This Bison Taco Salad Bowl is loaded with seasoned bison, bell peppers, onion, kidney beans, brown rice, cheese, fresh romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. This recipe is easy to make, super versatile, and perfect for meal prep. A flavorful dish that’s sure to become a family favorite!
I love making taco bowls at home. They’re so easy to make and perfect for meal prep!
I’ve been making this taco salad bowl recipe with bison for years. I usually do all the prep on Sunday afternoon and then divide it into meal containers for lunches or dinners for the next several days.
A taco salad bowl is a bowl filled with any taco ingredients that you’re craving but without the shell or tortilla. Don’t get bogged down by the list of ingredients, just use your favorites and the ones that you have on hand. Here’s what I love to use:
- Bison – Any ground meat will work great. I chose to use lean ground bison because it’s a really good lean, flavorful meat. I highly recommend giving it a try, if you haven’t already.
- Vegetables – In this taco bowl, we’re using a mix of bell peppers, onion, romaine lettuce and tomato. Add in or take away as you prefer!
- Taco Seasoning – You can buy this pre-made or easily make your own!
- Beans – The recipe calls for kidney beans, but feel free to use any beans you’d like. Pinto beans or black beans would also be delicious.
- Rice – You can use any rice (or grain) that you have available, even the quick microwavable variety works great. Brown rice is typically my go-to but if you want low carb, cauliflower rice is a great option.
- Cheese – We love to add a bit of shredded cheddar cheese to each bowl. Feel free to swap in some diced avocado or homemade guacamole for a dairy-free option.
How to make a taco salad bowl
Just a few simple steps and you’ll have the most flavorful bison taco bowl ever!
For full (printable) instructions, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Cook the bison. The first step is to heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the ground bison. Once the meat is no longer pink, push it over to one side of the pan.
- Cook the veggies. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the empty side of the pan and then add the peppers, onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Then, combine meat and vegetables. Stir in taco seasoning to evenly coat the mixture.
- Add broth + beans. Stir in broth and beans and allow the mixture to cook until the broth has evaporated and the beans are heated through – about five minutes.
- Assemble the bowl. Put half a cup of brown rice in the bottom of your serving bowl. Top with a small handful of romaine, a heaping tablespoon of cheese, and one cup of the bison-taco mixture. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes (and any other taco toppings you love) and enjoy.
Customize your bison taco salad bowl
I’m obsessed with this recipe as written – it’s simple and delicious – but adding your own twist is always fun! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Base layer. Instead of brown rice, try cauliflower rice, quinoa, spaghetti squash or white rice.
- Filling. Feel free to sub the ground bison with ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken or pulled salsa chicken. To make these bowls vegetarian or vegan, use tofu or a plant-based meat alternative.
- Vegetables. Add any other favorite veggies to your bowl – zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, corn or sweet potato. If you want a veggie-based bowl, make a tray of roasted vegetables (so good!).
- Extras. Try topping your bowl with guacamole, pico de gallo, papaya salsa, Greek yogurt, jalapeño slices, and/or fresh cilantro.
Frequently asked questions
Is bison healthier than beef?
Bison is very similar to beef in taste and texture but seems to be nutritionally superior:
- It has 25% more protein than beef
- Bison has less fat and cholesterol than beef (and turkey!)
- And it has more iron than beef
What type of bison is best?
The key when shopping for quality bison meat is to look for 100% grass-fed and finished. Ground bison is becoming more readily available, but if you’re having trouble finding 100% grass-fed and finished at an everyday grocery store, you can do so at local farmers’ markets, or on the internet.
Where can you buy bison?
If you are not sure where to start, check out EatWild.com to find a directory of pasture-based farms.
When I lived in California, I would buy my bison from Linder Bison. They sell at the Santa Monica farmer’s markets and I highly recommend them.
Now that I live in NJ, I usually buy my bison from Butcher Box (they deliver right to your door) or Whole Foods.
Taco bowls can last about five days in the refrigerator. The cooked ingredients can be stored together (bison and rice). This will allow you to conveniently reheat them in the microwave altogether. I suggest storing the chilled components in separate containers (lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes), so they will stay as fresh as possible.
Meal prep your taco salad bowl
Taco bowls are fabulous to make in advance and enjoy later. You’ll just want to be sure to pack the cooked ingredients together and the fresh ingredients separately. I like to make individual servings in meal prep containers. Here’s how:
- Divide cooked and cooled rice between four to six containers (I like to use these).
- Top with cooked and cooled bison taco meat. Cover and store in the fridge.
- Prep lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and any other fresh ingredients in separate airtight containers, so you can reheat the warm ingredients without heating the fresh ingredients.
- I store everything in one spot in my fridge, so it’s all easy to grab, place in a lunch pack and go!
More bison recipes to try
Feel free to use ground bison in any of these recipes!
- Butternut Squash Chili
- Chili Con Carne
- Zucchini Taco Boats
- Turkey and Black Bean Tacos
- Healthy Bison Meatballs
If you make and enjoy this taco bowl recipe, be sure to leave a comment and ★ rating below letting me know how they turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for me and our Clean & Delicious community (thank you!).
