These easy Taco Salad Bowls are made with seasoned ground beef and your favorite toppings all on a bed of crisp romaine lettuce. Top these healthy salads with a creamy avocado dressing. They only take 30 minutes to make and are great for meal prep!
Thanks to my friends at American Dairy Association Mideast for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own. For more information about dairy nutrition, to find delicious new recipes and to meet Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, visit www.Drink-MIlk.com.
Why I love them
Customizable toppings – The toppings are easy to customize based on what you like and what you have available to use in your fridge.
Avocado dressing – This avocado dressing is incredible. It’s packed with healthy fats from the avocado and a good dose of protein thanks to the Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt adds both creaminess and tang to the dressing.
I’ve also found that the yogurt along with the lime juice helps keep the dressing from oxidizing and turning brown as quickly. I had mine in the fridge for several days and it remained green the whole time.
Meal prep – If you meal prep, the ground beef taco meat will keep all week. The topping can be chopped and prepped at the beginning of the week so all you have to do is quickly assemble the salad.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Ground beef – I like to use lean grass fed ground beef, typically 90/10.
- Chili powder, ground cumin, and garlic powder
- Yellow onion
- Green chiles
- Black olives
- Romaine Lettuce – Romaine has a great crunch to it and hold up well to all the toppings. You could also use iceberg lettuce if you prefer.
- Corn – I like to use defrosted frozen fire roasted corn for added flavor. If fresh corn is in season, grilling it is a great option.
- Queso fresco – queso fresco is a crumbly, salty, mild flavored cow’s milk cheese. It’s sort of like Mexico’s version of feta.
- Tortilla strips or crushed chips – If you want to make your own, see how I did it in this Southwest chicken salad.
- Avocado – You’ll want the avocado to be ripe so it blends easily into the dressing.
- Cilantro – Commonly used in Mexican cooking. Full of fresh flavor and pairs well with the avocado and lime in the dressing.
- Lime – Tart, citrusy and used as the acid component in the avocado dressing.
- Plain Greek yogurt – Low-fat or full fat will give you the creamiest consistency and richest flavor for the dressing. Greek yogurt is high in protein, which helps to keep you full longer, and it packs in essential nutrients. Six ounces of Greek yogurt generally contains 14–17 grams of protein. Feel free to add an extra dollop to the taco salad bowls in place of sour cream as well.
How to make taco salad bowls
Avocado Dressing – Add the avocado, Greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, garlic powder and salt to a high speed or regular blender. There’s no need to remove the cilantro stems or chop the avocado if you’re using a high speed blender.
Purée the dressing until it’s smooth. You’ll likely find that you’ll need to add 2 or more tablespoons of cold water or milk to help thin the dressing. The consistency is up to you. I made mine on the thicker side so you dollop it on rather than pour.
Taco Meat – Start by making the taco meat. Add the ground beef and diced onion to a large skillet. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to crumble the meat. Once the meat is crumbled add in the dried spices, salt, pepper, cilantro and the can of diced green chiles.
Stir everything together and add in 2-3 tablespoons of water to help form a sauce for the taco meat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Assembling the Salad Bowls – Add some of the chopped romaine lettuce to a bowl. Spoon on some of the warm taco meat. Add on your desired toppings. In the case of this recipe, the corn, tomatoes, black olives, queso fresco, and cilantro. Finish of the salad by dolloping or drizzling on some of the avocado dressing and topping with tortilla strips.
Substitutions and Variations
- Substitute ground beef with ground turkey or chicken. If you’re vegetarian try making the sofritas from this sofritas tacos recipe.
- Queso fresco can be replaced with cotija cheese, cheddar, pepper Jack, or Monterey Jack cheese.
- Instead of taco salad turn these into rice bowls or quinoa bowls.
- Add black beans or pinto beans.
Make ahead and storage
These taco salad bowls are great to make at the beginning of the week to have on hand for a quick dinner or make ahead lunches if you meal prep. The taco meat can be made at the beginning of the week and used throughout. You can even freeze the taco meat for a later date.
All of the toppings can be prepped ahead of time and stored in airtight containers in the fridge. You can assemble the salad bowls 1-2 days in advance, but I recommend adding the meat and avocado dressing separately.
I like to warm the taco meat before adding it to the salad for the best flavor and consistency.
More Taco Recipes
Did you make these Taco Salad Bowls? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1/2 of an avocado, peeled
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- Juice of a lime
- 1 tablespoon of water or more as needed to thin the dressing
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup defrosted frozen corn
- 4 ounce can sliced black olives
- Crumbled queso fresco, tortilla strips, and cilantro for garnish
- Add all of the ingredients for the avocado dressing to a high speed or regular blender and purée until smooth. Add a tablespoon of water or milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Spray a large skillet with cooking spray or add in a little oil. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and then add in the ground beef and onion. Use a wooden spoon or potato masher to crumble the beef as it browns. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir everything together. Turn the heat down to low and let the taco meat simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- To assemble, fill a bowl with romaine lettuce and top with a portion of the taco meat. Top with corn, tomatoes, olives, queso fresco, and cilantro. Dollop on some of the avocado dressing and finish with tortilla strips or crushed chips.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 480Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 476mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 10gSugar: 10gProtein: 44g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.