Taco Salad Recipe with Chicken and Ranch Dressing {GF, Super Simple, High protein)

This Taco Salad Recipe is quick, easy and healthy! It’s loaded with chicken, avocado, cheese, and covered in lighter ranch dressing! 

Healthy Ranch Taco Salad -  I am seriously obsessed with this. Healthy, Cheese AND Bacon! | Food Faith Fitness | #salad #taco #recipe

I hate leftover ingredients.

Leftover full meals? Those are grand. One less meal for me to cook.

But, a bunch of random ingredients from a bunch of different meals that were previous cooked?

UGH. Worst. Ever.

Mostly because there are only 2 of us in the house, so I try to only buy what I need for the recipes I am planning to test that week, or else things just start rotting.

Which means there are never any “filler ingredients” to make a bunch of random items seem cohesive.

Healthy Ranch Taco Salad -  I am seriously obsessed with this. Healthy, Cheese AND Bacon! | Food Faith Fitness | #salad #taco #recipe

But, once a week or so, I make myself a “leftover ingredient” dinner.

I do not look forward to this day.  And neither does Mr.FFF.

Especially if I made stir fry and brownies that week.

Pineapple chicken chocolate zucchini noodles anyone?

Nattt so good.

HOWEVER, sometime (read: once) my leftovers MADE SENSE you guys.

Healthy Ranch Taco Salad -  I am seriously obsessed with this. Healthy, Cheese AND Bacon! | Food Faith Fitness | #salad #taco #recipe

Like, I had lettuce. And other veggies. And chicken and even some cheese.

THERE WAS EVEN AN AVOCADO (!!!)

These are the things that I find exciting.  Feel free to judge me.

And so became the first (and probably last) leftover ingredient dinner that I could actually share with you, and wouldn’t make you run for the hills in horror.

Or, at least just question my taste bud’z cred’.

Healthy Ranch Taco Salad -  I am seriously obsessed with this. Healthy, Cheese AND Bacon! | Food Faith Fitness | #salad #taco #recipe

Unfortunately, I have not had the required ingredients to re-eat this salad fo’ realz since that fateful day, how-ev-er, the re-eatage has happened many a time in my brain.

Sidenote: This dinner also brought the huberoni happiness in his belly, which is a win because 1. As mentioned above he ain’t no friend to the weekly leftover meal and 2. He also ain’t no friend to a meal that is 90% vegetation.

Sidenote, the sequel: I just made the hubanana sound like the most un-friendly human on Earth but, in fact, he is the FRIENDLIEST human on earth.  I always say that he can make friends with a stick.

It’s annoying.

I’m kidding. Sort of.

Healthy Ranch Taco Salad -  I am seriously obsessed with this. Healthy, Cheese AND Bacon! | Food Faith Fitness | #salad #taco #recipe

I’m tempted to tell you that it’s a fiesta in your mouth, but that is so cliché.  I can’t say that.

Except I just did. In a total ninja-like sneaky way. SUCCESS.

There’s bacon, cheese, ranch and vegetative deliciousness. Oh, and there is H-E-A-L-T-H

I had me at bacon and cheese.

You too?

Healthy Ranch Taco Salad -  I am seriously obsessed with this. Healthy, Cheese AND Bacon! | Food Faith Fitness | #salad #taco #recipe

