This easy Keto Taco Salad recipe is low carb, but great for the whole family! All of the traditional accoutrements, just with a fraction of the carbs!
Originally posted November 23, 2021. Updated on 6/22/2022
Also, there was a cross-border move since then.
It’s wild to see the difference in the low carb / keto prepared food landscape, in that time!
While I do like to try and keep the bulk of my foods to home cooked, “whole food” type ingredients, I’ve got to say - the availability of low carb / high protein cheezie poof type snacks?
Definitely makes it feel like low carb is going to be easier to stick to, for the long term.
Keto Tortilla Chips!
One of those fun options are Quest Nutrition Tortilla Style Protein Chips.
They’re a bit saltier than I would prefer, but come in several flavours and really hit the spot when you’re craving Doritos or whatever.
The nice thing is that because they’re SO flavourful (and salty!) and so high in protein, a little goes a long way to bringing the flavors of tacos to your salad!
The baggies they come in are much smaller than normal single-serve chip bags, but it feels like enough, you know?
There’s no way I’d be able to down a huge bag of them!
I was shocked at how much the “Taco” flavour one tasted straight up like Taco Bell tacos. Like... very specifically like Taco Bell.
Healthy Taco Salad Recipe
Anyway, this newfound availability of tortilla chips prompted me to start making low carb taco salad.
After hearing enough “Taco Tuesday!” mentions on the radio while dieting, this keto taco salad bowl just became inevitable, you know?
This low carb salad is healthy for me - and full of wholesome ingredients - but “junky” enough that my husband doesn’t feel like he’s being dragged along on my diet.
... he just uses regular corn tortillas on his.
As for which chips I use on this low-carb taco salad, I usually go with Nacho Cheese, Chili Lime or Loaded Taco, but you can use whichever sounds best to your taste buds!
Beyond the chips, I use my favorite taco toppings, just keeping an eye on the carb count.
Keto Taco Salad Ingredients
Taco salad is very customizable, healthy salad to your tastes and dietary needs.
With a few exceptions (beans, high-sugar commercial salsa, etc), pretty much anything you’d want to put on a taco salad can go in a low carb version.
Just, you know, in moderation.
... and some of those exceptions can be done up in a lower carb version.
As I mentioned above, I swap out regular corn tortilla chips - or flour tortillas - in favour of the Quest ones. It may not be the same as a taco shell bowl, but it does cut the carbs, AND it adds protein - score!
Commercial taco seasoning can have corn starch and/or sugar in it, so I just spice up some ground chicken with my homemade taco seasoning - recipe further below.
Anyway, I generally put the following in my taco salad:
Like I mentioned, I skip the premade seasoning packet in favour of homemade.
Skipping the extra additives is great, but the best part is that this gives you complete control over the flavour.
Anyway, I’ll start with a ground meat - usually ground chicken or ground turkey, but lean ground beef is another great option. (The spices I use make a really great seasoned beef!).
Then I add:
... SO good!
I’ll usually vary the types of greens I use, based on what looks good, and/or what we’re in the mood for. Spring mix is always a great go-to, but other times I’ll just use a head of romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce.
My only real requirement is that some of it has to be *crisp lettuce*. I like a bit of crunch in there, so I don’t usually just use like... baby spinach.
We’ll usually use a sharp cheddar cheese, but sometimes we’ll use a Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, or Mexican blend. Use what you like / have on hand!
We’ll usually top our keto taco bowls with:
Sliced black olives
Lime slices or wedges for garnish
... but you can use your favorite toppings.
Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and red onion are all good options for fresh topping - in moderation.
When it comes to the avocado, usually it’ll be a few slices, sometimes I’ll mash an avocado up with some cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice to make a quick guacamole.
Sometimes I’ll thin that quick guac out with a bit of sour cream and unsweetened almond milk, ro make a creamy avocado cilantro lime sauce for a salad dressing.
Usually I’ll just use Keto salsa dressing, because I’m lazy like that. 🙂 If you’re also feeling lazy, ranch dressing works fine, too.
How to Make a Keto Taco Salad
Full recipe - including exact measurements - follows in the recipe card at the end of this post
Measure out your spices, mix together in a small bowl.
Prepare your salad ingredients - shredding, slicing, etc:
Add chicken and spices to the pan, breaking up and mixing everything together.
While chicken is cooking, assemble your salads:
Divide lettuce between 4 bowls. Top with cheddar, olives, and avocado slices.
Once chicken is ready, divide it between the salads.
Garnish with sour cream, keto salsa, chips, and lime slices.
You can serve this in a large bowl, “family style”, rather than assembling in separate bowls.
Just add all of the salad ingredients to a large salad bowl, toss, and serve from there.
You can prepare the base of this salad ahead of time.
You can either make it family style in one large airtight container, or assemble in individual containers.
As long as you leave off any sauce - and allow the meat to cool completely before adding - this will keep fresh in the fridge for several days, if needed.
You can add cold taco meat to the salad ahead of time - great for an easy lunch on a busy day! - or just have everything ready to go, cooking the meat fresh for when you serve the salad.
Alternate Tortilla Options
You can make homemade Keto Tortilla Chips in any form you’d like.
You can take your favourite low carb tortillas and cut them into tortilla strips and use those instead of chips. Serve them as-is, or toast them.
Scatter tortilla strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake at 350F until they’re as crisp / browned as you like.
More Keto Mexican Food / Tex Mex Recipes
Looking for more Keto Tex Mex and Mexican inspired recipes? Here are a few easy recipes for you:
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Keto Taco Salad
Chicken "Taco" Meat
Chicken "Taco Meat"
- Measure olive oil into a large nonstick pan.
- Add chicken and spices to the pan, breaking up and mixing everything together.
- Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through.
- While chicken is cooking, assemble your salads:
- Divide lettuce between 4 bowls. Top with cheddar, olives, and avocado slices.
- Once chicken is ready, divide it between the salads.
- Garnish with sour cream, keto salsa, chips, and lime slices.
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