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Quick and Easy Turkey Taco Salad

taco salad 004

This recipe goes out to all the people on a time crunch, like busy parents and students pulling all-nighters, who also are trying to be at least somewhat thoughtful towards caloric intake.  Chef Zach’s version of turkey taco salad is a fallback in our house during busy times, and we like that it’s a zesty alternative to the typical salad.

Makes 2 servings

1 bag of corn tortilla chips

1 lb. Jennie-O ground lean turkey

1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, shredded or cut to your preference

1 jar Pace picante medium salsa

20 sliced cherry tomatoes (“This is the perfect sweet touch” -August)

Small container of light sour cream

1 can of kidney beans, well rinsed and drained

2/3 cup water

1 small can of black pitted olives, drained

1/4 cup of Tone’s taco seasoning

Shredded cheddar cheese for sprinkling

Optional: sliced avocado, chopped fresh cilantro or chopped fresh green onions

Prep all ingredients as described: shred or cut lettuce, slice tomatoes in half lengthwise, rinse and drain kidney beans in a strainer, drain olives similarly, and prepare your garnish of avocado, cilantro, or green onions.

• For the turkey:

Heat saute pan over high heat.  Add turkey and work quickly with a spatula or wooden spoon to break the meat into dime-size pieces.    Allow the meat to brown for 3-4 minutes without disturbing it at all.  Flip meat over so the unbrowned side gets its turn to brown; leave alone for another 3 minutes.  Stir in taco seasoning and allow to cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add water and reduce to medium-low heat, uncovered.  The meat will be ready when almost all the water is absorbed.  Turn off heat; set aside and allow to cool for 5 minutes before building salad, or else the lettuce will wilt if the meat is too hot.

• For the dressing:

Blend 1 cup of Pace salsa with an immersion blender, food processor, or blender until smooth.  Add 1/3 cup of sour cream and mix until well blended.

To layer: Start with a small handful of chips for the base.  To this, add a medium handful of lettuce, then the kidney beans, turkey meat, cheese, olives, tomatoes, dressing, additional sour cream and garnish.  ¡Disfrútate!