This healthy taco salad recipe is full of super charged ingredients. It is an upside-down version of the traditional taco. Use chopped romaine and cilantro as the base, not a pile of chips. This saves you hundreds of nutrient-sparse calories in exchange for nutrient packed herbs and greens.
Making your own taco seasoning is super easy, reduces your exposure to preservatives, and is much more cost-effective than buying the mix.
As far as the health benefits, did you know that cilantro is a natural way to detoxify the body from heavy metals (found in many species of fish and packaged foods)? Cilantro is also high is iron, magnesium, and many phytonutrients. Tomatoes provide lycopene and vitamin C, a natural immunity booster. When possible, please source organic corn chips to reduce your exposure to genetically modified corn.
Healthy Taco Salad Recipe Summary
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Course: Entrée
- Skill Level: Easy
- 8 cups (or two 9-ounce bags) Romaine lettuce
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 small red onion
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 pound grass fed ground beef or soy crumbles
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 cup shredded cilantro
- 1 cup crushed organic tortilla chips
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup salsa
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 14/ cup plus 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground dried basil
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 lime
- 1 tsp ground chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Calories: 452
- Protein: 22 g
- Fat: 24 g
- Sodium: 524 mg
- Carbohydrates: 41 g
- Fiber: 9 g
- Sugar: 9 g
For Creamy Cumin-Lime Salad Dressing
- Mix together 1/4 cup salsa, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, juice from half a lime. Set aside.
For the Meat Mixture
- Heat a medium or large skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and heat an additional 30 seconds, until oil shimmers.
- Set aside 1 tbsp diced red onion for garnish. Add remaining onion and corn kernels to skillet. Saute for about 1 minute, just to allow onions to “sweat”.
- Add ground beef, 1/4 cup cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp sea salt.
- Brown beef, corn, onion, and spices for about 5 minutes, until cooked through. Turn off heat.
To Build Your Salad
- Toss chopped romaine and cilantro with creamy cumin-lime dressing. Divide equally among plates.
- To each plate, add ¼ of the meat mixture, ½ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes, and ¼ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese.
- Garnish with a sprinkling of crushed tortilla chips and reserved red onion.
- Cooking the beef with corn and onion bulks it up, which definitely helps stretch a dollar. It also makes you feel as though you are getting a larger portion of beef!
- You can use high quality soy crumbles instead of beef. It’s still delicious!
- Is your toddler anti-lettuce? So is mine. I substituted half an avocado for the lettuce.
- If you’re taking this to a potluck, serve the tortilla chips on the side so they don’t get mushy before everyone digs in.