These mini taco salads, or taquito salads are the cheekiest little appetizer bites. They are naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, and loaded with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh veggies. I’m sharing them today for Salad Month and the Recipe Redux.

Mini Taco Salad Appetizer Bites on a plate with pumpkin seeds spread out alongside

Why We Love This Recipe for Taco Salad Appetizer

Earlier this month I went to Dallas for the weekend to see my cousin Taylor get married. My husband and I left the girls back in Vermont and flew down on a Thursday night. We met up with more family there and spent the weekend eating, relaxing, and enjoying the sites.

We had a great time, and we ate so much amazing Tex-Mex and Mexican food. We had breakfast tacos and Migas. And at dinner, there may or may not have been tequila with chapulines salt/gusano salt. Eww/Yum! It truly was a great trip, but now that we’re back in Vermont, I once again have Mexican food on my mind (even though we spent all weekend long eating).

So, with that said, I decided I would use the trip as inspiration to create an appetizer. I sat for a while and thought about what I’d make. And then I got it! Tex-Mex mini salad appetizers. They’re like little taquito salads if you will. They are super tasty and make such a fun appetizer for a summer party or football snack in the fall.

Ingredients for This Mini Taco Salad Recipe

Corn tortillas

I made the taco shells from scratch with Maria and Ricardo tortillas and oil by baking them in mini muffin tins. It took a while to figure out how to make them work. I ended up microwaving the tortilla rounds to soften them a bit. The tortillas needed to be quite warm in order to stay down in the muffin tins. Otherwise, they would pop out. In case you don’t have mini muffin tins, or you want to save time, Tostito scoops would work great too.

Other Taco Salad Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup creamy dressing such as yogurt cumin seed dressing or light italian
  • ½ avocado diced
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Step by Step Instructions to Make This Healthy Mexican Appetizer

Step 1: Preheat oven & prep tin

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 2 mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.

Step 2: Bake tortillas

Cut tortillas into 36 2-inch rounds with a sharp biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 15 to 25 seconds until warm and very pliable. Brush oil over the tortilla rounds. Press 24 tortilla rounds into the muffin tins, oiled side up. Bake until crispy, 9 to 11 minutes. Let them cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes. Carefully turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining 12 tortilla rounds. (Alternatively, substitute purchased tortilla scoops)

Step 3: Assemble salads appetizer

Combine the romaine, cheddar, tomatoes and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad among the taco cups. Garnish with avocado, olives and pepitas. Serve immediately.

FAQs and Expert Tips

Can these mini salad appetizers be made ahead of time?

Yes. You can make the mini tortilla shells a few hours before or the day before serving. Store them an airtight ziploc until the appetizers are ready to assemble.

Can you turn these into a meal?

Absolutely. If this recipe sounds delicious, but you have no reason to make appetizers anytime soon, combine all the taco salad ingredients in a bowl, serve in plates, and use the tortillas to scoop up the salad.

What else could you add to these mini taco salads?

If you’re looking for more ingredients to add, or simply need to substitute something, add black beans, corn, or even a source of protein such as ground turkey or grilled chicken.

Additional Healthy Mexican Recipes to Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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Mini Taco Salad Appetizer Bites, Tacito Salads. Naturally gluten-free, vegetarian and loaded with sharp cheddar cheese flavor! on Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Taquito Salads ~ Mini Taco Salad Appetizer Bites

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 36 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These mini taco salads, or taquito salads are the cheekiest little appetizer bites. They are naturally gluten-free and vegetarian and loaded with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh veggies.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 18 6-inch corn tortillas (see ingredient note)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup creamy dressing such as yogurt cumin seed dressing or light italian
  • ½ avocado diced
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • ¼ cup toasted pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 2 mini-muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. Cut tortillas into 36 2-inch rounds with a sharp biscuit cutter or cookie cutter. Place on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 15 to 25 seconds until warm and very pliable. Brush oil over the tortilla rounds. Press 24 tortilla rounds into the muffin tins, oiled side up. Bake until crispy, 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining 12 tortilla rounds. (Alternatively, substitute purchased tortilla scoops)
  3. Combine romaine, cheddar, tomatoes and cilantro in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad among the taco cups. Garnish with avocado, olives and pepitas. Serve immediately.

Notes

Ingredient note: Save time and substitute purchased tortilla scoops instead.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 bites
  • Calories: 144
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 329 mg
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g