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the big taco salad

Let’s taco ’bout tacos. Who isn’t utterly obsessed with taco night?! I love getting together with friends, combining ingredients, and chowing down on some good Mexican grub. But sometimes, your body just craves a giant plate of greens! I wanted to create a salad that’s totally NOT yawn-worthy and packs all of the Mexican ingredients you know and love. So I made a big ass taco salad with cilantro cream dressing that you definitely won’t have a problem with.

This makes two large servings, so you might want to double (or triple) the recipe if you have guests coming over! Or you could make my rainbow quinoa taco salad for even more of a food fiesta!

the big taco salad
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the big taco salad

The big taco salad has it all! Cilantro cream dressing, crunchy romaine, black beans & corn, and avocado.

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword salad dressing, salads, taco salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 large
Author Lauren Toyota


cilantro cream dressing (makes 1 cup)

  • 1 C raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water
  • 1/4 C unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1/4 C packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

taco salad

  • 8 C romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1/2  C finely chopped red onion
  • 2 C red cabbage
  • 1/2  C frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1/2  C canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced

for serving

  • organic corn chips
  • salsa


  1. To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender until very smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Toss chopped romaine in a mixing bowl with the red onion and a 1/2 cup of dressing. Put your dressed lettuce into your serving dishes and add the red cabbage, tomatoes, and avocado on top.

  3. I like combining the corn and black beans together. I add that to the top of the salad. Drizzle with more cilantro cream dressing, if desired. The dressing will keep for 5 days in the fridge. Serve with corn chips and salsa on the side, or you could crumble the chips onto the salad and dollop with salsa. Do the big taco salad however you want!


  • Doug S. 5 years ago

    I don’t remember to do things like soak the cashews, so I don’t get around to making recipes that require overnight work. So I just used cashew butter. It was fabulous! I had to add extra almond milk to get the right consistency, though.

    …and I now have a deeper appreciation for that Seinfeld episode. 🙂

    • Lauren Toyota 5 years ago

      Hey Doug!
      That’s a great solution. We’re all for people finding their own way in the kitchen. Very savvy 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Konstantinos Magoulas 5 years ago

    I think i will end vegan one day…yummy 😀
    Check back for salads and ideas that you can turn into vegan 😀

  • Konstantinos Magoulas 5 years ago

    I think i will end vegan one day…yummy 😀
    Check back for salads and ideas that you can turn into vegan 😀

  • Sam 5 years ago

    I am one of those people who actually can’t do cilantro (which is awful for a vegan since there’s cilantro EVERYTHING) – do you have an idea of what I could sub instead? Or if the dressing would survive (and just taste different) if I simply removed that ingredient?

    • Lauren Toyota 5 years ago

      Oh you’re one of those people! haha Cilantro is amazing. But I think basil or dill could work. Or just a lime cream would be tasty too.

  • Cece 5 years ago

    This was certainly a delicious recipe and I am glad that i found your website. I did add a variety of different salad. I combined kale, Swiss chart , Boston red leaf lettuce along with the romaine lettuce. Very tasty!!!!!!!

    • Lauren Toyota 5 years ago

      sounds delish! the more greens the better 🙂 thanks for finding us!

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