Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taco Salad

My daughter loves taco night, but gone are the days of the packaged taco seasoning mix that she loves.  Now I make my own, with a little help from Cross Fit El Paso. I've got to say, the combination of spices is awesome and tastes quite similar to the packaged mix. Aly doesn't even know the difference. Give this one a will probably already have all of the seasonings in your pantry. You can modify the salad ingredients to whatever you have on hand. The dressing has only three ingredients but a great flavor. The El Pato tomato sauce gives it quite a kick, so opt for a milder tomato sauce if you prefer. I used my taco salad leftovers to top my eggs at breakfast

Seasoning blend adapted from

Serves 3-4.

1 lb ground beef
Spice Blend
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 cup warm water
1 ripe avocado
3/4 cup tomato sauce (I used 1 can of El Pato Mexican Hot Style Tomato Sauce.)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 sweet red pepper, cored and diced
1 bunch salad greens
1 cup of your favorite salsa (I used fresh salsa from the salad bar.)
1 can sliced black olives


  1. Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain fat, if necessary. (I find that grass-fed ground beef requires no draining.)
  2. Combine spices in a small bowl. Add water and whisk together.
  3. Add spice liquid to cooked ground beef. Stir to combine and simmer over medium low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. While taco meat cooks, place avocado, tomato sauce, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. (Be warned, the dressing is not a very attractive color, but it tastes great!)
  5. To serve, place salad greens in a bowl. Top with red pepper, ground beef, dressing, salsa, and black olives. Enjoy!


  1. Beth from Crossfit FreedomAugust 18, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    I tried the taco salad tonight and it was so yummy! As always! I had to laugh when I was reading the receipe about the dressing and the not about it not being the most attractive color. I totally laughed! Well, you are right on all fronts. Great taste and crazy color!
    It was so fast. Good for a quick meal.
    FYI, I used leftover guacamole with the tomato sauce as a short cut. It was good.
    Thanks Pam for all your hard work.

  2. Thanks, Beth! Notice in the photo how I hid the dressing under the salsa and olives? Delicious but not pretty! Glad you liked it. Thanks for the great comments and the shortcut!

  3. This is a keeper recipe. It is a good way to get your "Mexican" food without cheating.

  4. Thanks, Barbara! I love how quick and easy this one comes together..and that we can still have taco night, paleo style. So glad you like it. Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Pam, where did you find the El Pato tomato sauce? I've been looking all over for it, Robb Wolf uses it in several of his recipes as well and had given up on finding it..

    1. I came across it at Dominick's. That's the only place I've seen it locally, but I'm guessing it may be available at a Mexican grocery store. If you can't find El Pato, you can use another tomato sauce and add cayenne to spice it up.

  6. I made the taco salad tonight it was awesome. I didn't even miss the chips. No guilt either, and I felt good knowing I was eating healthy Thanks for all you do for others Pam You are a blessing.

    1. Awe, thanks Denise! You are so sweet--your comment made my night. :) Glad you enjoyed the taco salad and I'm happy you are doing so great sticking with your paleo lifestyle. I think it's awesome!

  7. Thank you so much for this recipe - I loved it, and the kids ate it all without complaining, a rare thing at my house! Love your site, and so appreciate you and your recipes. Thanks again!