Easy Tex Mex Salad makes one super versatile dinner. The filling can be used in salad, like I’ve done here, nachos, tacos, quesadillas or burritos!
Hey y’all! Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies filling in for a minute while Jamie continues to snuggle baby Elle. Having had my own baby a few months ago (he’s a gargantuan three month old now.. this is going too fast – hold me!), I know just how precious this time is. I’m happy to provide Jamie and Eric with a little extra cuddle time while I share this super yummy meal with you.
When it comes to Tex Mex, I honestly feel like there’s a specific spice profile you’re looking for in meat dishes. Cumin has a strong presence, along with garlic, onion, and usually a little chili too. So any time you combine those flavors, you’re going to get something delicious that brings to mind that tiny taqueria you visited the last time you were in downtown San Antonio. You have been there, right? If you haven’t, put it on your bucket list immediately. This native will tell you, there’s no place like it in the world.
I personally adore those flavors so much we eat something “Tex Mexican” at least twice a week. Whether it’s with grilled chicken, beans, or ground turkey like I’ve done here, you’re going to end up with a protein that is as versatile as it is delicious. The browned ground turkey gets extra flavor from a can of beans in chili sauce, mild Ro-Tel, and one of my favorite quick fixes – Goya Fiesta Rice Mix (brown rice with pepper, peas, corn and zesty spices all simmered in a savory chicken vegetable broth).
Add more corn, then layer it over crunchy fresh vegetables – yellow bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and Romaine lettuce are what make my salad complete. Well, almost complete. I just can’t call this Tex Mex without a dollop of crema (use sour cream if you don’t have real crema on hand) and sharp cheddar cheese.
This salad can easily be wrapped up in a burrito sized tortilla, good enough to give Chipotle or Qdoba a run for their money any day. And the best part? This dinner comes together in under half an hour. We use Goya’s minute rice, which means that brown rice is done cooking in 10 minutes. This is a weeknight meal that can be diversified – it makes enough “filling” for at least two meals, even when you’re feeding four. The night after we scoffed this salad the filling became nacho topping. Then the next day I had the last of it in tacos. Not that I have a Tex-Mex addiction or anything..
It makes great game day grub, for sure. But please, enjoy Tex-Mex all year round, y’all. We certainly do.
February 21st, 2014
Tex Mex Salad
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
- 1 15 oz can of chili beans in sauce
- 1 10 oz can of Mild Ro-Tel
- 1 8 oz box Goya Fiesta Rice, prepared as directed on the box
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 whole red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Crema or Sour Cream
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- Heat a heavy stockpot or French Oven on medium heat. Add canola oil and allow it to coat the pan.
- Add ground turkey and allow to brown for a few minutes.
- When turkey has some nice color and is nearly cooked through, add cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne if using, salt and pepper. Mix well so that the spices cover the meat evenly.
- Add chicken broth, beans, Ro-tel and prepared rice to the pan. Allow to cook together for 5-10 minutes so the flavors have a chance to meld.
- Chop lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. Layer some chopped lettuce on a dinner plate. Top with ground turkey mixture, then with peppers, tomatoes, more lettuce, crema or sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve immediately.
- You may use ground beef or chicken instead of turkey
- Feel free to add as many toppings as you want. Guacamole would be good, as would my mom's homemade salsa recipe.
Disclosure: Links to ingredients on Amazon are affiliate links. If you click these and then later purchase something from Amazon, Amber may receive a few pennies.
Amber Bracegirdle spends her days as the managing editor for Food Fanatic and mama. She started Bluebonnets & Brownies as a way to connect to her Texas roots and pay homage to her grandmother, Nanny. She's traveled all over with her Brit husband, James, and now lives in NJ with him, baby Evan, and their two giant Maine Coons, Milo and Connor. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.