I pack the family's lunches almost every day of the work week. I even pack lunches for weekend outings when I can. The girls are not fans of school lunches and the husband and I are not fans of daily, fast food lunches on the run. SO--I find myself faced with the task of creating something a little new and different from (sometimes) something leftover from the night or the weekend before! Yesterday morning, my refrigerator held the makings and (too many) leftovers from a weekend Build your Own Burrito and Nacho bar that we set up for a sleepover dinner for our daughters and their friends. The burritos and nachos were a hit--but, I didn't think the girls wanted to revisit the ingredients as a quesadilla for lunch! Instead, I turned Mexican themed leftovers into a quick and easy taco salad recipe idea for the whole family.
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Ingredients for Leftover Lunch Taco Salads
2 c. Chopped Lettuce
1/2 c. Cooked and Seasoned Taco Meat (You can grab my taco/burrito meat filling recipe here.)
1/4 c. Shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican Blend Cheese
Favorite Taco Toppings:
1 Tablespoon Chopped Tomatoes
1 Chopped Green Onion or 1/2 tbsp. diced Yellow Onion
2-3 Slices of Avocado
1 Tbsp. Black Olives
What do you use as a Taco Salad Dressing?
My youngest daughter and I personally drizzle these salads with 1-2 Tbsp. of a homemade salsa and plop on some spicy guacamole and sour cream.
My middle daughter likes her taco salad topped without salsa, guacamole or sour cream--but, instead--with a bit of bottled Annie's Naturals.
My husband skips the salsa, guacamole and sour cream and uses Avocado Ranch dressing --like this avocado ranch salad dressing recipe from allrecipes.com.
Instructions for our Leftover Lunch Taco Salad
Build the taco salad. When I pack these salads for lunch; I add the lettuce to a storage container and top with the desired toppings for each person. (I love this recipe because I can customize to everyone's individual tastes.)
Serve. When we eat these at home--I let everyone build their own salads. But, if I'm packing the salads as lunches--I build them. Then--I place a handful of tortilla chips in a separate container or zippered baggie so that they don't get too soggy. For those enjoying guacamole, salsa and/or sour cream--I put those directly onto the salads and seal up the containers. If I am sending along other salad dressings, I send those in separate containers so that the salad recipient can use as much or as little of the dressing as desired.
A taco salad is a super-easy way to use up burrito night leftovers and add something a little different to the weekday lunchboxes!
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