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In my kitchen, hot summers equal easy, one-pan dinners that avoid the oven and don’t require keeping the stove on for too long. Salads are perfect for checking those boxes, but of course you still need some protein in there to make it a full meal. That’s where this easy and healthy taco salad recipe with ground beef comes in — you’re going to love it!
What Is Taco Salad?
You’ve probably seen ground beef taco salad at restaurants before. It’s basically like an enormous Mexican taco in bowl form — no taco shell needed! Unlike most restaurant versions, my healthy taco salad recipe is low carb and gluten-free.
Is taco salad healthy?
Yes, this taco salad bowl is healthy! It uses natural and fresh ingredients.
Why You’ll Love This Taco Salad Recipe
- The best ground beef salad
- Healthier take on tacos
- Quick and easy
- Customizable taco salad ingredients
- Ready in 20 minutes
What makes this the best taco salad recipe is simple ingredients and minimal prep. After browning the meat and chopping the veggies, all you have to do is mix everything together!
Easy Taco Salad Ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for taco salad recipes, what each one does, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Ground beef – I prefer 85/15 for a ground beef taco salad, but you can use any kind you like. If you don’t like beef, you can also replace this with ground turkey, or even Mexican chorizo or shredded chicken.
- Avocado oil – Just a bit for browning the beef. Olive oil works fine as well.
- Taco seasoning – I like to make homemade taco seasoning, but store bought saves time and is convenient. Check labels to avoid fillers and sugar if possible. I like this store bought taco seasoning, but it does not contain salt, so you’ll need to add 1 teaspoon of salt if your seasoning is unsalted.
- Romaine lettuce – Romaine is my go to for ground beef salads, but you can use any kind of greens you like.
- Grape tomatoes – Served halved in the salad. You can also use cherry tomatoes, or chop up larger tomatoes, such as roma.
- Shredded cheese – I usually use cheddar cheese, but you can also try a Mexican cheese blend, or pepper jack if you like a kick. You can omit if you want to avoid dairy.
- Avocado – Avocado is a must for a healthy taco salad! You can also swap this with guacamole if you like.
- Onions – I used green onions, but any kind you like will work. Diced red or white onions also work great.
- Salsa – I like this pre-made one — medium heat and clean ingredients! Choosing different kinds is an easy way to get creative without adding complexity. Use mild salsa if you want it mellow, spicy if you want a kick, or go outside the box with more unique flavors like green chile or peach. You can totally make your own, too — try simple fresh tomato salsa or avocado salsa verde.
- Sour cream – Salsa and sour cream stand in lieu of a dressing here, which works out surprisingly well. Why spend time creating a complicated taco salad dressing, when these work just as well? When you mix it all up, it tastes like there’s dressing in there. If you need a dairy free option, swap this with coconut cream and a bit of salt.
You can easily customize this healthy taco salad recipe to your liking. Feel free to throw in any other veggies you have on hand, or omit anything you don’t like. That’s one of the great things about easy salad recipes – you don’t have to be that precise!
Ultimately, what goes in a taco salad is very much up to you, but no matter what combo you choose, the key to making taco salad healthy is using natural ingredients.
You really don’t need any store bought dressings or chips in there. But, for those that do want a little crunch, you can try adding tortilla chips (I make these low carb tortilla chips!).
How To Make Taco Salad
This section shows how to make taco salad with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
Possibly the best part of this taco salad recipe is that the whole thing is on the table in merely twenty minutes. The only cooking involved is browning the ground beef on the stove. So simple.
- Brown beef. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
- Add taco seasoning. Stir seasoning into the ground beef until combined. If you like, you can also add 1/4 cup of water when adding the seasoning and let it simmer a bit.
- Combine taco salad ingredients. Place the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, onions, salsa, and sour cream into a large bowl. When the taco salad meat is done, add it to the bowl.
- Toss and enjoy! Serve in bowls or plate individually.
This taco salad recipe also makes a generous amount – six large servings to feed even a larger family. But if you don’t need that many, don’t worry. It’s also super easy to adjust it to fewer servings if you need to, or store it for later if you plan ahead.
- To store: Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. If you know you’ll have leftovers, set extras aside without the sour cream, salsa, and avocado, as these are best added fresh. The beef is also best stored separately so that you can reheat it later.
