This flavorful keto taco salad, ready in just 30 minutes, makes a great alternative to traditional tacos.
There's no need for a dressing, although you could add some if you wish. Simply mix in salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
When you crave tacos and don't feel like making cheddar taco shells as I do in these keto tacos, this tasty salad is a great option.
You get all the wonderful flavors sans the shells. You won't miss them - this salad is so rich and satisfying.
One of the best things about this keto taco salad is the gorgeous presentation. I bring it to the table in all its glory, its ingredients artfully arranged on a large serving plate, then take it back to the kitchen to mix.
The exact measurements for making this salad are included in the recipe card below. Here are my comments and tips about a few of the ingredients you'll need:
- Lean ground beef: I use an 85/15 mixture. I have experimented with lower-fat meat (90/10) and have determined that it's too dry and not as flavorful.
- Taco seasoning: You can make your own or use store-bought seasoning.
- Jalapeno: This is an optional ingredient. If you don't like spicy food, you can omit it. If you do use it, make sure to seed it.
- Condiments: Salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. They are so rich and flavorful when mixed into the salad that there's no need for a separate salad dressing.
- Use chicken instead of ground beef. You can bake a couple of large chicken breasts, then shred them and briefly saute them in oil with taco seasoning. Or use cooked ground chicken or turkey.
- Vary the cheese you use - crumbled queso fresco and manchego are two good options I tried and liked.
- Sometimes I substitute baby spinach leaves for lettuce.
- Replace the guacamole with sliced avocado.
- Use chopped green onions instead of red onions.
Keto Taco Salad Instructions
This salad makes a quick and tasty weeknight dinner. And it's very easy to make. Simply sauté ground beef with onions and spices, then build your salad.
The detailed instructions for making this salad are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the steps:
Cook the beef in some oil, then add the garlic and the seasonings. That's it for the cooking part!
On a large serving plate, arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, jalapeno, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cooked seasoned beef. Serve immediately.
To make this recipe as easy and quick as possible, use bagged pre-washed salad greens, store-bought salsa, prepared guacamole, and a packet of taco seasoning.
Traditional taco salads often contain black beans, corn, and tortilla chips. In this keto version, we remove those ingredients. The salad is still wonderfully rich, tasty, and satiating while containing far fewer carbs.
It's up to you! I like to make a layered salad, as shown in the photos - it's so pretty. After I present it, I take it back to the kitchen and mix everything together.
But if you prefer, you can put everything in a big salad bowl and make a mixed salad.
I don't use dressing. The toppings - salsa, guacamole, and sour cream - work beautifully as a tasty dressing when mixed into the salad.
If you would like to make a dressing, whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt.
You can use whatever you like! A bag of mixed salad greens is the easiest. If you prefer to buy a head of lettuce and shred it yourself, you can use iceberg lettuce for its crispness and mild flavor.
Romaine is another good option, and while it's not as crispy as iceberg lettuce, it's more flavorful.
This main-dish salad makes a full meal, so there's no need for any sides.
You can't keep leftovers from this salad, unfortunately. The problem ingredients are lettuce and avocado. Both do not do well as leftovers, so it's best to finish them immediately.
You can keep the cooked ground beef separately if you made more than you need for the salad. Keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, and reheat it in the microwave at 50% power.
Another option, if you'd like to make this salad as meal prep, is to prepare everything in advance except for the lettuce and guacamole and add those at the last minute.
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Keto Taco Salad
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 lb. ground beef lean 85/15
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
- 5 oz lettuce shredded
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ¼ cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno seeded and sliced; optional
- 1 cup cheddar cheese sharp, shredded
- ⅓ cup salsa
- ⅓ cup guacamole
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat as you cook, until it's browned, for about 5 minutes. Drain, then return to the skillet.
- Add the garlic and the taco seasoning. Cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes, until the meat is well-coated. Turn the heat off.
- To make the salad, arrange the ingredients on a large serving plate as shown in the video and in the photos. Start with a layer of shredded lettuce, then arrange the remaining ingredients on top of the lettuce as shown.
- After presenting the beautiful salad, you can take it back to the kitchen, dump everything into a huge bowl, mix, and serve.
- There's no need to add a dressing to this salad. The toppings - salsa, guacamole, and sour cream - work beautifully as a tasty dressing when mixed into the salad. If you still want to make a dressing, whisk 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Ranch dressing is also good with this salad.
- Make sure to wear gloves when handling jalapeno peppers.
- You can't keep leftovers from this salad, unfortunately. The problem ingredients are lettuce and avocado. Both do not do well as leftovers, so it's best to finish them immediately. You can keep the cooked ground beef separately if you made more than you need for the salad. Keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days, and reheat it in the microwave at 50% power. Another option, if you'd like to make this salad as meal prep, is to prepare everything in advance except for the lettuce and guacamole and add those at the last minute.