Ultimate Taco Salad. Who doesn’t love a good taco salad? Taco Tuesday is a weekly excuse for me to eat more Mexican-style food. The taco salad originated in the 1960s in Texas. Salad greens are topped with traditional taco fixin’s and served in edible fried flour tortilla shells. Taco salad is a very popular item on menus at Mexican-style and casual restaurants across the US.
In the early 1990s, I won a Chili Cookoff at my government client’s site. My Black Bean Chili even beat the different chilis made by Texans! This black bean chili is my favorite and graces many a weeknight menu at my house. Since that cookoff win, I’ve created a few more chili recipes. Try my elegant White Chicken Chili, hearty Red Chicken Chili with Beer, and my sweet and savory Baked Bean Chili. You could even have a chili bar with a chili cookoff party of your own. Add some salad fixin’s and enjoy an Ultimate Taco Salad Party, too.
My Ultimate Taco Salad starts with a bed of mixed salad greens including baby arugula and romaine lettuce. Halved cherry or grape tomatoes, carrot matchsticks, diced sweet onion, sliced mini cucumbers and cilantro leaves top the greens. My Award-winning Black Bean Chili crowns the center of the salad. It’s topped with shredded Mexican cheese blend, sour cream, and sliced black olives. A drizzle of Chipotle Cream Dressing and a sprinkling of cilantro rounds out the Ultimate of Taco Salads.
A basket of crispy corn tortilla chips is offered on the side for scooping. Sometimes, I will arrange the tortilla chips around the edges of the salad and/or place a tortilla chip in the middle of the chili as garnish. I don’t use the fried flour tortilla shells but you could certainly use them. Instead, I like to break a few corn tortilla chips over my salad for a nice crunch.
You can use whatever vegetables you like and cut them in a different manner. Also, you could try one of my other chilis as the centerpiece of the salad.
My Ultimate Taco Salad reminds me of the Taco Salad that I used to order for work lunches from Wendy’s fast food restaurants. My version is hopefully a bit tastier.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
Ultimate Taco Salad
2 c Award Winning Black Bean Chili
4 c salad greens such as chopped romaine leaves, baby arugula leaves or spring mix
12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch matchsticks
1/4 c diced sweet onion
1 mini-cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 c Chipotle Cream Dressing
1/2 c shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/4 c sour cream
6 black olives, whole or thinly sliced
4 sprigs cilantro, leaves only, coarsely chopped
1. Warm the chili over low heat in a saucepan until heated through.
2. While the chili is warming, arrange the salad greens on two serving plates. Leave an empty space in the middle for the chili.
3. Arrange the halved tomatoes, carrot matchsticks, diced onion, and cucumber slices on the ring of salad greens.
4. Drizzle the Chipotle Cream Dressing over the vegetables.
5. Ladle the warm chili into the center of the plates.
6. Top the chili with the shredded cheese and let the cheese melt a minute or two.
7. When the cheese is a bit melty, top with the sour cream and garnish with the black olives and the cilantro.
8. Serve with the tortilla chips. You can also arrange the tortilla chips around the salad before serving.
Makes two Ultimate Taco Salads. Offer with my Smoky Chile Con Queso dip with additional tortilla chips. To drink, serve sangria, margaritas and beer. You could also try my Hot and Spicy Black Bean Dip as an appetizer.
Variations: Try one of my other chilis such as my Red Chicken Chili with Beer. Add sliced radishes, chopped bell pepper, diced or sliced jalapeno pepper, diced avocado, sliced celery, etc. Omit the cilantro if you are not a fan. My Lime Cilantro Dressing is a lighter dressing to substitute for the Chipotle Cream Dressing. You could also top the chili with my Smoky Chile Con Queso instead of the shredded cheese. If you like a lot of crunch in your salad, crumble the tortilla chips over the salad prior to eating it.
Make your meal an event with an authentic sombrero from Amazon:
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