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This easy, low FODMAP taco salad recipe with homemade ranch dressing is one that I make almost weekly. It’s refreshing and healthy while bringing an explosion of Mexican flavours and spices to your palate. Depending on your personal preferences or what you have in your fridge or freezer, this taco salad can be made with ground beef, chicken, or turkey (which is our favourite) and is perfect for a quick, healthy lunch (which you could make in advance!) or an easy weeknight dinner. In addition to being low FODMAP, it’s also Paleo and Whole30 compliant, dairy-free and gluten-free, as is the dairy-free, homemade ranch dressing to slather on top.
Low FODMAP Taco Salad: Easy Weeknight Dinner, Tortillas Not Invited
Sorry to post two salad recipes in a row (technically four if you count each Chicken Salad variation individually), but with Cinco de Mayo coming up, I thought it would be an ideal time to post this low FODMAP taco salad. Plus, I wrote this recipe long ago, and every time I make it, I think: I gotta get this one on the blog! While not a dump-and-go recipe by any means, it’s easy to put together for a quick lunch or dinner, and is so freaking delicious. We rarely have many leftovers of this as it’s just so hard to stop eating.
Tortillas can be complicated when eating low FODMAP. Corn tortillas are okay, and per Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App, are low FODMAP up to 2 tortillas, but are not my favourite. Gluten-free tortillas, at least the ones I’ve tried, are awful. Coming from a Paleo/Whole30 perspective, my way of thinking is typically to skip the tortilla all-together and make things a salad or bowl. Taco? Put it in a salad or bowl. Burger? Put it in a bowl (still working on that recipe). Fajita? Put it in a salad. Carnitas? Put them in a bowl. It’s simple, easier on the tummy for low FODMAP, and you get more veggies that way.
Beef, Chicken, or Turkey Taco Salad
I’ve tested this low FODMAP taco salad recipe using ground beef, chicken, and turkey and am happy to report that it can be deliciously-made with all three. Ground beef is pictured here, but I’d have to say our family’s favourite is turkey. The flavour just works so well with all of the other elements, and it’s great if you don’t eat red meat or want to go with something leaner than beef.
Taco Salad Dressing
I actually wrote a brand new ranch dressing recipe to go with this taco salad, but I ripped it up as it was nowhere near as yummy as my tried-and-true dairy-free, homemade ranch dressing, which is one of the most popular recipes on the blog. I could eat this stuff with a spoon, it’s so delicious (I don’t…but I won’t judge you if you do). Other salad dressings could potentially work, so if you have one you like or have found at the store, by all means – use it!
This recipe calls for 2.5 tablespoons of pre-made taco seasoning. This could be my low FODMAP homemade taco seasoning recipe or one you buy from the store (I list some low FODMAP store-bought options in that post in case you’re interested). The contents of the store-bought versions will vary, so be sure to taste the meat and adjust the seasoning levels as needed before serving.
This is one of the few recipes on this blog so far that’s made on the stove top. The equipment I use to make this low FODMAP taco salad recipe includes:
Chopping board and knife
Measuring spoons and cups
Large skillet, preferably with a lid for draining grease
Low FODMAP Taco Salad: Ingredients & Success Tips
To start this recipe, I first prepare the homemade taco seasoning and homemade ranch dressing, whose ingredients and success tips I’ve discussed in their respective posts. As mentioned above, feel free to use a store-bought low fodmap taco seasoning or another dressing if you prefer to speed things up.
After preparing the taco seasoning and dressing, I chop all of the salad ingredients (the produce) and place them in a large bowl. These ingredients include:
Green leaf or romaine lettuce, or your greens of choice (just make sure they’re low FODMAP)
Red bell pepper
Scallions (a.k.a. green onions), dark green parts only for low FODMAP
Red radish (optional)
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
Your other favourite salad ingredients (i.e. tomatoes)
Although tacos are often topped with raw tomatoes, I haven’t included raw tomatoes in this recipe as I dislike them with a passion. If you like tomatoes, please feel free to add them and any other ingredients you might want in your salad.
Ground Meat: Beef, Chicken, or Turkey
As mentioned above, you can use a pound of ground beef, chicken, or turkey in this recipe. Once your seasoning, dressing, and salad ingredients are ready to go, place a large skillet on the stove top on medium heat. Once hot, add the ground meat, breaking it up with a spatula into small pieces, and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat on the stove to low, and drain grease from the skillet if needed. Return to heat; add the taco seasoning, garlic-infused olive oil, and water, and stir until the meat is thoroughly coated in spices, oil and water. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture in the skillet has been absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.
Pay careful attention to the moisture level as you don’t want to overcook the meat. It will dry out and taste gritty. Remove skillet from heat and scrape meat into a small bowl to cool for a minute or two. Don’t put meat directly from the skillet onto the produce as the salad will cook and lose its crispness.
Once it’s cooled a bit, add the meat to the salad ingredients and toss if desired. Top with homemade ranch dressing or your favourite dressing. I typically leave the salad, meat, and dressing in separate bowls and let everyone serve themselves.
More Clean Eating, Low FODMAP Salad Recipes
Here are some more great low FODMAP salad recipes you should try:
Refreshing and healthy while bringing an explosion of Mexican flavours and spices to your palate, this low FODMAP taco salad can be made with beef, chicken or turkey and is perfect for a quick, healthy lunch (which could be made in advance!) or an easy weeknight dinner. Low FODMAP, Paleo and Whole30 compliant, dairy-free and gluten-free.
1 lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey
2 ½ tbsp low FODMAP taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought)
If using, prepare homemade taco seasoning and homemade ranch dressing. Cover and place ranch dressing in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Prepare salad ingredients, place in a large bowl, and toss with salad tongs (if desired). Set aside.
Set a large skillet on medium heat. Once hot, add ground beef, chicken, or turkey, breaking up with a spatula into smaller pieces. Sauté until meat is fully browned, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low. Drain grease from skillet and return skillet to heat.
Add taco seasoning, garlic infused olive oil, and water to the skillet and stir until meat is thoroughly coated. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture in the pan has been absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Taste the meat and adjust seasoning levels as desired (add salt to taste if your taco seasoning doesn’t contain it). Scrape meat from skillet to a small bowl to cool for 1-2 minutes.
Serve meat on top of or tossed in salad ingredients, topped with ranch dressing. I typically keep the salad, meat, and dressing in separate bowls and allow everyone to serve themselves.
Prep time reflects the time it takes to prepare the salad only and does not include time to prepare the dressing or taco seasoning.
Nutritional information includes that for the salad only, made with beef, and does not include nutritional information for the homemade ranch dressing. View that post for ranch dressing nutritional details.