Taco Salad Two Ways

Makes 4 Servings

  • Total Time: 30

Here’s one way to please a crowd—meat lovers and vegetarians alike! Easily make taco salad two ways (one with ground beef and one without), leaning on the fresh and savory flavors of cilantro, chili and more. The best part? With walnuts, black beans and a Greek yogurt dressing, this taco salad packs a nutrient punch.  



Seasoning Blend Ingredients:

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander


Vegetarian Taco Crumble Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups walnuts

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon white vinegar


Ground Beef Taco Crumble Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1/4 cup water


Creamy Southwest Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup low-fat Greek Yogurt (or fat level of choice)

1 lime, juiced

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed


Taco Salad Ingredients:

4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup Mexican-blend cheese shreds

1 cup tortilla chips

1 avocado, diced


  1. Make the seasoning blend: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until completely blended.
  2. To make the Vegetarian Taco Crumbles:
  • Place walnuts and beans in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Add seasoning blend, 2 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon white vinegar to food processor and pulse until mixture is finely chopped and resembles ground meat, stopping to stir and redistribute the mixture several times in the food processor bowl to ensure even mixing.
  • Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add crumbles to skillet and cook for 10 minutes or until mixture is nicely browned and resembles ground meat, stirring frequently.
  • To make the Ground Beef Taco Crumbles:
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook ground beef. Use a potato masher or a wooden spoon to break up the meat as is cooks, until the meat is evenly browned and cooked through.
  • Drain off any fat and return beef to the skillet. Add seasoning blend, vinegar and water and stir until evenly mixed. Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the water is absorbed.
  1. Make the Creamy Southwest Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Assemble Salads: Divide lettuce evenly between four serving bowls. Top each bowl with a portion of the prepared taco crumbles of your choice. Add Mexican-blend cheese and additional toppings as desired. Drizzle with Creamy Southwest Dressing just before serving.