There aren’t many foods that Americans love more than tacos. Our southern neighbors sure did bless us when they brought their energetic cuisine across the border in the early 20th century, and boy oh boy did we take the taco and run with it.
The varied recipes in this article take you from real-deal authentic Mexican tacos to the comforting arms of Tex-Mex, and feature tortilla-less tacos, we know, controversial right?
Beef, steak, pork, chicken, fish, veggie, and vegan, whatever your preference is, you can bet your last dime that there’s a killer recipe in here for you.
By including authentic dark Mexican beer, these Bajan fish tacos are the ideal candidate to end your week on a bang. Soft, fluffy, and oh so crunchy, the egg and beer batter coats the cod chunks in a confident yet delicate way that doesn’t overpower the fish, only elevates it.
Topped with chipotle cream sauce, salsa, red cabbage, radish, peppers, and finished with a squeeze of lime, these fish tacos are simply divine.
Marinating your shrimp a whole 24 hours prior to cook time will make it known that you mean business – taco business.
Fry the shrimp in a medium-heat skillet for five minutes to cook them through and give an irresistible crunch. Served with avocado salsa, cilantro sauce, and fresh cilantro these tacos are super fresh, fiery, and flavorsome.
You know the Old El Paso taco kit tacos that your mum use to make? These tacos are like them, just way better. The thick beef and bean mix can be made ahead of time, and, in fact, we suggest it, as this will give its flavors time to join forces.
If you enjoy keeping things authentic, seek out some cotija or queso blanco to garnish. Or, for a more Tex-Mex style of taco, go for Monterey Jack cheese – either way, if you’re making this recipe, you won.
Although most people don’t know it, tacos are great in the morning. In a similar fashion to the hefty breakfast burrito, these tacos are filled with the kinds of food that tell you it’s going to be a good day.
Chorizo, cheese, avocado, and egg culminate to create one of the best hangover-cures we’ve ever eaten. There will be no need for a Berocca after a couple of these beautiful things, maybe just a 10-minute sit-down to digest.
Just when you thought we’d forgotten about the veggies out there, in steps this tasty lentil taco. Taking just 15 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to cook, this recipe will feed a family of six like it’s no other taco’s business.
Shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, these veggie tacos will be a big hit amongst the kids, with little surprise on the flavor front.
Call these tacos by their Mexican name “Carne Asada”, or, call them steak. Whichever way you want to call it, these tacos will deliver. Spiced and grilled chunks of steak are loaded up into warm tortillas, with fresh salsa and lime juice doused on top.
When the steak is this good, you really don’t want or need too many other ingredients getting in the way of you and your steak. This is a timeless taco recipe that puts worth where it counts.
On occasion, a recipe comes along that stops us in our tracks and makes us pay attention, and this is one of them. Birria is a traditional Mexican stew that’s lifted up by the irresistibly sticky and sweet adobo sauce.
Using a dutch oven, you will need to oven-roast the abodo-marinated boneless chuck roast and beef short ribs for fours hours, or until they are fork-tender.
The result is a sweet and succulent concoction of meat and sauce, that, when stuffed in a taco, needs nothing else to be brilliant.
This vegan-friendly recipe is a light and tasty alternative from the often meat-heavy world of tacos. Thinly sliced pieces of zucchini, pepper, squash, and eggplant have been buddied up next to baked tofu, and it works.
The eggplant-ancho-chili sauce offers these health-conscious tacos a smoky flavor that will have you coming back for another round, time and time again.
The beauty of these baked tacos, aside from being downright delicious, is how easy they make taco night! Being able to bake one or even two dozen tacos (depending on how many mouths you’re feeding) all at once does away with the mess and fuss.
Melted cheese, spiced chicken, crunchy tacos, this 7-ingredient recipe finishes in just 30 minutes and is made to feed the masses.
There’s a reason why pulled pork has blown up in a big way in recent years, and that’s because it is a very good thing. Spread a mixture of brown sugar, lime juice, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and barbeque sauce as thick as you can possibly get it over your pork shoulder.
