Listen up TACO LOVERS: this low carb taco salad recipe is so delicious you won’t want to wait until Taco Tuesday!
Low carb recipes and low carb salads can be sooooo aburrido (boring) but this isn’t your average TexMex recipe…
It’s one of those finger-lickin’ taco recipes that can’t be beaten, with its grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, creamy avocado, salty cotija cheese, and addicting cheese chip toppings. Make this for dinner or for your low carb lunch ideas!
It’s an amazing weeknight recipe that’s sure to please! Break out the margaritas, it’s TACO SALAD time!
I want to TACObout why I love to make this low carb taco salad recipe so much:
- It’s fast! If you have 50 minutes, you have a low carb taco salad on your dinner table! It can be made even faster with some of the recipe variations below! Check them out!
- It’s MEXICAN food. Say no more. I’m here for it, always. 365 days, 24/7!
- This salad is loaded with fresh veggies, seasoned chicken, two different cheeses, creamy avocado, and crunchy pepitas!
- Like any good salad, you can customize this one to whatever you have on hand! Add more veggies, swap out the meat, make it vegetarian, create a cheese taco for it, change up the salad dressing, etc. The options are endless!
Check out what you need to get in order to make this healthy taco salad pronto:
See the ingredients needed for this salad below but remember, just use what you have, skip what you want! That’s the great thing about salads, they’re so customizable! Make them work for you!
Pepper Jack Cheese: This is a spicy cheese flavored with sweet peppers, rosemary, habañero chilies, garlic, and jalapeños. You’ll be making the cheese crackers with this cheese.
If spice isn’t your thing, just use cheddar or white shredded cheese in its place. You can also make parmesan crisps here if that’s what you have.
Chicken Breast: Choose Boneless, skinless options and pound them thin.
You can also purchase pre-cooked chicken breast to save yourself some time. Serve the chicken however you like it best, you can slice it thinly, you can shred it (use the leftovers to make shredded chicken tacos) or use ground chicken (again, use the leftovers to make ground chicken tacos!)
Low Carb Taco Seasoning: Use your favorite low carb taco seasoning. I love Trader Joe’s taco mix but it’s also insanely easy to make your own too!
Avocado: YUM. Avocado adds the perfect amount of fat to this salad to help you stay full longer. You could also whip up this guacamole to add to this recipe too!
Pepitas: You can also sub pumpkin seeds for pepitas. Either one brings great flavor and crunch!
Tools To Make
Here’s what you need to make this low carb taco salad recipe:
- Oven: for baking cheese chips (you’re going to obsess over these!)
- Baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat: for baking the cheese chips on
- Pizza cutter: for slicing cheese into strips (You can also use a knife to accomplish this.)
- Large skillet with lid: for grilling chicken and sauteing peppers. If you want to skip the step of grilling the chicken, you can also make slow cooker taco meat — Come home to the meat cooked and ready to eat! You can use that same chicken to make grilled chicken tacos too. MmmmMmm good!
- Large bowl: for serving the prepared salad with all ingredients mixed into it
Store all leftovers in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it again.
Meal Prepping Tips
I love me some healthy lunch ideas and this low carb taco salad recipe is lunch GOLD. Meal prepping healthy recipes makes it super easy to prepare for the week ahead’s meals…
A great way to meal prep this low carb taco salad recipe is to turn it into a mason jar salad. Never made one?
It’s super simple and can make your premade salads last 4-5 days in the fridge. Since you are stacking the ingredients in the mason jar, this helps to maintain your salad’s freshness and avoid salad sogginess!
Here’s how to easily make a mason jar salad:
- Add your salad dressing of choice on the bottom of the mason jar (if adding to the recipe)
- Add your protein next (in this case, the grilled chicken)
- Now add the veggies (the bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado)
- Add the cheese & the pepitas
- Add the romaine (or whatever lettuce you’re using) at the top
- Usually, the lettuce is the last layer but for this recipe, add the cheese chips on the top since you don’t want them to get soft
When you’re ready to eat the salad, simply flip the jar upside down to let the dressing run throughout the stacked salad ingredients. Shake the jar a couple of times, remove the lid and chow down!
You can eat it directly out of the jar or dump the salad into a bowl. How neat is that?!
This recipe is crazy convenient since you can alter it to your liking. See below how to shift things around to make it work for you:
- Use other kinds of meat. Use whatever kind of meat you want in this low carb taco salad recipe! I LOVE using our ground beef tacos, or pork tacos leftovers. You can also skip the meat and load up on extra low carb vegetables!
- Use different kinds of dressing. Switching up the taco salad dressing totally changes the flavor profile of the salad! Try homemade ranch dressing or homemade Italian dressing to really dress up your salad right!
- Turn this into a casserole. Turn this recipe into a low carb taco casserole by plopping all the ingredients into a casserole dish (minus the lettuce, and sprinkle the cheese on top instead of making cheese chips!) and baking it in the oven. I do recommend turning the strips of chicken into a ground chicken casserole to make it easier to eat.
- Toss the salad inside low carb tortillas, such as these cheese taco shells.
- Swap the cheese chips with low carb tortilla chips!
Low Carb Taco SaladPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 Cups Pepper Jack
- 1 Lb Chicken Breast boneless, skinless, pounded thin (or purchase thin chicken breast)
- 2 Tablespoons Low Carb Taco Seasoning can use whatever taco seasoning you'd prefer
- 2 Bell Peppers julienned
- Romaine Lettuce chopped
- Cherry Tomatoes sliced
- Avocado sliced
For the Cheese Chips:
- Preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread a thin and even layer of pepper jack over the parchment paper.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the cheese begins to look crispy. Take the baking sheet out of the oven, set aside and, allow it to cool.
- Once it has cooled enough to handle and has completely stopped bubbling (if you do this too soon, the cheese will stick to the paper towels), place paper towels over the top to sop up some of the grease.
- Flip the cheese onto a cutting board (with paper towels between the cutting board and the cheese.)
- Replace the parchment paper on top with paper towels to absorb some excess grease on this side.
- Using a pizza cutter, cut the cheese into long and thin strips — similar to tortilla strips.
For the Salad:
- Meanwhile, season chicken on both sides with low carb taco seasoning and pat the seasoning into each breast.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat (I used a grill pan cast iron to get the grill marks).
- Add julienned bell peppers to the pan and saute until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes.
- Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
- Add chicken breast to pan and sear each side for about 3 minutes.
- Cover the skillet and continue cooking the chicken for about 10 minutes (until no longer pink in the center).
- Set the chicken aside with the peppers to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, assemble lettuce and sliced cherry tomatoes. Add bell peppers and chicken. Cover with sliced avocados, cotija, pepitas and cheese strips.
- Serve with your favorite low carb dressing and enjoy!
Lettuce celebrate (and make) these tasty, never boring salad recipes:
- Thai Chicken Salad. A rainbow of delicious veggies in every bite!
- Mexican Chicken Salad. So many zesty flavors packed into a salad.
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad. Bacon, cheddar, green onions, oh my!
- Tarragon Chicken Salad. A classic for a reason.
- Avocado Chicken Salad. No need for mayo when you’ve got nature’s creamy equivalent.
I think you are going to dig how easy and yummy this low carb taco salad recipe is! I know it’s certainly in my weekly rotation of meals to make.
I can’t wait to hear what you think… Let me know how you prepared it in the comments section below!