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This healthy Taco Salad recipe is everything you love about taco night, transformed into a wholesome meal! Fill your bowl with taco-seasoned ground turkey, crisp romaine, beans, and fresh veggies, then finish with crispy tortilla strips and a homemade taco salad dressing.

the best easy and healthy taco salad in a large bowl

Why You’ll Love this Taco Salad Recipe

From the lean ground turkey, to a homemade taco seasoning, to all of the best taco fixin’s, this Mexican-inspired recipe has it all, including the best (and easiest!) taco salad dressing recipe.

Adios wimpy salads.

This wholesome, filling salad is a classic taco done lighter so you can enjoy it more often!

a large bowl of taco salad with toppings

Healthy Taco Salad Recipe that Satisfies

Have you ever asked yourself if taco salad can be healthy?

This taco salad shouts a resounding YES!

  • High in protein and fiber, it packs a wide array of taco toppings like cheese, avocado, corn, baked tortilla chips, and beans.
  • In addition to its nutritious ingredient lineup and robust flavor, the components of this taco salad last well in the refrigerator, making it ideal for meal prep.
  • It’s also far easier to eat than regular tacos. Who has time for shells? Just toss everything into a bowl and you’re ready to chow down!
a bowl of easy taco salad with toppings

Restaurant vs. Homemade Taco Salad

Despite their perception as being “healthy” options, restaurant taco salads are deceptively unhealthy. Most restaurant versions:

  • Are doused in heavy, high-calorie dressings
  • Contain a scant number of wholesome vegetables
  • Overdo it on the high-fat toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese or nacho cheese
  • Are often served in a deep-fried taco shell (delicious but dangerous).

Making your own salad at home means that you can control the taco salad ingredients and portions to make it as wholesome as you choose.

fresh and filling taco salad recipe in a large bowl

5 Star Review

“Love this taco salad! The seasoning is low in salt which I was looking for and so yummy and super easy to make for a busy mama!!”

— Whitney —

How to Make Taco Salad

Whether you’re looking to add more satisfying salad recipes to your repertoire or just love tacos (or both!), this healthy taco salad bowl will quickly become a favorite.

The Ingredients

  • Flour Tortillas. One of the secrets to making a really great taco salad is adding crunch. In place of fried chips, I use oven-baked strips of tortillas. It only takes a few minutes to toss the tortilla strips into the oven, and the texture they add is completely worth the small effort.

Dietary Note

If you’d like to keep the salad gluten free, you can cut and bake corn tortillas instead of flour. If you’re trying to really limit your carbs, you can omit the tortilla strips or opt for a low-carb tortilla.

  • Spices. Skip the packet of taco seasoning, which is usually high in sodium. Instead, make a homemade taco seasoning that combines salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to season the ground turkey meat. You could also add paprika, oregano, onion powder, or a hit of hot sauce to taste.
  • Ground Turkey. To create a lower-calorie taco salad recipe that still packs restaurant-worthy satisfaction, I used ground turkey. It’s equally as delicious here as season ground beef! The best taco meat!

Substitution Tip

Other healthy protein swaps include ground chicken or plant-based meat crumbles if you’d like to make a vegan or vegetarian taco salad; or try this vegetarian Mexican Salad recipe.

If you prefer ground beef tacos, a lean ground beef works well here (don’t miss this line up of more easy Ground Beef Dinner Ideas!).

  • Romaine Lettuce. The crisp and fresh base for our salad. Romaine lettuce is high in minerals and low in calories, making it ideal for this slimmed-down salad. I prefer it over iceberg lettuce, which is crisp but lacks nutrients.
  • Black Beans. A true super food! Black beans have been shown to be beneficial for cholesterol, are rich in fiber and protein, and are very low in saturated fat. They give the salad a creamy element and make it more satisfying. (My Instant Pot Black Beans would be perfect here; canned work too, of course.)

Substitution Tip

A can of low-sodium pinto beans could be swapped for the black beans if you prefer their taste and texture.

  • Corn. I use convenient canned Mexican-style corn and loved the additional flavors it adds to the salad.
  • Tomatoes. A handful of cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or chopped Roma tomatoes adds bursts of flavor and vitamin C.
  • Avocado. The creamy, nutrient-packed ingredient that we all love! Avocado adds vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Cilantro + Green Onions. For a bit of bite and added flavor.

