[Recipe] Taco Salad (with a Lightened Up Version)

taco salad cover

We have made it to yet another end of June. School’s almost out. That means you see school buses at places like museums and zoos, kids and teachers running around all over the place. I love it.

Growing up, June was always a bittersweet time. I loved going to school and seeing my friends there every day, but I also loved being with my friends at home – biking the neighbourhood, swimming in the river down the street from home, and playing hide and seek and ghost in the graveyard until the streetlights came on. That was the rule – we could bike around and go where we wanted to go until the streetlights came on, then we had to head home to at least check in with mom and dad, or call from whomever’s house we might be holed up at playing Nintendo.

I loved my childhood. The kids and parents in our neighbourhood were some of the best and I have very fond memories of spending time with all of them. Seems there was always some parent willing to take us in and provide us snacks for an afternoon. Lego, Nintendo, Choose Your Own Adventure books, Hewey Lewis and the News, In Living Color, Mad Magazine, He-Man, a WWF wrestling ring. That was the life.

As a side note, if you’re a child of the 80s and played a few old school video games, I highly recommend that you read ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline. It’s one of my most favourite books and it really brought back a lot of great childhood memories.

And for the record, Ryan, if you’re reading this – I still reminisce about your grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies – they were some of the best I’ve ever eaten. And do you remember the time we showed up at my Gram’s house and she let us eat an entire container of Betty Crocker chocolate frosting?!? So great.

This June in New Brunswick has been a bit of a fail if we’re measuring success in sunny days. It’s rained at least 21 of the past 26 days and we’re on pace for setting a rainfall record here. Better June than July or August I suppose. It sure hasn’t stopped me from getting into a summertime kinda mood, and when it comes to eating, that means more salad!

I was introduced to this salad by a roommate when I was in university. I’ve been making it ever since. This recipe comes together really quickly, is a great family dinner, and a huge hit at potlucks. I have lightened it up a bit too, and I’m passing along the original version of the recipe, as well as a lightened up version.

Hope you like it!

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[Recipe] Taco Salad (Original Version)


1 cup Miracle Whip
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp taco seasoning (reserve the remainder of the package for seasoning the meat)


1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning (minus the 2 Tbsp used in the dressing, above)
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 bag tortilla chips (Doritos work well here, if you’re so inclined), broken up
shredded cheese (optional)

taco salad 1

Prepare the dressing. Mix all dressing ingredients and allow them to sit for a few minutes.

taco salad 2

Brown the meat with the remainder of the package of taco seasoning. Allow to cool to room temperature.

taco salad 3

Put the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and chips into a large bowl.

taco salad 4

taco salad 5

Once cooled, add the cooked meat.

Add dressing.

taco salad 6

Mix well and serve.

[Recipe] Taco Salad (Lightened Up Version)


3/4 cup Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp taco seasoning (reserve the remainder of the package for seasoning the meat)

1 lb ground turkey
1 pkg low-sodium taco seasoning
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 bag reduced-fat tortilla chips, broken up

Follow directions as per original recipe, above.



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