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Mexican Salad Recipe

This quick, healthy meal is fully customizable and can be both vegan and vegetarian friendly.


Single Burner or No Equipment Needed


Very Easy

Picture of the Mexican salad recipe in a bowl.

Mexican salad is a fast Mexican dinner idea that is a more healthy meal than tacos or nachos.

It is so easy to customize this meal to your taste and diet! For vegans and vegetarians you can leave the meat off entirely and just use beans, or you can use a ground beef substitute that has been cooked like a taco meat recipe.

My parents always called this dish "Mexican Chef Salad".

I like to make this Mexican salad as a lazy dinner because this is such a fast meal that you can get it on the table in less than 30 minutes. You can also use whatever ingredients you like or have in your pantry. For example you can make this recipe with balsamic vinaigrette, normal or vegan ranch dressing, Italian dressing, French dressing, etc. and also with whatever vegetables you have hanging around.

Customize this salad with your preferred choice of healthy ingredients!

Here are some more ideas for toppings:

  • Grilled veggies

  • Quinoa

  • French fried onions

  • Veggie Fajitas

  • Sliced red onions

  • Sliced jalapenos

Money Saving Tips

You don't actually need the taco meat for this recipe. If you cut it and use extra beans instead it is much cheaper.

Beans cooked from dried instead of canned are cheaper and taste better.

Lettuce and salad mixes are cheaper from the bulk warehouse stores than from standard grocery stores.

Picture of the ingredients for the Mexican salad in separate bowls.

Gather the ingredients. Serve them in small bowls so every person can build and top their Mexican salad the way they like best!

Picture of lettuce in a bowl.

Add lettuce or salad mix to a bowl. About 3 ounces (85g).

Picture of lettuce in a bowl with beans and taco meat on top.

Add the taco meat and beans, about 1/2 cup of each.

Picture of the bowl with tomatoes and green onions sprinkled over the beans and taco meat.

Top with diced tomatoes and sliced green onions.

Picture of the bowl now with olives, cilantro, and avocado added.

Add all of your optional toppings. In this picture I added sliced green olives, sliced avocados, and fresh cilantro.

Picture of the salad with chip crumbles on top.

Next, top with the crushed tortilla chips. They add a lovely salty crunch to the salad!

Picture of the finished Mexican salad with salsa and vinaigrette added.

Drizzle with both salsa and salad dressing for a tangy, sweet, savory experience. I used balsamic vinaigrette in this photo. Enjoy!


Any leftovers can be packaged separately and used the next day to make another salad. Alternately you can store all the leftover veggies together and the leftover meat and beans together, but then they must be used the next day.

How to reheat it? The meat and beans can be reheated in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.

Can it be packed for lunch? Yes! You can take this as a lunch for work the next day. Usually I pack the lettuce tipped with all the veggies and sauces, with the crunched tortilla chips in a small bowl or bag separately. You can pack the meat and beans with the lettuce and veggies if you don't mind eating them cold, or you can pack them in a separate container that can be microwaved and then dumped on top of the lettuce and veggies.

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