Vegetarian Taco Salad
The classic American Tex-Mex taco salad is a high-calorie meaty marvel: seasoned ground beef, piled into a fried taco bowl with cheese, sour cream, and other things. This version keeps things healthy, but with no lack of taco-salad zest. You sauté onion with pinto, black, and kidney beans (canned, so no sweat), along with a diced fresh tomato, frozen corn, and a jalapeño pepper. Heap in a serving bowl while still warm, top with romaine leaves, as little (or as much) cheese as you like, and a drizzle of creamy, ranch-and-sour-cream-driven dressing (before you begin, you’ll need to make a batch of our Ranch Dressing). For the taco seasoning mix, we like the one from McCormick.
For more, check out our Ultimate Taco Salad, Chicken Taco Salad, and Turkey Taco Salad.
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons Ranch Dressing (recipe link in intro)
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Hot sauce (optional)
For the salad:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 medium-sized ripe tomato, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded, in small dice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Small, inner romaine lettuce leaves
- Shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a mix)
- Tortilla chips, for serving
1In a small bowl, whisk the Ranch Dressing with the taco seasoning mix, sour cream, and optional hot sauce; set aside. (If you’re not planning to use the dressing right away, cover and store it in the fridge).
2Set a large nonstick flying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When it’s warm, after about 1 minute, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the three beans, the tomato, corn, and jalapeño. .jpgCook, stirring frequently, until heated through and well combined, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste, seasoning with black pepper and additional salt as needed. Cool this mixture slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
3To serve, transfer the bean mixture so a serving bowl or deep platter. Serve warm, topped with the romaine, shredded cheese, and a drizzle of dressing. Tortilla chips on the side.
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