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Turkey Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

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5 from 2 votes
Taco Tuesdays take a healthy turn with Turkey Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. Easy to make with fresh, light flavor!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Finished turkey taco salad on a white serving plate.

Taco Tuesdays take a healthy turn with this Turkey Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. Add fun and flavor to your lunch or dinner menu with the easy, light, and fresh tastes of ground turkey, loads of vegetables, and a delicious cilantro dressing!

Making taco salad doesn’t have to be a repeat of the same old boring recipe. Change it up with a homemade dressing and use delicious ground turkey for a lighter option.

Finished turkey taco salad on a white serving plate.

This turkey taco salad recipe is easy to prepare and packs plenty of flavors in a very basic recipe. The turkey is much lighter than the typical ground beef base, but the homemade cilantro lime dressing is what makes it truly unique. You’ll find many more uses for the dressing alone.

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  • Quick and easy to make
  • Fresh light lunch or dinner
  • Mild heat level
  • Homemade salad dressing recipe included
  • Make it ahead and assemble when you’re ready to serve

About the Ingredients

Ingredients needed for the salad.
  • Ground Turkey (Typically a mixture of both light and dark meat with a 93/7 (93% lean, 7% fat) ratio.)
  • Taco Seasoning (Purchase a pack or make your own with my recipe.)
  • Canned Corn (If it’s summer, fresh corn cut from the cob is always best!)
  • Tortilla Strips (Available in grocery stores in either the chip aisle or near the packaged tortillas.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Turkey Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Make the Dressing

Dressing ingredients added to a glass jar.
Dressing Step 1.
Finished dressing in a glass jar.
Dressing Step 2.
  1. In a bowl or jar, add the mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, salt, black pepper, garlic, and water.
  2. Stir well to combine.
  3. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

COOK’S TIP 
There are dozens of uses for this delicious homemade Cilantro Lime Dressing! Drizzle it on grilled steaks, in fish tacos, or over chicken strips. It will keep up to a week in your refrigerator.

Cook the Turkey

Cooked, seasoned ground turkey in a skillet.
Cooked, seasoned ground turkey.
  1. Place the ground turkey in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is no longer pink and is cooked through.
  2. Add the taco seasoning to the cooked turkey in the skillet. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper if needed. Set it aside to cool briefly.

Assemble the Salad

Lettuce, turkey, and vegetables in a mixing bowl.
Assembly Step 1.
Salad topped with dressing.
Assembly Step 2.
Salad after tossing with dressing.
Assembly Step 3.
Assembly Step 4.
  1. In a large bowl, add the Romaine lettuce, cooked seasoned turkey, red onion, drained corn, and cherry tomatoes.
  2. Pour over about one-fourth of the dressing.
  3. Toss well to coat all ingredients.
  4. Top salad with tortilla strips, avocado slices, and additional dressing.

COOK’S TIP 
The salad can also be assembled in individual serving bowls.

Recipe Options

  • Try substituting other proteins for the turkey. Ground chicken, or grilled or baked chicken strips are great options. The traditional ground beef is always good as well.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and cotija cheese are popular additions.
  • Add canned, well drained black beans for additional flavor, color, and protein.
  • Make your taco salad into a burrito by rolling in a large tortilla. Or make street tacos by serving the salad filling and dressing wrapped in warm corn tortillas.
  • Offer bottled hot sauce at the table.
A bite of salad on a fork.

Recipe Tips

To Make Ahead

To make the recipe in advance, cook the turkey and keep it in one container, mix the vegetables and keep them in a separate container, and mix up the dressing and keep it separately, too. Assemble the salad with its dressing only when ready to serve. This will help the salad to stay crispy and fresh longer.

To Store and Reheat

All ingredients can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The cooked turkey can be rewarmed in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop. 

Finished turkey taco salad on a white serving plate.

FAQs

What can I serve with taco salad?

Taco salad is essentially a meal in itself, but I do have a few suggestions for accompanying dishes. Of course, a margarita is a great beverage to enjoy or horchata if you’re keeping it non-alcoholic. And there’s always salsa and chips for pre-dinner and either dulce de leche or churros for dessert.

Ground turkey always seems too dry. How can I keep it moist?

Ground turkey is typically about 3% fat, so it can definitely be dry when cooked. If you don’t mind a bit of extra fat, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Also, be sure to avoid overcooking and that will dry the turkey even more.

What can I substitute for tortilla strips if I can’t find them in my store?

You can crumble your favorite tortilla chips, or add Fritos or Doritos as a topping.

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Recipe

Finished turkey taco salad on a white serving plate.

Turkey Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Taco Tuesdays take a healthy turn with Turkey Taco Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing. Easy to make with fresh, light flavor!
5 from 2 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Main Dishes, Salads
Cuisine: American, Southwestern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 283kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

For the Dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro finely minced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Salad:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 ounces taco seasoning (1 packet, or 2 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper if needed
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce chopped (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 cup red onion finely diced (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 5 ounces canned corn drained
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1 cup tortilla strips
  • 1 avocado sliced

Instructions

Make the Dressing:

  • In a bowl or jar, add the mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, salt, black pepper, garlic, and water.
  • Stir well to combine.
  • Keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cook the Turkey:

  • Place the ground turkey in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the turkey is no longer pink and is cooked through.
  • Add the taco seasoning to the cooked turkey in the skillet. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper if needed. Set the mixture aside to cool briefly.

Assemble the Salad:

  • In a large bowl, add the Romaine lettuce, cooked seasoned turkey, red onion, drained corn, and cherry tomatoes.
  • Pour over about one-fourth of the dressing. Toss well to coat all ingredients.
  • Top salad with tortilla strips, avocado slices, and additional dressing.

Notes

To Make Ahead:
To make the recipe in advance, cook the turkey and keep it in one container, mix the vegetables and keep them in a separate container, and mix up the dressing and keep it separately, too. Assemble the salad with its dressing only when ready to serve. This will help the salad to stay crispy and fresh longer.
To Store and Reheat:
All ingredients can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The cooked turkey can be rewarmed in the microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 1505mg | Potassium: 802mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 10693IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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