We love taco salad any time of the year, and this taco salad has plenty of hearty fixings to satisfy even the hungriest of appetites! Made with a virtual rainbow of veggies along with seasoned ground meat, beans, cheese, and crushed tortilla chips all tossed in lime-salsa vinaigrette, you will feel like you had a full 4-course meal! Serve with warm flour tortillas on the side (or you can even make wraps out of it). And, please, don’t forget the margaritas!
From the garden: tomatillos, jicama, cilantro, tomatoes, poblano peppers, corn, avocados + lettuce. From the pantry: kidney beans + tortilla chips + taco seasoning. Grated cheese + taco-seasoned ground turkey. I like to use ground turkey, but chicken, beef, or bison all work great in this recipe. Everything can be prepped ahead of time and tossed at the last minute to put dinner on the table in minutes for a quick mid-week meal. But, don’t get me wrong, it’s also worthy of a dinner party and we’ve served it to many guests over the years. We usually make ours in the biggest salad bowl we can find, because everyone will be back for seconds, thirds, and sometimes fourths!
If you have a victory garden growing in your backyard, you can roll with this salad during the summer too, when lighter dinners are great to have! But any time of year it’s fun to make hearty salads for dinner once or twice a week. They are easy to prepare ahead of time so when you get back from work or fun weekend activities they are ready to go.
Turkey Taco Salad
- 1 head Romaine cleaned and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves cleaned and removed from stems
- 1 red bell pepper stem, and seeds removed and chopped
- 1 Anaheim chili stem and seeds removed and chopped
- 1 poblano pepper stem, and seeds removed and chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper stem, and seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1 large tomatillo chopped
- 20 cherry tomatoes halved or larger ripe tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 small jicama or about 1/2 cup chopped
- 1 cup of corn preferably fresh from two ears of corn that have been barbecued ahead of time
- 1 large avocado cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 can dark red kidney beans drained
- 1 pound ground turkey or beef, cooked according to directions below
- 1 taco seasoning packet Lawry’s, McCormick, or other
- 2 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup grated sharp white or yellow cheddar
- 2 cups Doritos Nacho Cheese tortilla chips slightly crushed
- 1 recipe Lime-Salsa Dressing below
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 2 teaspoons your favorite hot sauce
- S&P to taste
- Heat oil in a frying pan and add ground turkey.Sprinkle taco seasoning packet over the top.Add water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often. (If possible mash the ground turkey with the Kitchen Queen Meat Chopper. This is a purchase you will never regret!)Once completely cooked, remove from heat and cool.Refrigerate until ready to use. Can also be made ahead and frozen for several months.
- Spread two ears of corn with canola oil. Season to taste with Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper.Barbecue corn over medium-low heat for 8 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes to distribute cooking evenly.Remove from grill and cool. When cooled to room temp, cut corn off cobs and set aside.
- When ready to serve, place all ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss with Salsa Lime Vinaigrette (recipe below).Serve with fresh flour tortillas.
- Place all ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid and shake well.Refrigerate until ready to use.Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before tossing salad, to allow the oil to come to room temperature.