This healthy Taco Salad recipe is everything you love about taco night, transformed into a wholesome package you can feel great devouring for nutritious lunches and dinners.

Healthy taco salad in a bowl with ground turkey, black beans, veggies, and Greek yogurt salsa dressing

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From the lean ground turkey, to the Southwest spices, to all of the best taco fixin’s, this Mexican-inspired recipe has it all.

Adios wimpy salads.

This is the best taco salad recipe that satisfies.

  • It’s high in protein and fiber packs a wide array of taco toppings like cheese, avocado, corn, baked tortilla chips, and beans.
  • This wholesome salad is a classic taco done lighter so you can enjoy it more often.
  • In addition to its nutritious ingredient lineup and incredible flavor, the components of this healthy taco salad lasts 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!

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

This taco salad shouts a resounding YES!

An easy ground turkey taco salad with corn, black beans, cheese, and avocado

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.

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 healthy recipes to your repertoire or just love tacos (or both!), this healthy taco salad 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. Additionally, 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 taco seasoning packets, which are 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 use this vegetarian Mexican Salad recipe.

  • 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.
  • 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 used convenient canned Mexican-style corn and loved the additional flavors it added 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 oodles of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Cilantro + Green Onions. For a bit of bite and added flavor.

Market Swap

I love healthy 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 easy access to.

  • 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 healthy 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; my sister uses Doritos) and additional avocado, or jalapeño.
  • To mix it up, try chopped red onion (or better yet, 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.
Ingredients for making the very best taco salad recipe

The Directions

  1. Bake the tortilla strips.
  2. In a nonstick, large skillet brown the turkey with the spices. Stir together dressing ingredients.
  3. Place the romaine in a serving bowl, add the salad ingredients, and top with the dressing. 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.
  • To Reheat. Leftovers of the seasoned ground turkey may be warmed in the microwave, in a covered container, until steaming.
  • 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.

Meal Prep 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.

Healthy taco salad with avocado and ground turkey drizzled with easy southwest Greek yogurt dressing

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

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • 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.

The Best Knife Set

This Zwilling 19-piece knife set is made with quality, laser-cut steel and ergonomic handles. I’ve never wished for a different knife set.

Skinny Taco Salad with ground turkey, black beans, veggies, and Greek yogurt salsa dressing. Tastes AMAZING, easy to make, and low carb. Perfect for fast, healthy lunches, weeknight dinners, and meal prep! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

So pour yourself a Skinny Margarita 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, 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 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.

What To Serve With Taco Salad?

While this is a complete meal all on it’s own, kick taco night up a notch with this Skinny Margarita, made with lime juice!

Skinny Taco Salad with ground turkey, black beans, veggies, and Greek yogurt salsa dressing. Tastes AMAZING, easy to make, and low carb. Perfect for fast, healthy lunches, weeknight dinners, and meal prep! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Taco Salad

4.91 from 33 votes
This easy taco salad recipe with ground turkey, black beans, and Greek yogurt dressing is a healthy version of everyone's favorite salad.

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Total: 25 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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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Taco night? More like Taco every night! Here are more of my favorite south-of-the-border Mexican recipes.

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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 wellplated.com 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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Recipe Rating




70 Comments

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  1. Made this tonight so simple and it was delish! Great and refreshing without feeling heavy! Needed a good salad recipe for the start of summer :) Thanks!5 stars

    1. I am so glad you loved this Olivia! Thanks so much for trying it and for taking time to share your review too!

    1. WOOHOO Shannon! I’m so glad your family enjoyed it. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review!

  2. I also don’t think that it has that much sodium. Can you double check that too. I made this except I added bell peppers when browning the turkey meat. It was delish. I had never thought of the salsa mixed with yogurt as dressing but I am now addicted. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.5 stars

    1. Heather, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for taking the time to report back. I’ll check on the sodium level, thanks!

  3. Absolutely LOVED THIS!! Made it last night after a day at work and then working out- great simple yet healthy and exciting meal! LOVED IT! Sent the recipe to many friends/family.5 stars

    1. YAY Lauren! Thanks so much for taking the time to write this wonderful review. I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad!

  4. This was seriously so good! I have gestational diabetes (boo!) and this fit the bill of healthy, lean, and delish. I was able to kind of deconstruct it for my two-year-old as well, and she loved it too. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from you, and I look forward to making more. Thanks!5 stars

    1. Ellen, I’m so happy to hear this recipe was a success! Thank you so much for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this review—I hope you find many more new favorites!

  5. This taco salad covers all the bases and is nice, flavorful, and filling. I used Santa Fe Style tortilla strips from the store instead of making my own to cut down on a bit of prep and they added a bit of needed salt to the salad. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. YAY Ana, I’m so glad you enjoyed the salad. Thank you for taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  6. It seems yummy! I am about to make it but have a question.. what kind of SALSA do you mix with yogurt ???5 stars

  7. We just tried the skinny taco recipe and my husband says we can have it again and he’s a picky eater! We replaced the taco shells with Late July brand chips made with chia and quinoa. A lot less carbs and more nutritional5 stars

    1. Dawn, I am so happy to hear this recipe was a winner for you both. THANK YOU for taking time to leave this kind review too!

    1. Lois, do you mean they were manufactured in a facility that also uses wheat? If you look for certified GF corn tortillas, you should be good to go!

  8. Very good. I purchased store bought tortilla strips.   I also doubled the dressing and used almost all of it. Next time I will squeeze some lime juice over the salad before serving. 5 stars

    1. Mary Ellen, this makes me so happy to hear! Thanks for letting me know and taking time to leave this review. I love the lime idea too!

  9. Just made this! I’m not crazy about the dressing though, mine turned out kind of watery. What kind of salsa did you use?5 stars

    1. Hi Jenna, I used a thick, chunky salsa (unfortunately I don’t remember the brand!). If yours was a little more loose or thin, that would definitely cause the dressing to be more watery.

  10. Made it just like the recipe calls for… super simple, easy, and delicious!! Recommending this recipe all the way!5 stars

  11. The salad dressing is a winner…I always have those ingredients. Forgot the corn, but still delish.Thanks.5 stars

  12. This skinny meal had an abundance of flavor. Both the seasoned meat and the dressing were so flavorful. Thanks for sharing this.5 stars

  13. This recipe was very tasty. The family really liked it. It will be on our menu again. The only thing wrong is. My bowl was not big enough to toss everything around. So next time I am going to put everything in a larger bowl and toss it then put it in my serving bowl.5 stars

  14. This salad was delicious!! Only thing I didn’t add was the tortilla strips because I didn’t have any, and the corn. I also made guacamole instead of just the avocado. Will definitely be saving this for future quick dinner meals!! Thanks for sharing5 stars

  15. I just made this with what I already had in the house: ground chicken instead of turkey, spinach instead of lettuce,  and no tomatoes or salsa (I can’t eat those) and it was SO GOOD. This is going into my regular rotation. 5 stars

  16. This was great! So nutritious and my family loved it. I added some extra spices to the corn and beans, yum!!5 stars

  17. This was absolutely delightful and oh so filling. Especially love how hearty everything is after it’s combined and even the dressing is healthy. Thank you for sharing!!5 stars

      1. This is the 3rd recipe I’ve tried from your site and I have been very impressed with your thoughtfulness in balancing flavour with selection of healthier ingredients. Not everyone has the same tastes, but know that your well thought out recipes are much appreciated. You have me as a new follower :)5 stars

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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.2 stars

    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!

  26. 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.