Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad


A flavorful, loaded taco salad that’s layered with crisp romaine lettuce, protein rich turkey and black beans, fresh juicy tomatoes, creamy cheddar, and it’s finished with a delicious cilantro lime crema (or salsa crema). The perfect weeknight dinner!

Taco Salad on a serving plate.

A Healthier 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!

Taco salad filling in a skillet.

Made with Pantry Staples

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.

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 on a serving plate.

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Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad

5 from 1 vote

A flavorful, loaded taco salad that's layered with crisp romaine lettuce, protein rich turkey and black beans, fresh juicy tomatoes, creamy cheddar, and it's finished with a delicious cilantro lime crema (or salsa crema). The perfect weeknight dinner!

Servings: 5
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


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
  • 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
  • 5 oz Tortilla chips, slightly crushed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or monterey 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

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: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. 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. 

  3. Add in chicken broth, tomato paste, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander and paprika.
  4. Stir well to mix in tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. 

  5. Stir in black beans and reduce heat to low, season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. 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.
  7. For the salad: on dinner plates layer lettuce, chips, cooked turkey and black bean mixture, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and red onion.
  8. Spoon Cilantro-Lime Crema or Salsa Crema over salads. Serve immediately.

  9. For the salsa crema: In a small mixing bowl stir together sour cream, salsa and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

  • Cilantro Lime Creme Recipe HERE (make that or salsa crema you won't need both). Nutrition listed in this recipe includes salsa crema.
Nutrition Facts
Turkey Black Bean Taco Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 580 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 115mg38%
Sodium 979mg43%
Potassium 1272mg36%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 38g76%
Vitamin A 7170IU143%
Vitamin C 20.5mg25%
Calcium 354mg35%
Iron 6.1mg34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Taco Salad
Calories: 580 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Sandra Carbone: Thank you so much, very delicious recipes and very healthy. January 22, 2018 at 7:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sandra! January 23, 2018 at 2:28pm Reply

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