How to Make a Taco Salad with Ground Turkey
Thinking of taco salad reminds me of growing up in the summer. It was a fresh and savory meal, with the salty crunch of the chips on top. There wasn’t anything about it not to like, and I loved it nice and chilled on a hot day; I still remember the giant, lime-green Tupperware bowl my mom used to use when she made this. For the dressing, she always used sour cream, but I also heard of making it with Thousand Island or Catalina dressing.
I used Ranch this time because, well, why not?
You can basically put anything you love about a taco into this dish and it tastes good. Black beans would also be a great addition to this salad; maybe a dollop of salsa and sliced avocado too. For the topping, we love Doritos (who doesn’t?!), but I’ve used corn chips or tortilla chips, and it’s just as tasty – it’s all about that salty crunch, it’s a must-have for this dish. Of course, you can use any ground meat – my mom always made it with ground beef. We typically have ground turkey for dishes throughout the week, so that’s what I used.
For this recent taco salad dish,
I happened to have some corn on the cob, which added a perfect sweetness to each bite. For this corn, you simply throw it in the microwave for 4 minutes, husk and all. Then, cut off the stalk and about an inch of the cob, hold it at the opposite end (be careful – it’s super hot, so you might want to use a potholder or oven mitt), and shake the corn out. It literally slides right out of the husk, silk-free and ready to eat! I just started doing this a few years ago, and couldn’t believe it would work (I watched videos on YouTube) – but it does, every time! For the taco seasoning, just use a store-bought packet, or you can make your own – there are a variety of different mixtures on Pinterest.
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1 White Onion, Chopped
- Taco Seasoning Packet
- Lettuce, Chopped
- Tomatoes, Chopped
- Red Onion, Sliced Paper-Thin
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
- Black Olives (Optional)
- Sweet Corn (Optional)
- Ranch Dressing
- Sour Cream (Optional)
- Doritos, Crushed
- In a large pan, brown the ground turkey on medium to medium-high, breaking it up with a wooden spatula or spoon as it cooks.
- Once the turkey is almost fully cooked, add the white onion and continue to brown.
- When the turkey is done and the onion is translucent, remove excess fat/liquid.
- Add the taco seasoning – follow the directions on the packet. If you’re using your own homemade seasoning, add about a 1/4 cup of water to the taco mixture.
- Let the mixture simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced.
- Once the taco meat is done, set aside to cool. I recommend removing it from the hot pan to cool quicker.
- In a separate, large bowl, add lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, cheese, black olives, and corn. Mix with a large spoon or tongs, and add the dressing until everything is evenly coated. Refrigerate the salad until the taco meat is cooled off enough that it won’t wilt the lettuce.
- Once the taco meat is cooled, add it to the salad mixture and toss lightly (you can also make the taco meat earlier in the day or a day ahead, so it has time to chill). Add more dressing to taste.
- Before serving, top with crushed Doritos and drizzle with sour cream.