Kel’s Tasty Taco Salad in Edible Tortilla Bowls

Kel's Cafe individual taco salad

Do you remember that awesome Bud Light “Real Men of Genius” commercial in the late 1990s about taco salads? There were several good lines, my favorite being, “Is your taco salad healthy? Of course it is, it’s a salad isn’t it?” That tune came to mind the other day when I bought these great Chicago Metallic non-stick large tortilla shell pans at one of my favorite cooking stores, Whisk. I had a 20% discount since I had been a cooking assistant that day (check out this fun program at and thought the kids would love these. And they did!

Although the Bud Light commercial is funny, I can assure you that this taco salad does not have 12,000 calories, LOL. I lightened up things by using 96% lean ground beef, light sour cream, and reduced fat (2%) cheese. Brad went one step further and eliminated the tortilla since he’s watching his carbs. However, Lexi especially loved the tortilla bowl – she thought it was great by itself!

Lexi loves taco salad

These are so easy to make and yummy, yummy, yummy! And from what I calculated on my Fitbit® one salad should be right around 500 calories, way less than the 12,000 mentioned in that great Bud Light ad.

Ingredients (4 servings)

Kel's Cafe taco salad ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 large burrito-sized tortilla shells
  • 1 lb. ground beef (I used 96% lean)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 4 cups lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup sweet onions, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
  • 1 cup salsa (I used my homemade Kel’s Spicy Salsa, but choose your favorite)
  • Light sour cream, optional
  • Hot sauce, optional
  • Sliced jalapeños, optional (not pictured)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray tortilla shell pans with cooking spray. Place a tortilla in the pan, pressing it around the sides and bottom so it takes the form of the pan.

Press tortilla shells into pans

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until light brown. Carefully remove the tortillas from the pans. I only bought one set of these, so I had to repeat the process for four bowls. I did not re-spray the pans on my second round and the shells turned out fine.

Tortilla bowls out of the oven

Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until crumbly and no longer pink, about 8 minutes.

bround ground beef

Drain the meat and break it apart in small pieces (I love my Pampered Chef® Mix ‘n Chop tool for this step.)

Drain and crumble ground beef

Stir in the taco seasoning and water, and simmer for a few minutes. Add the black beans and simmer on low another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and taco seasoning to ground beef

Fill each bowl with 1 cup of lettuce, ¼ of the ground beef/black bean mixture, one-fourth of the tomatoes, ¼ cup onions, ½ cup cheese, ¼ cup salsa and one-fourth of the avocado. You can do this in any order you want.

Fill tortilla (and regular) bowls with taco ingredients

Top with sour cream, jalapeños and hot sauce if desired.

Add sour cream and jalapenos to Kel's taco salad

Remember, the bowl is part of the meal, so eat it with your hands like Lexi does, or with a fork and knife if you are afraid of being messy. Either way works!

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Follow Kel’s Café on Twitter at

This entry was posted in Recipes, Tools of the Trade and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s