Taco salad

A no-fuss, no-muss way to enjoy tacos!

Taco Tuesday has become a popular tradition for many families; this version is an easy way to switch things up a little. I like the crunch of hard taco shells but find them super annoying to eat. One or two bites and the whole thing falls apart, leaving you with a plate full of taco fillings and some shards of chips…which is exactly what you’ll get when you make this salad! It can be made with packaged low-sodium taco seasoning mix if you prefer and of course you can add in any additional toppings you like. This is a great meal for a party because you can simply put out all the elements, buffet-style, and let people assemble their own salads.


  • 1 pound (454 grams) ground chicken, turkey or beef
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  • 4 cups (1 L) shredded lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup (250 mL) salsa (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
  • 2 cups (500 mL) crushed tortilla chips
  • lime wedges


  • Brown the meat in the olive oil in a medium-large frying pan that has a lid.
  • Once it’s thoroughly browned, add the minced onions and cook, stirring, for 2 – 4 minutes until onions are softened.
  • Add the spices and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the water and tomato sauce. Stir, cover and let simmer on low for approximately 20 minutes. Note that the meat can be made ahead and refrigerated, then reheated on the stove or in the microwave at serving time.
  • Put the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, salsa, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips in bowls.
  • Invite people to create their own salads. I usually start with a base of lettuce, then add, meat, cheese, and everything else on top. I like to put a squeeze of lime juice on top before I dive in with my fork.

Serves 4 and can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled…

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

2 thoughts

  1. Our family loves Mexican food, but I never think to make taco salad! It’s a great alternative way to combine these familiar, yummy flavours – and allows you to sneak in some extra veggies for the family, too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.