Picnic Taco Salad in a Bowl transports well, stays fresh, and could easily be converted to individual servings of eight salads in jars.
Last weekend when we went to our Hideaway, I made up a few of these salads to take with us. I kept the tortilla chips off and added them just before serving. Our Picnic Taco Salad in a Bowl kept well in the fridge for three days. It’s great to have all four food groups prepared in one bowl. We’re limited to the water we bring with us to our Hideaway, so I like to bring foods that are ready to eat. My goal is to keep food prep and cleanup to a minimum. That’s also my reason for using paper plates.
We enjoyed Picnic Taco Salad in a Bowl topped off with cashew yogurt. I know, dairy-free yogurt seems pointless with cheddar cheese on the salad. It’s just that I had the cashew yogurt in the fridge because I had been experimenting with it. This was the first time I’d made cashew yogurt, and I liked it even better than dairy yogurt! Now I’m looking for a dairy-free substitute for the cheddar cheese.
Taco salad has been a family favourite at our house for years. This Picnic Taco Salad in a Bowl is similar to one I used to make when our kids were at home. I still use old-school iceberg lettuce for this one, because it stays fresh and crispy for days, even when prepared in the salad.
For crispy head lettuce, remove the core when you get it home from the store (or in from the garden). Holding the head of lettuce upside down under the faucet, run water as hot as you can stand into the cavity left by removing the core. Then, turn it right side up to drain out for a minute. Seal the lettuce in the upright position in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you go to use it, you’ll have the crispiest lettuce imaginable.
ASSEMBLY OF PICNIC TACO SALAD IN A BOWL
This recipe serves 8. You could make it into 8 individual servings in mason jars. I made it in a few two-serving bowls. They were rather large, but that was our whole meal. It’s important to add the ingredients in the order listed with the moist and hearty ingredients on the bottom. That way, your lettuce stays crisp and cheese doesn’t get soggy. If you want to include the tortilla chips in your salads before transporting, they go on top. I took mine along in the bag and added them just before serving.
This recipe uses 2 pounds of ground beef and makes 8 generous servings, because this amount works well in a slow cooker and uses a whole can of tomatoes. You could certainly try cutting it in half, if you wish.
Cooking the meat a day ahead will allow you to chill it before assembling the salads. You just throw the the first three ingredients into the slow cooker, stir them together, and let it cook for the day! There’s no need to brown the meat first for this recipe.