Elevated Taco Salad


This taco salad knocks all other taco salads out of the game. The cilantro vinaigrette ties all of the fresh ingredients together beautifully. When I made this, both may parents agreed it was the best taco salad they had ever had! I cannot stress how important fresh, colorful lettuce is for this recipe. The best place to find it is at your local farmers market but Whole Foods would also work. Chop it as finely as possible and wash and dry well before using it for the salad. Enjoy!

Recipe for Elevated Taco Salad (adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking)


for the cilantro vinaigrette

  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups tightly packed cilantro leaves, stems removed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt

for the taco turkey 

  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 lb good quality ground turkey (I used 90% lean, 10% fat)
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper

for the salad

  • 2 heads locally grown, organic lettuce (I mixed red leaf and romaine)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 ears of corn, sliced off the cob
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Prepare the cilantro vinaigrette by blending all of the ingredients in a high powered blender for about 2 minutes until smooth.
  2. Make the taco turkey by sautéing the onion until soft. Add the turkey and spices and cook thoroughly.
  3. Prepare all of the rest of the ingredients according to the list.
  4. Arrange in a large salad bowl. Serve with taco turkey and toss with cilantro vinaigrette. Enjoy!


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