Market Swap

I love taco salads because they are endlessly versatile. Feel free to change up the topping with the seasons and toss in whatever you enjoy and have on hand.

  • Cheddar Cheese. I went lighter on the cheese quantity, so using an extra-sharp cheddar helps make sure you can still taste it in every bite.
  • Greek Yogurt + Salsa. So simple but so delish! To make the BEST taco salad dressing, simply mix together your favorite salsa with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, my healthy substitute for sour cream. Greek yogurt is high in protein and has calcium too.

Additional Toppings

Anything you love on your tacos is fair game!

  • My favorite toppings are tortilla strips (or tortilla chips; Doritos are fun) and additional avocado, or jalapeño.
  • To mix it up, try chopped red onion (or better yet, Quick Pickled Onions), queso fresco, pico de gallo, fresh corn, mushrooms, bell peppers, black olives, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, sliced jicama, Homemade Guacamole, or toasted pumpkin seeds.

The Directions

baking tortilla strips for taco salad
  1. Bake the tortilla strips.
browning ground turkey for healthy taco salad
  1. In a nonstick, large skillet brown the turkey with the spices.
taco salad dressing recipe
  1. Stir together the dressing ingredients, and top lettuce with part of the dressing.
healthy and filling taco salad ingredients in a large bowl
  1. Add the salad ingredients.
taco salad with turkey, corn, and beans
  1. Toss to combine, sprinkle with tortilla strips, and serve. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Once assembled and dressed, the salad is best eaten within a few hours of serving. However, the deconstructed elements of this salad may be stored separately in airtight containers for 2-4 days in the fridge. Even dressed, this salad isn’t too bad the next day.
  • To Reheat. Leftovers of the seasoned ground turkey may be warmed in the microwave, in a covered container, until steaming.

Meal Prep Tip

  • To make ahead, chop the veggies and cook the turkey in advance, storing them individually in the refrigerator.
  • You can quickly assemble individual portions and add any other toppings you desire throughout the week.

Storage Tip

If your plan is to prep this salad for lunches throughout the week, I recommend storing the salad in divided meal prep containers and then tossing everything together with the dressing when ready to serve.

easy and healthy bowl of taco salad with turkey and toppings

Leftover Ideas

The best part about leftover taco salad topping is you can easily change gears and make other dishes like tacos, quesadillas, or game day-worthy nachos.

What to Serve with Taco Salad

  • Baking Sheets. These are an invaluable tool for your kitchen. I use them to bake up the tortilla strips in this recipe.
  • Measuring Cups. An ideal way to measure AND mix your ingredients for salad dressing, without getting another bowl dirty. Plus, they can go in the microwave and dishwasher.
  • Skillet. For cooking up all of that perfectly seasoned ground turkey.

Pour yourself a marg, because tonight is taco (salad) night!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Taco Salad Low Carb?

It can be. If you’d like to minimize your carbohydrates and still enjoy a filling, healthy taco salad, I would suggest omitting or limiting the crispy tortilla strips and black beans to knock off the most carbs from this recipe.

Is Taco Salad Cold or Hot?

Typically, the greens, vegetables, and other toppings are served cold. However, most taco salad recipes, including this one, will serve the meat warm over the top of the salad.

Is Taco Salad Gluten Free?

It can be. To make this a gluten-free taco salad, opt for corn tortillas rather than flour tortillas (or skip them entirely). If you are especially sensitive to gluten, check your labels to ensure all ingredients were processed in a gluten-free certified facility to avoid cross-contamination.

Is Taco Salad Healthier Than Tacos?

How healthy or unhealthy you make your taco salad is up to you. If you use lean meat, load in some veggies, do not use a fried taco shell, and limit fatty toppings; taco salad is a super healthy meal!

Taco Salad

4.88 from 47 votes
The best easy taco salad with beans, ground turkey, crispy tortillas, and yogurt dressing is a healthy version of everyone's favorite salad.

