I often crave Mexican food. It can be authentic Mexican food, TexMex, or even a complete rip off that doesn’t resemble anything anyone in Mexico would ever eat.
If it has beans, cheese, and salsa, I’m pretty sure I will be happy to eat it.
Taco Salad is a great way to satisfy my beany cheesy cravings without doing too much damage since you can load these babies up with veggies galore.
Another bonus is that when your life is crazed and you might be tempted to stop for less healthy options, taco salads at home are quick, simple and easy to make.
I have a few varieties of Taco Salads that I like to make but here it is at its most basic.
Feel free to use ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken. If tofu/tempeh is your thing, you’re on your own.
Here’s what you need:
Finely chop 1 medium onion, about 1 cup.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden but not browned, about 5 minutes.
NOTE: When I use ground beef, I sauté the beef FIRST, drain off the fat (no need to use oil) then add the onion.
If you are using ground chicken or turkey, they are much leaner than beef so they can use the help from the sautéed onions.
Add 1 pound ground meat to the pan and cook until it is browned and cooked through.
Add 1 Tablespoon chili powder and 1 Tablespoon ground cumin.
Season to taste with salt & pepper.
To make my meat a little more saucy, I add about ½ cup salsa. Stir to combine then reduce the heat to low.
Finely chop 1 tomato and shred or thinly slice the iceberg lettuce.
Sometimes I buy my black beans already in a “seasoned sauce.” They come that way in the can so I just dump them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke them for 2-3 minutes until hot.
If I’m using black beans that I have cooked previously from dried or a regular can of black beans, I drain and rinse the beans and then heat them up with a little bit of salsa to make a sauce.
One of the fun things about Taco Salads is that you can set up a station with all the fixins and let everyone assemble their own.
Authentic? Nope. Quick and tasty on a Thursday when you’ve been running around like a crazy person all day? You bet!
I like to put my beans and meat on top of the chips so they start warming up and getting soft.
Then load up on the lettuce and tomatoes…
You’ve got to have cheese. Use whatever kind you like. I have good old cheddar. You could also use pepper jack or crumbly queso fresco.
Then if I want to really kick things up, I add chunks of fresh avocado, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream.
There are so many options for Taco Salad. If you want to put the crock pot to work for you, make a big batch of the Crockpot Mexican Chicken and add that to a salad.
I have also been known to make a double batch of the filling for the Tropical Pork Tacos and freeze half of it for taco salads.
Choose whatever fillings you like and start layering!
Here’s the recipe: