My Month of Salads - Taco Salad

OMG!  This is so good!  It isn't totally fat free but at least you know what you are eating and it isn't nearly as high-cal as it would be if you ate out.  The dressing is so good.

Taco salad is nothing new but I don't have kids.  I don't eat taco salad!  But I found this great kit for making taco bowls at the grocer.  I have never actually looked for them so perhaps they are in all of the stores.  But I thought they were kinda neat.

Layered Taco Salad                         Serves 6
For dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
For beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles (including seeds), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For salad
  • 1 (1/2-lb) firm-ripe California avocado
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced (8 cups)
  • 1 large tomato (1/2 lb), chopped
  • 1/4 lb coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 (15- to 19-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (6-oz) can sliced pitted California black olives, drained
  • taco shell bowls
Make dressing:
Whisk together lime juice, cilantro, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper, then add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.
Cook beef:
Cook onion, garlic, chiles to taste, chili powder, and cumin in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is well softened, about 6 minutes. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up lumps, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes, then spoon off any excess fat from skillet.
Add tomato sauce, salt, and pepper to beef and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Assemble salad:
Peel and pit avocado, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Spread lettuce over bottom taco bowl. Spoon beef mixture evenly over lettuce and continue making layers with tomatoes, cheese, beans, avocado, and olives. Drizzle dressing over salad. 


  1. My taco salad has a creamy dressing that I'm not too crazy about. This sounds wonderful!

  2. Like I said, I have rarely eaten taco salad and never at home. But this dressing has made a convert of me, even if I don't feel like making the taco bowls.

  3. Can't wait to see what you do for Thanksgiving.

  4. You mean, as in, a salad! Well, I guess it will depend if I get an invite out. Then it will hopefully be turkey with salads! If not, I do have one idea. It will be a surprise! I'll make my Thanksgiving salad on a different day then so I can still make it.


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