Kalyn’s Perfect Taco Salad
Kalyn’s Perfect Taco Salad is something I make over and over; this salad is so simple and good! And my taco salad is also low-carb, Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Kalyn’s Perfect Taco Salad is one of my standby lunches, and this favorite taco salad is something I could eat nearly every day for weeks before I’d get tired of it. Of course everyone who likes taco salads has their own taco salad preferences, and I’m pretty emphatic about mine.Chips aren’t even something I think of any more when someone says taco salad, but don’t try taking away my ranch dressing! I also like to use a seasoned mixture of lean ground beef and black beans, simmered together with some cumin, chile powder, and ground chipotle chile powder (or use Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning mix).
I make a double or triple batch of the meat/bean mixture and keep it in the freezer, so I can get that taco salad fix whenever I need it. And Kalyn’s Perfect Taco Salad is always on the menu at my house whenever I’m doing phase one or focusing on more carb-conscious eating for a few weeks. You can leave out the black beans if you want even lower carbs, or use the Slow Cooker Browns-in-the-Crockpot Spicy Ground Beef if you’d like a taco salad meat that’s a little spicier and doesn’t have beans. But if you like taco salad, try my Perfect Taco Salad and see if it seems like a perfect lunch to you.
(Kalyn’s Perfect Taco Salad was updated with better photos, April 2015.)
Brown the ground beef until it’s nicely browned, then add the seasonings and cook a few minutes more. When the meat is well browned, add black beans, Spike Seasoning, chile powder, cumin, and chipotle chile powder with two cups water. Let simmer until nearly all the water has evaporated.
Wash and spin dry lettuce of your choice (I like romaine for this.) Mix the lettuce with 2-3 T ranch dressing or dressing of your choice. Add desired amount of the meat/bean mixture and diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes and gently combine, then sprinkle grated cheese over the top of the salad. Just delicious!
When I used to teach school, this Perfect Taco Salad was something I’d take for lunch several days a week!
More Taco Salads and Bowls:
Green Chile Turkey Taco Salad with Peppers and Avocado ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Avocado Chicken Taco Salad ~ Living Locurto
Baby Kale Paleo Taco Salad with Chili-Lime Dressing ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Chicken Taco Salad ~ Comfortably Domestic
Spaghetti Squash Low-Carb Taco Bowl ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
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!
Kalyn’s Perfect Taco Salad
(Makes enough meat/bean mixture for 4-5 salads. I recommend doubling the amount of meat/beans and freezing it so you can have taco salads in your future!)
Ingredients for meat/bean mixture:
1 lb. low fat ground beef (less than 10% fat)
1-2 tsp. olive oil (to saute ground beef, use more or less oil depending on your pan)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (can use kidney beans or small red beans)
1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional but good)
1 T chile powder (New Mexico chile powder preferred, this is a very mild ground red chile powder)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle chile peppers (or use any other type of hot chile powder or chili sauce)
(You can also substitute 2 T Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning for the spices used here.)
2 cups water
Ingredients for each salad (this makes a large, whole meal salad):
3 cups romaine lettuce, torn, washed, and spun dry
3 T ranch dressing (I make the dressing from Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix that’s combined with buttermilk and light mayo)
3/4 cup meat/bean mixture (or more)
1 cup diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (if using large tomatoes, drain them in a colander after chopping)
handful of black olives, cut in half
1/4 cup grated cheese, more or less to taste (I use low-fat four cheese Mexican blend)
Dump the can of black beans into a colander in the sink, then rinse with cold water until no more foam appears. (This removes some of the undigestible carbohydrates that can make beans hard to digest.) Let drain while you cook meat.
Heat olive oil in large heavy frying pan, then add ground beef, breaking apart with your fingers as you add to the pan. Cook beef over medium high heat until well browned, breaking apart with metal turner as it cooks.When beef is browned, add rinsed beans, Spike Seasoning, chile powder, cumin, Chipotle chile powder, and water and simmer until nearly all water is evaporated. Let cool slightly before using on salad. (This can be made ahead and frozen. To use after freezing, thaw and then reheat for a couple of minutes in a microwave.)
To assemble salad, put lettuce in large plastic bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing. Add slightly warm beef/bean mixture and diced tomatoes and olives and gently toss. Arrange on serving plate and sprinkle with grated cheese.The meat/bean mixture freezes very well, so I highly recommend making a double or triple batch of this if you have the freezer space. And if you come to my house, this is something I will always have in the freezer!
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
All the ingredients here are low-carb and low on the glycemic index, so this could be eaten for any phase of the South Beach Diet. However, for South Beach it’s best to use low-fat ground beef, low-fat cheese, and a dressing without too much fat, because the combined fat in the meat, cheese, olives, and mayonnaise could make it a pretty high-fat salad. For other low-carb diet plans, you’ll want to omit the beans, and probably won’t care about the amount of fat.
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.
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.