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Skinny Taco Salad

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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 |

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Skinny Taco Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This Skinny Taco Salad recipe is full of great color and flavor, and tossed with a Skinny Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette.



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:

  1. 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:

  1. 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 |

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28 comments on “Skinny Taco Salad”

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  11. 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!

  12. Happy New Year! Loving this post :)

  13. 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!

  14. 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!



  15. 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?

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

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

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

  19. Where is the nutritional info and serving size?

  20. I love your recipes, especially your soups. Summer is here, however, and I am trying to move myself and my family away from processed salad dressings. My issue is that I have a sensitivity to both yogurt (goodbye Caesar dressing) and citrus (goodbye Taco salad dressing). Any suggestions? Are there vegan versions of these, although that will not help with recipes using lemon juice, orange juice, etc. Thanks.

    • Thank you, Stacey! A sensitivity to yogurt and citrus, hmmmmm…I really trust Oh She Glows (awesome vegan food blog) for her vegan recipes, and this one looks like it would be awesome! As for the citrus, it’s really difficult to find a substitute. I’d say the closet things you could try would be capers (for their briny acidity, somewhat similar to that of citrus), sumac, and vinegar. I make vinaigrettes all the time with vinegar instead of citrus. I really love white wine/champagne vinegar or white balsamic. I hope that helps!

  21. Just made this salad. It was so yummy. The dressing is what made the twist. It was so good. I feel like I just ate a healthy meal. Yum! For anyone thinking about trying this, don’t leave out the lime and cilantro dressing. If you do its just regular. Healthy but that sauce tops it off. We did add ground turkey, and we used a little salsa with lime in addition to the cilantro and lime. They both added their own twist and were both great. I used purple corn chips for the bottom layer and corn tortilla strips on top. Yum-EEE!!

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed this Sara — thanks for sharing! The dressing is our favorite part too. :D

  22. Omg.

    I went to two different stores and neither had small bottles of OJ, so I juiced two halo mandarins instead. It probably made it a little funnier than it should have been but the dressing was friggin awesome. I will use this recipe over and over.

  23. i am going to try this salad it looks so yummy..I would top it off with a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt as a sub for sour would add some protein..can’t wait to have this ..does anyone have a nutritional count for the posted recipe

  24. 1Humm!!! What a delicious!!! Is it easy to do??