Copycat Wendy's Taco Salad Recipe

Fast-crafted salads are taking over the industry. And thanks to chef and recipe developer Liz Capozzoli of Owl Baking, a copycat Wendy's Taco Salad recipe can take over your kitchen. Picture this: in 15 minutes, you can have this crunchy and satisfying dish for lunch or dinner — without actually having to drive to Wendy's.

"The difficulty level is easy," Capozzoli says. "Other than making the chili, there's no other cooking involved. Just some measuring, cutting, and assembling!"

And if you're wondering if this copycat Wendy's Taco Salad is sufficient by itself, you can rest easy knowing it's definitely a full meal. "I think this salad is good to go on its own," Capozzoli explains. "The chili is very filling and the salad hits all the senses — creamy, crunchy, crispy. It has freshness from the vegetables and a little spice from the ancho chili in the salsa. I can't think of anything else to pair it with. It kind of made me crave a Frosty after, though."

Frosty or no Frosty, don't be surprised when this copycat Wendy's Taco Salad recipe becomes your go-to dish.

Gather the ingredients

First, you'll need to gather the ingredients for this mouthwatering copycat recipe. You'll need one (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, half of a small white onion (finely diced), chopped cilantro, half of a jalapeño (finely diced),  garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chili powder, salt, granulated sugar, and lime juice. You'll also need two medium-sized heads of romaine lettuce, two to three fresh tomatoes, shredded yellow cheddar cheese, two cups of prepared Copycat Wendy's Chili (warmed), low-fat sour cream, and 20 round corn tortilla chips.

While already prepared Copycat Wendy's Chili is used to make this taco salad a true copycat recipe, you can use whatever prepared chili you have on hand, or perhaps you have your own chili recipe you'd like to incorporate. 

Lightly blend the fire-roasted tomatoes

Start by making the salsa. You'll begin by partially pureeing the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, using either an immersion blender or a food processor. This process should only take a few pulses. You don't want to completely blend the tomatoes, and there should be some chunks of tomatoes visible.

If you don't have an immersion blender or a food processor, you're still in luck. "A [regular] blender would suffice," Capozzoli says. "The salsa ingredients shouldn't be completely blended. Just one or two quick pulses is all that's needed. The goal is to keep the salsa chunky. It can be easy to overdo it!"

Mix the salsa

You'll then add the prepared fire-roasted tomatoes to a medium bowl. Next, you'll stir in the white onion, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, onion powder, ancho chili powder, salt, sugar, and lime juice. Your salsa is now finished. Set it aside for when you assemble the salad.

Capozzoli used Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, but as long as you can find fire-roasted tomatoes, your recipe is going to be *chef's kiss* perfect.

Chop the lettuce and dice the fresh tomatoes

Next, on a large cutting board, you'll chop the romaine lettuce.

After chopping the lettuce, you'll dice the fresh tomatoes. The lettuce will, of course, be used for the salad part of the taco salad, and the diced fresh tomatoes will be used to sprinkle on the salad. Keep in mind that these are different from the tomatoes used to make the salsa, as the salsa tomatoes are canned and fire-roasted. The fresh tomatoes for this step are the ones you chop yourself.

Assemble the copycat Wendy's Taco Salad recipe

It's almost time to eat. But first, you'll need to assemble the taco salad. You'll distribute the lettuce and tomatoes equally in two large bowls. Then, sprinkle the cheese on each salad. You will then add one cup of the prepared chili on top of the lettuce in each bowl. Next, you'll add about two tablespoons of the salsa mix to each salad.

Finally, you'll top the salads with two tablespoons of sour cream each, and then scatter tortilla chips around the salads. Serve to your closest confidant and enjoy!

Copycat Wendy's Taco Salad Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
You don't need to drive all the way to Wendy's to enjoy one of their taco salads -- this copycat recipe will teach you the secret to making it at home!
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
2
Servings
Copycat Wendy's Taco Salad
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • ½ small white onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ½ jalapeño, finely diced
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 medium-sized heads of romaine lettuce
  • 2 to 3 fresh tomatoes
  • ½ cup shredded yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups prepared Copycat Wendy's Chili, warmed
  • 4 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • 20 round corn tortilla chips
Directions
  1. Start by making the salsa. Begin by partially pureeing the fire-roasted diced tomatoes, using either an immersion blender or a food processor. This should only take a few pulses. Don't completely blend -- there should be some chunks of tomatoes visible.
  2. Add the prepared tomatoes to a medium bowl. Next, stir in the white onion, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chili powder, salt, sugar, and lime juice. Set aside.
  3. On a large cutting board, chop the romaine lettuce and dice the fresh tomatoes.
  4. Distribute the lettuce and tomatoes equally in two large bowls. Sprinkle on the cheese, ¼ cup into each salad.
  5. Add one cup of the prepared Copycat Wendy's Chili to each bowl, on top of the lettuce. Add about two tablespoons of salsa each.
  6. Top with two tablespoons of sour cream each and scatter tortilla chips around the salad. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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