This Turkey Taco Bowl Recipe is a well-balanced, easy lunch or dinner that’s perfect for meal prep! These bowls are good for picky eaters too; you can set up a “taco bowl bar” so everyone can add their favorite toppings.
Who doesn’t love a good salad bowl, right? Part of the appeal of a salad bowl is being able to pick and choose the components that go into it, which is why salad chains are becoming increasingly popular.
But it’s also very easy to make a salad bowl topping bar at home!
The fun thing about putting together a taco bowl bar at home is that you can get the whole family involved. It’s basically a form of tacos, and we all know tacos have nearly endless variations. Maybe one kid’s favorite topping is guacamole, and maybe it’s shredded cheese for another. The real beauty of this lies in the fact that a) they’re eating healthy foods, and b) they’re getting involved in making it.
Another great thing about this recipe is that the different components can all be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a few days. This makes it perfect for meal prep!
With spiced taco meat, rice, salad, and an easy homemade dressing, these bowls are sure to be a new family favorite.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a good choice for meal prep. This dish only takes about 40 minutes to make from start-to-finish, and it makes 6 servings. Use the leftovers for lunches during the week!
- Taco bowls are easy to customize. This is why it’s a good choice for picky eaters – they can top their bowl with whatever fixings they like.
- Full meal in one bowl. There’s no need to worry about side dishes; this is already a balanced meal!
The Best Taco Rice Bowl Recipe
- Clarified butter (ghee) or avocado oil
Turkey Taco Meat:
- Olive oil
- Ground turkey
- Taco spice mix
- Ground cumin
- Tomato paste
- Apple cider vinegar
Creamy Tex-Mex Dressing:
- Heavy cream
- Fresh cilantro
- Taco spice mix
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Mixed baby greens
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Cheddar or your favorite cheese
Step 1: Make the Rice
Rinse the rice and drain well.
Toast the rice in ghee, and then add the salt and boiling water.
Cook until the liquid is absorbed, and then let it sit (covered) for 10 minutes before fluffing the rice.
Step 2: Make the Turkey Taco Meat
Add the oil, turkey, and onion to a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the meat is browned, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic, taco spice mix, cumin, salt, and tomato paste and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring constantly.
Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar.
Step 3: For the Creamy Tex-Mex Dressing
Whisk together all ingredients and refrigerate until using.
Step 4: To Make the Taco Bowls
Divide the baby greens between 4 bowls. Top each with rice, taco meat, tomatoes, onion, and cheddar.
Serve along with the dressing to spoon on top.
How to Store Taco Rice Bowls
Store each component separately in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Use store-bought dressing instead of homemade if you prefer.
- If turkey isn’t your thing, swap it out for lean ground beef or ground chicken.
- Serve this with cauliflower rice to keep the carbs down.
Taco Bowl FAQs
What Can You Put in a Taco Bowl?
The sky is the limit when it comes to ingredients you can add to a taco bowl! Here are a few delicious ideas to help you make it a balanced meal:
- Taco Meat: Here we use turkey to make our taco meat, but you can go with any kind of ground meat you like.
- Rice: Rice is delicious in a taco bowl! Alternatively, to keep the carbs down, use cauliflower rice instead.
- Tortilla Chips: These are perfect for a little crunch.
- Beans: Black beans are a fantastic addition to these bowls.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add any vegetables you like; lettuce, tomato, onion, and bell pepper are all good options.
- Cheese: Go with what you love; Monterey, pepper jack, cheddar, queso fresco, etc. You can’t go wrong!
- Condiments: Here we make a Creamy Tex-Mex Dressing, but you could go with salsa, sour cream, and/or guacamole.
- Fresh Herbs: Cilantro and scallion are my favorite herbs for this dish.
How Do You Set Up a Topping Bar?
It’s very easy to set up a topping bar for taco bowls! Just prepare everything and instead of compiling the bowls, let everyone fill their own bowl with whatever components they like.
More Salad Bowls to Make
- Greek Salad Bowls with Spiced Lamb Burgers
- Mango Turkey Sloppy Joe Salad Bowls
- Chicken Salad Bowls with Avocado, Strawberry, and Walnut
Turkey Taco Bowl Recipe
Turkey Taco Meat:
Creamy Tex-Mex Dressing:
- 8 cups mixed baby greens
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 4 ounces cheddar shredded or cubed (or your cheese of choice)
Optional Topping Ideas:
- Chopped olives
- Fresh chopped cilantro
For the Rice:
- Put the rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse it under cool running water for about 30 seconds; drain well.
- Add the ghee to a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the rice and cook until it starts to smell nutty, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the salt and boiling water. Cover the saucepan, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes (don’t open the pot during this time).
- After cooking, let the rice sit covered in the saucepan for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
For the Turkey Taco Meat:
- While the rice cooks, make the taco meat.
- Add the oil, turkey, and onion to a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the meat is browned, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic, taco spice mix, cumin, salt, and tomato paste and cook 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring constantly.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar.
For the Creamy Tex-Mex Dressing:
- Whisk together all ingredients and refrigerate until using.
To Make the Taco Bowls:
- Divide the baby greens between 4 bowls. Top each with rice, taco meat, tomatoes, onion, and cheddar.
- Serve along with the dressing to spoon on top.
- Nutritional Information: Information for this recipe was calculated without the optional topping ideas.
- Taco Spice Mix: You can use store-bought or make your own blend (my blend has ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper).
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on March 21, 2018. It was updated with more information on March 18, 2022.