Remember when eat-out salads were simple? None of these over-the-top quinoa-strawberry salads you find everywhere these days. A simple, uncomplicated salad that still has a twist to it; now that is rare. Then, lo and behold, while at my local Wendy’s, I came across the Wendy’s Taco Salad. It is just what I have been looking for; a beautiful mix of crispy lettuce, juicy diced tomato, freshly grated cheddar cheese, crunchy tortilla chips and the legendary Wendy’s chili.
What is Wendy’s Taco Salad?
Wendy’s Taco Salad, a classic item on the Wendy’s menu, is a delightful blend of fresh and flavorful ingredients. It is a perfectly balanced dish that combines crunchy lettuce, juicy tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and hearty chili, topped with tortilla chips for that additional crunch.
The salad is made up of the following:
- Crisp lettuce
- Diced tomatoes
- Cheddar cheese
- Wendy’s famous chili
- Sour cream
- Salsa (used as a dressing)
- Tortilla chips
Each element contributes to the overall flavor and texture of the salad, creating a delicious meal that leaves you satisfied and full.
How to make Copycat Wendy’s Taco Salad
I love this recipe because you can pre-make the chili and either store it in the refrigerator or freeze it for months. The leftover chili can be used in pasta dishes or casseroles.
This taco salad gets even better. You can assemble it in a mason jar and store it for 2-3 days! Assembly also takes minutes meaning you don’t have to rush to get lunch ready.
This is the perfect salad recipe as it is delicious, easy to make and can be pre-made.
To make the chili, heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Add your ground beef and cook until evenly browned. Next add your crushed tomatoes, kidney beans and pinto beans. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Season the chili with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the taco salad, place your lettuce in a bowl. Add the cheddar cheese and tomatoes and top with broken corn tortilla chips and the chili. Lastly add a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- This taco salad also works great to prep in advance by using mason jars. Simply add your cooled off chili at the bottom, top with the cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. Keep your tortilla chips and sour cream on the side. Packed like this, your salad can be made 2-3 days in advance and conveniently enjoyed at work.
- To make this recipe healthier, you can use low-fat cheese and fat-free sour cream. You can also rinse your beans as the liquid they are stored in contains lots of sodium. You can also substitute the dairy products with vegan alternatives.
- Extra-lean ground beef is also a healthier alternative to regular beef. You can even use other lean meats such as turkey or chicken. A vegan alternative would be lentils.
- Use baked tortilla chips as opposed to fried chips. You can make your own tortilla chips by cutting up plain tortillas, seasoning them with salt and olive oil and baking them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.
How do you assemble Wendy’s taco salad?
To assemble Wendy’s Taco Salad, begin with a base of Wendy’s side salad. The next layer consists of Wendy’s small chili, evenly distributed across the salad. Add a crunchy element by crumbling Wendy’s tortilla chips over the top. Finish by garnishing with shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly before consuming to ensure a balanced flavor in every bite.
Does Wendy’s still make the taco salad?
Yes, as of my most recent information, Wendy’s still makes the Taco Salad. However, menu offerings can vary by location and time, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local Wendy’s or their official website for the most up-to-date information.
Wendy’s Taco Salad is a flavorful and satisfying meal that is sure to delight your taste buds. It combines fresh vegetables with hearty chili and cheese, creating a balanced dish that caters to your nutritional needs. Recreating this recipe at home allows you to control the ingredients and portions, making it a healthier alternative to fast food.
So why not give it a try? You might find that this becomes one of your go-to meals when you crave something filling yet nutritious.