The classic American Tex-Mex taco salad is a high-calorie meaty marvel: seasoned ground beef, piled into a fried taco bowl with cheese, sour cream, and other things. This version keeps things healthy, but with no lack of taco-salad zest. You sauté onion with pinto, black, and kidney beans (canned, so no sweat), along with a diced fresh tomato, frozen corn, and a jalapeño pepper.
Heap in a serving bowl while still warm, top with romaine leaves, as little (or as much) cheese as you like, and a drizzle of creamy, ranch-and-sour-cream-driven dressing (before you begin, you’ll need to make a batch of our Ranch Dressing). For the taco seasoning mix, we like the one from McCormick.
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons Ranch Dressing (recipe link in intro)
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Hot sauce (optional)
For the salad:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 medium-sized ripe tomato, diced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded, in small dice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Small, inner romaine lettuce leaves
- Shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a mix)
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- In a small bowl, whisk the Ranch Dressing with the taco seasoning mix, sour cream, and optional hot sauce; set aside. (If you’re not planning to use the dressing right away, cover and store it in the fridge).
- Set a large nonstick flying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When it’s warm, after about 1 minute, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the three beans, the tomato, corn, and jalapeño. .jpgCook, stirring frequently, until heated through and well combined, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste, seasoning with black pepper and additional salt as needed. Cool this mixture slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.
- To serve, transfer the bean mixture so a serving bowl or deep platter. Serve warm, topped with the romaine, shredded cheese, and a drizzle of dressing. Tortilla chips on the side.