Here’s the tastiest taco salad recipe: a healthyand 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’scustomizable 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 thebesttaco salad…that’s pretty darn healthy, too!

Essential ingredients in thebesttaco 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 theessentialparts 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. 墨西哥肉卷:To fit many diets, try either this killervegan taco meator traditional ground beef.
  2. Taco salad dressing:There’s a secret to the easiestdressing…scroll down.
  3. Veggies:You’ve got to have romaine lettuce, canned corn, and either tomatoes orpico 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 feedanyeater. Around here we eat a lot ofManBetX体育App下载andvegan recipes. But when we serve a crowd, we want a concept that works for everyone. This recipe is aclassic 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 isincrediblydelicious. No judgement zone, here. Thiswalnut taco meatmight 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 meatis 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 thistaco 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 ourCilantro SauceorChipotle Sauce. But this dressing is so tasty…essentially what we put on our taco salad anyway, butbetter.

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 oureasy black beans、炸豆泥或萎缩edded cheddar cheese. Also add a zing with hot sauce,taco sauceorpickled 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.

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Taco salad

The Ultimate Taco Salad

1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars (12votes, average:5.00out of 5)

  • Author:manbetx体育网址
  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:10 minutes
  • Total Time:25 minutes
  • Yield:41x
  • Diet:Vegan


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.



For the taco salad

  • 1recipeVegan Walnut Taco Meator1pound ground beef
  • 3romaine lettuce hearts (enough for8 cupschopped)
  • 1 cupcanned corn, drained
  • 1handful ripe cherry tomatoes or pico de gallo (purchased orhomemade)
  • 1ripe avocado or1 cupguacamole
  • 2handfuls finely chopped red onion or thinly sliced green onion, or both
  • Crushed tortilla chips (about 1 handful per serving)
  • Optional toppings:容易black beansor refried beans, shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese,taco sauce, orpickled jalapenosorpickled onions

For the dressing (or useCilantro SauceorChipotle Sauce)

  • 1/2 cupred salsa (mild or medium)
  • 1/2 cupGreek yogurt (or vegan yogurt*)
  • 1/4 cupsour cream (or mayonnaise or vegan mayo)
  • 1 teaspoonhot sauce
  • 2pincheskosher salt


  1. Make theWalnut 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 anddice the avocado. Thinlyslice 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.


*For vegan, you can also try substituting the yogurt and mayo withCashew CreamorVegan Sour Cream.

  • Category:Main Dish
  • Method:Stovetop
  • Cuisine:Tex Mex

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

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About the Authors


Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author ofPretty Simple Cooking2018年,名叫最好的健康食谱。She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.


Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Shayna Gehl
    January 19, 2021 at 11:14 am

    OMG. This was the absolute BOMB!!!! My family consumes meat but I am constantly working to cut back and have meatless meals so when I saw this recipe with the taco meat, I HAD to try it. First of all, it truly does taste exactly like taco meat ( need to emphasize this- from the consistency to the flavor- spot on), and second of all- it’s SO fast and easy to throw together! MAJOR hit with us! My husband wanted to make his salad on the spot :) I told him he had to wait till dinner time! Thank you so much for this!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      January 19, 2021 at 7:41 pm

      Wow what a kind comment: THANK YOU! This means the world to hear and we are thrilled that you loved it AND that it was fast to make. That’s what we strive for in all our recipes so it means so much to hear that. Thank you for trying it!

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