This recipe was born out of sheer love for the taco salad … and for making something absolutely fabulous for dinner in about five minutes flat.
Regular taco salad is typically little more than stale lettuce, soggy ground meat, and orange-colored cheese stuffed inside a fried taco shell. Without the tasty shell, there would arguably be little reason to eat the salad on its own. (Let’s admit it, fried tortillas just makes everything tastes better.)
But I was inspired by the prospect of what the taco salad could be (and sometimes can be, at a great restaurant), and wanted to make one that was delicious in its own right, whether served inside an irresistibly salty, crispy taco shell or simply on its own.
This vegetarian taco salad recipe with avocado, fresh herbs and salsa vinaigrette is ripe with colors, textures, and flare. And, it certainly holds its own in my cookbook. It’s full of fresh herbs, crunchy garden vegetables, and just a hint of spice. Enjoy straight out of the bowl with a giant fork, serve it inside warm tortillas, or do it up like I did: tostada-style over refried beans and a hard, flat tortilla.
Vegetarian Taco Salad Recipe with Avocado, Fresh Herbs, & Salsa Vinaigrette
Makes about 2 large servings
2 mini (or 1 regular-sized) yellow orange bell peppers, seeded, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
½ medium cucumber, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 scallion, slice
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup salsa of choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 avocado, pitted, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta or cotija cheese
Combine bell peppers, tomato, cucumber, celery, scallion, parsley, cilantro, chili powder, and salt in a medium bowl; toss well. Add salsa and olive oil; stir well to mix. Gently fold in avocado and cheese.
Serve as a salad, atop cooked brown rice, or over refried beans and hard-shell corn tortillas for incredible instant tostadas.
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Image by Kimberley Stakal