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Healthy Taco Salad Bowls

Healthy taco salad bowls celebrate good fats and protein while keeping the carbs low. Chips are optional and there are plenty of ways to make this classic just the way you like it.

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a bowl of loaded healthy taco salad bowls with a fork

There’s more to love with taco salads than something from the Taco Bell drive through.

Instead of filling up on additives and mystery meat, make these easy taco salad bowls at home and dress them any way you choose.

What makes these taco salads healthy?

People often assume that salads are always healthy. This is not 100% accurate. Many salads are loaded with empty calories very little deep nutrition.

The difference is always in the quality of the ingredients you use. Here are my tips:


  • Grain free tortilla chips fried in avocado oil or none at all – Our bodies feel best on fewer carbohydrates and the combination of refined corn and inflammatory oils in most tortilla chips make them tough on your body. Swap them for Siete Cassava chips fried in avocado oil or skip them completely.
  • Cultured or aged dairy – Aged and cultured dairy can be a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Choose ONLY cheddar that says it’s been aged, and ever pre shredded bagged cheeses. For sour cream, a cultured one that lists the good bacteria on the label is best.
  • Good quality beef – Beef has a spectrum of nutrients like iron, B vitamins and minerals. Some people worry about grass fed or grain fed beef, but unless you eat a lot of it, you have little to worry about.
  • Healthy fats from avocado-Make a guacamole or just slice some avocados on the side. You’ll get extra fiber and good fats.

Amazing health benefits of beef and why we love it

Beef (in moderation) is an incredible source of nutrients and can do wonders for the body. It is high in protein, b vitamins and iron as well as other fat soluble vitamins that support essential body functions.

It is true that grass fed products contain more omega 3’s, but I wouldn’t fixate too much on finding grass fed beef. So long as you aren’t consuming beef in excess, grain fed products will do just fine.

Have a look at my post about grass fed vs. grain fed beef to learn more. 

The problem with store bought and restaurant tortillas/tortilla bowls 

I suggest steering clear of store-bought tortillas. They are full of preservatives and inflammatory oils and are, in my opinion, one of the dirtiest convenience foods on the market.

Try making your own instead!

Use good, pastured lard and enjoy the process! It might take a little more time, but your body (and taste buds) will thank you. Here is a fun recipe for corn tortillas. If you are craving flour tortillas, try this recipe!

Homemade taco seasoning

Store bought taco seasoning can contain hidden fillers, MSG, gluten, and sugar. We don’t need any of that so take a little extra time and make your own taco seasoning.

Make a big batch, store it in a jar, and use it across several recipes for up to 6 months.

This will save you money, allow you to control your salt intake, and help you keep MSG, gluten, and refined sugar out of your diet.

Ways to make taco salads gluten free

If you omit tortillas from the picture, this salad is gluten free by default. If you are gluten free and want to add tortillas, just buy corn products.

How to make healthy taco salad bowls

Step 1: Brown ground beef and drain any excess fat. Add 4 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning or use a pack of your favorite brand.

a skillet of ground beef with taco seasoning on top

Step 2: Add 2/3 cup water and stir into beef. Simmer on low 4 or 5 minutes until the water evaporates and the mixture thickens slightly.

a bowl of ground beef with taco seasoning and water being poured in
a skillet of ground beef with taco seasoning added

TIP: If you want to use chips, try a grain free brand cooked in avocado oil.

a bag of Siete chips on a table

How to meal prep healthy taco salads

This is a great make-ahead recipe to be enjoyed throughout the week for healthy lunches and dinners. Just make sure to implement the following tips and tricks when prepping them ahead.

  • Keep all of your ingredients separate. Store veggies in the fridge, and keep guacamole in a separate container.
  • Keep meat in its own container so you can reheat this element separately then top with the cold vegetables.
  • Pre-shred your own cheese and keep it in the fridge too then just assemble the components when you’re ready.

Meat options if you don’t want ground beef

You can easily swap out the ground beef in this recipe.

Ground chicken or turkey are good options but, if you have time, I suggest making pulled chicken (or pork).

Check out my oven shredded chicken recipe here. Looking for seafood? Try small salad shrimp!

What to serve with healthy taco salad bowls

A taco salad is a pretty substantial meal on its own but if you are looking to add a little extra substance to your meal, go ahead and serve your salad with Mexican rice (IF you are not aiming for low carb) or some homemade refried beans.

It can also be fun to whip up a tasty beverage! Try one of these Mexican style mocktails!

a dressed taco salad on a table with vegetables

Are taco salads served cold or hot?

When serving taco salad, I suggest keeping your greens, veggies, avocado, etc. cold. In other words, just heat up the meat. We don’t want wilted greens or brown avocado here!

Can taco meat be frozen?

Taco meat can absolutely be frozen. Just follow the recipe, allow the meat to cool, and store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Ready to reheat? Add the beef to a skillet with a bit of water and let it simmer (covered) until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Recipe variations to spice up your taco salads

Looking to add a little spin to your taco bowls?

a dressed taco salad on a table with vegetables

Healthy Taco Salad Bowls

Celebrate good fats, vitamins, nutrients and fewer carbs with these healthy taco salad bowls.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Rachel Ballard

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons taco seasoning homemade, or your favorite package
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce shredded
  • 2 cups aged cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup black olives sliced, optional
  • 2 avocados sliced
  • sour cream optional
  • tortilla chips optional
  • salsa or pico de gallo optional

Instructions
 

  • In a 12 inch skillet, brown the ground beef over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain the grease and return to low heat.
  • Add the taco seasoning and water and stir to combine. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes until the water evaporates and the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat and assemble salads.
  • In four bowls, divide any chips if using or add lettuce to the bottom of each bowl.
  • Divide the meat between each bowl and top with tomatoes, lettuce, olives, half of a sliced avocado and any other toppings of your choice.

Notes

Keep in mind for nutrition information:
Homemade taco seasoning will have significantly less sodium than what’s shown. 
Nutrition information shown does not include chips or sour cream. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowlCalories: 739kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 36gFat: 61gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 1061mgPotassium: 1086mgFiber: 9gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 5414IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 468mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy taco salad

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