Dairy Free Taco Salad

Hearty and packed with flavor, you’re going to flip over this dairy free taco salad! Easy and healthier than the classic version, this dreamy dish is filled with fresh veggies, crunchy tortilla strips, juicy meat (ground beef or turkey!) and a fantastic citrus cilantro dressing. Perfect for a quick dinner, it’s also gluten free. 

A white plate filled with Dairy Free Taco Salad.

Love taco night but craving something a bit different?

Then give this incredible dairy free taco salad a try ASAP!

It’s hearty, it’s satisfying, it’s healthier than the classic version. AND it’s anything but boring – i.e. it’s loaded up with allllll the good stuff.

We have:

  • juicy meat + black beans
  • crunchy homemade tortilla strips
  • warm southwest spices
  • plenty of fresh veggies
  • a bed of crisp romaine lettuce

And the most incredible citrus cilantro dressing to really bring it all home.

{Seriously though, even if you don’t want to make the entire salad, I’d definitely suggest whipping up a batch (or two!) of the dressing. It’s hands down my new favorite. SO DARN GOOD.}

Dressing and salad ingredients in small bowls.

How To Make Dairy Free Taco Salad

So, let’s talk about how this easy salad goes down:

Make the tortilla strips. First up, we’ll slice some soft corn tortillas, pop on a baking sheet and then bake until nice and crispy. 

Blend up the dressing. Next, we’ll add some oil, citrus, honey and cilantro to a food processor and pulse until well combined. 

Cook the meat & corn. Meanwhile, we’ll saute some ground beef (or turkey) with plenty of spices until browned, before cooking up some corn kernels until tender. 

Toss everything together. Finally, we’ll add everything to a large bowl, along with some lettuce, tomatoes and avocado, and give it a gentle mix until combined. 

And when served with a good dollop of dairy free sour cream? It’s dinnertime perfection.

Crispy tortilla strips on a white plate.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Keep an eye on the tortilla strips while baking in the oven. The cook time may vary slightly depending on the specific tortillas you are using and you don’t want them to burn.
  2. Along those lines, if you don’t feel like making the tortilla strips, just substitute some lightly crushed tortilla chips instead.
  3. Now, while I am normally allll about using olive oil in dressings, here it tends to overpower the other flavors. SO I would suggest sticking with the avocado oil (or another neutral oil of choice). 
  4. Not feeling the ground beef or turkey? You can absolutely use ground chicken or pork instead.
  5. And finally, as with all salad recipes, feel free to adjust the quantities of ANYTHING to your own taste!

Healthy Taco Salad on a white plate.

How To Store

All the components for the salad (EXCEPT the tortilla strips) will keep in separate containers in the fridge for about 4 days. 

I like to store the meat / beans / corn in one container (let them cool completely first), and then reheat gently when ready to enjoy. 

I’d also suggest dicing up the avocado and making the tortilla strips fresh right before serving (as they won’t be nice and crunchy if made in advance and the avocado will get brown). 

Gluten Free Taco Salad on a white plate with a fork.

Additional Dairy Free Salads You Might Enjoy:

Did you make this recipe? Rate and review it down below! I’d love to hear from you.

A white plate filled with Dairy Free Taco Salad.

Dairy Free Taco Salad

Yield: about 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Hearty and packed with flavor, you’re going to flip over this dairy free taco salad! Easy and healthier than the classic version, this dreamy dish is filled with fresh veggies, crunchy tortilla strips, juicy meat and a fantastic citrus cilantro dressing.


For the tortillas:

  • 3 (6 inch) corn tortillas, sliced into ½ inch strips*
  • fine sea salt, for sprinkling

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

For the meat:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, if needed**
  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

For the salad:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, if needed
  • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • about 8 cups salad greens of choice (I like romaine)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • dairy free sour cream, for dolloping


For the tortillas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. 
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper then place the tortilla strips on the sheet in an even layer. Mist lightly with nonstick or olive oil spray, then sprinkle lightly with some salt.
  3. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until crispy and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

For the dressing:

  1. Meanwhile, add all the ingredients for the dressing to a food processor and pulse / process until smooth and the cilantro pieces are very small. Taste and adjust the salt as needed. Set aside.

For the meat:

  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat (adding the oil if needed - see notes). When hot, add in the meat. Cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for about 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through and no longer pink. During the last minute or so, add in the chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

For the salad:

  1. Set the same skillet back over medium heat, adding the oil if the skillet is dry. When hot, add in the corn kernels and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, until tender and starting to brown. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. To a large bowl, add the black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, meat and corn. Pour in the desired amount of dressing and toss gently to combine.
  3. Serve topped with some of the tortilla strips and a good dollop of the sour cream!


*Be sure to check the ingredients on your tortillas to make sure they are dairy free (and gluten free if needed for your diet).

**If you are using lean ground beef or turkey, you’ll probably want to add the oil so the skillet doesn’t get too dry. Or, if you’re using a nonstick skillet, you might not need to do this. Use your judgment! I personally use grass fed beef that’s 85 / 15 (i.e. not super lean) and don’t find I need any oil (sometimes there’s almost too much left for cooking the corn so I drain some off). So again, use your judgment.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 401mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 8gSugar: 8gProtein: 28g

Nutrition data shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator and is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered a substitute for a medical professional’s advice.