40 Taco Recipes That'll Have You Telling Your Friends You Should Open A Food Truck (2024)

Make it Taco Tuesday, every day.

By Camille Lowder and Mo Goldstein
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Is there anything more delicious than a crisp, warm tortilla filled with your favorite, hot, dripping, flavorful protein? Whether it’s Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, or just another weeknight, tacos show up on our kitchen table a LOT. What can we say? It's just FACTS that wrapping almost anything in a corn or flour tortilla can turn it into a killer meal. Bonus: They're usually super-simple, quick to make, and easy to customize, i.e., perfect for family-friendly dinners, parties, and more. Check out our favorite taco recipes for ideas, then start thinking about all the ways you can top them (our must-haves? Pickled red onions and guac).

We’ve got all the most popular standards here, including basic recipes for shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, and pork tacos. You could just use whatever leftovers you got and put them in a warmed tortilla (it’s one of our favorite crazy simple lunches), but if you want something to really wow your taste buds, you’ve got to add more flavor to your meat. Taco seasoning is an obvious pick (get store-bought or make your own), but we’re talking even wilder than that. Our beef birria quesatacos rely on three different types of chiles and spices (like sweet cinnamon—trust us, it works!) to get their flavor. Our tequila-lime chicken tacos go a little brighter by relying on a margarita for their flavor inspiration. Or try our duck carnitas tacos with salsa macha- pilled high with savory duck confit, and a traditional-inspired salsa full of aromatic spices.

Don’t worry, it’s not just meat on this list. We’ve also included a few of our favorite vegan and vegetarian options here too, like our air fryer cauliflower tacos, our chipotle lentil tacos, or our Buffalo cauliflower tacos. They’ve got SO much flavor, you'll be making them long beyond Meatless Monday. While we’re pretty happy to eat tacos for any meal, we’ve also included our specifically breakfast tacos (with eggs, ofc) and our death by chocolate taco, in case you were craving a crunchy dessert.

Speaking of desserts, check out all favorite Mexican-inspired desserts. And you can’t forget the drinks! Get inspired by our list of our favorite Mexican beers and tequila drinks for Cinco de Mayo too.

1

Carnitas

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This preparation of Mexico’s slow-cooked pulled pork is classic and a bit time consuming, but worth every single second: It’s the ultimate confit, and an example of the delicious results you can accomplish with low-and-slow cooking. Once made, these crispy, flavorful carnitas will be key to upgrading every taco night, or practically any weeknight dinner.

Get the Carnitas recipe.

2

Cauliflower Tacos

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Looking to spice up taco night? Call in the roasted cauliflower. Loaded with crisp cabbage slaw and drizzled with a tangy lime crema, these richly spiced cauliflower tacos promise to shake up your weeknight dinner routine for good.

Get the Cauliflower Tacos recipe.

3

Shrimp Tacos

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Shrimp tacos are easy, fast, and the perfect canvas for showcasing all the best parts of the handheld favorite. Pan-seared shrimp get seasoned with homemade taco seasoning and drizzled with lime juice, then piled into a charred corn tortilla with crisp cabbage slaw and topped with jalapeno-garlic crema (a game changer).

Get the Shrimp Tacos recipe.

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4

Summer Squash Sheet Pan Tacos

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Put squash, hummus, and pickled shallots in front of me, and I will make one mean taco. These vegetarian tacos have layers of tender summer squash (imagine them picked right from the garden), whipped garlicky hummus, smoky tahini sauce, and za’atar pickled shallots layered in warm corn tortillas.

Get the Summer Squash Sheet Pan Tacos recipe.

5

Grilled Portobello Tacos

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Mushroom lovers alert: Summer taco nights just got upgraded. Featuring portobello mushrooms marinated in taco spices and grilled to perfection, these vegetarian tacos will delight meat-lovers and vegans alike.

Get the Grilled Portobello Tacos recipe.

6

Corned Beef Tacos

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Corned beef has taken on new challenges beyond the Reuben. We’ve taken the classic Reuben and repurposed it in nacho and casserole form. Next challenge: a taco, with a melted layer of Swiss and a lightly creamy, acidic, and caraway-forward slaw.

Get the Corned Beef Tacos recipe.

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7

Crispy Sheet-Pan Black Bean Tacos

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Featuring refried black beans stuffed inside a crunchy corn tortilla, this irresistible cross between a taco and a sheet-pan quesadilla will make any weeknight feel like a celebration. Oh—and did we mention you only need 5 ingredients to get the party started?

Get the Crispy Sheet-Pan Black Bean Tacos recipe.

