These Taco Salad Meal Prep Taco Bowls are made with healthy ground turkey and filled with black beans, sweet corn, shredded cheese, crisp lettuce, and all your favorite toppings. Enjoy these delicious Taco Bowls for dinner and repurpose the leftovers into perfectly portioned make-ahead meal prep lunches.
I can never have enough fast and easy meal prep ideas. Egg muffins for breakfast, protein packs for snack time, and chicken teriyaki for dinner, meal planning can be a real life-saver – especially come back-to-school.
Feeling inspired by my favorite taco salad recipe, I decided to turn one of my best-loved fusions (tacos + salad) into a super easy, super satisfying make-ahead lunch.
Taco bowl, or taco salad, you may call this awesome flavor-packed meal prep idea, lunch. Filled with seasoned ground turkey, corn, black beans, shredded cheese, olives, tortilla chips, chopped lettuce, and all your favorite toppings, it takes just 30 minutes to prepare and cook.
Ingredients in Taco Salad Meal Prep Taco Bowls
What you decide to add to your own taco bowl is entirely up to you. In general, however, you will need the following ingredients-
- Protein – I used ground turkey in this recipe. That said, lean ground beef is the most common meat (or protein) used to make tacos. Other protein options include ground chicken, pork, lamb, or bison. Or, for a vegetarian option, tempeh.
- Taco Seasoning – Taco seasoning is a must. I always like to make my own homemade taco seasoning that way I know it’s free from MSG and yeast extract, but feel free to use whatever you love.
- Greens – I added Romaine lettuce here which I love as it is somewhat more flavorful than the traditional iceberg lettuce. You may also mix a combination of 2-3 different greens such as kale, cabbage, and cilantro.
- Beans – I keep it easy and use canned black beans that have been drained and rinsed thoroughly.
- Corn – I am a corn lover. It keeps well and adds a little added sweetness.
- Other vegetables – tomatoes, red onion, green onions, chopped belled peppers, black olives, jicama, sliced jalapeño, cucumber, shredded carrots.
- Rice – I’m partial to cilantro lime rice, but any rice (including brown rice, Spanish rice, or wild rice) will work.
- Cheese – Cheese is a must-have (unless you’re vegan or dairy-free, of course). The most common is shredded cheddar, but Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, Jalapeño Jack, or Cotija are all great alternatives.
- Toppings – Toppings are half of what makes build taco bowls so much fun. Here are a few of my favorite,
How to make Taco Bowls
To make these taco bowls and enjoy immediately, simply –
- Cook the taco meat – Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and diced onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add the ground turkey (or beef) to the skillet and use a large wooden spoon to break the turkey into smaller and smaller pieces, cooking until meat is cooked through. Add the seasoning, spices and tomato sauce and mix well to combine. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Chop lettuce, drain beans and corn – As the ground turkey is cooking, begin washing, drying, and chopping the lettuce. Drain and rinse the beans and corn.
- Shred the cheese and slice the olives.
- Gather your favorite condiments – guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream are all must-haves for me.
- Mix it all together – Toss everything together and enjoy!
How to turn taco bowls into Taco Salad Meal Prep
To make-ahead and enjoy later, simply –
Divide the meat, corn, and black beans equally between four meal prep containers.
Here I added the tortilla strips to the opposite end of the meal prep container (tip– for tortilla strips that will stay crisp, add them to a separate reusable silicone bag as they tend to go stale in the refrigerator).
Top the ground turkey, corn, and beans with the shredded cheddar cheese and black olives.
Divide the lettuce into 4 ziplock bags or 4 small reusable silicone bags.
Divide the sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole into small containers. Cover with lids and tuck into each meal prep container (if possible).
Transfer containers and lettuce to the refrigerator.
To serve, remove the lettuce and containers containing the toppings. Cover the meal prep container with a paper towel and heat in the microwave at 30-second intervals. Transfer lettuce to a salad bowl and top with warm meat, sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Enjoy!
Meal Prep Tools and Equipment
Meal Prep Bowls: You will need something to store and hold all your meal prep creations, right? These are my recommendations.
- Glass Meal Prep Containers with 2 Compartments– Having two compartments is perfect if you prefer to keep flavors separate from each other, or you want to prevent a sauce from making something soggy. These glass meal prep containers are freezable, microwavable, and dishwasher safe.
- Glass Meal Prep Containers with 1 Compartment– One giant compartment perfect for Burrito Bowls, Pastas, or this Chicken Fajita Meal Prep Recipe. These glass meal prep containers are freezable, microwavable, and dishwasher safe.
- For non-glass options, you can try these BPA free Bowls or Single Compartment Containers.
Other recommended items that will help make planning easier and help the environment!
- Plastic cups with lids– these little cups will keep things like salad dressing, sour cream, guacamole, etc. separate from the other food. This is especially important when meal prepping salad bowls as the last thing you want for lunch is soggy lettuce.
- Planet-Friendly Reusable Dipping Sauce Cups with Lids– perfect for salad dressings or dips, these adorable little containers are leak-proof and reusable!
- Spork– if you’ve ever wondered where the name of my blog came from…Anyway, attach this to your keychain or backpack and take it everywhere.
- Reusable Insulated Water Bottle– I have several different brands. I have carried the same Kleen Kanteen for years, but I love my Insulated Rtic Water Bottle because it keeps ice frozen forever.
For more meal prep recipes, check out:
- Healthy On-the-Go Meal Prep Snack Ideas
- Low Carb Thai Chicken Wraps + Meal Prep
- DIY Healthy Instant Oatmeal Recipe (Breakfast Meal Prep)
- Chicken Potato Salad- Meal Prep
- Buffalo Turkey Meatballs with Easy Meal Prep Bowls
- Chicken Fajita Meal Prep Recipe
- Meal Prep: Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls
If you try making this Taco Salad Meal Prep, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Taco Salad Meal Prep (Taco Bowls)
For the Ground Turkey
For the Taco Bowls (or meal prep containers)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 ounce) can corn - drained and rinsed
- 1 cup tortilla strips
- 1 cup cheddar cheese - shredded
- 1 cup black olives - halved
- 8-12 cups romaine lettuce - shredded (approx. 2-3 cups per serving)
- ½ cup sour cream - divided
- ½ cup salsa - or pico de gallo, divided
- ½ cup guacamole - divided
- 1 lime - quartered
For the Ground Turkey
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and diced onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Reduce heat to medium if needed, and stir often to prevent the onions from burning.
- Add the ground turkey (or beef) to the skillet and use a large wooden spoon or spatula to break the turkey into smaller and smaller bits and pieces. Continue cooking until meat is cooked through.
- Add the seasoning and spices and tomato sauce to the ground turkey and mix well to combine. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often.
For the Taco Bowls (or meal prep containers)
- Divide the meat, corn, and black beans equally between the four meal prep containers. Add the tortilla strips to the other section.
- Top the ground turkey, corn, and beans with the shredded cheddar cheese and black olives.
- Divide the lettuce into 4 ziplock bags or 4 small reusable silicone bags.
- Divide the sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole into small containers. Cover with lids and tuck into each meal prep container (if possible).
- Transfer containers and lettuce to the refrigerator.
- To serve, remove the lettuce and containers, heat the meat in the microwave. Transfer lettuce to a salad bowl and top with meat, sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Enjoy!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)