Easy Taco Salad
This Taco Salad is my favorite meal over the past month -- super flexible and it has loads of flavor! The avocado dressing is the key so don't skip that part!
- 1 large head Iceberg lettuce (or 2 smaller ones)
- 1 head Romaine lettuce
- 2-3 cups crispy tortilla strips
- 1 can corn (drained and rinsed)
- 2 plum tomatoes
- 1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used Queso Fresco)
- freshly chopped cilantro
For the Avocado Dressing:
- 2 avocados
- 10-12 sprigs cilantro (approx. 1/2 cup chopped)
- 1/2 garlic clove
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 cup water (plus more if necessary)
For the Spicy Ground Beef:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 chipotles in adobo
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon chile powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- freshly cracked black pepper
- splash of water
For the Avocado Dressing, add the following ingredients to a blender or food processor: the flesh of 2 avocados, 10-12 rinsed cilantro sprigs, 1/2 peeled garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup water, juice of 2 limes. Combine well and take a taste, adding more lime and cilantro if you want. If it won't combine readily simply add another splash of water. Cover and keep cool until you need it.
I baked corn tortillas for this batch, but feel free to use tortilla chips, fried corn tortillas, or crumbled taco shells. To bake corn tortillas, spread a thin layer of oil on each side of the tortillas and bake for 8-9 minutes in a 350F oven. I usually flip them after the first 4 minutes and then take a peek after another 4 minutes. Keep in mind that you'll have the best success with thin tortillas as thicker tortillas won't crisp up as readily. More on baking corn tortillas.
I used Iceberg and Romaine for this batch, but there is leeway on the lettuce type. Be sure to give the lettuce a good rinse and drain it well, then chopping it up into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Keep cool until you need it.
For the Spicy Ground Beef, start by cooking 1/2 finely chopped onion in some oil over medium heat. Once softened, add the ground beef and cook until browned. Once browned you can drain off some fat if you want, then adding 2 minced garlic cloves. Give the garlic a quick saute for 30 seconds or so and then add the remaining ingredients: 3 minced chipotles in adobo, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the can, 1 teaspoon chile powder (optional), 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, freshly cracked black pepper, and a splash of water. Combine well and once heated through take a final taste for seasoning. I added another pinch of salt and Mexican oregano to this batch. Set aside and cover.
Finish prepping any other fixings you'd like to serve up in your salad. I crumbled up some Queso Fresco, drained and rinsed a can of corn, and diced up some plum tomatoes.
To serve, I prefer adding the fixings on top of a bed of lettuce in a smaller bowl so that you don't have to intermix everything before chowing down. For bigger groups I would consider lining up an impromptu salad bar so people can build their own masterpieces. This helps keep distinct temperatures and textures in the salad and I think it tastes best that way.
As written this recipe is enough for 4 people. Feel free to double or triple for larger groups.
I think it's best to keep the fixings separate for as long as possible instead of intermixing everything. This helps keep distinct temperatures and textures in the salad.
I usually twist off and discard the bottom, thicker portions of the cilantro stems, but use the upper stems that hold the leaves together.
I'm in the habit of cutting off the stems and scraping out the seeds of the chipotles. More info on working with chipotles in adobo.
Calories: 846kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 2085mg | Potassium: 1802mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 16005IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 299mg | Iron: 6mg