Taco Salad with Turkey and Crispy Tortillas

One of my favourite meal planning hacks is to have a roster of “house recipes” at the ready. These are the recipes that you make again and again. They are easy. They are healthy. They are delicious. They please everybody in the house.

This taco salad is one of our house recipes. Not only does it hit all the points above, but it is also made up of staple ingredients I almost always have in the house and it is versatile.

I’ve made this with chicken instead of turkey; other times I have omitted the meat entirely. The dressing is just as tasty with yogurt as it is with my favourite good mayo. In the winter defrost a little frozen corn and it’s suddenly summer. No jalapeno? A pinch of dried chili flakes will work too. And if you really want tacos instead of salad, I’ve put all of these components into a corn tortilla for delicious results.

It’s no wonder this winds up on our meal plan every few weeks (sometimes more)! Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you – once you’re organized the salad comes together very quickly. The dressing keeps well in the fridge and the meat freezes really well, so if you’re on the ball you can even prepare half of it ahead of time.

What are your house recipes? I’d love to know!

Taco Salad with Turkey and Crispy Tortillas
Evolved from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Mexican Chopped Salad in It’s All Good
Serves 4 (with leftover turkey)

Use any kind of ground meat you have on hand – I’ve used chicken, turkey and beef and have been happy with all three. Or don’t use meat at all if you’re going for some plant-based vibes. The tortillas are also totally optional but add a nice crunch! Sometimes I’ve thrown a few handfuls of tortilla chips on the side.

Ingredients:

For meat:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 lbs ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

For tortillas:
3 small corn tortillas, halved and sliced into thin strips
2 tsps olive oil
Pinch of sea salt

For salad:
6 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
1/2-1 cup cilantro (I love cilantro so I use a lot), 1/4 cup reserved
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ears of fresh corn, steamed and shucked or 2 cups frozen corn, defrosted and drained
1 cup half cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
4 green onions, sliced

For dressing:
1/3 cup yogurt, non-dairy yogurt, mayo or Vegenaise
1/4 cup cilantro
1 green onion, roughly chopped
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4-1/2 jalapeno
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp raw honey

Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once warmed add onion and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spices and stir to combine. Add meat and break up with a wooden spoon, stirring to coat in onion spice mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside.

2. Crisp tortillas by heating 2 tsps in a skillet over medium heat. Add tortilla strips with a big pinch of salad and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.

3. Prepare dressing by placing all ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.

4. Divide romaine lettuce, cilantro, black beans, corn and tomatoes across four plates or bowls. Top each salad with 1/2 cup turkey, tortillas, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with dressing.

Enjoy!

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