Skinny Taco Salad

January 8, 2014 by Ali

Skinny Taco Salad Recipe |

Apparently I’ve had tacos on the brain lately.

After making a batch of this Skinny Slow Cooker Taco Soup last weekend, I decided to use the leftover ingredients to make this Skinny Taco Salad. Then on Monday, I had tacos for lunch from my favorite neighborhood burrito bar and made taco popcorn for a neighbor girls’ night at my place. Then yesterday, I couldn’t resist and made round two of this salad just because it was that awesome.

I think it’s safe to say I like tacos. And really colorful food. So this salad is right up my alley!

It’s also topped with my favorite Skinny Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, which is full of great flavor and light on fat. I also made mine meatless because the fresh ingredients were so flavorful and filling in and of themselves, but feel free to add in some grilled chicken or lean ground meat if you want your taco salad “con carne”. Either way, this version is much lighter than traditional restaurant taco salads, so read on below as we continue with our healthy eating month here on the blog!

Skinny Taco Salad Recipe |

Ok, first, allow me to show you a little photo of the salad actually tossed together.

Last night, I asked our Gimme Some Oven Facebook fans to vote between the rainbow photo or the tossed photo, and it was neck and neck!!! Lots of opinions about tossed versus rainbow — who knew? However you serve it, I promise it’s a good one.

Skinny Taco Salad Recipe |

Ok, back to Rainbow Bright, just because the color nut in me thinks it’s fun. :)

Skinny Taco Salad Recipe |

As I mentioned above, one of the things that makes this salad “skinny” is the super tasty Skinny Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette that goes with it. It’s full of the tasty honey-lime flavor combo that we all love, but most of the oil is replaced with a bit of orange juice (sounds weird, but it’s one of my favorite substitutions for citrus dressings). So it’s low-fat, but still full of great flavor.

Skinny Taco Salad Recipe |

Also lighter? The portions of cheese (and I went with 2% skim cheese), chips (no taco shell or mountains of chips here!), or loads of sour cream on top (although feel free to use light sour cream if you’d like). I did include avocado, since it’s my favorite salad topping and packs all sorts of good-for-you fats. But otherwise, the fresh and healthy ingredients steal the show in this salad, and it will leave you filled and satisfy that Mexican (or taco) craving any day!

Skinny Taco Salad Recipe |

Skinny Taco Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


    Skinny Taco Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (if desired)
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used the 2% lowfat cheese)
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can black olives, drained
  • half of a small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • skinny cilantro lime dressing (see below)
  • Skinny Cilantro Lime Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (optional sweetener)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil


To Make The Salad:

Toss all salad ingredients together until combined, or serve "rainbow-style" lined up on top of the lettuce. Drizzle and toss with honey lime vinaigrette and serve.

To Make The Dressing:

Add cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, honey, cumin, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender and pulse until combined. Gradually stream in the olive oil while pulsing until combined.

Skinny Taco Salad Recipe |

filed in Entrees, Salads

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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39 thoughts on “Skinny Taco Salad

  1. Can’t wait to make this for sunday dinner tonight! How many calories per serving would you day this is?

    - Amanda

  2. love your Taco salad going to make it tomorrow !

    - Julianne Trimble

  3. Goodness, this salad is so vibrant, it’s beautiful! Definitely making this soon :)

    - Nutmeg Nanny

  4. This looks amazing. If you bottle the dressing in an airtight container how long do you suggest keeping it in the fridge for future salads?

    - Lauren

  5. Beautiful pictures and definately the kind of food I love to fix! Thank you for your recipes and eye candy:)

    By the way…what in the world kind of camera do you shoot with? Your pictures are absolutely amazing!



    - Marci

  6. I have the hardest time eating salad in the winter. It is just too cold to eat something cold. Unless of course you top it with all sorts of deliciousness like this one here. Looks great!

    - Emily @ Life on Food

  7. Happy New Year! Loving this post :)

    - Stephanie @ Velez Delights

  8. Whenever I make myself a taco salad at home, I use salsa as my dressing and a little dollop of plain Greek yogurt. It’s the perfect sour cream fake out!

    - Brie @ Entrée the Giant

  9. Taco salad is my fave, love your skinny version!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  10. This looks delicious – so colourful, but delicious as well! Perfect January food.

    - Sarah | The Sugar Hit

  11. I love the rainbow! Guarantees a range of nutrients… AND looks pretty. :)

    - Alley @ Alley's Recipe Book

  12. Totally dreamy! Love this!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

  13. Love the colors. This looks so inviting. Thanks for posting healthy recipes. :) Happy Healthy 2014

    - graincrazy

  14. That looks so good! And Taco popcorn?! You’re brilliant.

    - Jackie {The Beeroness}

  15. What’s not to love about this rainbow of flavor?! This looks fantastic, Ali!

    - Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste

  16. I love that this Taco Salad helps me eat the rainbow! Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette … yum

    - Sommer @ASpicyPerspective

  17. This salad looks really good, and I love the Cilantro Lime Dressing. It reminds me of a dressing from Café Rio.

    - Kristi

  18. What a beautiful salad!! I could definitely get used to cleaner eating in January if all my salads were this bright and cheery (you’re totally right on the “Rainbow Bright” comment)

    - Ruthy @ Omeletta

  19. I think I <3 you! I love taco salads, but they can definitely add up in the calories! This salad does not do that, and it definitely does not compromise taste. Little waistline, happy taste buds…you're a rockstar.

    - Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness