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Making Thursday night tacos a thing, with this Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing. Chipotle chili seasoned turkey taco meat, mixed with fresh greens, black beans, avocado, mango, and a little cheddar cheese too. Topped with tortilla chips for crunch, and finished with a creamy Baja style dressing that’s spicy and cooling. SO GOOD. If you’re looking for a non-boring salad, this is it!

overhead photo of Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing

Raise your hand if you ate tacos at least once or twice a week growing up? My brothers and I were served ground beef tacos all the time as kids. Tacos were an easy, quick dinner that my dad could make in under 30 minutes. They were a dinner that every single one of his kids would eat. So all 7 of us…

OK. So back then Asher was non-existent (which is soooo weird to think about life without Asher!), and Red was just a baby. So I guess it was more like 5 of his kids. Still, we all ate them, and we all loved them. Mom and I preferred hard shells with melted cheddar. While the boys ate theirs rolled up in a flour tortilla burrito style. Absolutely nothing fancy about it, but we loved them.

Still do.

And no, we definitely were not eating mango salsa back then. Though it would have been really good, and I wish we did.

raw limes

It’s really hard to believe, but I don’t have a ground beef taco recipe on HBH. I have plenty of other taco recipes, but nothing like the tacos we ate as kids. Probably because they were nothing that special. But I don’t know, maybe I can come up with something good to share some day soon.

In the meantime, I have this taco salad. It’s DELICIOUS, and much, much better than the tacos we ate as kids. Both mom and dad agree.

It’s big, it’s green, and loaded with spicy homemade turkey taco meat, black beans, mangos, avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, and topped with the best Baja style dressing. Again…delicious! And not boring, which is very important when it comes to salad eating around here. I like my salads loaded, colorful, sprinkled with carbs, and always topped with cheese.

Baja dressing

Here are the details.

For the taco meat, I seasoned it with smoky chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. I love this combo, as it leaves the meat really flavorful, a touch smoky, and not too spicy.

For the greens, I know romaine is traditional in a taco salad. But I wanted to use a green that would hold up well for meal prepping, and also be good for taking on the go. So I went with kale. It’s a little thicker and tends to wilt less than romaine. It’s the perfect green to make a salad with the night before. That said, you can of course use whatever leafy green you love most!

To finish this salad off, I went with a Baja Dressing. Oh how I love this dressing! It’s creamy, cooling, spicy, extra limey, and addicting. The dressing alone makes you want to eat salad. It kind of reminds me of a spicy ranch, but so much better. I used plain greek yogurt to keep it creamy, fresh jalapeños for some spice, a little honey to balance everything, and then fresh cilantro and chives for a somewhat herby flavor.

Trust me, it’s one of the better salad dressings I’ve ever made.

close up photo of Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing

This is the perfect salad to meal prep with too! You can make everything ahead of time. Even tossing the salad together and then packaging it up in glass containers (these are my favorite). I recommend keeping the meat and greens separate, just in case you might want to reheat the meat (which I like to do).

Just as much fun as a desk salad as it is as for a nice weeknight dinner!

PS. I’d love to know if you guys are enjoying these healthy January recipes. I’m trying to keep them, fun, fresh, and filling, all at the same time! Let me know if you’d like to see more salads! Or maybe some meal prep?

overhead close up photo of Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing

If you make this turkey taco salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Lime Dressing

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 335 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
  • 2-3 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (or 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 cups mixed leafy greens
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 3/4 cup cubed cheddar cheese
  • crushed tortilla chips or strips

Baja Dressing


  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the chipotle chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
    2. To make the dressing. Combine all ingredients except the chives in a blender and pulse until mostly smooth. Stir in the chives. Dressing will keep for 1 week in the fridge.
    3. In a large salad bowl, combine the greens, black beans, avocado, mango, and cheese. Top the salad with the turkey taco meat and then drizzle with the dressing (below). Toss to combine and then top with tortilla chips. Enjoy! 

horizontal photo of Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing

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  1. I just made this and while I think the recipe is a keeper, the spice quantities are WAY TOO high. This is beyond spicy. My mouth is burning. I’m going to have to throw out the turkey and remake it if I want to have the salad again.

    If you are going to make this recipe, cut the spices in half or a quarter and you’ll have a great salad. I love the Baja dressing.

    1. Hey Kelly,
      Awesome! So great to hear that this recipe was enjoyed and thanks for making it! Sorry you found this to be spicy, you should always reduce the spice to your liking:) Have the best week! xTieghan

    1. Hey Kortney,
      Happy Wednesday! I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight and this salad will definitely be a “go to” meal.
    Just enough spice and very filling and satisfying!

    1. Hey Sue,
      Fantastic! I am thrilled that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for giving it a try! xxTieghan

    1. Hey Mallory,
      The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of paprika! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

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