Set the cooked, seasoned taco meat aside.
While the turkey is cooking, you can begin to prepare the rest of the toppings. Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans, thaw 1 cup frozen corn (I use the microwave), slice 1 pint of grape tomatoes in half, shred about 2 oz. of cheddar, and slice one jalapeño.
Also, wash and chop one head of Romaine lettuce. To begin building your salad, place the chopped lettuce in the bottom of a large serving bowl (or you can create four smaller single-serving salads).
Start adding the toppings: corn, tomatoes, shredded cheddar, and black beans.
Top with the turkey taco meat and sliced jalapeños…
And finally, drizzle your creamy avocado dressing over top and enjoy!