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Kalyn's Kitchen

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing has my favorite taco salad flavors and it’s perfect for low-carb eaters who are avoiding dairy!  Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one.

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Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing found on KalynsKitchen.com

Ever since I fell in love with baby kale, I’ve had fun experimenting with it in different salad combinations, and this Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing is another baby kale salad that I loved. The word Paleo in the recipe title means I think this salad will work for the Paleo or Primal way of eating. (When I told my friend Bonnie about this salad, she asked “What is Paleo?” so click that link if this is new to you as well.) Since Paleo eating fits so perfectly with my commitment to low-carb and low-glycemic foods, and quite a few of my friends are embracing it, I decided it would be nice to feature Paleo Recipes once in a while.

The recipes that I think Can Be Paleo are also collected together, for those who are interested. (I’m calling that category “Can be Paleo” because I’m including recipes that can easily be made Paleo with minor adapting. If you don’t care about Paleo eating, you could add a little grated low-fat cheese to this Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad; either way it’s delicious!)

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing found on KalynsKitchen.com

Saute a pound of ground beef in a little olive oil until it’s nicely browned, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks. Then add 2 tablespoons of Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning and a cup of water and let the meat simmer until all the liquid is evaporated. Be sure to cook until the bottom of the pan looks dry, or the salad will be soggy! Take the taco meat out of the pan and let it cool slightly in a bowl.

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing found on KalynsKitchen.com

Whisk together the 2 T lime juice, chile powder, ground cumin, Spike Seasoning or use your favorite Paleo-approved seasoning, and olive oil to make the dressing. Cut up the red pepper strips and grape tomatoes. (I thought the yellow tomatoes were pretty in the salad, but red ones would also be fine.) Drain a can of sliced olives (or use regular olive and slice by hand.) Cut up the avocado (or two avocados if desired) and toss with 1 T lime juice.

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing found on KalynsKitchen.com

Wash the baby kale in a salad spinner if needed, spin dry, and toss with the dressing. Add the red pepper strips, tomatoes, and taco meat and toss again. Then add the diced avocado and gently toss again.

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing found on KalynsKitchen.com

I saved a few avocado pieces to garnish the top of each salad. Enjoy!

More Tasty Paleo Salad Ideas:

Arugula Cucumber Salad with Lemon Dressing ~ Elana’s Pantry
Summer Tomato Salad with Avocado, Tuna, Cilantro, and Lime ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Bite-Sized Arugula Steak Tomato Salad ~ Cheeky Kitchen
Middle Eastern Tomato Salad ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Cucumber Salad with Tahini Dressing ~ Simply Recipes

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing

Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing has all my favorite taco salad flavors in an uber-nutritious salad.


Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (use lean ground beef for South Beach Diet)
  • 1-2 tsp. olive oil (as needed, for browning the beef)
  • 2 T Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning (or use your favorite commercial taco seasoning)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 oz. baby kale leaves, washed and spun dry if needed
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 can (6.5 oz.) sliced olives (or if you can’t find the large cans of sliced olives, just slice a can of regular olives)
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 1 T fresh squeezed lime juice (to toss with avocado)

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 T fresh squeezed lime juice, see notes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground chile powder, see notes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (Spike is optional, but it does add flavor. Spike is probably not Paleo so use your favorite Paleo-approved all-purpose seasoning if you prefer.)
  • 3 T olive oil


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan, crumble the ground beef into the pan and cook over medium-high heat until the beef is browned, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks. (I use an old-fashioned potato masher to break the meat apart!)
  2. When the beef is well browned, sprinkle in the Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning (or your own taco seasoning) and add the water, stir to combine, and simmer on low heat until all the liquid is evaporated, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. When the bottom of the pan is completely dry, remove the taco meat and let it cool in a bowl until it’s just slightly warm.
  4. While the beef cooks, whisk together the 2 T lime juice, ground chile powder, ground cumin, Spike Seasoning (if using, or other all-purpose seasoning), and olive oil to make the dressing.
  5. Wash the baby kale and spin dry if needed. (I like to snip off the larger stems, but it’s completely optional.) Cut the red pepper into strips and cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the avocado(s) into cubes and toss with the 1 T of lime juice.
  6. Put the kale leaves into a bowl that’s big enough to hold all the salad ingredients and toss with the dressing. Add the slightly cooled taco meat, red pepper strips, and tomato halves and toss again.
  7. Then add the avocado pieces and gently toss again. (I save a few avocado pieces to garnish each salad.) Serve right away.


I use my fresh-frozen lime juice for recipes like this. I like ground Ancho chiles but any ground chiles or even chili powder will work.

If this makes more than you can use at one meal, prepare all the ingredients, then refrigerate the ingredients separately and toss ingredients with the dressing right when you’re ready to eat. You may want to let the dressing and taco meat come to room temperature for a few minutes if it’s been refrigerated.

Recipe created by Kalyn.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This Baby Kale Taco Salad is suitable for Paleo or Whole 30 if you replace Spike with an approved seasoning and use approved ground beef. It’s also great for traditional low-carb or low-glycemic diet plans. If you use lean ground beef and limit the avocados to one, this salad would make a tasty and nutritious meal for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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    17 Comments on “Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing”

  1. Pingback: Over 30 Whole30 Recipes that Everyone Will Love | This Gal Cooks

  2. Such a beautiful salad, Kalyn! I has the perfect combination of ingredients and flavors. I'm a big fan of baby kale too, so I've got to try this recipe. Great post!

    Bill @ http://www.southernboydishes.com

  3. Sounds amazing!! My son is into paleo eating so I will have to send him here!

  4. Jeanne, that sounds good to me; so glad you liked it!

  5. I made this last night and loved it! The only changes I made were to add the pepper and some onion to the ground beef as it cooked. It was awesome!

  6. Yes, duh. Thanks for catching that, will fix right now.

  7. Making this right now – the olive oil goes in the dressing right? Smelling good in here!

  8. I am a huge kale fan and love pairing it with fresh citrus! Cannot wait to try this yummy recipe, Kalyn!

  9. Thanks Alyssa, so glad you like it!

  10. This is a perfect dish Kalyn! I love the flavors and such a great use for ground meat!

  11. Thanks Lydia! Paleo is so confusing; seems like everyone does it differently. But the most important thing is no processed food. I couldn't do it for long, no cheese!

  12. I don't know much about paleo, but I do know that this salad looks great.

  13. Thanks Pam, I loved the combination.

  14. I don't "do" paleo, but I do good recipes and this looks good!