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This low carb taco salad recipe is healthy, easy to make, and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. It’s loaded with delicious southwest flavors!

close-up of low carb taco salad in a white bowl

This low-carb beef taco salad recipe really hit the spot for me. It’s been ages since I’ve had a taco salad with ground beef. And guess what? I didn’t even miss the tortilla chips. There’s plenty of flavor and crunch in here without it.

The taco salad dressing is simply sour cream, the adobo sauce that comes in a can of chipotle chilis, and some fresh lime juice. It tastes amazing with the other ingredients!

low-carb southwest beef taco salad with avocado in a bowl

What’s in taco salad?

This easy taco salad recipe includes:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Extra lean ground beef
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onions
  • Cheese (you can use just cheddar but I used a Mexican shredded cheese blend that includes cheddar, Monterey Jack, and queso quesadilla cheeses)
  • Avocado
  • A homemade sour-cream based chipotle dressing
  • An easy homemade spice blend similar to taco seasoning that you can buy

I left out the tortilla chips – this saves carbs and calories.

I think you’ll love this smoky chipotle taco salad recipe. I love how fast it comes together, and we’ve only got healthy real-food ingredients in here. Definitely one of my favorite comfort foods.

ground beef with southwest seasoning in a skillet

How do you make taco salad low-carb?

You don’t really have to make too many changes to make a taco salad low-carb. I omitted the tortilla chips that are sometimes included in taco salad recipes. I actually don’t miss them at all, and I find that the onions and lettuce give it enough crunch.

I also left out beans, which you sometimes see in taco salad recipes.

I used a few spices to make my own homemade taco seasoning for this salad, but if you’re in a rush or don’t have the individual spices, you can use taco seasoning instead.

You may also like my low-carb taco bowls, these low-carb taco zucchini boats, my beef taco soup, or to browse my other low-carb recipes. Don’t mind the carbs? Try my regular beef taco salad recipe.

bowl of southwest taco salad beside small dressing bowl with a spoon and lime wedges

Hope you love this low-carb ground beef taco salad recipe!

Questions? Ask me in the comments below.

This low-carb taco salad recipe is healthy, easy to make, and it's ready in less than 30 minutes. This beef taco salad is loaded with delicious southwest flavors! A clean eating recipe that's perfect for meal prep. 
5 from 3 votes

Low-Carb Taco Salad Recipe

This low-carb taco salad recipe is healthy, easy to make, and it's ready in less than 30 minutes. It's packed with delicious southwest flavors! 
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 medium red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 1 cup little tomatoes (grape, cherry, etc.) halved
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce torn into bite-size pieces


  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add the olive oil, beef, and spices to a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, using a spoon to break the meat up into smaller pieces (and stir often), for around 7 minutes or until it's cooked through. 
  • Meanwhile, prep your other salad ingredients and add them to a large salad bowl. 
  • Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk them together. 
  • Once the ground beef is cooked, sprinkle it over the salad. Add dressing and toss. Serve immediately. 


  • Adobo sauce is the sauce that's in those little cans of chipotle chilis with adobo sauce (find these in the Mexican aisle at the grocery store). The dressing was semi-spicy when I used 1 tbsp of the sauce. It gives the dressing a wonderful smoky flavor. Add more if you want it hotter. Chop up a pepper or two if you want it really spicy! 
  • If you don't want to use the individual spices like I did, you can use pre-made taco seasoning if you prefer.
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Serving: 1/4 of recipe, Calories: 415kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 106mg, Sodium: 995mg, Potassium: 863mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1749IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 170mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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5 from 3 votes

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  1. Julie Swartz says:

    How would you prep this for a week with the salad and salad dressing?

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi! So, I would store the dressing in its own container. I’d store the meat in individual portioned containers (like enough for just one meal). The lettuce I’d probably wash and then store separately too (like in a ZipLoc with some paper towel or whatever works for you). You could probably cut up the veggies and store them together or in separate containers if you prefer. I would eat any leftovers within 5 days at the most, and I would microwave the meat before eating once you get past 3-4 days to be on the safe side (it’s better warm anyway, in my opinion).

  2. Kristin says:

    5 stars
    Hi Natasha! My fiancé and I are trying to eat lower carbs, and tried this tonight, and it was insanely delicious!! We love spice so added a few chipotles, and this dressing is so yummy!! You’re right, you don’t miss the tortilla with so much flavor! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!! 💛💕

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!! I’m so happy you two enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. Kim says:

    Is this a keto friendly recipe??

    1. Natasha says:

      Hi Kim! I just added the full nutrition info for you (I didn’t have the option when I first published the post).

  4. Jess says:

    5 stars
    Yummy! The sauce and avocado and onion def make this!

    1. Natasha says:

      Excellent.. so happy it was a hit, Jess!

    2. Marianne says:

      This recipe sounds so good! I’m looking for new meal prep ideas for my boys when they come home for lunch. They would love this!

      1. Natasha says:

        Let me know what they think!

  5. Travel Beauty Lifestyle says:

    Yum. It is my favorite salad. Thanks for sharing

  6. Matt Robinson says:

    I grew up with 8 siblings, so my mom made us taco salad all the time. Absolutely love this version!

    1. Natasha says:

      8 siblings?! Wow! And thank you. 🙂

  7. Jennifer Farley says:

    My favorite kind of salad!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! 😊

  8. Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says:

    5 stars
    I think besides Caesar salads, taco salads are my favorite! This looks fabulous!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you!! Caesar is my favorite too. 🙂

  9. Tieghan Gerard says:

    I LOVE taco salads and this looks amazing!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks so much! Enjoy your weekend!