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Taco Salad Bowl

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Looking for a plant-based twist on the classic taco salad? America’s Test Kitchen has got you covered with this delicious vegetarian version. Packed with fresh veggies and all the flavors you love, this taco salad bowl is sure to become a new favorite.

Taco salad with lime wedges and drizzled with Ranch dressing.

This meatless meal is perfect for any night of the week and can be easily customized. Swap out the black beans for another type of bean, add some corn or diced avocado, and top with your favorite salsa or dressing.

It’s a satisfying and healthy dish that the whole family will love! Give it a try tonight.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. This recipe is meat-free and is vegan and vegetarian-friendly.
  2. You don’t need any seasoning packets – tomato sauce and spices are combined to make a simple, homemade taco seasoning without any fillers.
  3. Because it tastes like a “regular” taco salad, even kids will like these taco bowls.

Taco Salad Bowl Ingredients

Taco “Meat”

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 12 ounces plant-based ground meat
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8-ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar

Salad

  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts (12 ounces), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 15 ounces black beans, rinsed
  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 2 cups tortilla chips, broken into 1-inch pieces

For the taco meat: Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and salt and cook until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until firm crumbles form, about 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Instructions

Impossible Burger meat and onion in a skillet.

Stir in tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Off heat, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Plant-based taco meat in a skillet and a bowl of salad.

For the salad: Combine lettuce, beans, tomatoes, scallions, and ¼ cup cilantro in a large bowl; toss with lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide salad among serving bowls, then top bowls with taco meat, tortilla chips, and remaining ¼ cup cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

[I recommend that you store any leftover components in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator.]

Taco salad with crushed tortilla chips and lime wedges.

Other plant-based recipes you may enjoy: Sushi Bowls, Tomato Curry Sauce, and Instant Pot Chana Masala.

Taco salad with lime wedges and drizzled with Ranch dressing.

Taco Salad Bowl

These vegetarian taco salad bowls are healthy,plant-based, and packed with fresh veggies and all of your favorite flavors, making them the perfect weeknight dinner.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 628kcal

Ingredients

Taco Meat

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 12 ounces plant-based ground meat
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar

Salad

  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts 12-ounces, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 15 ounces black beans rinsed
  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes quartered
  • 2 scallions sliced thin
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves divided
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice plus lime wedges for serving
  • 2 cups tortilla chips broken into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

For the taco meat

  • Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and salt and cook until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until firm crumbles form, about 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Off heat, season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the salad

  • Combine lettuce, beans, tomatoes, scallions, and ¼ cup cilantro in a large bowl; toss with lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide salad among serving bowls, then top bowls with taco meat, tortilla chips, and remaining ¼ cup cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Notes

Recipe reprinted with permission from America’s Test Kitchen Cooking With Plant Based Meat, copyright 2022.
Nutrition information is an approximation and will vary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1134mg | Potassium: 1269mg | Fiber: 21g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 8793IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 10mg
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America’s Test Kitchen: Cooking With Plant Based Meat

Cooking With Plant Based Meat cookbook.

America’s Test Kitchen has created a timely cookbook perfect for those who want to add plant-based meat to their diet or are simply looking for delicious meatless meals. This comprehensive guide includes recipes for all kinds of plant-based meat, from burgers and tacos to international favorites like pan-fried dumplings and dan dan mian.

With 75 vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipes, you’ll be sure to find plenty of new favorites. And with tips on how to cook plant-based meat, how to flavor it, and how to substitute it in your favorite recipes, this cookbook has everything you need to make the switch.

Here are some of the recipes you will find in the book:

  • Sweet Italian Sausage Seasoning
  • Egg Rolls
  • Jamaican Meat Patties
  • Chorizo, Corn, and Tomato Tostadas with Lime Crema
  • Tagliatelle with Weeknight Bolognese
  • Italian Wedding Soup

Yes, I know it sounds like those are recipes that are made using meat, but they’re not! Each and every one of them is plant-based. And they’re all delicious.

So, if you’re looking for a way to add more plant-based meals to your diet, or if you’re just looking for some new and exciting recipes, America’s Test Kitchen: Cooking With Plant Based Meat is the cookbook for you.

Taco salad in a white bowl.

Look for Cooking With Plant Based Meat at your local bookstore or at Amazon.com.
Other meatless recipes you may enjoy:

Be sure to come back and tell us how your taco salad bowl turned out!

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