This vegetarian Taco Salad recipe is so tasty! It’s easy and flavorful, made with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, and crisp romaine with a zesty, creamy cilantro lime dressing. Gluten-free and vegan-adaptable.

colorful and fresh taco salad in serving bowl with corn, pickled onions, beans, herbs, avocado, lime wedges, homemade tortilla strips, and cotija, with creamy cilantro lime dressing drizzled over top.

Do the earth a favor, don’t hide your magic.

Yung Pueblo

Taco salad night is always popular; crisp and crunchy textures pair with tangy, zesty flavor! This quick, easy vegetarian meal is made with crisp romaine lettuce, black beans, corn, avocado, cherry tomatoes, pickled onions, cotija cheese, and crunchy tortilla chips. A creamy cilantro lime dressing ties all the flavors together. (For a vegan option, use Creamy Avocado Dressing.)

Feel free to mix it up; use any type of beans you like, throw in more vegetables such as bell peppers and black olives, replace cotija cheese with cheddar cheese, and add salsa and sour cream if you prefer! You can also add more protein like Tofu Sofritas or Grilled Chipotle Chicken if you like.

Why You’ll Love This

  1. Quick & easy! Only 20 minutes to prep ingredients, toss in a bowl, and mix!
  2. Satisfyingly creamy dressing. The perfect texture for a salad with so much crunch!
  3. Gluten-free & vegan-adaptable. Made with nutritious, whole foods.
  4. So versatile! Get creative with your veggies and add meat if you wish! Perfect for mixed households with both plant-based and meat-eaters.

Taco Salad Ingredients

ingredients for taco salad laid out in bowls - tortilla strips, lime wedges, avocado halves, creamy cilantro lime dressing, black beans, cotija cheese, corn on the cob, sliced radish, pickled onions, sliced cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce.
  • Romaine lettuce: Simply tear for easy prepping (and it keeps it from turning brown so fast if making ahead), or chop depending on the size and texture you prefer. Romaine is ideal for Taco Salad, but other crunchy lettuce varieties like little gems, bibb lettuce, butter lettuce, Boston lettuce, or Iceberg lettuce also work.
  • Beans: We use canned black beans to save time. Feel free to sub with any type of beans! Pinto beans are another great option.
  • Vegetables: Corn(fresh or frozen), avocado, cherry or grape tomatoes, bell pepper, radishes, and pickled onions (or thinly sliced red onion or green onions).
  • Cotija cheese: Or use any cheese you prefer, such as feta, grated cheddar, Mexican cheese blend, or vegan cheese.
  • Creamy cilantro lime dressing: For a vegan alternative, use Creamy Avocado Dressing.
  • Corn tortilla chips: Use store-bought or make your own. See notes.
  • Optional toppings: Olives, fresh bell pepper or roasted poblanos, hot sauce, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, pico de gallo, or pineapple salsa.
  • Optional protein: For additional protein, add shredded chicken, tofu sofritas, Turkey Chorizo or browned ground beef.

How to Make Taco Salad

Step 1: Prepare the dressing. Follow the recipe for Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing. If you prefer to make a vegan dressing, make the Creamy Avocado Dressing.

creamy cilantro dressing in a  labeled jar.

Step 2: Make the tortilla strips. Preheat oven to 300F. Cut corn tortillas into strips and lay them out on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake until crisp, about 15 mins. *Alternatively, you can simply use store-bought tortilla chips!

making tortilla strips.

Tip: To give your tortilla strips more flavor, seasoning them with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, and Mexican oregano if desired!

Step 3: Assemble salad. Toss lettuce into a large bowl or divide among salad bowls. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, radishes, pickled onions, and cheese. Drizzle with dressing. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon.

Tip: Create a Taco Bar for Taco Night and let your family or guests build their own salads!

Step 4: Garnish. Serve Taco Salad with fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, extra dressing on the side, and tortilla strips or chips. Crush the chips over top, or let people crush their own! Serve with hot sauce for anyone who needs a bit of kick!

bowl of taco salad with tortilla strips, black beans, pickled onions, radish, lime wedges, corn, cotija cheese, and creamy cilantro lime dressing.

Protein Additions

Give this colorful, wholesome, and nutritious Taco Salad a protein boost with any of these options! These “taco meat” variations make this salad heartier, perfect for easy weeknight dinners.

FAQs

What can I serve with Taco Salad?

