This easy taco salad with avocado lime dressing is filling, fresh, well-balanced, and yummy. It's made with taco meat, homemade avocado lime cilantro dressing, tortilla chips, and chopped vegetables.
Make this salad for meal prep, or a macro-friendly eating style. Personally, this is one of my macro-friendly meals when tracking macros because it keeps me full, tastes delicious, and has a great carb/fat/protein split.
What You Will Love
This classic taco salad is colorful, vibrant, and full of texture. If you have leftover taco meat from taco night, this is a great way to use it!
I've played around with different spices, veggies, and dressings, and this is the best taco salad recipe that's tasty, quick, and uses a lot of fresh ingredients.
- Taco meat: I prefer lean ground beef, but you can also use ground turkey or ground chicken. Use homemade taco seasoning or store-bought taco mix packets.
- Avocado lime cilantro dressing: This salad dressing is so simple. It's made with four ingredients: ripe avocados, fresh cilantro, lime juice, salt, and water.
- Salad vegetables: Use any type of vegetables that you like. My go-to for this recipe are romaine lettuce, bell peppers, green onion, and grape tomatoes.
- Toppings (optional): This easy recipe can be doctored up with your favorite toppings. Add sour cream, cheddar cheese, pinto beans, black olives, sweet corn, hearty black beans, or whatever your heart desires.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
Steps 1, 2, 3, & 4: Wash and chop the veggies.
Steps 5, 6, & 7: Make the taco meat and avocado lime dressing.
Step 8: Assemble the taco bowl.
How To Make Step by Step
Wash the vegetables. Chop the bell pepper.
Set chopped bell pepper aside.
Rough chop the romaine lettuce.
Chop the green onions.
Cut the grape tomatoes into bite-sized chunks.
Add the lean ground meat to a large skillet on medium heat.
⭐️ Cooking tip: Personally, I don't add oil or fat when cooking meat. There's fat already in the ground beef, so cook the meat at a medium temperature for the fat content to melt out. This reduces fat content and calories. ⭐️
Brown the ground meat (about 3 to 5 minutes), breaking up the clumps. Add the taco seasoning. Mix together.
Pour some water.
Simmer the taco meat for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high heat until the meat sauce thickens up.
Set the meat aside to cool down.
In a blender, add the ripe avocados, fresh cilantro leaves, lime juice, garlic cloves (if using), a pinch of salt, and water.
Blend on high. The avocado lime dressing will be a little fluffy.
In a large bowl, add the chopped vegetables as the base. Top with the beef mixture and creamy avocado taco salad dressing. Serve with tortilla chips. I crunch mine with my hands.
Tips and Tricks
- I recommend homemade taco seasoning mix. It takes just 5 minutes to mix and you can bulk batch enough for 8 lbs of meat. There are no fillers or additives, and you can adjust it to your liking.
- Make spicy ground beef by adding some extra chili powder.
- This easy taco salad recipe is so easy to customize- just add your favorite taco ingredients and play around!
- Use leftover taco meat from lean ground turkey tacos!
Variations and Substitutions
- Substitute red onion for green onion.
- Use lean ground turkey or ground chicken instead of beef. If using very lean meat, I recommend using a tad bit of olive oil to brown the meat.
- Make your own dressing or use store-bought creamy salsa dressing.
- Pour the taco salad ingredients into a taco shell instead of using chips. Alternatively, bake some corn tortillas and use those instead of fried chips.
- Add some hot sauce or sour cream on top!
This recipe needs a blender, chef's knife, cutting board, and a large salad bowl.
This healthy taco salad recipe is an excellent meal prep option. Store the meat, avocado dressing, and vegetables in separate containers. When ready to serve this flavorful salad, reheat the taco-seasoned ground beef (separately), then assemble the salad.
The avocado lime dressing stays green- yay! Just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Taco salads can be made healthy with fresh ingredients, lean ground beef, and a creamy avocado lime dressing.
Creamy avocado lime dressing is made with ripe avocados, lime juice, fresh cilantro, salt, and water.
The best lettuce for a taco salad is crispy lettuce, like romaine hearts. Wash the lettuce leaves. Using a cutting board and chef's knife, roughly chop the lettuce into 1" chunks.
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Easy Taco Salad with Quick Avocado Lime Dressing
- 3 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning or taco seasoning packets, see note 1
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¾ cup water
Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing
- 2 large avocados
- 4 lime
- 1 cup cilantro leaves
- pinch of salt
- 1½ cup water
- 2 fresh garlic cloves optional
- 3 romaine hearts different from a whole head of lettuce, see note 3
- 2 bell peppers
- 2 green onions
- 20 grape tomatoes
- tortilla chips
- Wash and chop the lettuce, bell pepper, grape tomatoes, and green onion.
Make the Taco Meat
- In a large skillet on medium heat, add the ground beef. Cook the beef while continuously breaking up the clumps.
- Once the meat is browned, add the taco seasoning. Mix together. Add the water. Simmer the taco meat for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Make the Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing
- Wash and remove the leaves from the cilantro.
- Remove the seed from the avocado. Scoop the avocado into a blender. Squeeze the lime juice into the blender. Add water, cilantro leaves, and garlic (if using) into the blender. Blend on high until you have a fluffy mixture.
Assemble the Salad
- Add all of the veggies to a salad bowl. Top the salad with avocado lime dressing and taco meat.
- Alternatively, use store-bought taco packets. One store-bought packet is equivalent to 3 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning used for 1 lb of ground meat.
- If homemade taco seasoning doesn't have cornstarch already mixed in, I recommend using 2 teaspoon of cornstarch for every 3 tablespoons of taco mix.
- Romaine lettuce hearts are just the center of a romaine head of lettuce. They are crisp, which is why I like to use them for salads. Substitute a whole head of lettuce in lieu of 2 romaine hearts. Alternatively, use iceberg lettuce.
This is perfect for lunch or dinner! Love all the textures and how easy it is to put together for a great meal!
This salad had the perfect textures. The winner for me was the avocado dressing with lime. Loved its clean fresh flavors that really lifted the salad.
Thanks for the comment - the avocado lime is one of my faves!
This looks SO delicious, but the avocado lime sauce def stole the show!! Can't WAIT to try it out.
Thanks for the comment!
This taco salad looks and sounds fabulous. Love all the fresh ingredients and flavors.
I made this tonight using Gardein Beefless Crumbles and it came out incredibly tasty. Thanks so much.
Thank DJ, that sounds like a delicious mod!