Carnitas is great in tacos, but maybe you’re craving a big hearty salad with an easy dressing that will knock your socks off. If you’re that person who orders the “bowl” option at Chipotle, this one’s for you. Meal prep friendly, too!
Meal Prep Options
This recipe is based on starting with my famous Instant Pot Pork Carnitas and then adding in your favorite taco salad components and finishing it with a quick homemade Honey Lime Vinaigrette.
The dressing recipe is easy and you can find it below.
The way I do the meal prep option here is to make the full recipe for the pork carnitas and pre-portion individual servings of it for this salad, my Pork Pozole and my Mexican Pulled Pork Sandwiches. The individual pork portions can be refrigerated for use that week (within 3 to 4 days) or frozen for later use (up to 3 months).
When you’re ready to eat, you can assemble your salad and pop the pork in the microwave (1 minute from refrigerated, 2 – 3 minutes from frozen), dress it and enjoy.
This salad is a great way to use up leftovers lurking in the fridge. Things like corn, tomatoes, beans, and shredded cheese seem to accumulate over the course of a week at my house.
Other ideas for awesome toppings on this salad: diced peppers, black olive, pickled onions and jalapenos, shredded carrot, cucumber, avocado, shredded cabbage, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, corn, beans, corn chips and cheeses.
I’m a romaine lettuce lover, but you can use whichever lettuce you like best. Butter, green leaf, red leaf, field greens are all great options for a taco salad.
This vinaigrette is super simple and contains mostly ingredients you already have on hand. I’m all about fewer trips to the grocery store. Chances are, if you have fresh limes already on hand, you can make this dressing right now.
I also love to use this dressing on broccoli slaw when making my Mexican Pulled Pork Sliders.
Can you eat it with cold pork?
If you make the carnitas ahead of time and keep them refrigerated, you can totally eat this salad without heating up the pork. I served it to my husband cold the day after photographing this recipe and he said it was good.
Granted, it will be better if the carnitas are heated up, but if you’re at an office without a microwave or don’t want to deal with the hassle, you don’t need to reheat it.
Other recipes that are great with pork!Print
A healthy weeknight “big salad” Mexican style with pork carnitas, fresh veggies, lettuce and a homemade Honey Lime Vinaigrette.
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or your favorite neutral flavored oil)
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed in a garlic press or finely minced
- 4 Tbs lime juice (approx 3 limes) *fresh preferred
- 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups Instant Pot Pork Carnitas prepared and shredded
- 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 avocado, peeled, pit removed and diced
- 1 lime, quartered
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- Combine the 1/3 cup oil, 1 tsp honey, 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp cracked black pepper, 1 clove garlic, 4 Tbs lime juice and 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar in a salad dressing bottle or glass jar and whisk until fully combined and set aside. The ingredients will settle, so you’ll need to stir or shake before serving.
- This recipe makes four servings, so portion out equal amounts of the lettuce, beans, tomatoes, corn, avocado and pork onto four plates or bowls and garnish with lime, cilantro and the prepared dressing. Use as much or little of the dressing as you like based on your preference.
Keywords: carnitas, pork, salad, lime, honey, vinaigrette, big salad, weeknight, gluten free