This flavorful main-dish salad makes a great, healthy alternative to traditional tacos. My family loves our weekly “make your own taco salad” night!
When you crave tacos and don’t feel like making cheddar taco shells, this salad is a great option. You get all the wonderful flavors, without the unnecessary carbs and calories from the taco shells.
In my high-carb past, my family used to have a weekly “build your own taco” night.
These days, we have a weekly “build your own taco salad” night, where each of us chooses their own toppings, and it’s just as delicious, just as fun, and so much healthier.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty salad (exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
- Avocado oil
- Lean ground beef
- Onion and garlic
- Taco seasoning
- Mixed salad greens
- Cherry tomatoes
- Shredded cheddar
- Condiments: salsa, guacamole, and sour cream
How do you make taco salad?
It makes such a quick, tasty weeknight dinner. And it’s very easy to make. Simply sauté the beef with onions and spices, then build your salad.
Bagged salad greens and store-bought salsa make this healthy recipe especially quick. And you can obviously use store-bought taco seasoning instead of mixing your own spices. Both options are provided below in the recipe card.
Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
- Cook the beef and onions in some oil.
- Add the garlic and the seasonings.
- In serving plates, layer the cooked seasoned beef with the remaining ingredients, as shown in the photos.
What goes into this salad?
I like to keep it keto and low carb, so I don’t use beans, even though they CAN be a healthy choice.
What I do use are the following ingredients: shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes, seasoned cooked ground beef, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and shredded cheddar.
I like to make a layered salad, as shown in the photos – it’s just so pretty. After I serve the salad, each of the diners can add more toppings and mix everything together right in their plate.
But if you prefer, you can put everything in a big salad bowl and make a mixed salad.
How do you make taco salad dressing?
I actually don’t use dressing. 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, I suggest whisking together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
Can you keep leftovers?
Not really. The problem ingredients here are the lettuce and the avocado. Both do not do so well as leftovers.
You CAN keep the cooked ground beef separately if you made more than you need for the salad, though. Keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. and reheat it in the microwave on 50% power.
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning*
- 5 oz mixed salad greens
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 1/3 cup guacamole
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and the onion and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat as you cook, until beef is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and the taco seasoning. Cook, stirring, 2 more minutes, until beef is well-coated. Turn the heat off.
- To make a layered salad, divide the beef mixture and the remaining ingredients among 4 large plated, layering them next to each other as shown in the photos. Each diner can add mix their own salad.
- To make a mixed salad, place the salad greens in a large bowl. Top with the beef mixture, the tomatoes and the cheese. Spoon the salsa, guacamole and sour cream on top, and mix everything together, then serve.