Taco salad used to be my go-to dinner when I was working 9 to 5 every day. It was really easy to throw together based on whatever was in my pantry. Also, I usually cooked enough taco meat to have some as leftovers to make the next day’s lunch or dinner even easier. Here I have adapted the classic taco ingredients into a salad for a quick and healthy weeknight meal.
Taco night was a weekly occurrence when I was growing up, with all of the toppings set out for everyone to assemble their own. My taste in tacos has come a long way from when I was a kid though. I used to assemble some meat and cheese topped with sour cream, wrapped up in a tortilla. Yikes. My taco preferences have certainly taken a turn for the better, no more cheese or sour cream or even tortillas necessary. The key is in the creamy dressing.
The avocado dressing provides some extra healthy fats and brightness to the salad. The lime juice and cilantro provide a refreshing flavor that really brings the taco salad together. It takes about a minute to blend, and tastes good either at room temperature or chilled. You can store any extra dressing in the refrigerator for the next meal. Just wait to dress the salad until right before you’re ready to eat it so that the lettuce doesn’t get soggy on you. The taco seasoning can also be made ahead of time in large batches and stored, or you can combine the different seasonings while you cook the meat.
This substantial yet simple salad can easily be a filling lunch or dinner. It can also be made vegetarian by simply omitting the ground beef, though I would perhaps add more veggies, such as tomatoes. It takes very little time to assemble, which is great for rushed lunches, or weeknights when you don’t feel like cooking a big dinner. This salad is easy to put together no matter what your schedule.
- 2-3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 3 tbsp sliced black olives
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 8 oz. ground beef
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 avocado, pit removed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp water
- Pinch of salt
- To make the dressing, blend the ingredients with an immersion blender or in a regular blender and process until smooth. Add more water if necessary to reach desired consistency, and taste for seasoning. Set aside.
- Cook ground beef with seasonings over medium heat. Assemble salad by combining all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well to combine. Top with dressing to serve.
- Servings: 2
- Difficulty: Easy
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