Bison Taco Salad Bowl
- 1 pound ground bison
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 medium bell peppers (1 red & 1 green) chopped
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic diced
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
- 1 (8.75 ounces) can kidney beans drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup part skim shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large romaine heart thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium tomato diced
- Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat. Add ground bison into the dry pan, then using a wooden or rubber spatula, break the meat apart. Cook for a couple of minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
- Push the meat over to one side of the pan. Add one teaspoon of olive oil to the empty half of the pan, then add in the peppers, onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Allow the veggies to cook until they are tender, about five minutes.
- Combine the meat and the veggies together. Stir in the taco seasoning to evenly coat the meat and veggie mixture. Stir in broth and beans and allow to cook until the broth has evaporated and the beans are heated through (about five minutes or so).
- Time to build your bowl! Put a half cup of brown rice in the bottom of your serving bowl. Top with a small handful of romaine, a heaping tablespoon of cheese, and one cup of the bison-taco mixture. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and enjoy.
Dani this looks sooo delicious. I’ve had a craving for tacos lately, I will definitely be adding this dish to my meal plan for next week. I have not tried bison yet but our local health food store has it in their frozen section so I will pick it up and give it a shot! ALL my favorite flavors 🙂 I love Penzey’s spices as well – though I make my own chili and taco seasoning since I don’t use them that often but use the individual spices in the kitchen a lot, especially cumin. Helps keep it super low sodium as well.
BTW, loved the baby babble in the background. I was going to ask how Katie’s food preferences were going lately? I ditched purees entirely for Nico, he eats everything now. He even had some paella the other day, and he loves grouper, chicken, all berries, bananas, asparagus (!), Turkish pilaf, etc. I about fell over when he had some red beans and rice the other day. He practically ate his own hand while shoveling barley risotto into his mouth last night. It was hilarious. Hmmmm, now how to get big brother to actually eat something that is not a cracker??????
I was afraid to eat bison the very first time but took the plunge anyway! Now it is my favorite meat!
I totally have that same philosophy on eating – I’ll try anything once….Bison has been the ONLY thing I haven’t been able to get up enough nerve to try LOL.
I LOVE your taco bowl – it “almost” makes me wanna try it 😀 almost LOL
Melissa – LOL – so funny that you detected the baby babble! Sometimes there’s just no way around it… looks like Katie likes talking just as much as her Mommy;). Sounds like Nico is doing great with eating! Katie is doing good but not that good! We still do some purees (usually store bought) and then for the most part I am giving her whatever we eat. Last night she was diggin’ tilapia and a tofu “egg salad”. As you can see from my lack of posting in KidBites I haven’t been making “special” meals for her… she pretty much eats what we eat! You’ll have to let me know f you try the taco bowl!
Milason – Me too! But now I love it.
Danica – If you really don;t want to try the Bison (which you should;)), you can make this meal with ground turkey, chicken, beef, or even tofu!
I have been eating grass-fed bison for ten years!! It’s amazing and delicious! I get mine from North Star Bison… they have more than just grass-fed bison too… ostrich, elk, beef, chicken & turkey! Google if interested! Other wise this bowl looks delicious, I want some bison, STAT! ha ha!
Dani, This looks so GOOD! I really LOVE the brown rice substitute for the taco shell! Although I’ve never tried bison, I’m always willing to try anything at least once. :)) Thanks for another great recipe!
The Meal Planner says
This looks great. I just discovered the benefits of bison meat recently from reading Dinner with Julie. She has some interesting info on its nutritional value, and some great looking recipes too: https://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/05/11/day-132-coffee-rubbed-bison-steaks-smashed-potatoes-ichiban-salad-and-passionfruit-pavlovas/ and https://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/01/28/day-28-spaghetti-bison-meatballs/ . She says the key to bison is not overcooking it. Most people want to treat it like beef because it looks so similar but you are supposed to cook it for about 1/3 of the time you would beef. Our family has tried bison burgers and you really can’t tell the difference!
Julie Leithner says
I LOVE bison! my family wasn’t sure since the first time they tried ground turkey instead of ground beef. But now that they’ve tried it for themselves, they believe me when I say it’s JUST LIKE BEEF BUT BETTER!! haha We just had taco salad last night so next time I’ll have to remember to make it with bison!
I made this with chicken. It was so good! Then my friend brought me some of her bean salsa – black beans, fresh corn kernels, tomatoes, avacado, onion, lime juice and red pepper flakes. This was heaven on top of the already delicious chicken taco bowl – YUM!!
Omg this was soo good! & easy to make & i love how Dani puts exact serving size of each item makes it so much easier on me to see exactly how much im eating!. Thanks Dani! Great recipe!!
Since I didn’t see it above… a little Greek yogurt is a fabulous substitute for sour cream, if you like that sort of thing on tacos. I don’t know about California, but in Wisconsin we put dairy on EVERYTHING and miss it when its not there! 🙂 Also, this recipe is Delicious and works well with venison too!
Sarah Kaven says
This was sooooo soooo good. I used quinoa instead of rice and cooked it in the beef broth. Also added a whole packet of seasoning and a little more only because I love taco flavor. Thank you for sharing.
Just made it. Loved it! Must repeat!! 🙂
Came out gr8..
Dale Pifer says
Very good!! my 4 boy’s didn’t know what hit them when I made this for them! Lol well worth the effort!!