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Ground Turkey Taco Salad is a colorful, healthy, main course salad. It’s full of crisp lettuce, and topped with a zesty ground turkey and bean mixture and all of your favorite taco toppings.
This taco salad recipe is another one of those that I’ve been making for years. The meat topping is based off of my favorite chili recipe and is absolutely delicious. It comes together fast; just prep the ingredients and set up a build your own taco salad bar for your family or your party crowd!
Ground Turkey Taco Salad
I’ve recently stopped buying red meat for the most part. I really love ground beef, but it’s just so much better for us to eat ground turkey instead. I put it in spaghetti sauce, turkey chili, tacos. And in this taco salad. It’s so good I can’t stand it! I guarantee your family will love it just as much as mine does.
Taco Salad is such an easy meal to make. You can control the amount you prepare based on the number of people you’re feeding. Set out all of the ingredients and topping and let your family, or your guests, go to town!
Why we love it
- Easy to customize, so it’s perfect for picky palates.
- Super kid friendly; kids can make their own salad.
- Using lean ground turkey makes it healthier than ground beef but it’s easy to swap out.
How to Make Taco Salad
- Start with cooking the ground turkey in a large skillet with a little garlic. I always salt the turkey first, but depending on your tastes, this step is optional. A note about the turkey – make sure you buy the LEAN ground turkey. Otherwise it’s usually made from dark meat which isn’t going to save you that much on the fat.
- Next add a can of chili beans and a 16 oz container of your favorite salsa, about two cups worth.
- Stir it up, bring it to a boil and lower the heat to simmer for about ten minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in a small can of corn. The corn is optional; I like the texture and the sweetness it adds. If you want to amp up the heat factor, feel free to add chili powder, chopped jalapenos or red chili flakes.
- Let the mixture rest for a bit and thicken up while you chop up the ingredients for your salad. You don’t want that meat piping hot, but warm.
- I love a little crunch on my salad, so sometimes while the meat is cooking, I’ll chop up some tortillas and drizzle them with olive oil and salt before tossing them in the oven. They just need 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch them closely if you choose this option.
- Layer up your salad, top with your favorite toppings – I use fresh shredded cheddar and jack cheeses, tomatoes and fat free sour cream. You could also add a dressing of your choice.
Making a taco salad is all about personal taste. There are tons of ingredients that you can add to your salad. I usually put out what we have on hand, which can vary every time.
- Sliced jalapenos
- Sliced olives
- Green onions
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Best Guacamole
- Authentic Mexican Rice
You can also set out some favorite salad dressings. I like to make my own using 1 part Ranch dressing, 1 part sour cream and 1 part salsa. It makes a slightly spicy, totally creamy dressing that even my ranch-hating husband can get behind.
What to do with leftovers
Your turkey taco salad ingredients will be great for meal prep. Keep the meat separated in the container until ready to eat. It’s delicious cold or hot. It’s also great in burrito bowls or tacos. Store the leftover taco meat in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days.
Easily swap ground turkey for beef
Doesn’t that look amazing?? It’s a pretty good for you meal too! We love using turkey as a swap for beef in lots of meals, especially Turkey and Black Bean Baked Tacos, Turkey Burgers and Turkey Meatball Subs.
For more great Mexican recipes, try these:
- One Pan Mexican Chicken and Rice
- Jalapeno Cheddar Pinwheels
- Homemade Refried Beans
- Slow Cooker Red Chile Beef
- Mexican Sopes Recipe
Healthy & Easy Taco Salad
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 15 ounces can chili beans undrained
- 2 cups salsa
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- salt to taste
- 8 ounces canned corn drained
For the salad:
- 12 cups lettuce washed and chopped
- optional toppings: salsa, sour cream, cilantro, olives, jalapenos, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, avocado
For the optional tortilla strips:
- 2 small flour tortillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Season ground turkey with salt. In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook turkey with a tablespoon of garlic until no longer pink, break up meat into small crumbles as you go.
- Add chili beans (do not drain) and 2 cups of salsa and corn. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Uncover and let sit for a few minutes to thicken and cool slightly.
- Layer salad ingredients – lettuce, then meat, and then toppings of your choice. Toss and enjoy!
Tortilla strips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees for the tortillas. Stack three tortillas and slice in half, then cross-wise into thin strips. Scatter in a single layer on a foil lined cookie sheet and drizzle with a tablespoon (or less) of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until nice and crispy.