You Could Make Your Own Tortilla Chips For This Taco Salad
You could rip open a bag of tortilla strips or chips for this taco salad. Or you could do what Rapone does, and make them yourself. It’s really very easy, and they taste much fresher than anything you could buy in the supermarket. All you’ll need is five flour tortillas, a cup of canola oil, and a sturdy skillet or heavy-bottomed pan. If you don’t have canola oil, other oils with a high smoking point peanut oil, avocado oil, or good ol’ vegetable oil will work just as well.
Slice the tortillas into four roughly equal strips. Line a baking sheet with paper towels, and have a pair of tongs nearby. Heat one cup of oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until you see the oil shimmer. Carefully lower four to six tortilla strips into the oil with tongs, and make sure they’re in a single layer. . When the first side browns in about 45 to 60 seconds turn the strips over, and brown the other side. When they’re golden brown, take the strips out of the pan, and drain them on the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the tortilla strips with a little bit of salt, and then fry the remaining tortilla strips. When the oil is cool, don’t dump it down the train. Transfer it to a disposable container, and toss in the trash.
How To Make Taco Seasoning For Ground Beef
Are you ready to learn how to make your own taco seasoning? There isnt much to it.
All you have to do is stir together the ingredients! Grab all your spices, stir them together in a bowl, then transfer to storage.
Or, if you dont want to dirty extra dishes, you can place the seasonings right into your storage container, cover it, and give it a good shake.
Can Taco Salad Be Made Ahead Of Time
You can definitely make this best easy taco salad recipe ahead of time. If you make it a few hours in advance, the lettuce should still be fairly crisp. Thats why its so nice to take to summer picnics and potlucks. It holds up well in transport, and everyone seems to like it. As long as you reserve some tortilla chips in a separate container for topping when served, the salad will retain its crunch.
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Is Taco Salad Recipe Good For You
It depends on where you are finding it! Despite their perception as being healthy options, restaurant salads can have heavy dressings, contain a scant number of wholesome vegetables, and overdo it on the high-fat toppings. These often make salads a poorer nutritional choice than other items on the menu. Its deceptive!
- Making your own taco salad at home means that you can control the ingredients and portions to make it as wholesome as you choose.
- Unlike restaurant taco salads, this homemade version is loaded with nutritious ingredients. It is filling, the homemade dressing is low in fat and even high in protein. This salad also swaps the typical fried shell for baked tortilla strips. You have the same crunch, for a fraction of the calories!
Tools To Make Taco Soup
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Stock Pot This stock pot is a great size for large family meals, seafood boils, or a whole chicken for making homemade chicken broth. It also happens to be perfect for this low carb taco soup.
- Crock Pot A set it and forget it method of cooking that delivers rich and developed flavors that only happen with long cook times.
- Instant Pot This appliance pulls double duty as both a slow cooker and pressure cooker. You can use either function with this keto taco soup recipe and it will turn out fantastic.
- Meat Chopper Useful for breaking up whole tomatoes and ground beef, this meat chopper is an ideal tool for this easy taco soup.
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Taco Seasoning & Ranch Dressing
As mentioned before I use my favorite homemade taco seasoning and ranch dressing for this recipe. But, you dont have to! If youd rather use store bought varieties, feel free. Any kind will do.
You can even add them to taste if youd like to adjust the heat or creaminess. Plenty of flexibility here.
The Best Easy Taco Salad Recipe
When I was growing up, my dear mom always tried to get me to eat tossed salads. Im still not a big fan, but there are a few tossed salads I will always eat. One is the berry mandarin tossed salad I wrote about, and the other is taco salad. Over the years, the recipe has been refined, and today Im offering the latest version to you. Read on to learn the secrets to making the best easy taco salad recipe.
***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what youd like to get from Amazon? Heres a handy way to get to the website, linked to an easy and fun camping cookbook. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.
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What Is Taco Seasoning
Whats in taco seasoning? If youre doing it right, its basically just a bunch of Mexican spices mixed together.
Most commonly, the main spices in taco seasoning are:
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper
The main differences in homemade taco seasoning mix recipes are the ratios, and a few of the seasoning options.