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Servings: 4 servings


For the Taco Salad:

  • 2 fajita-size flour tortillas (or swap for corn tortillas to make gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 head romaine lettuce roughly chopped
  • 1 can reduced-sodium black beans (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can Mexican-style corn (11 ounces), drained
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 medium ripe avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/2  cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced

For the Salsa Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup salsa (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt


  • Place a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  • Stack the tortillas and cut them in half, then slice each half into 1/2-inch strips. Scatter the strips in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, then sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat, then spread them into a single layer.
  • Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high. Add the turkey, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Break up the meat and stir with a spoon until it is cooked through; about 5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the salsa and Greek yogurt to make the dressing.
  • Place the romaine in a large serving bowl. Top with 1/4 cup of the salsa-yogurt mixture, the turkey, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, cheese, and green onions. Toss lightly to combine, then sprinkle the tortilla strips over the top. Serve immediately with remaining salsa-yogurt dressing as desired.



  • GLUTEN FREE OPTION: To make the recipe gluten free, swap corn tortillas in place of the flour tortillas. Check the baking time a few minutes early, as the corn tortillas may crisp more quickly.
  • MAKE AHEAD: Store the cooked ground turkey in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, the corn and black beans in a separate container for up to 4 days, the dressing in a container for up to 4 days, and the chopped tomatoes in a container for up to 3 days. Washed, chopped lettuce can also be stored in the crisper drawer for 2 to 3 days. Warm the turkey and assemble the salad just before serving.
  • TO STORE: Once assembled and dressed, the salad is best eaten within a few hours of serving. However, the deconstructed elements of this salad may be stored separately in airtight containers for 2-4 days in the fridge.


Serving: 1(of 4) without dressingCalories: 596kcalCarbohydrates: 65gProtein: 40gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 87mgPotassium: 1699mgFiber: 18gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 15204IUVitamin C: 42mgCalcium: 236mgIron: 8mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. One of my favorite Pinterest finds! I’m not a fan of black beans and i omitted the taco shell – it was incredible! As good, if not better than any restaurant taco salad!5 stars

  2. I made this for my family this evening and everyone LOVED it!!! I used Cassava tortillas instead of corn. Only thing I really did differently is that I left all of the ingredients separate. We have multiple people in our household that have different specialized diets. I will definitely be making this again!5 stars

  3. This salad was delicious and filling. I especially loved the dressing and the the spices on the turkey. I have mad ethos twice in one week because it was so good. I highly recommend it! :)5 stars

  4. Love this taco salad! The seasoning is low in salt which I was looking for and so yummy and super easy to make for a busy mama!!5 stars

  5. This is my second time making this recipe, this time I didn’t have any corn, so I substituted chickpeas for corn, I’m going to see how that turns out, the first time I made it was great, thanks for the recipe5 stars

  6. The homemade tortilla strips were wonderful. I didn’t use avocado because my husband ate it! Very good flavor! I will at least double the dressing next time and throw in some black olives.5 stars

  7. A great summer dinner and a perfect way to use left over taco meat. We subbed pinto beans for black beans and added some pickled jalapeños for a little more heat. Loved the salad dressing. Thank you Erin!5 stars

  8. It was disappointingly flavorless. I made it twice to see if it was any better the second and time and the same outcome was had.

    1. I’m sorry this recipe wasn’t to your tastes, Mom of 6. I (and many other readers) have truly enjoyed it, so I wish you would’ve too!

  9. There is NO way this recipe serves 4 for under 300 calories! These ingredients are 2500 calories at least and divided by 4 is 625 calories. What am I missing here? What are the actual ingredient brands to make this recipe come close to 300? I’ve searched and I’ve found none unless there is some magical grocery store that sells these unbelievably low calorie products that I don’t have in my town.

    1. Hi Renee, in the nutritional information it doesn’t say 300 calories per serving, it’s more than that, and I am slightly confused as to where you see the 300? Also the nutritional information does not include the dressing, as stated in the recipe card.

  10. We LOVE this salad. I’m so often left hungry and unsatisfied after eating a salad for dinner, but this one is so nutritionally balanced AND delicious. We used Impossible Beef and also sautéed some mushrooms that needed to be used into the “meat,” which was a great addition. Thank you for this recipe — it is going to be a regular meal in our rotation!5 stars

  11. So yummy and so easy. I skipped the tortillas and just used tortilla chip pieces from the bottom of the bag. Otherwise followed the recipe and we loved it. Perfect for a hot day!5 stars

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