Green Chile Turkey Taco Salad
This Green Chile Turkey Taco Salad has turkey seasoned with green chile salsa, and there’s green chile flavor in the dressing too. And with all that good green chile flavor you won’t miss the cheese in this dairy-free and Paleo taco salad!
I’m a big fan of taco salad, and when my niece and cooking assistant Kara was doing the Whole 30 challenge, I thought it would be fun to come up with a taco salad that’s dairy free. I also wanted a taco salad that didn’t have beef because I already have a great recipe for Perfect Low-Carb Taco Salad with beef and cheese.
This delicious Green Chile Turkey Taco Salad is the combination we came up with, and if you like the flavor of slightly-spicy green chiles I bet you’re going to love this salad! Simmering the meat with green chile salsa and seasonings and then using a little of the same salsa to add flavor to the dressing gives this salad a lot of savory chile flavor with just a little heat.
Kara and I both loved the flavor of this turkey taco meat mixture, and if you have family members who don’t want salad the turkey mixture would be delicious inside tortillas for regular tacos as well!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- ground turkey
- olive oil
- green chile salsa
- fresh-squeezed lime juice (I would use my fresh-frozen lime juice)
- ground cumin (affiliate link)
- diced green chiles (affiliate link)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- romaine lettuce
- green bell pepper
- red bell pepper
- Poblano pepper
- chopped cilantro (optional)
What are Green Chiles?
Green chiles are not jalapenos! Instead they’re a milder type of green chile pepper variety that includes Anaheim chiles and a famous green chile variety called Hatch Chiles which are grown near Hatch, New Mexico. Green chiles are often made into green chile salsa, and most green chile salsas are fairly low in carbs.
Why is this salad good for Weekend Food Prep?
This recipe makes six servings, so it’s perfect to make on the weekend and enjoy taco salad a few times during the week. I would prepare the taco meat, dressing, chopped lettuce, chopped peppers, and chopped cilantro (if using) and store in containers in the fridge. Then chop up some avocado when you want to eat leftovers, toss ingredients together, and enjoy!
How to make Green Chile Turkey Taco Salad:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe, including nutritional information.
- If you want your salad to be Whole 30 or Paleo friendly, be sure to find a green chile salsa without added sugar. I found the one in this photo at my local Smith’s MarketPlace (Kroger) and the ingredients are green chiles, onions, garlic, and salt.
- Brown the ground turkey well. Most ground turkey will release some water, so cook it until that’s completely evaporated.
- Then add the green chile salsa, lime juice, canned green chiles, ground cumin (affiliate link), and a little salt and pepper and simmer on low until all the liquid has evaporated.
- Continue to cook until all the liquid has been absorbed into the meat or evaporated.
- While the meat simmers, pulse together green chile salsa, lime juice, cumin, chopped cilantro, salt, and olive oil to make the dressing. (You can use a food processor but I used the bowl attachment of my Immersion Blender (affiliate link) to make the dressing. You could also finely chop the cilantro and whisk the dressing ingredients together by hand.)
- Slice the green and red bell pepper into strips and finely chop half of a Poblano chile (sometimes called Pasilla peppers in U.S. grocery stores.)
- Cut up avocado and toss with lime juice.
- Toss together the Romaine lettuce, red and green bell pepper strips, diced Poblano, and chopped cilantro (if using).
- Add enough dressing to moisten the greens and vegetables. Arrange the greens mixture on individual plates, top with desired amount of the meat mixture, and garnish with chopped avocado.
- I promise with all the green chile flavor in this salad, you won’t miss the cheese!
More Taco Salads to Enjoy:
Turkey Mixture Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup green chile salsa (see notes)
- 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (See Notes)
- 1 T ground cumin
- one 4 oz. can diced green chiles
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup green chile salsa (see notes)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (see notes)
- 2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 small Poblano pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro (see notes)
- 2 avocados
- 1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
- Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan; add the ground turkey and break apart with a turner as it cooks.
- Cook the meat over medium-high heat until any released liquid has evaporated and the meat is starting to lightly brown, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the green chile salsa, lime juice, ground cumin, diced green chiles from a can, and a little salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- Let the mixture simmer on low while you prep the other ingredients, stirring occasionally.
- To make the dressing add green chile salsa, finely chopped cilantro (or green onion if you’re not a cilantro fan), lime juice, ground cumin, and salt to food processor or the bowl attachment of an Immersion Blender (affiliate link) and process until the cilantro is well chopped. (You could chop the cilantro very finely by hand if you don’t have a food processor or immersion blender.)
- Add the olive oil and buzz until it’s blended with the other ingredients.
- Coarsely chop the romaine lettuce, wash in a salad spinner, and spin dry. (You can also wash the lettuce in a colander, drain well, and pat dry with paper towels if you don’t have a salad spinner.)
- Cut away the stem and seeds part of the green and red bell pepper and cut the peppers into short thin strips.
- Cut the Poblano chile in half, discard the stem and seeds and finely chop the Poblano.
- Chop the cilantro (or slice green onions if you’re not using cilantro.)
- Chop the avocado and toss with the 1 T lime juice.
- When all the liquid has cooked down in the meat mixture, assemble the salad.
- Combine the chopped romaine, green pepper strips, red pepper strips, chopped Poblano, and cilantro (or green onion) in a salad bowl and toss with the desired amount of dressing.
- Arrange the lettuce mixture on individual serving plates, top with a generous amount of the meat mixture, drizzle over a little more dressing if desired, and top with diced avocado.
If you want this salad to be low in carbs or suitable for the Paleo or Whole 30 diets, be sure to choose green chile salsa without added sugar. There are many good brands.
Cilantro is optional but recommended, use sliced green onion if you’re not a cilantro fan.
I used my fresh-frozen lime juice for this recipe.
This recipe created by Kalyn, with suggestions and tasting help from Kara.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 579Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 8.3gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 504mgCarbohydrates: 18.8gFiber: 9.5gSugar: 8gProtein: 33g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Every ingredient in this Green Chile Turkey Taco Salad is suitable low-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets. The salad will also work for all phases of the original South Beach Diet! The salad does have some carbs but there is quite a bit of fiber; if you want a lower-carb version use half the amount of peppers and avocado.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.