Saturday, May 07, 2016

Easy Vegetarian Taco Salad

Simple meals are a lifesaver on busy days in our house. With a hubby gone for his job about seventy hours a week right now, my blogging work and the kids' extra-curricular activities, things can get pretty chaotic. Still, we try to sit down as often as possible - around the table - to enjoy a meal together. This Vegetarian Taco Salad is often a go-to for us. I can, literally, whip it up in like, fifteen minutes (or less) and it's filling enough to satisfy my crew. We are big on loaded salads and loaded rice/grain bowls in our house. They just seem to come together quickly and simply when life gets crazy. (Some other favorites? This ONE and this ONE.)

Recently, our seventeen-year old daughter had her first prom. What a fun experience. As her mom, it was so cool for me to help her find just the right dress, assist in planning her hair-do, help hunt for the perfect pair of shoes and spend the day helping her get ready for the big night. This salad is what the rest of the family had for dinner after she headed out the door that evening. (Ya know, once the whirlwind of craziness died down and this mom could catch her breath a bit.)

I tend to keep the ingredients for this salad on hand so that I can toss this together when I'm short on time or things are hectic. Since we are huge fans of Mexican food, taco salads go over well. I do sometimes include some grilled chicken, but more often than not, I serve this vegetarian-style. A drained can of chili beans lends some spice and protein here. And, I usually keep cooked rice in the freezer just for dishes such as this one. I just season it up a bit with some ground cumin and a little salt for this salad. And, yes, I know ... nacho cheese chips. A somewhat unhealthy-ish inclusion to an otherwise healthful salad I suppose. But, golly dang .. they kind of "make" the salad if you ask me. So, I would probably just go ahead and throw them in there if I were you. Afterall, Y.O.L.O! (Shhhh! Don't tell my kids I just typed that. I embarrass them enough and I'm told that Y.O.L.O is so like, three years ago or something.)

Serves 4.


1/2 head lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Colby or the like)
1 can chili beans, drained thoroughly (but not rinsed)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup leftover or pre-cooked brown rice, seasoned with 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup (or more to your liking) crushed nacho or tortilla chips
Handful grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 scallions, chopped
1 large mild pepper, sliced thin


Lay down bed of lettuce in large bowl. Arrange remaining ingredients on top. Toss at time of service.

Optional Garnishes: sour cream, cilantro, hot sauce, avocados, salsa

Oh, and here's a shot of my beautiful Allanah before leaving for prom. Blows me away ...that girl (and makes me feel so damn old). Time ... it's a runaway train, my friends. 


  1. I love a nice salad like this, and your daughter looks very lovely :)

  2. This was really good and also easy, which was great tonight. I modified it somewhat, partly out of necessity, and partly preference. I put the cheese on the side, as my son is lactose intolerant. There are no chili beans at my grocery store (maybe they're an American product not available in Canada?), so I sautéed some onion, added minced garlic, a drained can of pinto beans, cumin, chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and pepper, and let it simmer for a while. I also Squeezed lime and drizzled some canola oil over the salad, and added salt and pepper. This turned out really well for us. Thank you for a great recipe!

    1. Love your adjustments and so happy that it turned out to be a salad that was enjoyed, Vivian.

  3. I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. Very easy to make and also very filling. I foresee many summer nights enjoying this meal. Thanks Angela for posting this recipe!

    1. Awesome, Justina. Thanks so much for your feedback and visit!

  4. Perfect! Just by looking your pics, I really want to try it now.

  5. I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. Very easy to make and also very filling. I foresee many summer nights enjoying this meal. Thank you for posting this recipe!

    1. Thanks so much for your feedback, Mika. And, I am so happy that you liked the salad. One of my faves!

  6. Simply delicious recipe! I will try it!