This Healthy Taco Salad is the universal delight of taco night, transformed into a wholesome package you can feel great devouring for nutritious lunches and dinners. From the juicy meat, to the Southwest spices, to the best taco fixin’s, this Mexican-inspired recipe has it all, even the tortilla crunch!

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

Adios wimpy salads. This is a ground turkey taco salad that satisfies. It’s high in protein and fiber packs a wide array of taco toppings like cheese, avocado, corn, and beans. It’s a fully loaded, filling fiesta.

This salad is inspired by classic taco ingredients, done lighter so you can enjoy it more often. It’s also far easier to eat than regular tacos. Instead of attempting to cram all the good stuff into a shell that shatters the moment you take a bite, I piled the taco fixings onto a bed of crisp romaine lettuce, then showered crunchy tortilla strips over the top. YUM!

In addition to its nutritious ingredient lineup and incredible flavor, this healthy taco salad lasts well in the refrigerator, making it ideal for meal prep. Make a big batch, and enjoy the reward of taco (salad) night all week long.

Easy ground turkey salad with tons of taco flavors like corn, black beans, and avocado

Is Taco Salad Good for You?

It depends on where you are finding it! Despite their perception as being “healthy” options, restaurant salads can have heavy dressings, contain a scant number of wholesome vegetables, and overdo it on the high-fat toppings. These often make salads a poorer nutritional choice than other items on the menu. It’s deceptive!

  • Making your own taco salad at home means that you can control the ingredients and portions to make it as wholesome as you choose.
  • Unlike restaurant taco salads, this homemade version is loaded with nutritious ingredients. It is filling, the homemade dressing is low in fat and even high in protein. This salad also swaps the typical fried shell for baked tortilla strips. You have the same crunch, for a fraction of the calories!

About This Skinny Taco Salad Recipe

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 salad is adding crunch. In place of fried chips, I use oven-baked strips of flour 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.
    • If you’d like to keep the salad gluten free, you can cut and bake corn tortillas instead of flour.
  • Spices. Skip the taco seasoning packets, which are usually high in sodium. Instead, combine salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to season the ground turkey meat.
  • 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 ground beef!
  • 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.
  • Black Beans. I love adding black beans to this salad for protein and fiber. (My Instant Pot Black Beans would be perfect here; canned work too of course.)
  • Corn. I used Mexican-style corn and loved the additional flavors it added to the salad.
  • Tomatoes. A handful of cherry tomatoes added delicious bursts of flavor.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Salsa Yogurt Dressing. To make healthy taco salad dressing, mix together salsa and plain nonfat Greek yogurt. The yogurt tastes just like a big dollop of sour cream, without the additional calories, and it gives the salad an extra boost of protein, too.
  • The Toppings. My favorite taco salad toppings are tortilla strips and additional avocado, or jalapeño, but you can take this healthy taco salad recipe wherever else your Tex-Mex dreams may dare.

Ingredients for making skinny taco salad like ground turkey, tomatoes, avocado, black beans, corn, and cheese

The Directions

  1. Bake the tortilla strips: Coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Cut the tortillas into strips, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, and bake at 425 degrees F until golden.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high. Add the turkey and spices, stirring to coat. In a bowl, 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!

How to Make Ahead and Store

This taco salad recipe is also ideal for meal prep.

  • 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.
  • To Store. Place leftover salad in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Healthy taco salad served in a bowl with Greek yogurt salsa dressing

What Goes with Taco Salad?

  • Rice. Prepared brown rice or quinoa both make a delicious, classic side for this Tex-Mex dish.
  • Beans. For a hearty, filling side, try this taco salad with Instant Pot Refried Beans or Crock Pot Pinto Beans. You can serve these either in addition to or in place of the black beans used in the salad.
  • Cornbread. Serve this easy taco salad with a crowd-pleasing side like Mexican Cornbread.
  • Margarita. Add a fun and festive Skinny Margarita, and call it a success!

More Healthy Salad Recipes to Try

Recommended Tools for Making This 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.

 

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

Healthy Taco Salad

5 from 26 votes
Healthy Taco Salad with ground turkey, black beans, avocado, and Greek yogurt salsa dressing. An easy, delicious, low-carb recipe.

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

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the taco salad:

  • 2 fajita-size flour tortillas swap 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, rinsed and drained (15 ounces)
  • 1 can Mexican-style corn, drained (11 ounces)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 medium ripe avocado peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2  cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

For the salsa yogurt dressing:

  • 1/4 cup prepared salsa
  • 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

  • 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 it 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. Assemble the salad just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 487kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 39gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1043mgFiber: 9gSugar: 9g

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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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82 Comments

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  1. Taco salad is a classic, and my go-to for when I don’t know what to make for dinner!  Kudos to you for making a skinny version!  We all know those restaurant versions are like a millions calories lol!

      1. I wasn’t crazy about this recipe, it was just ok, but Ill keep trying your others until I find one I like

        1. Hi Jackie, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t love this recipe! Others have tried it and enjoyed it, but everyone has different tastes. I know it’s disappointing to try something new and not love it, so I hope you find other recipes you enjoy!

  2. This looks SO good :)

    I don’t eat meat, so the ground turkey is out but with a good vegan meat this will be amazing. Thanks for this :)

  3. 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!

  4. Erin I believe you need to recheck the nutritional values.  No way does this have 118 grams of protein per serving.  Maybe for all 4 servings.  I also   don’t consider this low carb with 54 grams.  I strive for a restricted carb diet of 50-100 grams per day.  Looks good however.

    1. Hi Mary, thanks so much for pointing out that typo with the protein! It should be closer to 39 grams, and I’ve updated it in the post as well.

      1. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

    1. Kim,, I think there must have been a page loading error! I refreshed and it looks OK. Can you see it now? I’m so sorry!! Glad you let me know!

  7. Is it really 54 grams of carbs per 1 serving?!
    Thanks! Can’t wait to try this and thank you tor having so many low carb and healthy, whilesome recipes!

    1. Hi Essma, the 54 grams is just an estimate, as the nutrition info I provide is just a guide and not exact. If the precise amount of carbs is important to you, I would recommend calculating the info on a site like MyFitnessPal using your exact ingredients! I hope you enjoy the salad!

  8. 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!

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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

  14. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I have lean ground turkey in the fridge and this is just the thing to make it with!

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

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

    1. Hi Vonya! You can find all the nutrition estimates at the bottom of the post underneath the recipe ingredients and instructions. I hope this helps!

  25. 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