Tired of dinner decisions? Enjoy a 14 day trial to our meal plan service, voted #1 by Lifehacker, and reduce your mental load today.

Taco Salad with Spiced Pinto Beans
and creamy avocado dressing

Active: 30 Total: 30

A taco salad is a go-to meal for the Cook Smarts community and is a great way to round out the week and use up leftover vegetables.
Smarts: This salad uses the same avocado dressing as in Tuesday’s meal to simplify prep for the week, but if you’re making this meal on its own or want a different dressing, try it with the Honey-Adobo Dressing featured in this version and shown in the photos.



Creamy Avocado Dressing:
  • Avocados - 1
  • Water - 4 Tbsp
  • Cilantro leaves - 1 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
  • Lime juice - 1 Tbsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Hot sauce (opt) - 1 tsp
Taco Spice Mix:
  • Cumin - 1 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1 tsp
  • Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
Taco Salad with Spiced Pinto Beans:
  • Bell peppers, any color - 1 , diced
  • Lettuce, any crisp variety like iceberg or Boston leaf - 8 oz , shredded
  • Tomatoes, roma - 4 , chopped
  • 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 or canned - 1 cup
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Cheese, shredded Mexican blend - 4 oz
  • Tortilla chips - 4 cups


  1. Make spice mix - Combine cumin, coriander, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Bell peppers - Dice bell peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Make avocado dressing - (Skip if made ahead for Tuesday’s meal.) Cube avocados. Combine avocados with water, cilantro leaves, vinegar, lime juice, honey, mustard, and hot sauce. Use an immersion blender or standing blender to blend until smooth, adding more water as needed until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)

  4. Lettuce / Tomatoes / Olives - Prep as directed. 

  5. Beans - Drain and rinse.

  6. Corn - If using frozen, defrost. If using canned, drain and rinse.

Unlock this meal along with hundreds of smart meal plans and never stress about "What's for dinner?" again

Try for free
Learn More


  1. Heat a skillet with oil 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, and olives. Finish with beans, corn, and cheese.

  3. Top salads with dressing. Serve with tortilla chips (crumble these over top or use them to scoop up the other ingredients). Enjoy!



0 reviews