The Easiest Keto Taco Salad Recipe You'll Make

Keto diets like Atkins have surged in popularity over the last few years for their proven weight loss benefits. By dramatically reducing carbohydrate intake and emphasizing protein and healthy fats, keto diets aim to put the body into a state of ketosis. This is when the body starts burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs. The result is accelerated fat burning, especially around the belly. But just because you’re limiting carbs doesn’t mean you have to miss out on flavorful favorites like tacos. This easy keto taco salad recipe allows you to enjoy the bold Tex-Mex flavors of tacos in a low-carb, lettuce-wrapped format that fits perfectly into a keto lifestyle.

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Keto Taco Salad

One of the great things about this recipe is that it requires just a handful of basic ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Romaine Lettuce – Shredded or chopped romaine lettuce forms the base of the salad in place of a high-carb tortilla or shell. Romaine is the best lettuce choice because its sturdy leaves hold up well under all the tasty taco toppings. Other greens like spinach would wilt under the weight.
  • Ground Beef – Lean or 80/20 ground beef provides ample protein to help you stay full and support muscle tissue on keto. Browning the beef gives it nice texture and flavor. Other ground meats like turkey could also work.
  • Shredded Cheese – Cheese adds creamy, salty flavor to anything its touches. A Mexican blend or cheddar cheese works best to give this salad authentic taco vibes. Just stick to low-moisture, hard cheeses since soft and crumbly cheeses won’t hold up as well on a salad.
  • Sour Cream – Full-fat sour cream contributes moisture, richness and tang. Sour cream contains less than 4g net carbs per serving, so it can definitely be included in moderation on keto.
  • Avocado – Cubed or sliced avocado provides delicious and nutritious creaminess. Avocados are a keto superfood thanks to their high amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats.
  • Taco Seasoning – A packet of store-bought taco seasoning or homemade blend adds the trademark Mexican spices like chili powder, cumin and oregano that give this salad authentic Tex-Mex flavor.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Building This Salad

Part of what makes this such an easy keto taco salad recipe is that it comes together in just 3 simple steps:

  • Brown the Ground Beef – The first step is to brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Make sure to break up the meat thoroughly as it cooks. Drain excess grease, then stir in the taco seasoning until well-combined. Remove from heat.
  • Chop Lettuce and Prep Toppings – While the beef is cooking, take time to rinse the lettuce, pat it dry and chop or shred it into bite-sized pieces. Also chop, slice or dice any other desired toppings like tomatoes, onion, avocado, cilantro, etc. Having these prepped ahead of time makes assembly quick.
  • Assemble Salad – Now simply build your salad by starting with a base of shredded lettuce, then topping with the seasoned ground beef, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado and any other toppings you desire like salsa, jalapenos, olives, etc. Feel free to get creative and make it your own!

Customize Flavors Based on Your Tastes

One of the great things about taco salad is how versatile it is when it comes to flavors and toppings. This keto version is no different! Here are some tasty ways to customize this salad to your tastes:

  • Add jalapeno slices or pickled jalapenos for some heat and crunch.
  • Stir in some fresh pico de gallo or salsa for a boost of fresh tomato flavor.
  • Top with sliced black olives for some briny, salty bite.
  • Drizzle on guacamole for more rich, creamy avocado goodness.
  • Mix in some roasted corn for sweetness and smoky flavor.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro for herbaceous freshness.
  • Sprinkle with hot sauce or chili powder if you like things spicy.
  • Mix in shredded lettuce varieties for more texture and crunch.

Nutritional Breakdown of This Keto Taco Salad

This salad is perfectly aligned with keto guidelines. A typical serving contains:

  • 394 calories
  • 28g fat – Mostly from the ground beef and healthy monounsaturated fats from the avocado.
  • 28g protein – Between the beef and cheese, this salad provides a hefty dose of satiating protein.
  • 10g net carbs – Total carbs minus fiber content.

These macros make this salad ideal for ketogenic, low-carb and paleo diets. It provides the ideal balance of high-fat and moderate protein with little to no carbs. This nutrient profile helps promote fat burning.

Frequently Asked Questions About This Recipe

Can I meal prep this keto taco salad?

Yes, this recipe lends itself perfectly to meal prepping. Simply store the salad greens and toppings like ground beef, cheese, avocado, etc. in separate containers. Then assemble them when ready to eat. The veggies may get soggy if stored fully dressed.

What dressing can I use on this salad?

To keep this salad keto-friendly, stick with high-fat dressings like ranch, blue cheese, Caesar or a creamy cilantro lime dressing. Avoid sweet dressings like Catalina or poppyseed.

Can I use leftover taco meat?

Absolutely! Leftover seasoned taco meat or ground turkey makes an easy shortcut for this recipe. Just make sure to drain off excess fat.

What kind of lettuce should I use?

Sturdy romaine lettuce is preferred since it holds up well under heavy toppings and dressing. But you can use any crunchy salad green like iceberg, butter lettuce, kale, etc. Avoid delicate greens like spinach.

Can I add beans, rice or other high-carb ingredients?

To keep this salad keto/low-carb friendly, avoid ingredients like beans, corn, rice and other starchy ingredients. Focus on keto-approved toppings like cheese, avocado and creamy dressings.

In Conclusion

This easy keto taco salad proves you don’t have to give up the bold Tex-Mex flavors you love just because you’re limiting carbs. By swapping out the taco shell for lettuce leaves and focusing on high-fat, low-carb toppings, you can enjoy all the taste of tacos in a salad form that fits perfectly into a keto lifestyle. This salad makes a quick, flavorful and keto-friendly dinner the whole family will love.

Myra Henry created the Keto Taco Salad blog to share my favorite delicious low-carb recipes without sacrificing flavor. when i started the keto diet 2 years ago, I discovered a love for making healthy Mexican dishes like keto taco salads. My blog features easy keto taco salad recipes and tips for keto success.

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