This simple vegetarian taco salad is a favorite with everyone in my family. Healthy and delicious, it’s a perfect weeknight meal.
My kids have to cook at least one meal a week. This is in part because I’m a big believer in Food Literacy and teaching kids how to cook. Also because Brad and I are way too busy to make a healthy dinner seven nights a week! This vegetarian taco salad is one of the dishes my kids choose to make on a regular basis. They love it because it’s simple and delicious!
The credit for this recipe belongs to my mom. It was one of my favourites as a kid. When I moved away to university, I called asking for the recipe. She emailed it to me, along with the message: “You have inspired me – we’re having it tonight!”
Simple, delicious, packed with vegetables… what more could you want in a meal?
Vegan and grain-free options
I’ve scaled this vegetarian taco salad recipe for a single can of beans. It is enough to feed 2-3 people. I usually make a double-batch to feed my family of four.
Feel free to leave out the cheese for a dairy-free and vegan taco salad. Or leave out the corn chips for a corn-free, grain-free salad.
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin (ground or whole seed)
- A 15 oz can of beans (1/2 cup of dried beans)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, to taste (will depend on whether the beans are salted)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp ketchup
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard (or 1 tsp Dijon mustard)
- A dash of hot sauce, optional
- A pinch of salt
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 a coloured pepper, chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/2 a head of lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup crushed corn chips
- 1/3 cup grated cheese
The beans can be served warm or cold. Since I’m usually short on time, it’s typically served warm at our house.
- Sauté the vegetables in a large frying pan set over medium heat. When the onions have softened, add the spices and fry for another minute to bring out the flavor.
- Add the black beans and oregano. Reduce the heat to low, put a lid on the pan and let it cook for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid and add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required. Let the beans cool slightly before serving. You can let it cool for up to an hour before making the salad. Any longer than that, I recommend refrigerating the beans.
- Mix the salad dressing in the bottom of a large bowl. Add the green onions, pepper, and tomato into the salad dressing so they can marinade. Rip up the lettuce and place it on top.
- When you're ready to serve the salad, toss the lettuce with the salad dressing. Add the beans and toss again.
- For a pretty presentation, serve the salad at this point with a handful of corn chips and cheese on top. Or if you’re interested in a quick and easy meal, toss the corn chips and cheese into the salad and serve immediately.
- Feel free to use your favorite beans. Kidney, black beans, or pinto are all delicious!