Fiesta Taco Salad (with creamy cilantro-lime dressing)

Sooo, you didn’t think I would post a salad dressing recipe without creating a salad to go with it, right? Right.

I mean, come on. A salad dressing without dressing is just….weird veggie cream?

…I don’t know where I was going with that one. Sorry.

Friends, let me tell you something: this salad is pretty awesome, and the homemade cilantro-lime dressing tops it all off. (Literally, ha!) I made this salad right before I left New Mexico, using up the last of my homegrown tomatoes. (Look at how vibrant those reds are! You can’t tell me that there isn’t a difference in nutrients between these guys and conventional tomatoes.)

This salad is like a fiesta in a bowl: steak and taco seasoning and cilantro and green onions, and pretty much all the Mexican food flavors, but with a healthy twist to it. Dyyyyying.

Because its so good. Dying. Such a millennial thing to say. If I could access the taco emoji right now, I would insert it here…..but I can’t because its sadly not out yet for ios. Whomp whomp. Emojis: another millennial thing. 

And I know, I went through this whole thing about how earlier in the week was going to be my last summer recipe because it was Labor Day and fall is coming, but then I forgot about that I wrote this recipe and totally forgot to schedule it. Whoops. 

But for real this time, this salad is my last little ode to summer flavors, and this time I am serious.…because FALL is coming. And you know what that means- pumpkin spice errything. Hey girl. HEY. 



Traditional taco salads use a whole lot of iceberg lettuce, however, I am protesting that right now. Iceberg lettuce has little nutritional value, and truly doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor, so I suggest using mixed salad greens or romaine. Spinach might be a good option, however, it might make this salad taste a bit bitter, and un taco-saladish. Instead of traditional ground beef for taco salads, I opted for steak, because ummm....STEAK TACO SALAD. You're welcome. Let's say goodbye to summer with a little bit of a fiesta

Some cook’s notes:

  • Make sure you know what cut of beef you are working with. Since this recipe uses a slow cooker, you want to make sure to go with a tougher cut of meat; the long cooking time and lower temperature of a more tender cut can result in a less-than-pleasant texture. I recommend a chuck roast or brisket.
  • If you do not wish to use the slow cooker, you can swap out any type of already cooked beef to make this salad. (Like a medium, thinly sliced filet mignon. Mmmm!)
  • This salad comes together really well on weeknights where time is limited. You can make the dressing ahead of time, and even dice the veggies to make it even faster.

paleo fiesta taco salad (with creamy cilantro-lime dressing)

Serves 4

  • 8 cups salad greens
  • 2 lbs. grass-fed, organic beef (see note above)
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 12 tbsp. paleo taco seasoning, divided
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4-cup olive oil
  • 1/2-cup green onions, diced
  • 1/2-cup nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Cilantro, lime, and tomato wedges for garnish, optional
  • Creamy Paleo Cilantro-Lime Dressing
  1. Season each side of your beef with 6 tbsp. altogether of taco seasoning. Optional: for a richer flavor, wrap spiced beef with plastic wrap and let sit in your fridge overnight.
  2. In your slow cooker, place beef. Fill with water so your beef is just covered by the water line. Add apple cider vinegar.
  3. Turn on and cook according to your manufacturers instructions.
  4. Once beef is done cooking, dice finely or shred. You can use a food processor to assist you, if you choose, just make sure to use the “slicer” blade to correctly shred your beef.
  5. Place shredded beef in a bowl. Add olive oil and stir to coat. Add in remaining paleo taco seasoning and stir until spices have thoroughly coated beef.
  6. Add in tomatoes and green onions. Stir until well incorporated.
  7. Assemble greens in either bowls or on large plates. Top with your beef-veggie mix.
  8. Sprinkle nutritional yeast evenly over all salads and drizzle with cilantro lime dressing. Enjoy immediately.