Beef Taco Salad
This hearty Beef Taco Salad is packed with spicy ground beef, cauliflower rice, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, avocado and a zest cilantro sauce. This Mexican salad takes just 30 minutes to make and is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal. This Paleo Taco Salad recipe is also Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Keto and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal!
This Ground Beef Taco Salad is packed with Mexican spiced ground beef, cauliflower rice, chunky tomatoes, red onion an avocado, all drizzled in a green zesty cilantro sauce. I absolutely love the flavours of this salad and can’t seem to get enough of it. You can prep everything for this salad a day in advance and quickly reheat the rice and beef before serving, or add all of the leftovers to some iceberg lettuce and wrap it up like a big burrito.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS MEXICAN BEEF TACO SALAD:
- Start to finish it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare which makes it a great dish for weeknight dinner.
- Although it’s called a salad, this is one hearty bowl of food that will satisfy even the hungriest salad hater (who will never guess it’s actually healthy!)
- It will be a hit with the whole family because everyone can assemble their own salad and skip any toppings they don’t like. When it comes to versatile meals that can easily be adapted to everyone’s preferences, this is a hard one to beat.
- It’s a great meal prep recipe, make all of the components on a Monday and you can enjoy quick and delicious taco salads for days.
- This recipe is Paleo, Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free and Dairy Free, but no one will ever know!
CAN I SKIP THE SPICES LISTED AND USE A STORE BOUGHT TACO SEASONING?
I would recommend not using store bought taco seasoning. Not only are the flavours not as good, but they also usually contains thickening agents or preservatives that are not good for you (and not allowed on Whole30 or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet).
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF MEAT?
Not a fan of beef? The ground beef can be easily swapped for ground chicken, ground turkey or ground pork! You may find that the ground turkey or chicken is slightly dry in which case I would recommend adding a touch more oil.
WHAT TYPE OF LETTUCE SHOULD I USE FOR THIS TACO SALAD?
I like using romaine or iceberg lettuce and using a knife to shred it into small pieces. I recommend using one of the two rather than a spring mix which won’t hold up to the weight of all of the toppings in this beef taco salad. Romaine and iceberg also stay crisp for longer and won’t wilt and become limp once mixed with the other ingredients in this salad. If you aren’t able to find romaine or iceberg then you could alternatively use coleslaw.
IS THIS BEEF TACO SALAD SPICY?
I would rate this salad a 6/10 in terms of spiciness but this can easily be increased or decreased depending on your tolerance for spice. To make this taco salad spicier I would recommend increasing the amount of chili powder to 1/2 teaspoon (or up to 1 teaspoon if you like a lot of spice). You could also finely chop up a jalapeno and add it to the pan to cook with the onion and garlic before adding in the ground meat. Alternatively if you do not like spice or are serving this to kids then I would not add any chili powder to the ground beef mixture.
CAN I ADD OTHER TOPPINGS?
Absolutely! While I personally love the combination of flavours in this taco salad recipe, you can add more of your favourite toppings including:
- Sour Cream
- Grated Cheese – Pepper jack cheese adds a nice kick of flavour, but you could also use sharp cheddar or a mexican blend.
- Tortilla Chips – I love Siete grain free tortilla chips (which would keep this salad Paleo) but any type of tortilla chip works. Try breaking them up into smaller pieces so you get a nice crunch in each bite.
- Black Beans – You could also use red kidney beans or pinto beans. Be sure to rinse and dry the beans before adding them to the salad (or into the ground beef mixture). If you are on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet you can use black beans which are dried and have been soaked in hot water overnight.
- Corn – you can serve it on top of the salad, or cook it in with the ground beef
- Queso – let’s be honest, everything is better with a drizzle of warm queso overtop. While store bought queso is delicious, you can find an even better queso (that is Paleo and Dairy Free) in my cookbook.
CAN I MAKE THIS BEEF TACO SALAD IN ADVANCE
You can make all of the components of this Mexican salad up to 2 days in advance including cooking the ground beef mixture and cauliflower rice. You can also make the green sauce and chop the tomatoes, red onion and jalapeno and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I do not recommend assembling the salad until right before serving. The ground beef and cauliflower rice can be reheated in a skillet on the stove, or in the microwave until warmed through.
Here are a few more Mexican inspired recipes that you might enjoy…
- Spicy Shrimp Tacos
- Barbacoa Beef
- Beef & Cauliflower Rice Mexican Casserole
- Ground Beef Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Mexican Chicken Burgers
- Roasted Cauliflower & Butternut Squash Tacos
If you make this Taco Salad recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Mexican Beef Taco Salad
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried chipotle powder
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cups cauliflower rice
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped scallions
- 1/4 red onion roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 avocado thinly sliced
- 4 cups lettuce
- 1 thinly sliced jalapeno (optional garnish)
- In a large skillet heat the oil on medium heat. Add in the diced onion, garlic and salt and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add in the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into a fine crumble.
- Cook the beef for 3 minutes before adding in the cumin, coriander, chili powder, chipotle powder and tomato paste. Continue to cook the beef until it begins to brown and then transfer it to a bowl and set aside, leaving any excess oil in the skillet.
- Add the cauliflower rice to the skillet, season with salt and leave to cook for 5 minutes until the cauliflower softens but be sure not to overcook it.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, make the sauce by combining in a blender or nutribullet the mayonnaise, lime juice, scallions and cilantro and blending until completely smooth.
- To assemble divide the lettuce between two bowls. Top each with the ground beef, cauliflower rice, chopped red onion and tomatoes, avocado and drizzle with the sauce before serving.
I made this tonight and love this! I didn’t have lettuce but made it with cabbage. The sauce is delicious also. So yummy and will definitely make again. Everything about this is great. Thank you for your recipes!
Absolutely love this salad! The meat is really tasty, I like to make extra and keep it in my freezer for quick meals. My husband who isn’t a salad guy requests this salad weekly.
I am making this for my sisters family and they don’t like onions. Can I use onion powder instead? Also, does this recipe not need salt or pepper added to the meat?