Ground turkey taco salad with perfectly seasoned taco meat served over crisp romaine lettuce with fresh veggies and creamy cilantro ranch dressing.

Love turkey recipes? Try our Turkey Quinoa Chili.

ground turkey taco salad

Build-your-own taco salads are one of the quickest and easy meals to make. Not to mention they make great meal prep bowls.

This fresh ground turkey taco salad swaps out the typical ground beef for lean ground turkey and serves it over chopped romaine lettuce. Topped with loads of fresh toppings and a drizzle of our easy cilantro ranch dressing.

ground turkey taco salad recipe

How to Make Ground Turkey Taco Salad

There are three components to this ground turkey taco salad recipe: taco meat, cilantro ranch dressing, and toppings.

Make the Best Seasoned Taco Meat

The secret to the best tasting taco meat is to season the meat before cooking. You’ll need spices to make the taco seasoning, ground turkey, 1 can black beans, and 1 can tomato sauce.

ingredients for turkey taco meat

In a bowl, mix together the spices and add to the ground turkey meat. Using your hands, mix the spices into the meat.

step by step on how to make taco salad recipe

Cook the ground turkey over medium heat until no longer pink. Stir in beans and tomato sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Whip Up the Cilantro Ranch Dressing

Cilantro ranch dressing is so delicious over this taco salad recipe and easy to put together! You can prepare the dressing ahead of time and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. You’ll need these ingredients:

  • sour cream
  • milk
  • minced cilantro
  • fresh lime juice
  • minced garlic
  • chili powder
ingredients for cilantro ranch dressing

Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

instructions on how to make dressing for taco salad

Prep the Toppings

The best part about a taco salad? The toppings! You can customize them to suit your diet or taste.

  • romaine lettuce
  • corn
  • grape tomatoes
  • avocado
  • green onions
  • fresh jalapeno
  • cilantro
  • queso fresco
taco salad toppings

Other Add-Ins

Change up your turkey taco salad with any of these optional add-ins:

To Prep Turkey Taco Salad In Advance

This healthy taco salad makes the best meal prep salad because the romaine holds up well in the fridge and it all tastes good cold.

If you’re making this salad in advance, toss the romaine lettuce with toppings of choice, and store separately from taco meat and the dressing. Add the taco meat and dressing just before serving, as well as avocado.

turkey taco salad

More Loaded Salads to Try

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turkey taco salad recipe

Ground Turkey Taco Salad

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  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chopped
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Ground turkey taco salad with perfectly seasoned taco meat served over crisp romaine lettuce with fresh veggies and creamy cilantro ranch dressing. It’s a great meal prep salad!


Units Scale

Taco Meat

  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh minced cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. water, plus more to taste


  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 12 large ripe avocados, chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, to taste


Taco Meat

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, and red chili flakes. 
  2. Add the spices to the ground turkey meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, mix in the spices into the meat until well distributed. Do not overwork the meat.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, while breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.
  4. Stir in black beans, tomato sauce, and water. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly reduced and thickened. Taste for salt and pepper. 


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the dressing it too thick, thin out with a little more water.


  1. Layer romaine lettuce into individual salad bowls or one large platter. Top with salad toppings and taco meat. Drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately. You can meal prep the salad into individual meal prep containers without the meat, dressing, or avocado. Add those in right before serving. 


  • Cheese: Queso fresco is a soft, moist cheese. Commonly sold as a chunk but it breaks into curd-like pieces (similar to feta). It’s light with a salty and slightly tangy flavor. It’s commonly used in Mexican recipes. If you can’t find this cheese, substitute it with shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Modifications: This is a very adaptable recipe. See post for more salad add-ins and/or modifications. 


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 432
  • Sugar: 7.8 g
  • Sodium: 555.3 mg
  • Fat: 23.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32.7 g
  • Protein: 28.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 73.2 mg