This Whole30 Taco Salad is loaded with the best flavors and textures! It is a little spicy, so fresh, and healthy. This Paleo taco salad takes less than 30 minutes to make. It is completely customizable and great for busy weeknights.

Whole30 taco salad on white plate

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This Whole30 Taco Salad is easy, healthy and delicious!
  • It requires only one skillet and less than 30 minutes to make.
  • Ground pork, ground chicken, ground turkey and ground beef can all be used. These Paleo Carnitas would be great too!
  • This Paleo taco salad is great for meal prep and leftovers.
  • The topping possibilities are endless.
  • This recipe is Whole30 compliant, Paleo, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free.
  • Check out this Whole30 and Paleo Taco Skillet for another easy dinner.

What is Taco Salad?

Taco salad is a Tex-Mex salad that combines all the flavors of a taco in salad form.

Oftentimes, taco salad is served in a fried tortilla shell with the ingredients inside. Common ingredients are lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, meat and salsa.

Since this recipe is Whole30 approved, it is made without the taco shell. Instead, the flavors of a taco are all atop a bed of mixed greens.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ground beef can be substituted with ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken. I suggest using a ground meat that is not too lean. For this recipe, I used 90% lean ground beef.

The minced garlic and spices all add so much flavor! Paprika, chili powder and cayenne pepper add some heat and spice. Cumin is a very popular and common taco seasoning flavor. Onion powder adds the right amount of onion flavor without being overpowering.

Baby kale, mixed greens, romaine or spinach are all great bases for this salad. I used and loved Earthbound Farm Fresh Organic Baby Kale!

Baby kale with salad

Mashed avocado is a creamy and delicious topping. Use ripe avocados for best results.

Halved tomatoes and chopped red onion provide some freshness, color and flavor.

A squeeze of lime juice adds some moisture and tartness. See below for dressing options.

Whole30 Taco Seasoning

Unfortunately most store bought taco seasoning contains added sugar. For Whole30, homemade taco seasoning is the way to go.

This blend contains paprika, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. I suggest tasting while you cook. Then, make any adjustments in terms of heat and spice.

How to Make

Step 1

First, add ground beef to a skillet over medium heat.

Ground beef in skillet

Step 2

Cook until brown and crumbly, breaking apart with spatula. Drain excess grease from skillet.

Taco meat in skillet

Step 3

Then, add in water and seasonings. Simmer for 3 minutes or until water is soaked up.

Taco beef in skillet

Step 4

Remove meat from heat. Assemble salads. Add kale to plates.

Baby kale on plate

Step 5

Top with meat mixture, tomatoes, onions, and mashed avocado. Garnish with a squeeze of lime juice.

Paleo taco salad on plate

Expert Tips & Tricks

Simmer meat mixture and seasonings until water has soaked up. Once water is gone, remove from heat.

Taste while you cook. Make any adjustments with seasonings and spices as needed.

Use ripe avocados for best results.

How to Serve & Store

Serve taco salad immediately after making it.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

If making ahead of time, store meat mixture separately from salad ingredients. Then, mash avocado just before eating.

Whole30 salad with taco meat

Dressing Options

This salad has creamy mashed avocado and a squeeze of lime juice. It is not dry, but the addition of salad dressing would make it more like a traditional salad. Here are some options.

Whole30 Ranch dressing with some chipotle powder mixed in

Whole30 Salsa

Avocado crema from these Whole30 Taco Sweet Potato Skins

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use store bought salsa?

Sure! Double check ingredients to make sure it is Whole30 approved if needed.

Can I use another type of meat?

Yes. Ground turkey, ground pork and ground chicken work well.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, this taco salad can be made ahead of time. Store meat mixture and salad ingredients separately.

Paleo salad with meat and veggies

You May Also Like

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along!

Whole30 taco salad on white plate

Get the Recipe: Whole30 Taco Salad (Paleo)

This Whole30 Taco Salad is bold, spicy, and so fresh! It features a base of mixed greens, perfectly seasoned taco meat, and so many great toppings. This easy meal is great for busy weeknights!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • 4 cups baby kale, or mixed greens
  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 1 cup baby tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1 lime

Instructions 

  • First, add ground beef to a skillet over medium heat.
  • Use spatula to break up meat. Cook until brown and crumbly. Then discard excess grease from pan.
  • To the skillet, add water, minced garlic, paprika, cumin, onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne powder. Stir to combine. Simmer for 3 minutes or until water is mostly gone.
  • Then, remove meat from heat.
  • Assemble salads. Place baby kale or mixed greens on plate. Top with meat mixture, halved tomatoes, diced onion, and mashed avocado.
  • Add a squeeze of lime juice to eat salad. Serve!

Notes

  • Ground beef can be replaced by ground turkey, ground chicken or ground pork.
  • Allow meat mixture and seasonings to simmer until water has been soaked up.  Do not let it burn or get too dry.
  • Baby kale or mixed greens are great for this salad.  If desired, spinach and romaine work well too.
  • Salsa is another great topping for this taco salad.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • If making ahead of time, I suggest storing the meat mixture separate from the salad ingredients.  Additionally, mash the avocados just before eating.
Calories: 381kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 13g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 122mg, Potassium: 1400mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 7573IU, Vitamin C: 104mg, Calcium: 157mg, Iron: 6mg

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