- To reheat: Reheat ground beef taco meat in a hot skillet or in the microwave before adding to the salad.
- To meal prep: Brown the meat with taco seasoning and chop all your taco salad ingredients. Store in meal prep containers untossed, with the sour cream, salsa, and beef stored separately. Don’t cut the avocado ahead of time. Right before serving, heat the meat and add to the salad. Add sour cream, salsa, and freshly cut avocado, and toss together.
Wondering what to serve with taco salad? I really like 4-ingredient almond flour biscuits on the side. But you really don’t need anything — it’s an easy one bowl dinner on its own!
More Healthy Mexican Recipes
If you have Mexican night (or Taco Tuesday!) at your house, this low carb taco salad will fit right in. When we do it, we often have:
- Wraps & Tacos – Made with my low carb tortillas or crispy cheese taco shells
- Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Chicken Fajitas
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Mexican Beef Casserole
But this easy taco salad is even simpler than all of those, and it’s still packed with all your favorite Mexican flavors.
Tools To Make Ground Beef Taco Salad
- Heavy Bottom Skillet – One of my favorite sets! The larger one is the perfect size and has a heavy bottom for browning the beef evenly for this taco salad recipe.
- Nesting Bowls – This set of bowls includes all different sizes. The large bowl will be perfect for mixing your salad.
Healthy Taco Salad Recipe
Easy Healthy Taco Salad Recipe with Ground Beef
Learn how to make taco salad in just 20 minutes, using common ingredients! The whole family will love this EASY, healthy taco salad recipe with ground beef.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Stir taco seasoning into the ground beef until well combined. If you like, you can also add 1/4 cup of water when adding the seasoning and let it simmer a bit.
Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the ground beef. Toss everything together.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
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Nutrition information is estimated based on 85/15 ground beef and typical tomato salsa.
Serving size: 1/6 of entire recipe
Recipe from The Easy Keto Carboholics’ Cookbook.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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Light, refreshing, and Filling!!! I didn’t have the option for romaine lettuce because I live in a very small town, so I went with a head of lettuce. I added fresh jalapeños from my garden and it was delicious!!!
Simple….Quick….Delicious….What more could you ask for?
Excellent!!! Will make again!
I made this tonight and everyone loved it.
This taco salad looks so bright and colorful and like an easy weeknight meal everyone will enjoy!
Kim @ T0
Wonderful salad! Love all the ingredients and flavors, and it is so easy to make
Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey0
Love tacos and other Mexican dishes but never tried taco salad, so interesting! Definitely making using some vegetarian stuff.
I love that this only takes 20 minutes! And it sounds so flavorful, too. I’ll need to give it a go!
I love tacos but have never had a taco salad! Love the idea. Do you add the beef while it’s still hot?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Jacqueline, This is totally your preference! This salad can be served hot or cold. We serve it hot in my house, but you can always make the meat ahead of time and chill for dinner if you prefer it cold.
Taco salad is always a go-to favorite recipe for me! I love your version of this recipe!
We love this recipe so much that we make this almost every week. It’s so easy to make and perfect for busy weeknights dinner
Such an easy make! Love that it’s a quick, 20-minute side to put together!
What a perfect and easy salad ! This is seriously the perfect salad for this time of year when you don’t want anything heavy. I am so glad I came across your recipe for a healthy taco salad.
Taco salad is a regular of ours! I like it alone or over tortilla chips. It’s a quick meal that the whole family loves!
I love this recipe! I have all of the ingredients so I am definitely giving it a go soon. Bookmarked to make this weekend, thanks for the recipe 🙂
We love taco salad! We make it often. It’s an easy meal that everyone enjoys in our family!
We LOVE taco salads for dinner and this one was soo yummy!
This salad sounds so much healthier and easier to put together than a full taco bar. I love all the goodies you can load in there!
I loved this taco salad! Your recipe was so delicious and super easy to make. It’s become a new family favorite this summer.
Delicious salad. I will definitely make it again. Super easy to make.
Even my finicky boys enjoyed this flavorful recipe!
Amy L Huntley0
This is one salad my entire family can get on board with! So simple to put together and has all the delicious flavors of a taco.
This recipe will not disappoint!! Even my boyfriend really enjoyed this meal. A+ recipe for sure 🙂
I love how easy and refreshing this looks. I just got back from Mexico and I’m still craving Mexican food. Thank you!
