If you're craving Mexican food, taco salad is the BEST, healthy dinner or lunch idea. Seasoned shredded chicken mixed with black beans and onions atop a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce, yum! Add your favorite toppings like cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo salsa and avocado slices. This delicious meal is full of flavor, so easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes.
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I especially love making this healthy taco salad recipe in summer time. It's an easy way to help beat the heat. When the weather is scorching, a refreshing salad is totally perfect for Taco Tuesday!
You know what else in fantastic on a hot day? An icy cold, Classic Skinny Margarita. And of course, this delicious adult beverage pairs perfectly with a yummy taco salad.
Salad Ingredients & Substitutions
- Extra virgin olive oil: to sauté onions!
- Onion: white or yellow will both work.
- Black beans: pinto beans are a great substitute. You can also mix the two!
- Shredded chicken: I generally have shredded chicken in the freezer. I like to cook in in bulk when I have extra time and store it for later use. You can also buy pre-shredded chicken at the grocery store (it's normally around the deli) or shred a rotisserie chicken.
- Chopped cilantro for fresh flavor and color!
- Taco seasoning: use your favorite brand. If gluten is an issue for you, be sure to select one that is explicitly marked gluten free (many are not). You can also make your own taco seasoning.
- Greens: roughly chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce.
- Optional: add all of your favorite taco toppings like avocado slices, healthy queso, guacamole, poblano sauce, pico salsa, Baja sauce, red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives, chopped green onions.
How To Make Taco Salad
Keep scrolling for complete recipe and measurements. We'll start here with a quick rundown!
- Measure olive oil into a large skillet on the stovetop and turn heat to medium heat. Dice onion, add to pan and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add shredded chicken, black beans, taco seasoning and a little bit of water. Stir until ingredients are well combined and allow to heat through.
- Lay a bed of roughly chopped, fresh lettuce on the bottom of a large bowl or plate.
- Add taco meat, a dollop of sour cream, cheese, avocado, salsa and any other desired toppings!
- Serve your delicious salad with tortilla chips (optional but delicious). Enjoy!
- Taco Salad Dressing: You don't really need an official dressing for this taco salad. Pico de gallo salsa and sour cream will add lots of flavor. If you want to add some sort of dressing, I'd recommend mixing regular red salsa and sour cream together and drizzling it over your bowl. Baja sauce is another delicious option.
- Protein: If you're not in the mood for chicken, you can make turkey or ground beef taco salad instead! Simply add meat to sautéed onions and brown thoroughly. Then prepare salad as otherwise directed. You can also substitute shredded beef for chicken. Whatever best fits your personal preference!
More Mexican Recipes
- Beef Taco Stuffed Peppers
- Easy Shredded Beef Tostadas
- Blackened Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos
- Low Carb Taco Casserole
- Creamy Taco Soup
- Chicken Enchiladas With White Sauce
- Spicy Chicken Tinga Enchiladas
- The BEST Shredded Beef Enchiladas
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Shredded Chicken Taco Salad Recipe
- 5 large serving bowls or plates.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion *white or yellow *diced
- 1 can black beans *drained & rinsed
- 4 cups shredded chicken *about 1 & ½ lbs or 24 ounces *see note below
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ⅔ cup gluten free taco seasoning *see note below
- ⅔ cup water
- 4 cups chopped lettuce *Iceberg or romaine
- avocado slices, guacamole, pico salsa, Baja sauce, red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, cherry tomatoes, black olives, chopped green onions.
Recipe notes:Shredded chicken: Buy pre-shredded chicken at the grocery store or make your own. I’ve started making shredded chicken in bulk on the weekend and freezing it in 2 cup portions to use in weeknight cooking. You can also use a rotisserie chicken! Taco seasoning: You can buy taco-seasoning mix at the store, but if gluten is an issue for you, make sure you find a brand that is specified as gluten-free (many are not). To avoid additives & gluten, you can also make your own taco seasoning at home. It's a typically a simple blend of spices like cumin, chili powder, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper!
- Measure olive oil into a skillet. Place it on the stove top and turn heat to medium.
- While oil heats, dice onion & chop cilantro. Set cilantro aside. Add onion to the pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes.
- Drain and rinse your black beans. Add them to the pan along with shredded chicken, chopped cilantro, taco seasonings and water. Mix until all ingredients are well combined and allow to heat thoroughly.
- Roughly chop greens and lay a bed of lettuce in each serving bowl.
- Add meat mixture and any desired toppings.
- Serve with crispy tortilla chips (optional but delicious). Enjoy!
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