Turkey Taco Salad


When I was a kid, I would make a snack for myself that involved melting shredded Mexican cheese on tortilla chips by way of the microwave. Quick, easy, satisfying. Healthy? Probably not, but maybe because my cheese to chip ratio was off balance. While my metabolism is no longer that of a tween, I still enjoy chips and cheese but look for new ways to make into a meal. This turkey taco salad has familiar flavors of a typical taco salad but updated to make more interesting, albeit more delicious. It appeals to all of my senses with the tang of the pickled onions, to the crunch of the chips, to the freshness of the veggies. Side note: while prepping this meal, I may or may not pop a few chips with cheese in the microwave and snack away happily. For nostalgia purposes, of course.

Ingredients - serves 4

For ground turkey mixture:

1 lb ground turkey thigh

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 small shallot, diced

chili powder



freshly ground pepper

For the rest of the salad:

mixed greens

cucumber, diced

tomatoes, diced

pickled onions*

pepper jack cheese, shredded

blue corn tortilla chips

For the cilantro dressing:

3/4 cup plain greek yogurt

2 tablespoons mayo (I use the 365 Everyday Value Organic Vegan Mayo from Whole Foods)

bunch of cilantro, about 1/2 cup tightly packed

1 garlic clove, minced

juice of half a lime


freshly cracked pepper


1. Over medium heat, saute the red bell pepper and shallot in a pan with some olive oil until softened. Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Then, to the turkey mixture, sprinkle a few hefty shakes of the chili powder and cumin (I know, such a professional description!), and add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and set aside.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine the dressing ingredients until smooth. You made need to add more lime juice or water if too thick. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

3. Prepare your salad bowls: layer with greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, and pickled onions. Top with 1/4 of the turkey mixture and sprinkle with cheese and crushed tortilla chips, dollop with dressing.

*Pickled onions - I follow this recipe but thinly slice the onion instead of chopping, and also add a bay leaf and a few whole peppercorns.