A taco salad is a famous American dish that combines various ingredients used in Texas and Mexico. On the very mention of taco, we usually think of the meat filling which is used in this dish the most frequently. It is not different with the salad variety of this recipe, where meats as beef, pork, and chicken are usually used.
However, taco salad doesn’t have to include meat, and with the addition of various colorful and delicious vegetables, the vegetarians can feel free to enjoy it, and frankly, it is highly likely that even the carnivores won’t notice the lack of meat in this richness of flavors. Here are some phenomenal recipes you can try out.
Brown rice taco salad
Brown rice is a healthy ingredient packed with fiber. Combined with other delicious and healthy food in this recipe, it makes a perfect healthy lunch or dinner. So, if you are ready to start mixing them all up, here’s how to do it.
● 2 cups tortilla chips
● 1 ½ cup brown rice (long grain)
● 1 large onion (chopped)
● 4 tomatoes
● 1 cup fresh corn cornels
● 1 cup black kidney bean (canned and rinsed)
● ½ cup salsa
● 1 tsp. oregano
● 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add onion and corn. Stir until the onion gets the yellowish brown color.
3. Chop the tomato. Add it to the pan together with rice, beans and a pinch of salt.
4. Stir frequently and cook for about five minutes.
5. Combine oregano and salsa in a small bowl.
6. Leave the warm ingredients to cool off, and mix them all together.
7. Serve on a plate sprinkled with tortilla chips.
Low-fat vegetarian taco salad
This colorful veggie salad is yummy but healthy to eat as well. It is also very simple to make, and it can be stored in the refrigerator in case you have some leftovers (which is not very likely).
● 5 ounces polenta corn chips (broken)
● 15 ounces kidney beans (canned and rinsed)
● 4 ounces green chili
● 8 ounces corn (drained)
● 3 green onion (sliced)
● 2 Roma tomatoes (diced)
● 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
● ½ cup sour cream
● 5 cups mix greens (shredded)
1. Stir all the ingredients in a large bowl, except the mixed greens and chips.
2. Gently stir in the greens.
3. Layer chips on a plate and top with the mixture.
4. You can use some toping like shredded cheese or salsa.
Hot vegetarian taco salad
This one goes for the ones who love their food spicy. The jalapeno or habanero peppers (depending which ones you choose) truly add the Mexican flavor into this combination.
● 4 whole wheat tortillas
● ½ cup canned pinto beans (washed and drained)
● 6 cups shredded romaine
● 1 small tomato (chopped)
● 2 tbsp. ripe olives (sliced)
● Sliced jalapeno or habanero peppers (to taste)
For the dressing
● ½ cup sour cream (fat-free)
● 1 tsp. taco seasoning
● 2 tbsp. ranch salad dressing
● ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce
1. Place tortillas on ungreased baking sheets.
2. Bake for one minute at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. You can shape them with custard cups later to be containers for the salad.
3. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the salad.
5. Serve on top of the baked tortillas.
Crunchy taco salad
The star ingredient of this dish is chickpeas, which gives our taco salad a crispy texture, while the other ones such as avocados and tomatoes provide a soft contrast.
● 5 ounces tortilla chips
● 1 cup chickpeas (let them air dry to wick the moisture away and bake them in a preheated oven (375 degrees Fahrenheit) for five to ten minutes.
● 5 cherry tomatoes (cut on halves)
● 2 – 3 scallions (chopped)
● 1 serving of romaine (chopped)
● ½ avocado (cut in cubes)
● 1 tsp. vinaigrette
● 1 lime juice
● 1 tsp. olive oil
● 1 jalapeno pepper (chopped)
● A touch of honey
1. While the chickpeas are baking, slightly roast the tomato halves.
2. When the chickpeas are done, toss them with some spices like cumin, paprika, and cayenne.
3. Pile all the vegetable in a bowl, toss with vinaigrette, lime juice, olive oil, and honey.
4. Serve on a plate and finish with taco chips.
Vegetarian taco salad in a jar
Salads in a jar have become very popular, and not only for their cute looks, but also for their convenience. A salad packed like this can be carried to travels, camping, gym…
● 1 cup tortilla chips
● 1 Roma tomato (diced)
● ¼ cucumber (diced)
● ½ cup black beans
● ¼ cup corn
● 3 cups greens
● ¼ cup red pepper (diced)
● ¼ avocado (diced)
● 1 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese
● 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
● ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
● Juice of one lime
● 1 tsp. honey
● Pinch of salt
1. Blend the ingredients for the dressing until smooth.
2. Pour the dressing into the bottom of a mason jar.
3. Layer the ingredients in a jar in the following order: cucumber, beans, tomato, corn, red pepper, greens, avocado, and cheese.
4. Secure the lid and store in the fridge.
5. When you are ready to eat, crumble the tortilla chips on top.
Bonus: Prepare the best taco salad
Taco salad is a very simple dish that doesn’t require much effort or many different ingredients. However, the key to a perfect taco salad is choosing the finest ingredients and combining them well, when it comes to texture and taste. Since vegetarian salads don’t contain meat, it is a good idea to find some flavorful and soft ingredient to replace it. Black kidney beans usually have that task in this dish.
An essential ingredient of the taco salad is, of course, taco chips. That’s why you need to choose the best-suited chips for your salad. Tortilla chips are the most popular and usually the best choice. If you want to make your salad special, you can prepare tortilla chips by yourself by frying corn or whole wheat tortillas in a little oil or baking them in the oven. You can also use corn chips, which are thicker and crunchier than tortilla chips.
Finally, the secret to the best taco salad is balancing the soft and the crunchy ingredients. Like with the last recipe on this list, where we combined crispy chickpeas and soft avocado. You can also complement the freshness of vegetables with various cheeses, including feta (goes very well with olives), cheddar and Parmesan.
If you want to spice things up additionally, hot or sour dressings do a really good job in enriching every combination of veggies.
There you have it: Five absolutely delicious and diverse vegetarian taco salad recipes, plus everything you need to know about this type of salad in case you want to experiment with adding different ingredients or preparing different dressings. Get started with preparing your favorite recipes, and share it with your friends, everyone will love them, regardless whether they are vegetarians or not.