8

Hot Dog Tacos (Tacos De Soto)

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Never heard of tacos de Soto? The taco de Soto is a fried, crispy taco filled with sliced hot dog and cheese. While on the surface it seems humble enough, this taco has a cultural significance that is deeply personal for some; for others, it’s a snack with nostalgic memories attached.

Get the Hot Dog Tacos (Tacos De Soto) recipe.

9

Grilled Chicken Street Tacos

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Nothing beats a street taco—super-juicy, tender grilled meat in a quick grab-and-go format, typically made possible by doubling up two smaller corn tortillas. This makes them easier to eat on the side of the street, in the car, anywhere! They're no frills yet tend to be some of the most craveable tacos around.

Get the Grilled Chicken Street Tacos recipe.

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10

Fried Fish Tacos

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Any firm white fish like tilapia, catfish, cod, or flounder all work beautifully here, so save your $$$ and don't spring for an expensive one. The combination of flour, cornstarch, and cornmeal in the batter results in a crisp but sturdy crust no matter which fish you choose.

Get the Fried Fish Tacos recipe.

11

Carne Asada Tacos

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This flavorful handheld food has it all—tender marinated skirt steak, an aromatic corn tortilla, and all of the classic street taco toppings. Served for lunch or dinner, these are delicious with a hearty side of refried beans and rice, or you can keep it light with corn salad.

Get the Carne Asada Tacos recipe.

12

Duck Carnitas Tacos With Salsa Macha

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In this recipe, the duck legs are cooked low and slow in duck fat, similar to duck confit. A mix of duck fat, aromatic chiles, oranges, and Mexican co*ke flavors the meat. Throw together a michelada or margarita to really round out this meal, and enjoy!

Get the Duck Carnitas Tacos With Salsa Macha recipe.

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13

Birria Quesatacos

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Although birria can be served in countless ways, we love making quesatacos stained red with the fat of the birria and seared until almost crispy. This helps melt the queso oaxaca and create what is essentially a mini quesadilla. What's not to love?

Get the Birria Quesatacos recipe.

14

Mahi Mahi Tacos

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Being a meaty, tender fish, mahi mahi stands up well to the grill and is even better when marinated. You could use a traditional citrus-oil mixture, or do like we did and go with a mayo-based marinade that adds some richness and a ton of flavor. Throw the fish on a tortilla with some spicy pineapple-jalapeño salsa, and you'll have an amazing summer taco night.

Get the Mahi Mahi Tacos recipe.

15

Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos

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Extra crispy on the outside and cheesy on the inside, these tacos are so much fun to make and eat. Putting cheese directly in your skillet might sound wrong, but it works! Once off heat, the cheese starts to harden and crisps up, giving the texture of a crunchy taco shell, but extra delicious.

Get the Crispy Chipotle Chicken Tacos recipe.

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16

Air Fryer Cauliflower Tacos

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To get extra crispy "fried" cauliflower, you gotta use your air fryer. This recipe is basically the vegan version of our favorite fish tacos. The finishing touch? A quick and easy pickled slaw for a bite of freshness and a spicy mayo for a touch of heat.

Get the Air Fryer Cauliflower Tacos recipe.

17

Easy Chicken Tacos

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We say the more toppings the merrier. We like our chicken tacos topped with red onion (pickled onions would be great too), avocado, cilantro, and cheese. Pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, or some crushed corn chips would also be delicious, so have fun with it!

Get the Easy Chicken Tacos recipe.

18

Fish Tacos

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The fish—we use cod, but any flaky variety, like tilapia, works—marinates in a mixture of lime juice, chili powder, and cumin that will become your standard. But the real gem of this recipe is the red cabbage slaw—don't skip it. It takes just a few minutes to toss together, and its brightness is the perfect condiment to the spiced cod.

Get the Perfect Fish Tacos recipe.

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19

Spicy Potato Tacos

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If you’ve ever bitten into a breakfast burrito and wished that it was just a tortilla stuffed with hash browns, these tacos are for you. We topped them with pickled onions, chipotle mayo, cotija cheese, and cilantro, but feel free to customize however you like.

Get the Spicy Potato Tacos recipe.

20

Tacos Al Pastor

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Traditional tacos al pastor are made on a vertical rotisserie just like chicken shawarma. The method was used by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico and the tacos adapted to fit the culinary scene of Mexico with their spices and quickly became a popular street food. Serve these up with some queso and call it a fiesta.

Get the Tacos Al Pastor recipe.

40 Taco Recipes That'll Have You Telling Your Friends You Should Open A Food Truck (2024)
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