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California Taco Salad

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California Taco Salad

California Taco Salad

Jessica Braider
This salad is a crunchy alternative to taco night. You can get creative with the ingredients; consider adding cilantro, pistachios, diced sweet onion or red peppers. If you really want to get fancy, serve the salad in a taco shell bowl. For picky eaters, serve the ingredients separately. Little ones (ages 3 and up) might enjoy using a toothpick to pick up the beans, olives, and other morsels.
Prep Time 25 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course, Main Dish, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Tex Mex
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 small head iceberg or romaine lettuce chopped, about 6 cups
  • 15 oz. canned black or red beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese or more to taste, or use Cheddar
  • 1 avocado peeled and diced
  • 1 mango peeled and diced, or use 1 – 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives drained
  • 1/2 lb. cooked and shredded chicken breast or use cooked ground beef, turkey, or meatless crumbles (optional)
  • ½ lime juice only, about 1 Tbsp.
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing or to taste
  • 1 cup tortilla chips or corn kernels crushed if using chips
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream for serving (optional)
  • 1 cup salsa for serving (optional)


  • In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, beans, cheese, avocado, mango, olives, and cooked chicken (or beef, etc.) (optional). Sprinkle it with the lime juice and dressing and toss it thoroughly.
  • Top the salad with the chips or corn kernels, Serve it immediately, topped with a dollop of sour cream and salsa, if desired.


Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the lettuce and mango, drain and rinse the beans, cook the meat, if necessary, and combine the lime juice and vinaigrette dressing.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 diced fresh jalapeño pepper and use Pepper Jack cheese.
Tip: If you are adding ground beef or turkey to the salad, brown it in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and season it with a little salt and chili powder. Allow it to cool for several minutes before adding it to the salad. If using meatless ground “meat”, prepare it according to the package directions.
Side Dish suggestion: Serve with warm whole wheat or corn tortillas, warmed in a damp cloth in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or over an open flame on a gas stove for a few seconds per side (use tongs).
Nutritional Information per serving (with chicken) (% based upon daily values): Calories 372, Total Fat 13g, 21%, Saturated Fat 4g, 15%, Cholesterol 73mg, 25%, Sodium 279mg, 12%, Total Carbohydrate 32g, 11%, Dietary Fiber 9g, 37%, Protein 33g, Sugar 9g
Want to make beans from scratch? Check out our post on how to make beans in the slow cooker or Instant Pot pressure cooker.
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Main Dish, No-Cook, Nut-Free, Salads, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian
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