For example, some skip paprika altogether. I actually have not seen smoked paprika in a taco seasoning, but always use it in mine because I believe it tastes better. Feel free to use regular paprika if you want to.
The dried oregano can be replaced with coriander or dried cilantro, if you prefer those.
Finally, sea salt is optional depending on if you want a salty taco seasoning or not. Ill explain more about that shortly.
But first, can I just tell you how much I love using this keto taco seasoning in recipes?
My healthy taco salad recipe is one of the most popular recipes on this low carb blog, and my all-time favorite way to use low carb taco seasoning.
Of course, taco seasoning is also delicious in actual tacos. Wrap the meat along with taco fillings in some low carb coconut flour tortillas, and youre good to go!
Stay tuned for more recipes using this keto taco seasoning mix in the next few months.
Taco Salad Is Perfect For Casual Dinners
Jessica always serves this meal in a super casual way.
That is to say, she places all the ingredients in separate bowls on their kitchen peninsulas counter, for each person to assemble their own salad as they wish. As a result, everyone gets exactly what they like.
That means no black beans for our daughter Tessa. Extra cheese for Jessica and her daughters Kate and Meg. And an extra helping of Doritos for almost every person at the table. Because WHO can actually resist those chips?!
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Have fun with the Taco Salad? Check out our tostadas recipe! Its like a Mexican open-faced sandwich on a toasted tortilla!
You can also FOLLOW ME on , , and for more great recipes!
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Ingredients For Taco Salad
There are a gazillion taco salad recipes out there, but what sets this recipe apart is the 1) tantalizing beef seasoned with homemade taco seasoning, 2) charred sweet corn, and 3) the BEST Cilantro Lime Dressing. Heres what youll need:
- Romaine lettuce. TacoSalad begins with a crunchy lettuce base. I prefer Romaine because its sturdy, cool andcrunchy and holds up for an extended period of time without becoming soggy.
- Other lettuce options. You may also choose iceberg lettuce or half iceberg lettuce andhalf Romaine lettuce. When using lettuce, discard any flimsy outer leaves for thecrunchiest lettuce.
The Meat options
How To Make Taco Soup On The Stove
Like with any low carb soup recipe, I was on the fence about choosing the cooking method. Keto taco soup on the stove, in a slow cooker, or a pressure cooker?
Ultimately, I picked the stove for simplicity. I did the same for my easy broccoli cheese soup, and that is a huge reader favorite, so I figured you cant go wrong there.
So, how do you make taco soup on the stove? All you need is one pot and 20 minutes.
Heres how to make keto taco soup:
- Brown the ground beef in the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat. It will take about 7-10 minutes. You can drain it afterward if you want to, but its not required.
- Add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and some broth, and simmer until most of it absorbs into the meat. This is essentially transforming the meat into taco meat.
- Add more broth, diced tomatoes, and more taco seasoning. Simmer it for another ten minutes or so, maybe even a bit less. Remove from heat and wait a couple minutes.
- Add the ranch dressing. The reason we wait a couple of minutes first is to avoid curdling the dressing.
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How To Make The Best Taco Salad Ever
- 1COOK 1 LB. HAMBURGER WITH ONE PACK OF TACO SEASONING ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS. WHEN DONE, ADD KIDNEY BEANS AND REMOVE FROM HEAT. IN LARGE BOWL MIX ALL OTHER INGREDIENTS BUT DRESSING AND CHIPS. ADD MEAT MIXTURE. TOP WITH CHIPS THEN THE DRESSING. STIR UNTIL COMBINED AND ENJOY!!!!!NOTE**** YOU MAY WANT TO ADD MORE DRESSING DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE HEAD OF LETTUCE. YOU WANT EVERYTHING TO HAVE DRESSING ON IT BUT YOU DON’T WANT IT SOGGY.IF TAKING THIS SOMEWHERE ELSE, KEEP MEAT AND BEANS IN ONE CONTAINER, LETTUCE IN A SEPARATE CONTAINER, AND ALL OTHER VEGGIES IN AL LARGE BOWL. MIX EVERYTHING TOGETHER WHEN YOU GET THERE TO KEEP LETTUCE AND CHIPS FROM GETTING SOGGY.
