Crispy, crunchy, meaty Mexican Taco Salad with turkey – super healthy, super easy, and super delicious!
Every night can be Taco Tuesday with this tasty Turkey Taco Salad! Seasoned ground turkey with cheese, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, and sour cream on a bed of fresh lettuce or…wrapped up as a taco salad tortilla! YUM!
Taco Fixings Make Multiple Meals
The thing I love most about taco ingredients is that a bit of prep work goes a long, long way!
This is especially true if you cook a large quantity of ground meat (turkey, beef, or a combination) at one time and freeze the cooked meat in small bags. Then, with black beans, sour cream, salsa, etc., some chopped onions and grated cheese, you have enough ingredients for 3 or 4 taco-based meals!
We love taco salad, soft shell or crispy tacos, taco pizza, taco soup, rice bowls, and this Taco Casserole!
Other Recipes to Serve with Turkey Tacos!
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa puts a mild green spin on any Mexican recipe! This salsa is destined to become your new favorite!
- Serve as a dipping side with tortilla chips or as an additional ingredient to virtually every taco recipe out there, this Southwest Corn Salsa will make your tastebuds dance!
Turkey Taco Meat: Start with lean ground turkey – 93% or less for the most flavor – makes this taco salad healthy and high in protein! You’ll also need a can of diced tomatoes, minced onion, chili powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, cumin, and black pepper.
Salad: Fresh lettuce makes the base for this salad. We like chopped iceberg lettuce, but use what works for you! In addition to lettuce, we add shredded Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar), diced avocado, black beans, sour cream, and cilantro. You can add tortilla strips to the salad for some crunch, too!
Salad Dressing: For the southwest dressing, you’ll need your favorite salsa, sour cream, lime juice, more cilantro, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
How to Make Turkey Taco Salad
STEP ONE: In a large skillet, cook the turkey over medium until thoroughly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Be sure to break up the meat as it cooks.
STEP TWO: Stir in the tomatoes and seasonings and cook for 5-10 minutes until the tomato juices reduce.
STEP THREE: Spread a bed of lettuce in each serving bowl or plate. Then, top the lettuce with turkey, shredded cheese, avocado, and black beans.
STEP FOUR: Stir the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl or shake them up in a mason jar (with the lid on). Pour the dressing over the salad. Then, top the salad with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro for garnish.
Tips for Success
- If your family doesn’t love ground turkey, try mixing it half and half with some lean ground beef.
- Instead of the can of diced tomatoes, you can substitute your favorite salsa or Rotel tomatoes for a kick.
- We don’t always use up all the turkey taco meat. Leftovers are great for making tacos for lunch or dinner, especially since all the salad toppings are great on tacos, too. Some nights, I’ll make salads for my husband and myself and let the kids make tacos instead.
- Want to serve your salad in a taco shell like the restaurants? Spray both sides of a burrito-size flour tortilla with non-stick cooking spray. Then, press the tortilla into an oven-safe bowl, pinching the edges of the tortilla to create folds, following the rim of your bowl for that perfect shell shape. Bake it at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until the edges start turning golden brown. Cool the tortilla in the bowl and then fill it with the salad. You can make the taco shell bowls ahead of time, too!
Is Ground Turkey Better than Ground Beef?
It depends on the recipe! For tacos, I think it is definitely better! Turkey is lower in calories and saturated fat, and because taco seasoning and toppings are so flavorful, you’ll never notice the difference!
Can I Make Ground Turkey Taste Like Beef?
There are a couple of tricks to make ground turkey mimic the taste of hamburger meat. For one, add a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce. For another, cook with a tablespoon of avocado oil and a couple of tablespoons of beef broth. These tips will give you a richer, beefier flavor.
Other Tasty Taco Recipes
*This post was originally posted on 09/05/2013
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes undrained (see note)
- 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 head iceberg lettuce diced avocado, light sour cream, black beans (drained)
- 1 cup Mexican cheese blend shredded
- 1 avocado pitted and diced
- 1 cup canned black beans drained and rinsed
- Fresh cilantro minced, for garnish
- Sour cream for garnish
- Add the turkey to a large non-stick skillet and place it over medium heat. Cook until the turkey is cooked through and no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes. Break up the meat as it cooks.
- Stir in the canned diced tomatoes along with the juices, the dried minced onion, chili powder, garlic powder, seasoned salt, ground cumin, and pepper. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the tomato juices reduce down.
- While the turkey simmers, make the dressing. Add the salsa, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to a mixing bowl. Whisk until evenly combined. Set aside.
- Divided the chopped lettuce between serving bowls. Top the lettuce in each bowl with a quarter of the turkey mixture. Add shredded cheese, black beans, and diced avocado.
- Top the salad with southwest ranch dressing. If desired, add a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro for garnish. Serve immediately.
- I like to use diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano for extra flavor. Regular diced tomatoes are just fine, though.
- If you don’t have lime juice on hand, you can use lemon juice in the dressing instead.
- You can make the turkey ahead of time and top your salads with it cold or heat it up in the microwave. The leftover turkey is also great for making tacos and burritos.
- The dressing will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge in an airtight container.