The average ‘taco salad’ isn’t actually a salad… It’s classic taco ingredients served in a giant, crispy, deep-fried tortilla bowl! And, it’s all SO delicious, just totally not a ‘salad.’ But, this vegetarian taco salad recipe combines the ‘taco’ concept AND the ‘salad’ concept into one dish—that’s both delicious AND nutritious!
You can make homemade baked tortilla bowls that are just as crave-ably crispy, and quite possibly even MORE crunchy. Plus, you have the option to use a more wholesome, whole grain tortilla, or you could make gluten free or grain free baked tortilla bowls!
And, rather than using a base of rice, refried beans, or shredded lettuce (which isn’t an ‘unhealthy’ choice, it just doesn’t offer many nutrients), this vegetarian taco salad features the super-est of superfood greens: KALE!
Massage your leaves a bit in this tasty taco lime dressing before chowing down, and they’ll become deliciously tender and less bitter. Then, load it up with classic taco ingredients, like fajita veggies, beans, corn, and whichever toppings you enjoy!
Let’s Taco Bout Healthy Taco Salads
To make this vegetarian taco salad truly healthy for us, we’ve gotta make some healthy substitutions. That’s where the kale, homemade dressing, and baked tortilla bowls come in! And, we need to pack on more nutritious fuel. So, this isn’t just a vegetarian taco salad….
It’s also a vegan hummus bowl! Sort of like a Buddha bowl, but with a dollop of hummus at the bottom of the bowl and your other bowl ingredients layered on top. Not only does that hummus add some crave-able creaminess, but it also ups the plant-based protein in this vegetarian taco salad to an impressive 21 grams!
Any hummus you like will do the trick, or even a homemade hummus. Personally, I like to use a taco flavored hummus for a fun flavor twist in my bowl!
Of course, you can jazz up this vegetarian taco salad and make it however you like. But, I’ve also linked some of my favorite recipes in this post and the recipe below for your inspiration!
Make Healthy Food FUN
Seriously, this healthy vegan bowl is FUN to eat, so delicious, and it actually satisfies my hunger. It’s full of wholesome veggies and even a dose of kale—but it tastes like a crunchy, zesty, saucy vegan taco!
Of course, there are all kinds of other plant-based ingredients you can play with in your vegetarian taco salad. A great option for family-style meals where each person can ‘build their own’ taco salad!
4 homemade baked tortilla bowls
¾ cup taco hummus, or hummus of choice (3 Tbsp per bowl)
10 oz kale
¼ cup taco lime dressing
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15 oz) corn, drained & rinsed
~1 cup fajita veggies (~¼ cup per bowl)
2 avocados, sliced (½ per bowl)
4 lime wedges
Prepare homemade baked tortilla bowls and allow to cool.
Add all taco lime dressing ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, add kale, drizzle with a bit of oil, and pour on taco lime dressing. Gently massage kale leaves to coat with oil and dressing. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine black beans and corn.
To assemble vegetarian taco salads, add 3 Tbsp hummus to the bottom of each homemade baked tortilla bowl.
Add ¼ of dressed kale (~2½ oz) on top, ¾ cup black bean and corn mixture, and ¼ cup fajita veggies. Top with ½ of a sliced avocado, a lime wedge, or any other toppings you prefer. Serve and enjoy!
Yields 4 vegetarian taco salads.
Per 1 vegetarian taco salad only, without baked tortilla bowl: