A vegetarian taco salad packed with smoky roasted veggies! Crispy, creamy, smoky and filling, this veggie taco salad will soon become your favorite healthy Mexican-inspired dinner.
I can think of few meals more satisfying than a taco salad, with it’s myriad of different textures and flavors. There is just soooo much going on. Love it.
So this won’t be one of my “OMG so easy” dinners, but I have tried to come up with a reasonable workflow to get all the components of this salad ready around the 30 minute mark.
But that may be ambitious if you are making it for the first time and are trying to enjoy yourself and chill a little.
Vegetarian taco salads usually replace the traditional taco meat with spicy grains or faux meat, or sometimes just skip it and add more of the other stuff.
I love either of these approaches but today I am going for a salad with some extra veggie power. So we’re going to roast up some finely chopped veggies which have been sprinkled with taco seasoning.
I chose cauliflower, peppers, onions and mushrooms for my line up. The mushrooms add some juiciness, the peppers and onions are smoky and sweet, and the cauli adds crunch. They are the dream team.
How to make this roasted veggie taco salad
Right. Let’s discuss how this goes down.
The veggies need to be chopped and seasoned while the oven pre-heats. I like to chop my veggies pretty small so that they roast quickly, but also so that they disperse through the salad easily.
Note that the cauliflower should be chopped just a little smaller than everything else. In an ideal world the cauliflower might have longer to cook than the other ingredients, but we want everything to go in and out at the same time. So we can mitigate that imbalance by making those pieces smaller.
While the veggies roast… we prepare the bowl.
I like to use romaine lettuce for my taco salad, for nice crisp and crunch. I lay a bed of romaine in each bowl.
The rest of your toppings are all cold ingredients that you can just chop or get from a can. It’s up to you but I’m going with
- Black beans
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grated cheddar cheese
- A few crumbled tortilla chips
- A sprinkling of chives (You could use some raw onion if you prefer, I like chives for a more subtle flavor)
Some other solid choices would be
- Sliced olives
- Fresh or canned chilis
- Sliced cucumber
- Feta cheese
I’m going to go with this ridiculously simple two ingredient creamy salsa dressing.
Ingredient 1: fresh salsa. Ingredient 2: greek yogurt. Job done.
Taco salad complete.
Make sure to eat it while the veggies are still warm! While normal taco salad works well with purely cold ingredients, this one goes a little meh if you don’t love cold ‘shrooms and cauliflower.
Oh and if you’re wondering where the tortilla chips are in these photos, well, they are there. Sort of? I got these weird (but delicious) corn and lentil chips thinking they’d look the same as tortilla chips. They don’t. They’re kinda puffed up? And the color doesn’t really stand out in the pics unfortunately.
But hey, I have always wanted to try those Puffed Tacos. This is basically a Puffed Taco Salad.
For the sake of ease, this recipe does call for packaged taco seasoning and ready made salsa.
If you’d like to shun those lazy ingredients, no problem! Here are some ideas for you:
- House of Yumm has a very easy taco seasoning recipe with just 5 ingredients.
- The Kitchen Girl will get you making salsa in your blender in just 5 minutes. Though it’s a large batch so unless you have another use for it…
- … You could make a from-scratch salad dressing that would match this salad. I have a Smoky Yogurt Ranch Dressing that would work very nicely.
This makes two pretty huge bowls, enough for a dinner size, or you could put it all together and make 4-6 smaller servings from it.