I love a good taco salad. Tacos are amazing, and salad is so healthy and nutritious, so when you mix the two together, you really get a surprisingly delicious match made in heaven. This vegan taco salad recipe is one you’ll want to make again, and again for dinner, meal prep, or a side dish. It’s packed with flavor, fiber, and protein from the lentils and black beans, and is seriously versatile.
Why you’ll love this vegan taco salad:
- Quick: Made in less than 30-minutes
- Healthy: Veggies and lentils, this vegan taco salad recipe is nutrient-dense
- Versatile: Add your favorite veggies, and protein, switch up with what you have on hand or need to use up
- Flavorful: The combination of spices in this dish makes this taco salad loaded with flavor. It’s delicious!
Here are some of the key ingredients you need to make this delicious Vegan Taco Salad recipe:
Lentils: Lentils are so good for you and are really versatile. In this recipe, it acts as a meat substitute. It makes the salad filling and adds more nutrients. Lentils can help lower your cholesterol, improve your heart and digestive health, can assist in stabilizing your blood sugar, and helps give you energy. They are also high in fiber and protein.
Spices: What makes the lentils taste like “taco meat” is the spices. I used garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, and oregano. You can also buy store-bought taco seasoning if you’re lazy or want this salad to be even quicker.
Black Beans: To add more protein to this dish, I added black beans. They are high in protein and fiber, and are great for warding off diseases, increasing your digestion, and even lowering your blood pressure.
Veggies: Use what you have on hand, traditionally I use the toppings that I’d usually put on a classic taco or in a burrito bowl!
Dressing: I made a delicious lime-cilantro dressing. It’s packed with flavor and so delicious. However, you can also add sour cream and salsa, or whatever dressing you like traditionally on a burrito bowl or on a taco.
How to make vegan taco salad:
1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Prep the ingredients for the salad and set them aside.
3. Grab a large bowl or tray that you will be serving the salad on and set aside.
4. To the large bowl, combine all the lentil ingredients together and stir till well combined. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until crispy. Check and stir them often to avoid burning.
5. While that bake, make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a deep jar or blender and blend till smooth using a blender or hand blender.
6. Once the lentils are cooked, let them cool slightly.
7. Assemble the salad by creating a platter-style salad or simply tossing everything together in a bowl with your desired amount of dressing.
Expert Tips & FAQ:
Spices: The spices for the chickpeas are entirely optional and really quite versatile/interchangeable so have fun with them! I would suggest using the flavors you love most and thinking about the classic taste of a caesar salad while developing that flavor profile.
Storage: The salad is best enjoyed fresh. So I suggest only topping the salad with the dressing once you’re ready to sit down/eat it. The crispy lentils can be tightly sealed, once cooled, and will last up to 5-7 days in a room temperature spot.
Lentils: I love making this Taco Salad with lentils but if you’re feeling like switching it up, you can use chickpeas or white beans.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Grits & Creamy Beans & Collards
- Refried Beans & Avocado Tacos
- Hearty Vegetable + Mixed Bean Stew
- Vegan BBQ Black Bean Meatballs
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Vegan Taco Salad
- 1 large head of lettuce chopped
- 1 cup of tomatoes chopped
- 3/4 cup of black beans
- 1/2 cup corn grilled or cooked
- 1 avocado sliced
- Large handful of cilantro
- 1/2-3/4 cup corn tortillas or nachos of choice crumbled
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños chopped
For the Lentils:
- Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prep the ingredients for the salad and set them aside.
- Grab a large bowl or tray that you will be serving the salad on and set aside.
- To the large bowl, combine all the lentil ingredients together and stir till well combined. Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until crispy. Check and stir them often to avoid burning.
- While that bake, make the dressing by adding all the ingredients to a deep jar or blender and blend till smooth using a blender or hand blender.
- Once the lentils are cooked, let them cool slightly.
- Assemble the salad by creating a platter-style salad or simply tossing everything together in a boll with your desired amount of dressing.