Low-Carb Taco Salad Without the Added Fat

Low-Carb Taco Salad

Renee Comet / Stockfood Creative / Getty Images

Total Time: 30 min
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 5 (2 cups each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

313 calories
15g fat
16g carbs
32g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5 (2 cups each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 313
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 966mg 42%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 8g 29%
Total Sugars 4g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 32g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 466mg 36%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 1038mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Although you may think of taco salad as a healthy option, it often comes with more calories and fat than you might expect from a salad. But if you leave out the tortilla chips or taco shell, use fat-free cheese, and swap in plain yogurt for the traditional sour cream, taco salad can become a healthy, filling, low-carb, and flavorful meal. 

The addition of avocado provides healthy fat and fiber to help with satiety and fullness. Avocado, which is full of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health while providing plenty of potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A.

This recipe is very easy to throw together when you don't feel like cooking, especially if you have the meat prepared ahead of time or have it leftover from another meal like ropa vieja. Allow each person to dress their salad individually with yogurt and salsa or offer a homemade low-fat ranch dressing on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef (85% to 89% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • green onions, chopped with white and green parts separated
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • avocado, diced
  • 1 4-ounce can sliced olives
  • 1 1/2 cups grated fat-free cheese, cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a combination
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup salsa

Preparation

  1. Cook beef in a skillet with chili powder, the white part of onions, and salt and pepper. Once cooked, cover the pan if you prefer the beef warm when added to the salad; if you'd like it chilled, place it in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the salad. 

  2. In a large salad bowl, mix the lettuce, tomato, avocado, green onion, and olives if using. Add the meat and cheese and gently toss them together—top with dollops of yogurt and salsa, or place in serving bowls to pass at the table.

Variations and Substitutions

Use any type of ground meat you like such as ground turkey, chicken, or pork. For a vegetarian option, replace the ground meat with beans or textured vegetable protein.

Adding beans to this salad will increase the fiber and protein content but will also increase the total carbs.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Try topping with hot sauce or slices of pickled hot peppers for more spice.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chambers L, McCrickerd K, Yeomans MR. Optimising foods for satiety. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 2015;41(2):149-160. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2014.10.007

  2. Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effectsCrit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-750. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.556759