Taco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing

Taco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing combine crisp flour tortilla boats with a beef Barbacoa taco salad and homemade avocado dressing.Taco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing

Taco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

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Today I am  sharing a special recipe for both #MexicanRecipes week and also #FoodieExtravaganza which is a fun once a month event I like to take part in with my blogging friends. The food for #MexicanWeek is all about Mexican, Tex-Mex and southwest flavors for Cinco de Mayo of course, and #FoodieExtravaganza has salads for the food theme this month, so naturally I thought of a taco salad.

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There was a typical salad like this I used to love to get years ago at the Casa Gallardo restaurants around St. Louis albeit those were made in larger flour tortilla bowls. Those also had a smear of refried beans in the bottom, which while delicious, weren’t exactly going to fit in these with everything else.

I’d first gone to Casa Gallardo in West County around 1980- along with my parents for dinner, and also to see a movie (Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields had just opened) (now doesn’t that just take you back to the stone age? LOL!). My Dad had heard about it and Mom, loving Mexican food so much wanted to try it. It was owned at the time by Ramon Gallardo who also used to work at the popular La Sala restaurant downtown.

A couple years later I had gone to the Casa in South Country a number of times, and the taco salad was one of my favorites. They had the avocado dressing like this. They also put the hard-cooked egg on top which you don’t usually see. But the dressing goes so well with it so don’t leave it out.

I hadn’t actually started  making my dressing this way until one time I got a taco salad somewhere, pining for the old days, but they didn’t have the avocado dressing. I think they just had salsa and the usual dressings. So I had ordered the ranch dressing, and for some reason plopped some extra guacamole on top of that. And I realized it was almost there- much better than other guac or avocado dressing ideas either my own or from others, that I had tried.

And while I can’t ever be sure this is what they did (that chain is long since gone)- it goes by my rule of copying restaurant food that you always go for the simplest things, since they try to keep inventory uncomplicated, and it really needs to be something everyone can make, so you can control quality from one location to another. And having it basically be ranch dressing mixed with guacamole is a no-brainer. You can used bottled dressing, but I have shared my ranch  dressing from scratch. You can find it here: Ranch Dressing. It’s mixed in the post page for BLT salad but don’t worry, it’s there.

For the beef in this I used a boxed pre-cooked barbacoa from Kroger. I’ll admit I wasn’t feeling great, my back had been hurting off  and on for days. So while I had a chuck roast in the freezer I left it there instead of defrosting. I would have made my usual beef machaca with it. But I thought I would just run up to the tienda who carry some premade foods at their deli and grab some sort of shredded beef, but they were out. And I didn’t want to do chicken since I had just done the chicken tinga chalupas. So I popped into Kroger as I needed some milk anyway. Their chuck roasts were large and I really didn’t feel like dropping $12 just on the meat for this and have to freeze the rest so when I saw the barbacoa I took them up on it. It nukes fast and the amount of meat was perfect for far less money. But if you want to make machaca or barbacoa you should!

Taco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing

Join me tomorrow as #MexicanRecipes week continues and I post along with #FilltheCookieJar with my recipe for Mexican Chocolate Bizcochitos cookies. Friday I finish up #MexicanRecipes with my offering of Pico de Gallo.

Saturday will be fun as I group together with friends to post our #DerbyDayRecipes favorites. I’ve made a “ginormous” Hot Brown sandwich, a favorite from Louisville Kentucky, my Dad’s hometown.

And Sunday I’ll be posting with the Sunday Supper group again with another delicious salad recipe: BBQ Chicken Salad. I really do love eating salads this time of year as the produce becomes more abundant, don’t you? And there are so many  different kinds we can make!

After that I’ll be sliding right into #BrunchWeek starting on Monday and running five days. I’ve got lots of good things planned for you, starting off with my cinnamon roll pizza. You won’t want to miss a single bite so make sure you drop in each and every day!

~SueTaco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing

Taco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing

Sue Lau, Palatable Pastime
Yield: 8 side salads or 4 main dish salads (2 per person)
No ratings yet
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish, Salad
Cuisine Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings 8
Calories 615 kcal


  • 8 flour tortilla taco boats I used Old El Paso
  • 8 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 hard cooked eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 pound prepared beef barbacoa I used a prepackaged Kroger Cooked Barbacoa

Avocado Dressing:

  • 2 ripe avocados peeled seeded and mashed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup prepared ranch dressing my Ranch dressing recipe
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  • Prepare the dressing: mash the avocado and lemon juice with a fork until fairly smooth.
  • Add remaining dressing ingredients and whisk with a wire whip until smooth.
  • Chill until needed.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Place taco shell boats upside down in a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes; turn right side up and bake another two minutes; allow to cool and crisp a little as they cool.
  • Warm barbacoa and shred the meat with a couple forks or use your fingers, discarding extra liquid. You can use your own recipe for barbacoa or machaca if you like; my back was hurting so I lazied out with some pre-prep. Every cook needs a day off now and then!
  • For each taco boat, add one cup lettuce, 1/4 cup barbacoa, 1/4 of an egg, 1 tablespoon of cheese, 2 sliced cherry tomatoes, and a few sliced black olives.
  • Serve boats with avocado dressing on the side.


From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com


Serving: 1gCalories: 615kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 21gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 641mgPotassium: 893mgFiber: 8gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1625IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 139mgIron: 10mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Happy #MexicanRecipes
Let’s have a fiesta of Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes all week long!

Check back each and every day for new recipes by following along with the hashtag #MexicanRecipes on social media.

Are you a food blogger interested in posting within our blogging community? Find out more by joining us online: Holiday Fun with Our Blog Friends.

Taco Salad Boats with Avocado Dressing


Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is hosting. She encouraged us: “Let’s celebrate all things salad. Green salads, pasta
salads, potato salads…whatever you want!”

Posting day for #FoodieExtravaganza is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

The Salad Smörgåsbord

4 responses

  1. It sounds like you have a LOT of delicious things coming! I can’t wait to see the cookies and I am really excited for BrunchWeek. I always love a good taco salad and yours looks delicious. I need to add them to my menu soon!

  2. This is a great weeknight dinner- I didn’t know you could buy barbacoa ready cooked- that is a huge help during the week!

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