The title of this post says that it’s a low carb taco salad recipe but in reality it’s really a recipe for the taco meat.
It’s definitely the star here.
I mean really, we all know how to make a salad by now. What makes the difference is what you put on it.
I grew up with the packaged seasoning mixes that you can get for like $1 and had never even considered making my own spice mixture from scratch. So when one of my favorite bloggers posted a recipe for Tex Mex Tacos I was intrigued.
I mean, really, when does anything homemade go wrong ever in life?
Chicken or turkey in your low carb taco salad
Using ground chicken or turkey does help you save some fat and calories compared to beef.
If you’re Keto you probably don’t want to save fat though and ground beef is definitely fine here.
Personally though, I like using chicken or turkey here because those proteins really soak up the seasonings and hold so much great flavor. But to each their own.
Try all the meats if you want to!
I decided to add shredded zucchini to add just a little bulk and nutrition. I’ve also used carrots in the place of the zucchini and it still turned out amazing.
You don’t have to add the vegetables but I swear you won’t notice them. They really just cook down and soak up all these amazing seasonings.
The original recipe called for tomato sauce and apple cider vinegar, which I didn’t have the first time I made this recipe. What I did have was ketchup, which has both tomato sauce and vinegar in it so I went with that.
Come to think of it, I’ve honestly never tried this recipe in its original form with tomato sauce and vinegar.
Keto taco salad add ins and options
Sometimes I make my salad with pinto or black beans. If you’re low carb or Keto you could try black soy beans. I’ve never tried them personally but have heard they’re delicious and Keto friendly.
Just something to look out for next time you’re at the grocery store.
Tortilla chips are probably my favorite carbohydrate to add here because I absolutely love the crunch but sometimes I use quinoa or brown rice. Of course it’s also great rolled up it into a burrito made with a low carb tortilla.
If you’re low carb or Keto you can absolutely throw some pork rinds in here. I know, it sounds weird but it is really quite delicious! The pork rinds are nice and crunchy while also absorbing the sauce from the meat.
The possibilities are really endless here.
Low carb taco salad as meal prep
This low carb taco salad recipe is awesome for meal preppers! It’s too easy to prepare a bowl with you meat and cheese, separate from the lettuce of course, and take it with you on the go!
Every part of this salad stores wonderfully in the refrigerator. If you’re like me and you don’t feel like packing all the lettuce and stuff, you can always just take the meat with you. I feel pretty certain that every fast food joint in the world carries a garden or side salad you could spice up with your homemade taco meat.
A plain side or garden salad is usually only a couple dollars, in comparison to buying one with all the fixins.
There are definitely ways to make a healthy lifestyle work for you!
Smoky and subtly sweet turkey taco meat atop crisp greens make this low carb taco salad recipe a sure fire way to satisfy your Tex Mex cravings.
For the Meat
- 1/2 Tbs of coconut oil*
- 1 pound 93/7 or leaner ground turkey
- 1 medium zucchini, grated and excess water removed (about 1 cup)
- 1 small onion, chopped (about ⅔ cup)
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 3 medium cloves garlic (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
Suggested Toppings for the Salad:
- Greens (iceburg, Romaine, spinach)
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Pico de gallo
- Beans (black, pinto)
- Red Onion
- Tortilla chips, quinoa, or brown rice
- Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add oil, onion, and garlic and allow to saute until they start to become translucent.
- Add turkey meat and cook until it is no longer pink. At this point you may drain any liquid that the turkey put out but I usually don’t.
- Once turkey meat is no longer pink, add grated zucchini, spices, sugar, and ketchup. Stir to combine. Add about a ¼ cup of water or chicken stock if you have it on hand. Reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes depending on how saucy you want your meat. Keep in mind that the sauce will thicken even more after you turn off the heat.
- Serve your taco meat on top of lettuce, adding your desired toppings.