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Taco Salad Bowls

Learn how to make restaurant-style taco salad bowls at home with this easy recipe. They’re quick, highly customizable, and fun thanks to the crispy, baked taco shell bowls.

I was planning on making taco bowls one night when I remembered a taco salad I used to order at a Mexican restaurant growing up. It was served in a crispy tortilla bowl which made it that much more exciting.

Whether you’re feeding people with different eating styles, entertaining guests, or need new dinner ideas, you’ll love these crowd-pleasing taco salad bowls. Just bake a tortilla in the oven until crispy and add whatever vegetables you have on hand, protein, greens, and a dressing.

Ingredients

Taco meat – ground beef or ground turkey seasoned with taco seasoning.

Canned beans – Black or pinto beans.

Lettuce – romaine, iceberg, or mixed leafy greens.

Fixings – avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, olives, bell peppers, olives, cheese (dairy-free or regular), sour cream or unsweetened plain yogurt, etc. Choose whatever you like.

Dressingdairy-free ranch dressing, shallot vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, etc.

Flour tortillas – I prefer to use burrito-size tortillas (10-11 inches) but if you want a smaller salad, you can use 8-inch tortillas (any smaller than that won’t work).

How to Make Taco Salad Bowls

Make the tortilla bowls. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly brush or spray each side of the tortilla with oil and sprinkle the top with salt. Press the tortilla into an oven-safe bowl placed on top of a baking sheet and poke a few times with a fork to prevent air bubbles from becoming too large. Bake until the edges turn golden brown and then invert the tortilla bowls directly on the baking sheet, and bake a little longer to crisp up the bottom of the bowl.

Prep the fixings. Chop the lettuce and whatever vegetables you’re using, slice the avocado, etc.

Cook the taco meat. Brown the ground meat in a skillet over medium heat, season with two tablespoons of taco seasoning, and stir in the beans.

Assemble the taco bowls. Place each cooled tortilla bowl in a shallow bowl or plate and add the chopped lettuce, followed by the taco meat and beans, and fixings of choice. Serve your dressing on the side.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make these taco salad bowls using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No ground beef or turkey? – use chicken or shrimp.
  • No tortillas? – Skip the bowl and serve with chips instead.
  • Make it gluten-free – Siete is the only brand I know of that makes gluten-free burrito-size tortillas, but they’re quite pricey. You can also use a regular-size gluten-free tortilla pressed into a smaller oven-safe bowl or ramekin.
  • Make it vegan – omit the ground meat and use 2 cans of beans tossed with the taco seasoning (heat in a skillet if desired).
  • Vegetable variationszucchini corn salad, tomato confit, marinated portobello mushrooms, quick pickled vegetables, or black bean and corn salad.

More Taco-Related Recipes

Taco Salad Bowls

5 from 4 votes
Taco salad bowl with a dollop of sour cream, cherry tomatoes, shredded lettuce, black beans, ground beef, and cilantro.
Learn how to make restaurant-style taco salad bowls at home with this easy recipe. They're quick, highly customizable, and fun thanks to the taco shell bowls. All substitutions/variations can be found in the notes section below.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Serving Size 6

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 can black or pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • thinly chopped romaine or iceberg or mixed leafy greens
  • 6 flour burrito-size tortillas see notes below for gluten-free

Fixings – Choose 3

  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • sliced olives
  • bell pepper, diced any color
  • avocado or guacamole
  • shredded cheese dairy-free or regular
  • sour cream or plain yogurt dairy-free or regular
  • cilantro, roughly chopped

Instructions

Make the tortilla bowls

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Lightly brush or spray each side of the tortilla with oil and sprinkle the top with salt. Press the tortilla into an oven-safe bowl placed on top of a baking sheet and poke a few times with a fork to prevent air bubbles from becoming too large.
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until the edges are brown and starting to crisp up, then carefully take them out of the bowls. Invert the tortilla bowls directly on the baking sheet, and put them back in the oven for another 4 minutes. Transfer the tortilla bowls to a cooling rack to allow them to cool before assembling.

Cook the taco meat

  • Brown the ground meat in a skillet over medium heat, season with two tablespoons of taco seasoning, and stir in the beans.

Assemble the taco bowls

  • Place each cooled tortilla bowl in a shallow bowl or plate and add the chopped lettuce, followed by the taco meat and beans, and fixings of choice. Serve your dressing on the side.

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:
No ground beef or turkey? – use chicken or shrimp.
No tortillas? – Skip the bowl and serve with chips instead.
Gluten-free? – Siete is the only brand I know of that makes gluten-free burrito-size tortillas, but they’re quite pricey. You can also use a regular-size gluten-free tortilla pressed into a smaller oven-safe bowl or ramekin.
Make it vegan – omit the ground meat and use 2 cans of beans tossed with the taco seasoning (heat in a skillet if desired).
Vegetable variationszucchini corn salad, tomato confit, marinated portobello mushrooms, quick pickled vegetables, or black bean and corn salad.
5 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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