This easy, healthy taco salad is made with ground beef, mushrooms, spices like cumin, oregano, and basil, and fresh lettuce for a quick weeknight dinner that is anti-inflammatory and delicious! This is my go-to recipe because it’s so easy and everybody loves it! I kept this recipe very simple both for simplicity and also for health reasons. There are no refined carbs like chips or rice. This meal is packed with healthy vegetables that will increase your fiber and phytonutrients as well as healthy protein from the ground beef.
This keto and paleo meal is a favorite in our house. For a while there it was making an appearance every week because by Thursday I couldn’t think of anything to make, and taco salad is always easy and delicious! It’s something I can guarantee both my husband and myself will enjoy!
I decided to keep this salad really really simple. The taco meat is made without any store-bought taco seasonings to eliminate unnecessary added sugars and chemicals. But trust, me you won’t even realize it’s missing because the combination of just a few spices is enough to do the trick! If you’ve got oregano, cumin, and basil, you can definitely make a delicious taco salad! Besides the taco meat, it’s really just lettuce and whatever other toppings you like. Our toppings include things like: tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and occasionally I’ll saute some bell peppers and onions. Drizzle some olive or avocado oil on top with some salt, or a dash of ranch (because ranch makes everything better!).
Are taco salads good for you?
It really depends on how you make it. You could make a taco salad with white rice, tortilla chips, store-bought taco seasoning, etc. and it’s definitely not as healthy of a salad as it could be. The taco salad I make is super simple, made with only whole, unrefined food ingredients.
- Homemade taco seasoning: to keep this taco salad healthy, I eliminated any store-bought taco seasoning. Not only does this make it healthier, but it also is cheaper. All you need is a few spices from your spice cabinet and your set! No need for seasonings made with chemicals and added sugars. Food companies make these seasonings taste as good as they do because they want you to come back and buy more. We’re eliminating these addictive, inflammatory ingredients though, and opting for natural seasonings like basil, cumin, oregano, and cayenne.
- Lots of veggies: I love including mushrooms in my taco meat because a) if you chop them up small enough, nobody notices that they’re even there. I’m always a fan of sneaky veggies! Besides that, you’ve got lettuce, tomatoes, avocadoes, and any other veggies you want on your salad. Rather than thinking of taco salad as a tortilla-based, rice and bean-filled salad, reimagine your taco salad as a veggie salad with delicious taco meat on top! This will help reduce inflammation and boost the vitamin and mineral content of the salad.
- No refined carbs: as I mentioned above, you’ll notice there aren’t any tortillas, rice, chips, etc in this taco salad. These refined carbs often cause our blood sugar levels to spike upward taking us out of homeostasis, and if eaten too much can lead to insulin resistance. Instead of getting a carb crash from your blood sugar levels dropping suddenly, you’ll be energized by this nutrient-dense, low-glycemic taco salad!
- Bonus: to make this salad even healthier, I recommend buying grass-fed beef when possible. This will eliminate antibiotics and added hormones. I also recommend buying quality cheese. Our favorite brand is Kerrygold. We buy a brick of it at Costco for just $7! Their cheese isn’t colored at all and is aged, giving it a really delicious taste!
How to make taco salad:
This is probably one of the easiest recipes to make.
First, chop up the onion and mushrooms.
Drizzle some oil in a pan and once heated, saute the onion and mushrooms until fragrant.
Add the ground beef and let cook, stirring occasionally.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the salad and toppings: chop the lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado.
If you want to add sauteed onions and bell peppers, simply cut them into strips and saute until tender.
Add a little bit of this, and a little bit of that and your set!
Easy Healthy Taco Salad
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms chopped finely
- 6 oz ground beef
- 1½ tsp cumin
- ¾ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp basil
- dash cayenne
- salt to taste
- Romaine lettuce
- Toppings: tomatoes, avocados, sour cream, cheese, bell peppers, salsa, etc
- Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the onion and mushrooms and saute until the onions are fragrant and translucent.
- Add the ground beef.
- When the beef is nearly cooked through, add the spices, and mix everything together.
- Create your salad with lettuce, taco meat, tomatoes, avocado, and any other toppings you want.