Take this Healthy Taco Salad recipe to work or school in a super convenient mason jar! Prep-ahead and have this easy mason jar salad recipe ready to grab-and-go. This taco salad recipe is made in partnership with Whole Foods Market 365. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Healthy Taco Salad + Happy Places
For those of you that know me well, you know that there a few places I consider my “happy place”… the local craft store, my kitchen, and the grocery store! (See pic below of my “happy face” after visiting my “happy place!”)
Who else out there goes to the grocery store to brighten up their day just a bit?
So when I discovered a new Whole Foods Market 365 opened up in North Austin (Hey, Cedar Park!) I had to go check it out.
Not to mention, I also had a healthy taco salad recipe on the brain and needed to stock up my kitchen with all of the ingredients.
Grocery Store Bliss + A Mason Jar Salad
Upon first entering I knew Whole Foods Market 365 was going to be right up my alley.
It had a huge open floor plan, bright colors throughout, and was just the right size. *All the happy feelings.*
It was not so big that I felt like I was going to get my workout in for the day at the grocery store, but big enough that it had all of the ingredients I needed to make this healthy taco salad recipe… including ORGANIC lean ground beef with no added hormones… that didn’t break the bank!
And to be honest, none of the items I bought made my jaw drop at the price tags or the nutrition labels.
All of the products I purchased for this mason jar salad recipe can be found in Whole Foods Market 365, are non-GMO, and are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
I can’t tell you what a relief it was to not have to check EVERY. SINGLE. LABEL for these things!
So if you are someone who wants to get the EXACT ingredients that are used in this healthy taco salad recipe, then be sure to look for your nearest Whole Foods Market 365 store! (They’re already in SO many states!)
Easy Peasy Taco Salad Recipe
Are you someone that grabs whatever happens to be in the fridge for lunch or dinner?
(Totally guilty here!)
After I made these mason jar salads and put them in our refrigerator I found myself reaching for a SALAD to eat at lunch. Imagine that!
The biggest hang-up I find when trying to eat healthy is actually prepping and preparing the healthy food when my hanger monster has taken over.
So my solution? Make the healthy taco salad AHEAD of time and pack it into cute mason jars to enjoy throughout the week.
How to Make a Healthy Taco Salad
So what exactly are the ingredients in this gluten-free taco salad recipe?
- Lean ground beef: I prefer buying organic and 93/7 (like the kind from Whole Foods Market 365.)
- Seasonings: Lots of delicious taco flavors!
- Whole kernel corn: Canned corn makes it super easy to assemble.
- Black beans: These help give you an extra bump of fiber.
- Tomatoes: You can use cherry, vine-ripened, or Campari tomatoes.
- Avocado: An absolute must.
- Mixed greens: You can always substitute for spinach or kale.
- Tortilla chips: For an added crunch!
- Taco salad dressing: My secret weapon in this taco salad recipe!
Feel free to swap out or leave out ingredients you do not like or that do not fit your dietary requirements. Think of this taco salad recipe as a blueprint for you to get creative with!
Taco Salad Dressing Recipe
Want to know my secret in this taco salad recipe?
The taco salad dressing! And it’s so super simple.
Find a really good ranch (you can find a few dairy-free ranch dressings at Whole Foods Market 365), pair it with a thick and chunky salsa, and voila! You have the perfect taco salad dressing recipe.
Mason Jar Salad Recipe Pointers
If you are not super experienced when it comes to making mason jar salads, there are a few things you might want to note:
- Wide mouth mason jars are the way to go. They’re a lot easier to fill up and pour out.
- You will need a separate bowl to pour your mason jar salad contents into when ready to eat.
- Save the fresh ingredients for the night before/morning of. In this recipe you will want to put the avocado and mixed greens in at the last minute so they do not turn brown.
- You can either put the crunchy ingredients in the very top of the jar the morning of or in a separate zip-top bag to keep them from getting soggy.
- If you want to have warm ground beef on your salad simply empty out the contents on the top and then heat up the ground beef and taco salad dressing just before serving.
Healthy Taco Salad in a Mason Jar
Take this Healthy Taco Salad to work or school in a super convenient mason jar! This easy mason jar salad recipe is a gluten-free and easy work lunch that you can prep-ahead for the week!
- 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
- ¾ cup red onion finely diced
- 1 lb. lean ground beef 93/7
- Taco Seasoning Mix:
- 1 ½ Tbsp. cumin
- 1 ½ tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
- Mason Jar Taco Salads:
- ¼ cup salsa medium
- ¼ cup ranch dressing*
- 1 cup whole kernel corn rinsed and drained
- 1 cup black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 cup tomatoes finely diced
- ½ cup cheddar cheese* shredded
- 1 large avocado cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 20 corn tortilla chips crushed
- Find your Whole Foods Market 365
- In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil and chopped red onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until almost cooked through.
- Push onions to the side and add lean ground beef. Saute for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through.
- While beef is cooking mix together cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
- Once ground beef is done cooking, turn off heat and add seasoning ingredients. Mix to combine. Using a potato masher or the back of your fork, crumble the ground beef to your desired consistency.
- In a small bowl whisk together the salsa and ranch.
In four 24-oz. wide mouth mason jars add equal amounts of the salsa-ranch, ground beef mixture, corn, beans, tomatoes, and cheese. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- The morning before serving, add ¼ of the avocado, 1 cup of greens, and crushed corn tortilla chips.*
- Shake mason jar well before pouring contents into a large salad bowl to enjoy.
*Use dairy-free Ranch dressing and cheese for a dairy-free taco salad recipe.
**Bring the tortilla chips and avocado separately to maintain the most freshness.
***If you want to have warm ground beef on your salad simply empty out the contents on the top and then heat up the ground beef and taco salad dressing just before serving.