I knew there was a reason why I liked you.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Ranch Chicken Taco Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 Small Chicken breasts
  • 4 Slices Turkey bacon
  • ½ Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Cup Red Pepper, sliced (about ½ a large pepper)
  • 1½ Cups Zucchini, sliced (about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • Salt to taste.
  • 4 Cups Lettuce of choice
  • ¼ Cup Chopped cilantro
  • ⅓ Cup Reduced-fat grated Cheddar cheese
  • ½ A sliced avocado
  • Ranch dressing of choice. (I like Fat-free Hidden Valley. *)
Instructions
  1. To cook the chicken breasts:
  2. Spray your grill with cooking spray and heat it to medium-high. Place the chicken breast on and grill it until it is no longer pink inside. This takes about 4-6 minutes per side (make sure you flip it half way through!)
  3. While the chicken grills, spray a large pan with cooking spray and heat on medium-high heat. Cook the turkey bacon until it is nice and crispy, just about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and transfer to a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Tear into small pieces.
  4. Heat the oil up in the bacon pan, still on medium-high heat, and toss in the red pepper, zucchini, garlic and season with a little bit of salt. Sautee the vegetables until they are a soft and slightly browned, which takes roughly 3-4 minutes.
  5. Toss the cooked veggies into a bowl and add the bacon pieces, lettuce, cilantro, grated cheddar cheese, avocado slices and as much Ranch dressing as you want. Mix well until all the lettuce is coated with the dressing.
  6. Transfer the mixed salad to two plates and top with a grilled chicken breast.
  7. DEVOUR
Notes
*I have also mixed half Ranch dressing and half Greek yogurt, if you want an extra protein boost!

I also shared this recipe over on my friends Taylor’s (!!!) beautiful blog – Greens & Chocolate! Check it out!

Want more Salads?

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Hummus Power Salad

Hummus Power Salad

Artichoke PastaSalad - Food Faith Fitness

Artichoke PastaSalad

Other yummy salads from around the web that I want to NOM:

Sesame Salad with Edamame – Ruffles & Truffles

Grilled Vegetable Salad with BBQ Ranch Dressing – Cook The Story

Caprese Corn Salad – Very Culinary

Comments

  1. says

    Taylor, Hope you had a good weekend! These kind of salads happen around here too but my husband protests them so they usually end up as my lunch. This one looks like a dinner though. Loving the grilled avo!

  2. says

    oh I love when something unexpected turns into something perfectly wonderful!! This salad does not look like leftovers! that’s for sure!! you had me at avocado!!

  3. says

    This salad definitely sounds like something my husband would go for, too! And I’m actually on the same boat as your hubby…I’m not too fond of leftovers, but this meal looks amazing! I’m always up for taco salads, and I love that you lightened this one up, especially by sneaking in some zucchini and peppers!

    • Taylor Kiser says

      Yay for husbands who will eat salads! I am glad that you approve over this leftover meal Gayle! I hope that you have a great Monday! :D

  4. says

    I am really bad about finding uses for leftover ingredients too. Usually, I just throw everything into a salad or casserole depending on what I have leftover. I would love this taco salad for lunch, it looks delicious!

    • Taylor Kiser says

      Right?! Poor ingredients that no one loves.
      Thanks for the love and pin! And yay for Honeymoons, woo hooooo!!

  5. says

    Leftovers have never in history looked so good right now. ;) This salad is totally gorgeous, Taylor! Love the twist of adding chicken to the mix and obv you could NEVER go wrong with some silky-ripe avocado. Can I even explain how badly I want this salad for lunch today?! (btw: LOVE your wooden bowls!) Pinned. :D

    • Taylor Kiser says

      Thank you Sarah! I am glad you approve of my leftover salad :D
      I am thinking lunch sounds like a perfect plan! You’re the sweetest! :D

  6. says

    I love the idea of a lightened up taco salad! It is really hard to buy for 2 people – especially when it comes to fruit! I only want to buy a few items at a time but then I end up going to the store too much!!

    • Taylor Kiser says

      YES! I am so glad you understand Leah! I buy 1 apple at a time..and practically live at the grocery store!

  7. says

    Yum, I love when leftover meals actually seem planned-out! (which happens to me approximately once every…never) This looks great – especially the grilled zucchini!

