Taco salad was one of the first “adult” meals I ever ordered in a restaurant. An all-knowing teenager, I was eager to prove to my mom that I was mature in every way, including my meal choices. Surely if I selected a dish from the salad section of the menu as I assumed other mature, responsible women did too, she would extend my curfew. Although my logic turned out to be flawed (didn’t she hear me ask for the dressing on the side?), I happily discovered that taco salad tastes absolutely delightful. Today’s Skinny Taco Salad, made with ground turkey, is my at-home version of a restaurant classic that’s easy to make and healthy too!
This post is brought to you by Old El Paso.
Skinny Taco Salad has all the fixings you’d find in your favorite taco—black beans, corn, spiced ground turkey, cheese, avocado, salsa, the works!—but is sooooo much easier to eat. Instead of attempting to cram all the good stuff into a shell that shatters the moment you take a bite, I piled the taco fixings onto a bed of crisp romaine lettuce, then showered crunchy tortilla strips over the top.
One of the elements of restaurant salads I didn’t consider when I was a teenager but am more aware of now is the fact that, despite their perception as being “healthy” options, heavy dressings and an overabundance of high-fat toppings can often make salads a poorer nutritional choice than other items on the menu. Making your own healthy taco salad at home means that you can control the ingredients and portions to make it as wholesome as you choose.
To create a lower-calorie taco salad recipe that still packed restaurant-worthy satisfaction, I used ground turkey in place of ground beef, then piled it high with flavorful but healthy toppings such as black beans and tomatoes. I went lighter on the cheese but used an extra-sharp cheddar to make sure I could still taste it in every bite.
To make a healthy taco salad dressing, I mixed together salsa and plain nonfat Greek yogurt. The yogurt tastes just like a big dollop of sour cream but without the additional calories, and it gives the Skinny Taco Salad an extra boost of protein too.
The final element of this Skinny Taco Salad is the taco “shell.” One of the secrets to making