Skinny Fiesta Salad

fiesta salad 2
Back in the 1960’s there was a fashionable salad similar to this Fiesta Salad.  Picture a taco salad but tossed with Thousand Island or Catalina dressing and topped with Fritos.  It was popular served at potlucks and barbecues.  I’m bringing it back, updating and making a whole lot skinnier.  I’m using ground turkey instead of beef, adding romaine lettuce instead of iceberg, fiber rich black beans, reduced-fat cheese and tortilla chips instead of Fritos, all tossed in my delicious, Skinny Thousand Island Dressing instead of a full fat one. I’m also sharing a few tricks in cooking the ground turkey and onions to cut more calories and fat.  This main course salad has 399 calories 10 grams of fat and 11 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.  Taco Bell’s Fiesta Taco Salad has an 870 calories and 46 grams of fat! So bring on the nostalgia…It’s delicious.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


For the Skinny Thousand Island Dressing:

1 cup Skinny Ranch Dressing or light mayonnaise

¼ cup chili sauce

1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

½ teaspoon paprika

For the Fiesta Salad:

1 pound ground turkey

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (1oz) package Lawry’s Taco Seasoning

⅔ cup water

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1½ bags romaine lettuce

2 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 (2.25 oz) can sliced black olives, drained

⅓ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated

2 cups crushed reduced-fat tortilla chips, about 3 ounces


1. Prepare the Thousand Island dressing – In a small bowl add all the dressing ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. In a large pan, brown the turkey and pour into a colander to drain off the fat.  Add back to pan.

3. Place the onions on a microwave safe plate and cook in the microwave for 4-5 minutes until the onions are soft.

4. To the turkey, add the onions, taco seasonings, water and beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. In a large serving bowl, add the romaine lettuce, corn, tomatoes, olives, cheese, and taco meat.  Pour 1 cup of Thousand Island dressing over the salad and toss.  Add more dressing, if desired.

6. Divide among 6 plates.  Sprinkle the top of each with crushed tortilla chips.

Makes 6 salads

Food Fact

The taco salad originated in Texas in the 1960’s.   It’s an infusion of the Mexican taco with the American salad.  Today there are numerous ways the taco salad is prepared.

Thousand Island dressing became extremely popular back in the 1950’s.  After you taste this coral colored dressing you’ll see why it has remained so popular.

Healthy Benefits

Black beans are a good source of fiber and lean protein.

Fresh corn is a good source of fiber, protein, vitamin C and is rich in folic acid.

Prep Tip

Whenever a recipe call for browning ground meat, after cooking, drain off the excess fat in a colander in the sink.  Just by doing this simple step you’ll cut many calories and fat.

Cooking onions in the microwave instead sauteing in oil will also save calories and fat.

Weight Watchers (old points) 8
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS

SKINNY FACTS: for one salad including dressing
399 calories, 10g fat, 40g protein, 51g carbs, 8g fiber, 982mg sodium, 9g sugar
FAT FACTS: for Taco Bell’s Fiesta Taco Salad
870 calories, 46g fat, 32g protein, 82g carbs, 14g fiber, 1780mg sodium, 11g sugar

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