Best lunch ever! The salad came together like a dream and it’s absolutely delicious!
YUM! One look at this taco salad and I was hooked. We all enjoyed it for dinner!
Yummy! This was such a delicious and very tasty salad! My hubby and daughter loved this for lunch the other day! Definitely one of our favorite salads to make for lunch or dinner. Excited to make this again very soon!
I made this with your homemade taco seasoning, and it was amazing! I added kidney beans and crushed tortilla chips for the rest of my family, but left them off my portion because I’m currently doing keto. It’s nice to find a recipe that is easily adaptable that we all can enjoy!
This taco salad was so easy and delicious. Thanks for sharing
Awesome recipe !! It was very easy to make and very yummy.
I would like to try this recipe, but it says to heat oil in pan. How much an what kind ? I’ve not used any oil before, so this is something I don’t want to mess up cause all comments have been so positive.
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Trista, This recipe uses avocado oil, but whatever you have on hand will work fine. Please see the recipe card for specifics on the ingredients. Enjoy!
I have had this once already when a friend made it and it was delicious so had to get the recipe but I/we weren’t sure if you add the ground beef to the rest of the ingredients when its still hot or slightly cooled or even cold?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Arlene, This is really up to you! I add the ground beef right away and serve it, but you can also let it cool and serve your salad cold.
I made this taco salad to take to my small group Bible study and it was a big.
I didn’t have the dry seasoning, but I had and organic liquid taco sauce.Then I added black beans and taco chips. That was served with the cheese on the side because so of the people cannot tolerate cheese. I would give it a 5 star rating.
I made this tonight for my husband and who are doing intermittent fasting, this was our one meal for the day and I have to say it was delicious! It was easy to make & had lots of room for interpretation. I made it exactly as stated with the addition of sliced radishes and it had great mouth appeal, great taste & lots of crunch! We will be adding it to our “hearty” salad rotation! Thanks for the great recipe!
This Taco Salad recipe is a winner. My family and I just love it!
So delicious! I also added a can of rinsed/drained black beans, 1/2 cup of corn and roasted red pepper. I kept half for lunches tomorrow, so only added the salsa and sour cream separate to what we ate at the time. Highly recommend!
DEEElish and so easy! Have had it now 3 times this week, and it’s so easy to take for lunches – Love it!!
P.S. Still having issues with the videos – cleared cache & everything, & still can’t see any prep vidies – also, the printing of the recipes themselves are all spread out – all instructions are there, but big blank gaps. Printing is o.k. though!
I made it with ground turkey rather than ground beef and it came out great! Very easy and tasty low-carb recipe. Thanks!
Great recipe! I like to add a can of drained black beans and some fresh cilantro.
Love the recipes.
This is so good. My husband checked taco seasoning in a packet & we were surprised how much sugar is in it. I will never use packet taco seasoning again, thank you for this recipe.
Love love this recipe!! No dressing needed.
I don’t normally comment on recipes, however, this one went over so well that I just can’t refrain. I love Taco Salad, but having a house full of kids, the last thing they want is anything with the word “Salad” in the title. I took a risk and made this anyway. I added Kidney Beans and Tortilla Strips. I was absolutely flabbergasted that not only did ALL of my children ask for seconds, they all begged me to make this a regular dinner selection. When I set out to make it, I thought to myself, “Here we go…time to fight the kids and force them to eat.” I just kept shaking my head everytime one of them asked for more. Not only is this meal super quick and easy to put together, but for my family, it was a total win. I will be making this regularly.
Turned out great! We added black beans and corn and crumbled tortilla chips. Definitely a hit!
Having visitors and will try this healthy and awesome recipe this weekend. Thank you.
I really liked this recipe – yum!
No dressing needed? We used thousand island
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Hi Phyllus, I don’t use dressing on this because the sour cream and salsa act as a dressing. But you can add dressing if you like!
Love the Taco Seasoning recipe and Taco Salad!!! Thank you!
We absolutely LOVE quick and easy meals! This is one of our favorites! The kids always ask for more!
This was great! My whole family loved it! I put lettuce in bowls and let everyone put their own toppings on. I added corn (fresh, uncooked and cut from the cob) and black beans as toppings.
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