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Crunchy Tex Mex Salad with Pinto Beans
and honey-adobo dressing

Active: 30 min Total: 30 min
A classic taco salad is one of our favorite back-pocket meals. This version is vegetarian with spiced pinto beans, corn, and a sweet and spicy dressing. It's a great meal if you're cooking for one or two, but you can also set everything out like a taco bar, making it an easy meal to DIY if you've got a house full of people.
Smarts: Don't hesitate to customize this meal. Taco salad makes a great base for leftover vegetables, your favorite protein, and extra toppings.


Honey-Adobo Dressing:
  • Vinegar, red wine - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Adobo sauce - 1 Tbsp (usually found with canned chipotle peppers)
  • Honey - 1 Tbsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
Crunchy Tex Mex Salad with Pinto Beans:
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Bell peppers, any color - 1 , diced
  • Lettuce, any crisp variety like iceberg or Boston leaf - 8 oz , shredded
  • Tomatoes, Roma - 4 , chopped
  • Avocados - 1 , diced
  • Olives, black and sliced (4 oz / 113 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Beans, pinto (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can , drained and rinsed
  • Corn kernels, frozen - 1 cup
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Cheese, Colby Jack or cheddar - 4 oz , shredded (look for pre-shredded to save time)
  • Tortilla chips - 4 cups


  1. Make honey-adobo dressing - Whisk together vinegar, adobo sauce, honey, paprika (portion for dressing), and oil (portion for dressing). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make spice mix - Combine cumin, coriander, paprika (portion for salad), garlic powder, and salt. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Bell peppers - Dice bell peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Lettuce / Tomatoes / Avocados - Prep as directed.
  5. Olives - Drain and rinse.
  6. Beans - Drain and rinse.
  7. Corn - Defrost corn.

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  1. Heat a skillet with oil (portion for taco salad) over medium heat. Add beans and corn. Saute for 1 minute to heat through. Add spice mix and saute for 1 to 2 minutes more, until spices are fragrant.
  2. Assemble salads by forming a bed of lettuce and topping it with bell peppers, tomatoes, avocados, and olives. Top with beans, corn, and cheese.
  3. Dress salads with honey-adobo dressing. Serve with tortilla chips (you can crumble these over the top or use them to scoop up the other ingredients). Enjoy!



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