Loaded Taco Salad is packed with all kinds of goodies like seasoned beef, veggies, cheese and a dollop of dressing. All the goodness of a taco, in a salad!
Taco night is very popular at my house. We usually have tacos in the more traditional manner which includes seasoned meat and either hard shell or soft tortillas. Oh and lots of cheese, of course! I wanted to make a healthier version which I present to you as Loaded Taco Salad. You still have all the goodness of taco night without the bread! The bread was swapped for lettuce. I think that with all of the other delicious ingredients in Loaded Taco Salad, you will hardly even notice that the tortilla is missing.
As with the more traditional tacos, Loaded Taco Salad can be custom tailored to suit your families’ particular likes and dislikes. We love avocados but they could easily be substituted with another type of vegetable you might enjoy more. Or you could always add more cheese….that is never a bad idea, right?! I love the addition of crushed tortilla chips. They offer great crunch appeal and at the same time, provide a little of the “tortilla” you might be missing. My recipe includes ingredients that we like and that I thought would nicely compliment the seasoned beef. If you are not much of a meat eater, then try my Meatless Meaty Taco Mix instead. Here is the link in case you would like to try it…..http://www.FunEasyAmazingRecipes.com/meatless-meaty-taco-mix
I have to thank Jessica for the beautiful salad bowl set I used to showcase Loaded Taco Salad. It was a gift from her recent trip to South Africa! Awesome, isn’t it?!
- 1 Cup Ranch Dressing, either prepared or homemade
- 2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 2-3 Tbsp Buttermilk or Regular Milk will work as well
- 1/2 LB Lean Ground Beef
- 1/2 Cup Onion, finely diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 6 Cups Lettuce, Romaine, Green Leaf, Iceberg or a combination of all three
- 1 Cup Red Pepper, diced
- 4 Green Onions, diced
- 1 Cup Grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 1/2 Cups Tortilla Chips, crushed
- 1 1/2 Cups Monterrey Jack Cheese or Cheddar, shredded
- 1 Avocado, sliced
Combine the ranch dressing and taco seasoning in a small bowl or cruet. Add in the buttermilk until you have achieved the desired consistency. Set aside and let sit to allow the flavours to meld.
In a large skillet, add the ground beef along with the onion and garlic and saute until browned and cooked completely. Add in the taco seasoning and stir to combine well. Set aside
In a large bowl combine all of the salad ingredients. Toss to combine. Once you are ready to serve the salad, add in the meat mix .....if you decide to use my Meatless Meaty Taco Mix, add about 1 cup (any leftover will freeze very nicely). Next, you want to add in the cheese and finally top with the salad dressing. Toss to combine all of the ingredients. Evenly divide the salad among 4 plates.
The sky’s the limit on toppings, really. The Loaded Taco Salad you see pictured here has avocado, red pepper, grape tomatoes which I prefer to use as they aren’t as soggy as some tomatoes can be. There is also green onions, some chickpeas I had in the fridge. I gave the chickpeas a little dusting of cumin and chili powder before adding them into the salad for a some extra flare. Of course, there are the crushed tortilla chips as well as the taco meat mix. The dressing that you see in the picture below was a combination of ranch dressing, taco seasoning mix and buttermilk to thin it a bit. Voila! That is really all there is too this recipe. Simple, but oh so tasty and definitely filling enough for a main course meal. Here are a few more suggestions of ingredients that would go great with this salad….guacamole, salsa, jalapenos or sour cream or a combination of all three would taste fantastic as well.
I wanted to include a couple of pictures of Jessica’s exciting trip to South Africa last month where my salad bowl came from! Gorgeous, right?