  8. says

    I am seriously the WORST person to ever put leftovers to good use. I usually put Zach on it because I get so disgruntled! You have restored my faith, and I love you for it. ;) This looks so yum and as I saw it floating around social media too, I knew I had to stop by! You’re the best. xoxo

    • Taylor Kiser says

      I am glad I am not alone is being the worst at leftovers!! Thanks so much girl, I love you back just because! ;)

  9. says

    As if I didn’t love you enough already…now I want to be FBO with you…think your husband would mind? I actually love leftovers (would take yours anytime) and love repurposing them for a whole new recipe even more. This is genius and it needs to be in my face trap.

    • Taylor Kiser says

      Nope, he would most definitely not mind he’s pretty cool about that kind of thing ;)
      I wish I had your leftover like-age lady, me and them = definitely never being FBO. Thanks girlfriend! :D

  10. says

    This looks wonderful! What a great idea to use up your left over ingredients. It’s totally not easy to make it cohesive, but I don’t like to waste either.

    • Taylor Kiser says

      No, sometimes it’s a whole shmuck of things…it’s nice when it all makes sense! Thanks Alex! :)

  11. says

    Awh Taylor, you’re my favorite! You aaaaaaaalways get to crack me up with your posts. The hubanana. Brilliant. Purely genius, just like this bowl of veggie and chicken cheesy goodness. It’s so my kind of dinner! And yeah, leftover ingredients are the worst :(

    • Taylor Kiser says

      You know what? I actually thought of you when I typed Hubanana..as I know you like huberoni. Switching it up just for you girlllll ;)
      Glad you like the salad, and agree on leftover hatred!

  12. says

    Ahh you’re too funny! I was literally lol-ing while I read this. And I SOOO wish I had the same fortune of having all these ingredients on hand right now. I’m literally out of everything and thinking about what to make for dinner is giving me a stress (and hunger) headache. Anyyyyways, if and when I have all of these things – I’m gonna devour this salad. It looks beyond yummy and amazing, and I simply need to try it. Pinned!!

    • Taylor Kiser says

      UGH, I hate the hunger and stress headache, which eventually leads to becoming hangry! I hope you eventually get a chance to try it girlfriend! Thanks for the love and pinning! :D

  13. says

    I have the same problems with leftovers! Asheley is all about eating leftovers, but I’m always less than excited. This recipe gives me hope that there is deliciousness to be found in the leftover ingredients in the fridge!!! Hahahaha. Very creative and definitely looks like a flavor party!!

    • Taylor Kiser says

      Haha, I am happy that we aren’t the only ones! Yes, there is leftover hope Chris!!! Thanks so much :D

  14. says

    Hahaha you had me cracking up at this : “I had me at bacon and cheese. You too?” Too funny!
    I will take a fiesta in my mouth anyday because a fiesta -to me-is a jazzed up partay!
    What a wonderful combo of leftover ingredients – insanely, ridunculously delicious!

    • Taylor Kiser says

      Yes, it is a jazzed up party – i like the way that you think!
      Thanks so much girlfriend! I hope Tuesday is fab!

  15. says

    Oh yum! I love that you use zucchini in this – and the turkey bacon. Actually, I am really digging the ingredients your using in this full stop! Thanks so much for sharing this! And I LOVE your blog, can’t believe it’s the first time I’ve been here. Gorgeous photos too, to go with yummy food. Bookmarked to read properly and FOLLOWED!! See you around a lot more!

    • Taylor Kiser says

      Thank you SO much Nagi! It is SO nice to have you here, you are so sweet! Please let me know if you try this, or any recipe – I would LOVE to hear from you :)

      • says

        Oh wow, fastest response ever!! You’ll certainly be hearing from me again, I’ve bookmarked this recipe to make this week for lunch! See you around soon – don’t pop by my blog today cause I’m working on it right now and it’s a big old mess, I will be embarrassed if you see it today! PS I think your story is inspiring.

        • Taylor Kiser says

          Haha, I just happened to be on the computer :) But, I always try to respond to each comment/email the same day :)
          Nagi, I would never judge a blog so don’t you even worry pretty lady! Thank you SO much, that means more to me than any recipe love!!

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