Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad


Long live taco salads! I grew up on taco salad – of course it was the classic Doritos taco salad that everyone was eating in the 90’s and yes sometimes I still crave that but I prefer this healthier version by far! Here I’ve made a taco salad filling with lean ground turkey, black beans, tomato paste, chicken broth and plenty of Southwestern seasoning so even though it’s not made with beef it is still packed with flavor and you won’t even miss the beef. You might even find yourself liking this version better!

Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad | Cooking Classy

This taco salad is loaded to the max! I know the ingredients list does look totally overwhelming but you probably already have 75% of of the ingredients on hand. There are a lot of seasonings which hopefully you already have in your cupboard so right there you can knock 5 things off the list. Plus things like chicken broth, tomato paste, olive oil, and black beans, tortilla chips and bottled salsa (for late light cravings) are pantry staples so hopefully you have those too. If you don’t already have most of it try this once and you’ll want to keep the basic ingredients stocked because this is something you’ll want to make again and again. This is my go-to taco salad and it’s a family favorite for sure! Add it to your menu this week!

And FYI the “Salsa Crema” which is basically just a fancy name for the sour cream and salsa blend also makes for an excellent potato chip dip. It was a go to snack at our house when I was little.


Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad | Cooking Classy Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad | Cooking Classy


Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad

5 from 1 vote

Yield: About 4 - 5 servings


Turkey and black bean filling

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 20 oz 93% lean ground turkey (it is also good with lean ground beef)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chili powder (or another 1 Tbsp regular)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed


  • 1 medium head romaine lettuce , chopped
  • Tortilla chips , slightly crushed (I usually do about 6 per salad but use amount you'd prefer)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or monterrey jack cheese (or a Mexican blend. Low fat is fine)
  • 1 (10.5) oz pkg grape tomatoes, halved or 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • Optional - 1 avocado , diced and 1/3 cup chopped red onion

Cilantro-Lime Crema, recipe here (make this or the Salsa Crema, you don't need both)

Salsa Crema

  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 6 Tbsp bottled salsa , such as Pace Medium Chunky
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice


  1. For the turkey and black bean mixture:
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 3 minutes then add garlic and turkey, season with salt and pepper then cook, tossing and breaking up turkey occasionally, until turkey has cooked through. Add in chicken broth, tomato paste, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander and paprika. Stir well to mix in tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Stir in black beans and reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes (you can add in 1 - 2 Tbsp more chicken broth if needed). Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. For the salad:
  4. On dinner plates layer lettuce, chips, cooked turkey and black bean mixture, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and red onion. Spoon Cilantro-Lime Crema or Salsa Crema over salads. Serve immediately.
  5. For the salsa crema:
  6. In a small mixing bowl stir together sour cream, salsa and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Lenny Face: Looks Yummy!! December 24, 2016 at 7:41pm Reply

  • lenny face: Oh my goodness! These look delicious! November 24, 2016 at 1:04am Reply

  • KimmyD: I’ve been eating this for the past 3 days!!!! Had to buy more lettuce!!! July 21, 2016 at 9:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it Kimmy :)! July 21, 2016 at 11:31am Reply

  • Trish in Seattle: I made your salad last night! It was delicious, thank you. My husband had seconds. The only things I added was a (drained) can of southwest corn and a 4 oz. of diced green Chili’s. Excited for leftover for my lunch today! ???? Love your recipes, pictures and blog! Keep doing what you’re doing, I always look forward to your emails! Thank you Jaclyn! July 12, 2016 at 8:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad to hear it was enjoyed Trish! I love adding corn and green chilies to taco salads too but I decided not to go too overboard with the ingredients list seeing it’s already plenty long lol. Thanks for your comment! July 12, 2016 at 9:41am Reply

  • Marcella: Looks Yum! Could I use ground beef instead of ground turkey? July 7, 2016 at 1:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes that would be just fine. Hope you love it! July 8, 2016 at 11:35pm Reply

      • Jaclyn: I tried it today with ground beef it was also delicious! Just drain off excess rendered fat from beef after it’s browned before continuing with the recipe. July 10, 2016 at 9:42pm Reply

  • April: Oh wow I love a good salad! I am always looking for new things to add to my salad and turkey sounds like a great idea! Your salad looks delicious! July 7, 2016 at 10:20am Reply

  • Beth: Making this Saturday for dinner. July 6, 2016 at 6:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it! July 8, 2016 at 11:38pm Reply

  • Susan Gosser: I wish your recipes provided nutritional information. July 6, 2016 at 8:20am Reply

    • Amber: You would think that her taking the time to show you her amazing recipes would be enough. You’re a big girl. If you want to know the nutritional value of something, go to my fitness pal and look it up. July 6, 2016 at 4:00pm Reply

    • Hooey: Try Tacobel. They have plenty of nutritional information, which is not only more nutritional, but also more tasty, than the actual food. July 8, 2016 at 4:07pm Reply

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