Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing

This post has been compensated as part of my partnership with Stonyfield and Taylor Farms and may contain affiliate links. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep me creative in my tiny kitchen!

A healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap!

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Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing (#ad) is a healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap! #StonyfieldBlogger

Taco night is always a hit with my family. We do some sort of tacos at least once a week. I often use a packet of taco seasoning or homemade seasoning mix on some ground beef, turkey, or bison, and serve it up alongside a bunch of toppings.

I love meals like this because I can cut up whatever veggies I have on hand while the meat simmers away, and dinner is on the table in 20-30 minutes.

Our typical go-to toppings are tomatoes, lettuce, red onion, cheddar cheese, avocado, hot sauce, and a big ol’ dollop of Stonyfield Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt.

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing (#ad) is a healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap! #StonyfieldBlogger

I started using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream several years ago, because my lactose-intolerant husband and kiddo couldn’t eat sour cream, but were totally fine with yogurt. But since I was the only one who could eat sour cream, we didn’t go through it very fast. We already had Greek yogurt in the fridge (it’s our favorite for breakfast parfaits), so I decided to give it a try on my tacos one night.

Lo and behold, I loved it! It’s nice and tangy, and the whole milk version is so rich that it’s a fantastic substitute for sour cream. I even use it on my baked potatoes now, too. I’m at the point where I prefer it in almost all of the dishes where I previously used sour cream.

And if you want something even more rich and luxurious, you have to check out the new Double Cream Yogurt. (Swoooooon…)

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing (#ad) is a healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap! #StonyfieldBlogger

Since it’s already swimsuit season summer, I decided it would be nice to do a taco salad instead of standard tacos for Taco Tuesday dinner. My husband has been doing a keto diet lately, so he isn’t eating tortillas anyhow. I added a handful of crushed tortilla chips to my salad, my son got a pile on the side of his, and we were all more than satisfied!

For this particular salad, I wanted to make a cool, creamy dressing that would do the same job as a dollop of Greek yogurt on a taco, but with a bit of a kick. So I mixed some whole milk Greek yogurt with whole milk smooth & creamy to give it a thick-yet-pourable consistency.

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing (#ad) is a healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap! #StonyfieldBlogger

I remember the days when I would only use iceberg lettuce on my tacos. Maaaaaybe romaine. I grew up eating tacos with that crispy cool lettuce, so I just stuck with it. But then one day I had some baby arugula on hand and figured it might be a good substitute and let me tell you – I was blown away!

I loved the peppery bite that it added to my tacos, and since it’s a salad green that we often have on hand, it works out perfectly to throw a handful on tacos when we make them.

I used baby arugula from Taylor Farms for this particular taco salad. Taylor Farms works with over 100 family growers across the country to produce lots of deliciously green goodies that can be found in your produce aisle.

Their salad greens are delicious, and when I’m hard-pressed for time, I’m a big fan of having one of their salad kits for lunch, or served alongside dinner. The Caesar Salad Kit is phenomenal – one of the tastiest Caesar dressings I’ve ever had! And I’m a total sucker for the Homestyle Ranch & Cheddar Salad Kit – the onion crisps are the perfect topping.

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing (#ad) is a healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap! #StonyfieldBlogger

When it came to topping our taco salads, I decided to go for an “eat the rainbow” approach. I wanted these bowls to be vibrant and welcoming. Plus, my son really enjoys picking out a little of each color of topping to add to his salad. Use your favorites here, and feel free to mix-and-match whatever you have on hand.

In making my rainbow of toppings, I wanted some purple cabbage, and the one at my local grocery store happened to be from Taylor Farms as well. I also opted for pre-shredded carrots to make prep easier.

So while this may look like a lot of ingredients, much of it can be done in advance. You can chop your veggies while you cook the meat like I do, or do it in advance and have it all ready to go ahead of time. I find that I usually have plenty of time to prep all the toppings while the meat simmers away.

The spice mix for the Chipotle Ranch dressing can be made and stored in your pantry. You can scale it up and make a big batch to fill a jar. Then, whenever you want to make your own ranch dressing, you just add a tablespoon of that mix to 1/2 cup each regular and Greek yogurt.

Throw in some adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers, and your dressing is good to go! It keeps well in the fridge for several days, too.

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing (#ad) is a healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap! #StonyfieldBlogger

This salad was a big hit with my family. The dressing really took it to the next level. The added smokiness of the chipotle peppers brought a super rich flavor to the dish that we all enjoyed.

And it was oh so creamy!

Looking for more ways to use chipotle peppers? Check out some of our favorite recipes:

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Makes 4 Servings

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing

A healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap!

Ingredients

For Ranch Seasoning Mix:
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
For Chipotle Ranch Dressing:
1 tablespoon Ranch Seasoning Mix (see above)
1/2 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt (I used Stonyfield)
1/2 cup whole milk plain yogurt (I used Stonyfield)
1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle in adobo, depending how spicy you like it
For Taco Meat:
1 pound ground turkey, chicken, or beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 cup water
For Salad (mix and match your favorites):
2 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup canned corn, drained
3/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
1/2 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup shredded purple cabbage
1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

Instructions

  1. For Chipotle Ranch Dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Ranch Seasoning Mix (dried parsley through celery seed). Place 1 tablespoon of this mixture in a medium bowl, add Greek and plain yogurts and adobo sauce. Mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate until ready to use (this makes about 1 cup of dressing, so you'll have plenty leftover. It keeps well in the fridge for several days).
  2. For Taco Meat: Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and fry, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until browned all over. Drain excess fat from the pan (if there is any). Add tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Stir to combine and pour in water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the liquid is almost gone and meat is fully cooked, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. For Salad: Place 1/2 cup baby arugula in each of 4 salad bowls. Top with 1/4 each of the meat, cheese, corn, tortilla chips, tomatoes, cabbage, radishes, and carrots. Feel free to mix and match any of your favorite taco salad toppings here - this list is just my personal favorite. Serve with Chipotle Ranch dressing.

Notes

Original Recipe by Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli

Big Flavors Rating: 5 Stars

https://bigflavorstinykitchen.com/taco-salad-homemade-chipotle-ranch/

Note: This post includes affiliate links for items that I genuinely enjoy. Big Flavors will receive a tiny commission from purchases made through affiliate links on this site at no added cost to you. This allows us to cover site-related expenses and helps to keep us cooking up a storm!

Taco Salad with Homemade Chipotle Ranch Dressing (#ad) is a healthier spin on Taco Tuesday that still packs lots of Mexican flavor. The homemade taco seasoning and chipotle ranch come together in a snap! #StonyfieldBlogger
  • Claire J. Ruiz

    These looks so delicious!