Quick 'n Healthy Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Steve Legato


For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup  light sour cream
  • 1/3 cup  low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup  chopped cilantro, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons  lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1/8  teaspoon  garlic salt

For the salsa

  • medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4 pounds  lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon  chili powder
  • 3/4 cups  salsa
  • 6 cups  chopped romaine lettuce
  • green onions, sliced
  • 3/4 cups  low-fat Mexican blend cheese
  • medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  •   Reduced-fat tortilla chips (optional)

Once you realize how unhealthy most taco salads are, it’s tough to enjoy eating one without a side of guilt. By ditching the usual fried tortilla bowl and swapping in more fresh vegetables and leaner meat, I was able to substantially lower the fat in this Tex-Mex favorite. The creamy cilantro dressing replaces the guilt with a big side of yum!


For the dressing

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside. 

For the salsa

Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add diced pepper and sauté 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the beef and chili powder to the pan and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until meat is well browned. Stir in the salsa and cook for one minute to combine. Remove from heat. 

To assemble, place 1 1/2  cups chopped lettuce on each of four plates. Top each salad with 3/4 cup of the meat mixture. Sprinkle on 1/4 of the green onions, 3 tablespoons cheese, and 3 tablespoons of dressing. Garnish with tomato wedges and optional tortilla strips, if desired.

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