ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Taco Salad Recipes, Suggestions, and Hints for Picky Eaters

Updated on March 13, 2013
5 stars from 1 rating of Taco Salad

Getting children, and sometimes husbands, to eat a healthy diet full of vegetables can be difficult. One option for tricking picky eaters into a healthier diet is to sneak vegetables into meals that they already eat. Such as, sneaking more vegetables into the spaghetti sauce, or adding vegetables to taco night (this is easily done by making them "fajitas" instead and mixing the cooked veggies and meat together in the skillet before serving.)

If you're lucky enough to already have your picky eater eating tacos with vegetables, the next step can be turning it into Taco Salad. The basis for the recipe is simple, but the options are endless, and by adding the brightly colored Catalina dressing, it can cover up a multitude of hidden veggies.

This is the recipe that I grew up on, and it was about the only time that I saw my brothers eat vegetables at all.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/8 of Prepared Salad
Calories 455
Calories from Fat207
% Daily Value *
Fat 23 g35%
Saturated fat 8 g40%
Carbohydrates 34 g11%
Sugar 7 g
Fiber 3 g12%
Protein 27 g54%
Cholesterol 73 mg24%
Sodium 580 mg24%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Make it Healthier

If you're not fixing for picky eaters, a few changes can make this not so healthy salad a lot healthier.

  • Switch in organic tortilla chips instead of the Doritos.
  • Add salsa for extra produce.
  • Add shredded carrots. olives, or bellpeppers
  • Use your favorite low-fat dressing instead of Catalina.
  • Instead of using a packet of taco seasoning, season with your own blend to reduce the sodium.
  • When browning the meat, add some minced garlic or garlic powder to the meat. This will add more flavor, as well as the cancer fighting benefits of garlic.


The basic recipe is simple, but since it is a salad, it's simple to add the vegetables that are already acceptable as well as add any thinly sliced nutritious produce that you may have on hand.

  • 1 lbs ground beef or turkey (preferably organic)
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • a few stalks of celery
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, or your favorite mix of greens
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can of beans (rinsed)
  • 1 bag of Nacho Doritos
  • Chopped green onions
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 bottle of Catalina Dressing

Brown the meat until fully cooked, making sure to break it up during cooking.
Brown the meat until fully cooked, making sure to break it up during cooking. | Source
Drain the fat from the meat.  An easy less messy way to do this, is to place a few paper towels in the bottom of bowl and pour the fat on top of those.
Drain the fat from the meat. An easy less messy way to do this, is to place a few paper towels in the bottom of bowl and pour the fat on top of those. | Source
Add the taco seasoning, and follow the package directions.
Add the taco seasoning, and follow the package directions. | Source
The yummy finished taco salad.
The yummy finished taco salad. | Source


1. Brown the hamburger meat in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat, until cook through, making sure to break it up into smaller pieces.

2. Drain the fat from the meat, and return the meat back to the skillet.

3. Add the taco seasoning, and follow the package instructions to correctly prepare the meat.

4. Prepare all of the vegetables, making sure to wash them. Rinse the beans Make sure to add the lettuce, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and cheese.

5. If you're not eating the salad right away prepare the vegetables for the salad in a large bowl, and the beef and beans in a separate bowl simply mix them as needed.

6. Crush the Doritos in the bag, or simply crush as much as you need as you need it.

7. If you are eating the salad right away, simply mix all the ingredients including the salad dressing, and enjoy. Preparing the salad right away and using the thick dressing helps to hide any sneaky vegetables that have made their way to your child or husbands plate.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      6 years ago from Georgia country

      Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe and your useful tips for picky eaters. I have one at home. My son is such a picky eater. He has a handful of meals he likes. Introducing new food is very difficult. But that's normal for his age. He's only 4.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)