Taco Salad with Avocado Crema

I pretty much always have taco’s on the brain.  It is one of those foods, I am pretty sure I could eat them everyday and not tire of them.  There are so many things about them to love, but here are the first 10 things that come to mind.

  1. They are colorful
  2. They are fresh
  3. They are a crowd pleaser
  4. They can be made ahead
  5. They are easy to make
  6. They can be customized
  7. They are a gluten free food
  8. They are an inexpensive dinner alternative
  9. They have their own day named after them (Taco Tuesday)
  10. In short, taco’s bring people together

TacoSaladIf a food has that many benefits, shouldn’t you have an incredible recipe for them?

Absolutely you should!!!

Just in case you don’t have an outstanding taco recipe in your back pocket, here is my go-to-all time-favorite taco recipe ever.

When I was first married, I knew very little about cooking and did not come into the marriage with a book full of family favorite recipes.  I began subscribing to just about every food magazine know to man.  Every time we would pass a book store, I would troll their bargain book section for cook books that would offer up inspiration.  In one of those little books, I saw a layered taco salad for the first time in my life.  It was like my eyes had been opened to a whole new universe of taco eating had opened!!!!!

Through the years, as my pallet expanded, so did this recipe, and today it still remains one of our families favorite’s.

 

The base of this salad is well seasoned, browned ground meat.  You could use a store bought taco seasoning, or make up a big batch of our Chipotle Taco Seasoning.

Once your meat is prepared, at that to your serving bowl to be the base layer of your salad.  Next we will layer on the salsa.  After the salsa comes the showoff of this special salad.  If you have never eaten avocado crema, I am about to be your new best friend.  Avocado crema is a smooth cream made up from avocado’s, sour cream, cilantro, and lime.  This crema will quickly become your new favorite condiment.  It is delicious not only for this dish, but also as a topping for grilled fish or chicken.  The salad is finished off by layering lettuce, cheese, black olives, diced tomatoes, and pickled jalapeño’s.  Serve this dish with tortilla chips at your next gathering.  I promise you will get rave reviews.

 

Taco Salad with Avocado Crema

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. Ground beef or turkey, browned
  • 2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
  • 1/3 Cup water
  • 1 1/2 Cup Salsa
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Cup Shredded lettuce
  • 1 Can Olives (4 oz.) *optional
  • 1 Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained *optional
  • 1/4 Cup pickled jalapeño's, diced *optional
  • Ingredients for Crema:
  • 2 Avocado's
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. Saute meat in a pan until browned. Add taco seasoning and water to the season and continue cooking until the water has cooked down and meat is well seasoned. Transfer the seasoned meat to the serving dish and top it with salsa.
  2. To prepare the crema, add avocado's, the juice and zest of 1 lime, sour cream, cilantro, and salt to the food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Scrape down sides until the desired consistency has been achieved. Layer the crema on top of the salsa to complete the next layer.
  3. Form layers with the remaining ingredients, beginning with the cheese, followed by lettuce, olives, and diced jalapeño's .
  4. Serve with tortilla chips or Fritos.

Additional Info

Store remaining salad in the refrigerator.

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