This healthy taco salad with easy homemade Caesar salad dressing, creamy avocado, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and {optional} pan seared flank steak is a delicious new twist for #TacoTuesday !
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5 from 1 vote

Mexican Caesar Salad with Pan Seared Flank Steak, Avocado, and Pumpkin Seeds

This healthy taco salad with easy homemade Caesar salad dressing, creamy avocado, crunchy pumpkin seeds, and {optional} pan seared flank steak is a delicious new twist for #TacoTuesday !
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time17 mins
Course: Gluten Free, Low FODMAP option, Salad
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Low FODMAP Option, Mexican, Vegetarian Option
Keyword: taco salad recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 649kcal
Author: EA Stewart, RD | Registered Dietitian Nutritionist


Caesar Dressing

  • Easy Homemade Caesar Dressing * or Your Favorite Bottled Caesar dressing
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 clove garlic omit for low FODMAP version
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Taco Salad

  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce ~1 large head of lettuce
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup cilantro de-stemmed and chopped
  • 4 ounces queso fresco or feta cheese
  • 1 pound flank steak {optional-omit for vegetarian version} omit for vegetarian version
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Make the dressing {if not using bottled dressing}: In a blender, combine lemon juice, egg yolks, 1 clove of garlic and mustard, and blend for approximately 30 seconds or until smooth. While the blender is running, add the olive oil slowly until it is emulsified. Season with salt to taste.
  • Brush tortillas with 1 tablespoon olive oil, stack and slice into strips. Place tortilla strips on baking sheet, and bake for ~7 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven, and set aside.
  • Prep the lettuce and toppings: Chop lettuce and place in a salad bowl. Chop cilantro, place in a small bowl, and set aside. Peel avocado, cut into slices, place on a small serving dish, and set aside. Crumble cheese, place in a small bowl, and set aside. Place pumpkin seeds in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Heat a large cast iron or saute pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Place flank steak in pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for ~ 3-5 minutes, depending upon desired level of doneness. Turn steak over, sprinkle with more salt and pepper, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat, and allow steak to cool in pan for 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Toss salad greens with caesar dressing {if using the homemade dressing, you will have leftover dressing}. Place salad greens on 4 serving plates, and serve "taco bar" style, allowing everyone to top their salad as desired with steak, avocado, cheese, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro.


For a low FODMAP version: 1. Omit garlic cloves from Caesar dressing, and add garlic oil to taste if desired. 2. Limit avocado to 1/8th per serving.
For a vegetarian version: Omit flank steak. Top w/ black beans for additional protein if desired.
Easy ingredient swaps: Substitute romaine lettuce w/ baby spinach, arugula, or chopped kale. Use any nuts or seeds in place of pumpkin seeds. Try w/ grilled chicken or pan seared salmon in place of flank stead. Swap cilantro for parsley or fresh oregano. Top with any favorite cheese.


Calories: 649kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 446mg | Potassium: 961mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5465IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 4.4mg