Paleo Taco Salad with Zucchini Chips

Most of what I make for my wife and me has a non-paleo option. I do this in case I want a little extra or in case my wife feels like cheating that particular day.

Last night I made a taco salad, assuming I’d use real chips. But I had a last minute idea that I thought I’d try. It actually made the meal completely paleo and completely delicious. I made my own zucchini chips, which I’d never done before. All it took was a couple zucchinis, olive oil, salt and pepper, and cumin (the cumin helped get rid of the bitter taste that the zucchini chips had).

I’m not going to lie, we still ate real chips with the leftover guacamole. So no, we weren’t completely paleo. But we ate much less carbs than we might have if I hadn’t opted for this paleo option. (Feel free to be as naughty or nice as you want when you make this.)

Ingredients for Paleo Taco Salad

  • Zucchini (2)
  • Olive Oil
  • Spinach
  • Ground Beef (1 Pound)
  • White Onion
  • Garlic (3 Cloves)
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin (Comino)
  • Oregano
  • Salsa (I used a mixture of two—green and red)
  • Avocados (2 Large Haas)
  • Lime
  • Cilantro for Garnish

Making the Zucchini Chips

To make the paleo zucchini chips I simple thinly sliced the two zucchinis. I didn’t use a mandolin because I don’t have one. I cut each slice a little thicker than a nickel.

I tossed them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and two teaspoons (each) of salt and pepper. I spread them out in a single layer on two cookie sheets and threw them in the oven at 450 degrees.

I frequently checked the chips to make sure they weren’t getting too crispy. Once I saw them browning a little bit, I reduced the heat of the oven to 200 degrees and let them sit in there to make sure they got crispy and not burned.

Making the Paleo Meat Sauce

While the zucchini chips baked, I fired up my cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Once the pan heated up, I drizzled a tablespoon of olive oil into it and added the pound of ground beef with some salt (2 teaspoons) and pepper (I used grass fed beef because it tastes great and is healthier for you). As the meat was browning I quickly diced the onion and garlic cloves to add as soon as the meat was cooked through. Along with the onions and garlic, I eyeballed 2 tablespoons of chili powder, a tablespoon of cumin, and a teaspoon of oregano.

Once the meat got a bit crispy I added a couple tablespoons of my favorite salsas to add some heat and moisture to the meat sauce. I lowered the skillet to low heat and covered it so it would all combine.

Making the Guacamole

I always keep my guacamole really simple. I love the taste of avocados and I don’t want to mask that. I added the flesh of two avocados into a bowl and squeezed the juice of a whole lime into it. I added a teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder, and cumin (use some cracked pepper at your discretion).

I always mix my guacamole with a spoon instead of smashing it with a fork. I find if the avocados are a nice softness, a spoon makes it creamy instead of chunky. But if you’re have a rough go with the spoon, use what you need to.

Assembling the Paleo Taco Salad

Once the zucchini chips were crispy, I tossed them in a tablespoon or two of cumin. I used just enough until I was happy that the bitterness was gone from the chips.

I put down a small ring of chips on the plates and stacked spinach in the center. Giving the spinach a rough chop makes it easier to eat, but it isn’t necessary.

I added 1/3 of the meat mixture onto the spinach, then a huge dollop of guacamole on top of that. I garnished it with some roughly chopped cilantro, and there you have it! Paleo taco salad.


Then because you feel so good about yourself for eating 100% paleo, go ahead and cheat by eating a few tortilla chips with the excess guacamole.

If you used this recipe, I’d love to hear about your success, failures, or modifications. Leave a comment below and let me know what you did. Let’s all learn together.