Ditch the messy tacos and make this healthy taco salad recipe instead...loaded with delicious turkey taco meat, crunchy tortilla chips, cheese and more! Easy to prep and perfect for a meal prep lunch or dinner.
We are huge taco fans at my house (this Crockpot Taco Soup and these Turkey Taco Lunch Bowls are proof!). One of my personal favorites is this healthy taco salad, which is loaded up with everyone's favorite taco ingredients!
With crunchy tortilla strips, juicy turkey taco meat, and tons of fresh veggies, this healthy taco salad is both healthy and delicious...the best of both worlds!
It is simple to prep, easy to customize, and with a few tricks? Works amazingly well for meal prep.
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We love this healthy taco salad because
- it is ready in under 20 minutes
- you can enjoy it as a meal prep lunch
- you can swap out ingredients based on what you have in the fridge or pantry
Want to see exactly how to make this salad? Watch this 1-minute video! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
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Ingredients you'll need
To make taco salad, you will need:
- ground turkey- which lightens things up from ground beef. Feel free to swap with any ground beef or even tofu (check out these Tofu Tacos!).
- taco seasoning- we are cooking our ground turkey up with this homemade taco seasoning (or use store bought for a shortcut)
- romaine lettuce- for the base of the salad. I love the crunch that romaine lettuce brings, but you could swap for your fave leafy greens.
- tomatoes- cherry or roma, chopped
- black beans- for extra protein and flavor. Make your own Instant Pot Black Beans!
- corn- fresh, frozen or canned
- salsa- instead of a salad dressing, salsa brings a ton of flavor to this salad!
- cheese- mozzarella or Monterey jack are great choices
- tortilla chips- use your favorite corn, grain-free or other tortilla chips
Meal prep tips
- hot or cold- you can serve this salad with warmed up taco meat, or cold taco meat
- prep ahead- you can cook your taco meat ahead and store for up to 4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- romaine lettuce, corn, black beans + cheese may be prepped up to 4 days ahead
- jar salad- if you want to take this salad to work, assemble in 1 quart jars! Place the salsa and taco meat in the bottom and work your way up, placing the greens at the top.
- make sure you add your tortilla chips and avocado (if desired) to the salad just before serving)
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How do you prep this as a meal prep recipe?
I highly recommend using mason jars! By layering the taco meat (and condiments) at the bottom of the jar and the romaine lettuce at the top, your lettuce will remain crisp for up to 4 days! Important: skip the avocado (or cut it fresh) and add the tortilla chips just before serving. For this salad I recommend quart-sized jars (4 cup/2 pint). Go big!
How do you serve taco salad in a jar?
You can eat it right out of the jar (give it a good shake up first), or you can bring a bowl and shake it all out into the bow. I prefer the bowl option, personally!
Can I make it with chicken?
Yes! Simply cut 1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs into bite sized pieces, and cook as you would the ground meat. Cook through, then toss with water & taco seasoning and simmer until sauce is thickened.
How long does taco salad keep?
Not very long once you toss everything up, however you can pre-chop your ingredients and store in containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also portion out in mason jars (layer with the romaine at the top and condiments + taco meat at the bottom). Don't cut your avocados until just before serving.
What can I serve with it?
We find this to be a filling meal on its own that does not require separate side dishes. That being said, I wouldn't be sad if it was served with chips & salsa, and maybe a good virgin margarita 😉
More salad recipes
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Caprese Chicken Quinoa Salad
- Cobb Salad Recipe
- Chopped Chickpea Salad
- Black Bean & Corn Salad
- 1 lb ground turkey (or ground beef)
- 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or one package storebought)
- 1 cup black beans (from a can; drained & rinsed)
- 1 cup corn kerneals (from a can; drained & rinsed)
- 1 cup tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 4 handfulls romaine lettuce (or iceberg; washed, dried & cut into bite-sized pieces)
- 1 cup tortilla strips
- 1 avocado (peeled & chopped; optional)
- sour cream
- Cook turkey over medium heat in a non-stick pan, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook for 7 or so minutes, until no pink remains.
- Drain the pan from grease or liquid if necessary.
- Add ⅔ cup of water to the pan with the taco seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently until sauce is bubbly and thickened and meat is evenly coated.
- Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- Combine all ingredients and divide between four bowls.
- condiments at the bottom
- taco meat
- black beans
- romaine lettuce at the top
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