If turning this into a feast, serve with Mexican Papaya Salad, Mexican Corn, Cilantro Lime Rice, or Vegan Queso with chips.

Is Taco Salad healthy?

Yes! This recipe emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods. It is made with nutrient-dense and antioxidant-rich ingredients like romaine, black beans, tomatoes, radishes, onions, and avocado.

Should I serve Taco Salad warm or cold?

The Taco Salad tastes best room temp. If serving with one of the protein suggestions listed above, they can be served warm over top. It is a nice contrast with the cool, crisp lettuce! If serving a pre-assembled salad, let sit for a bit so it is not too cold.

Meal Prep

You can prepare a taco salad one day in advance. Just place all the toppings in a container with torn romaine lettuce on top. Keep it sealed in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, mix everything in a bowl, add the taco salad dressing, and serve with tortilla strips.

For meal prep, distribute the salad into individual containers, with toppings at the bottom and lettuce on top. Keep the chips in a separate package.

Storage

If planning to store leftovers, keep the dressing on the side and store separately. The salad can be assembled and saved without the dressing for 3-4 days in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

taco salad topped with black beans, corn, cherry tomatoes, avocado, lime wedges, cotija cheese, pickled red onions, radish, and homemade tortilla strips, drizzled in creamy cilantro lime dressing.

Enjoy this easy recipe and let us know what you think of it in the comments below!

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This vegetarian Taco Salad recipe is so tasty! It's easy and flavorful, made with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, and crisp romaine with a zesty, creamy cilantro lime dressing. Gluten-free and vegan-adaptable.

Healthy Taco Salad Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 25
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: salad, dinner,
  • Method: Tossed
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This easy taco salad recipe is so tasty! It’s healthy and flavorful, made with black beans, tomatoes, avocado, and crisp romaine with a zesty, creamy cilantro lime dressing. Gluten-free and vegan-adaptable.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn or chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 14-ounce can black beans, drain and rinse
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pickled onions or use red onion or green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese (or cheese of choice; feta, grated cheddar, vegan cheese)
  • Creamy cilantro lime dressing or vegan Creamy Avocado Dressing
  • corn tortilla chips or make your own (see notes)

Optional toppings: olives, fresh bell pepper or roasted poblanos, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, pico de Gallo, pineapple salsa, or hot sauce.


Instructions

  1. Make the dressing and tortilla strips (if going for homemade- see notes) 
  2. Put lettuce into a large bowl (or make individual taco salad bowls) top with beans, corn, tomatoes, radishes, pickled onions, and cheese. Drizzle with dressing.
  3. Serve with lime wedges, fresh cilantro, extra dressing on the side, and tortilla strips or chips (crushed or let people crush their own).

Notes

For the tastiest tortilla strips, spray strips of fresh corn tortillas with olive oil spray and a sprinkle of salt, and bake in a 300 F oven on a parchment-lined sheet pan until crisp.

Add protein: Vegan ChorizoEasy Tofu Sofritas, How to make Chorizo!Grilled Chipotle Chicken, Baked Tofu, homemade taco seasoning sauteed with lean ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken.

Prep ahead: You can prepare a taco salad one day in advance. Just place all the toppings (except tortilla chips) in a container with torn romaine lettuce on top. Keep it sealed in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, mix everything in a bowl, add the taco salad dressing, and serve with tortilla strips.

For meal prep, distribute the salad into individual containers, with toppings at the bottom and lettuce on top. Keep the chips in a separate package.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 medium bowl (excluding the dressing and chips)
  • Calories: 278
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 616.5 mg
  • Fat: 9.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.8 g
  • Fiber: 15.7 g
  • Protein: 15.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.2 mg

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Comments

  1. SO GOOD!!!
    Made this for dinner for a girlfriend and she loved it and we booth agreed we could eat it every day!
    Ditto for the homemade chips! And so easy. Most of the salad ingredients I picked fresh from my garden!






  2. Delicious, easy, fast! Perfect make ahead for week lunches to bring to work. It’s a keeper 👍👍👍

  3. Totally delicious! The dressing was perfect, I added a whole jalapeno because we like it spicy and also adde some grilled chicken thighs for protein to the salad. Super tasty!






  4. I loved this salad.. added some chicken ( for hubby 🤣) also more corn and avocado. The creamy cilantro dressing is super delicious.. thanks… hope my leftovers will be as delicious. Judy

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