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Cheap and Easy Taco Salad Recipe

  • Daisy Luther July 6, 2022 posted on the frugalite

Author of The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living

[Originally published at The Organic Prepper.] When the weather is hot, no one really wants a hot meal. One of our family favorites is taco salad. Of course, I don’t really wait for hot weather to eat this. I could happily consume it every single day!

Lots of taco salads, especially the restaurant variety, come in a large, unhealthy, deep-fried tortilla bowl and are topped with what appears to be an entire container of sour cream. Trust me. You don’t need all that. This recipe is tasty and healthy.

There are all sorts of optional ingredients to fit a wide variety of diets, lifestyles, preferences, and budgets.

How to make a healthy, delicious taco salad

First, make the meat. If you’re a vegetarian, you can omit the meat and make this entirely with your favorite canned or already cooked beans. Just drain them well before cooking.

  • 1 pound of ground whatever (beef, bison, turkey, chicken – just go with something fairly lean so your salad isn’t dripping with grease) OR 1 pound of diced boneless chicken or steak

  • 2 cloves of finely minced garlic

  • 1 small chopped onion

  • Optional other veggies: You can add other vegetables that are finely diced or minced for added nutrition. Shredded carrots, shredded beets (or diced leftover chopped beets), coarsely shredded zucchini – anything you need to use up. Don’t add more than a cup of these veggies you risk overpowering the flavor.

  • Canned beans: If you need to stretch your pound of meat to feed more people, add a can of drained beans, like pinto or black

Saute all of this up in your favorite non-reactive skillet. You’ll be adding some acidic stuff so cast iron, copper, and aluminum will be funky.

Once the meat/veggie mixture is cooked through and lightly browned, add your seasonings.

  • 2 tbsp of chili powder – we love lots of chili powder but feel free to scale this down to your family’s preferences

  • 1 tsp of cumin powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/4 cup of ketchup – I either use home-canned (recipe here) or store bought

Stir in the dry seasonings, then dump your ketchup on top. Turn up the heat and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

You’re done. Put the meat aside to cool while you work on the salad. Because there’s nothing yuckier than hot lettuce in my little world.

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