- 2***** DEPENDING ON THE TACO SEASONING YOU USE, YOU CAN MAKE THIS MILDER OR SPICIER.
- Last Step: Don’t forget to share! Make all your friends drool by posting a picture of your finished recipe on your favorite social network. And don’t forget to tag Just A Pinch and include #justapinchrecipes so we can see it too!
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In my kitchen, hot summers equal easy, one-pan dinners that avoid the oven and dont 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. Thats where this easy and healthy taco salad recipe with ground beef comes in youre going to love it!
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How Do I Serve Easy Taco Salad Recipe
There are four ways to serve this easy Taco Salad recipe:
- If you dont expect or want leftovers: add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl except for tortilla chips and toss with desired amount of dressing. Add tortilla chips when ready to serve.
- If you expect leftovers: add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl except the avocados and tortilla strips. Let individuals dress their own salad plates with avocados, tortilla chips and dressing. If you prefer warm beef, then keep the beef separate as well.
- Create a taco salad bar: line up all of the ingredients in separate serving bowls and let guests assemble their own taco salad.
- Serve in tortilla bowls. Taco Salad is often served in tortilla bowls at restaurants. These make a fun presentation and are deceptively easy to make , but I dont suggest using them instead of chips but in addition to chips. You are going to want crunch in every bite and not have to tear your bowl apart as your eating your salad.
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For The Taco Meat: Use Vegan Or Ground Beef
This taco salad recipe is flexible enough to feed any eater. Around here we eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes. But when we serve a crowd, we want a concept that works for everyone. This recipe is a classic taco salad, vegan taco salad, and healthy taco salad: all in one! That, in our minds, makes this one stellar meal worth putting in your regular rotation. Here are the two types of taco meat to use, vegan or classic:
- Walnut taco meat is incredibly delicious. No judgement zone, here. This walnut taco meat might be a little different, but it receives rave reviews from meat eaters and vegetarians alike! Walnuts, mushrooms and spices make a texture thats incredibly similar to real meat.
- Or, use ground beef. The recipe below has instructions for how to cook the ground beef. In fact, youll use the exact same spices as the meatless taco meat.
Taco Salad Recipe Variations
Like all salad recipes, this one is great to play with. Swap in the veggies you have on hand or adjust the toppings to make something you really love. Here are some suggestions:
- Switch the sauce. Any of the 3 versions of my cilantro lime dressing would work here. Omit the avocado and serve it as a vinaigrette, or use Greek yogurt instead of the avocado to make it creamy. You could also skip this dressing entirely and finish the salad with tomatillo salsa or chipotle sauce.
- Change up the creamy component. I love avocado here, but guacamole is just as good. Alternatively, try adding crumbled Cotija or grated cheddar cheese, cashew sour cream, or Greek yogurt!
- Make it fruity. Substitute mango or pineapple salsa for the pico, or use both!
- Vary the veggies. Raw or sautéed bell pepper, charred poblano, corn, or green onions would all be great additions.
- Make it a burrito bowl! Reduce the lettuce by half and add a scoop of cilantro lime rice to the bottom of your bowl.
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Gather Together The Ingredients For The Taco Salad
The basic ingredients for this extra-tasty taco salad are actually pretty minimal ground beef, onion, taco seasoning, taco sauce and an easy dressing that can be whipped up in about a minute. Rapone’s recipe is like building a taco bar at home, and you can prepare whatever toppings you like. “This is a very family-friendly recipe,” Rapone told us. “Kids love making their own plates and choices about their nutrition, and this has enough variety to let them roam.”
Most of us have lettuce and tomatoes on hand, and the sliced jalapeños and sliced black olives require nothing more strenuous than opening the can and draining them. Rapone recommends a shredded Mexican blend of cheese, but use what cheese you prefer because cheese is a must for a Tex-Mex taco. The method for this recipe is surprisingly simple and super fast. From start to finish you can have this Mexican-style banquet on your table in 30 minutes.