Once you’re happy with your covering, it’s time for the slow cooker, where it needs to do its thing for enough hours so that the pork is tender and ready for shredding. Serve with pineapple slaw and rejoice from the clouds, as you’ll be flying high after a sitting with these tacos.
Barbeque sauce is the sweet and saucy minx of the kitchen, getting cozy with a whole matter of meats and ingredients. The panko-crumbed chicken pieces are baked, not fried, which means they are both healthier and less hassle.
Once drenched in the BBQ sauce mix that’s packing both bold and sweet flavors, the chicken is ready to go. Ranch-dressed cabbage steps up the freshness and crunch on these tangy and sweet taco treats.
Everything is better when it spends time in the slow-cooker, and oxtail is no exception. After hanging out in the slow-cooker with a homemade salsa verde for a good eight hours, the oxtail will be falling off its bone and ready to be shredded.
Served in toasted tortillas with a few radish slices for a contrasting bite, these oxtail tacos feel authentic and taste the same.
The mighty Mexican Pescadilla is a deep-fried fish taco that’s served along the Gulf of Mexico in states like Tamaulipas where seafood reigns supreme.
This recipe calls for light and white cod to be braised in a thick and spiced tomato sauce until it starts to break down and mingle.
Place a good portion of the saucy fish into each corn tortilla then pin them shut with toothpicks, ready to be deep-fried – a crunchy, delicious experience will ensue.
Tacos without the tortillas? Has the world just turned upside down? Luckily, no, the world is mostly as it should be, but yes, this recipe has done away with tortillas and replaced them with tomatoes.
Before you scoff at the idea completely, this low-carb taco alternative is actually pretty righteous in its own right. Naturally keto-friendly, these meaty stuffed tomatoes have all the hallmarks of a classic taco, just sin tortilla.
Seeing as we already went there with the taco tomato, we thought we’d stay on the wild side for just a moment and offer up these taco lettuce cups.
Another low-carb recipe that, controversially, does away with the need for a tortilla by sliding large and leafy lettuce underneath the mix instead.
15 minutes to cook, and less time to eat, these health-focused tacos are suitable to be munched down at lunch, and dinner.
Tacos de papa are authentic Mexican potato-based tacos that keep it simple, on purpose. This recipe produces great vegan or veggie potato tacos, depending on whether you are partial to some crumbly feta cheese or not.
The potato is fried, the spinach is sautéed, and once topped with red onion slices – that is your taco. Serve with lime wedges and your favorite salsa for a super easy, super quick vegan/ veggie taco.
This recipe is all about reducing your time spent in the kitchen, while still producing the goods. It calls for a rotisserie chicken to be shredded, with bones and skin discarded.
If you’re feeling extra keen then you could always cook your own chicken, rotisserie-style, but we like the idea of store-bought for this recipe.
Pickled Jalapeños, red cabbage, scallions, and cilantro cream give these chicken tacos a vibrant edge that keeps it light and fresh.
It must be known straight off the bat that these “taco” squares aren’t technically tacos. Replacing corn tortillas with crescent dough is a controversial idea that is so beyond crazy, that it may actually work.
Thankfully there are no surprises with what’s going on under the hood. Ground meat, beans, cheese, jalapeños, taco seasoning, all the traditional taco ingredients that you know and love are featured.
It’s just that they are sandwiched between buttery, flaky crescent dough. We’ll let you be the judge on this one.
Just when you thought tacos couldn’t get any less authentic, in steps this big mac taco recipe to smash any preconception right out of the park.
Rolled out with a rolling pin, burger buns are curled into a taco shape and toasted, in the toaster, with a slice of cheese on top. Sounds pretty exciting right?
However, it is the sauce that is the star of this show – a jazzed-up take on the infamously good big mac sauce we all know and love a little too well.
When it comes to food, cauliflower is a vegetarian’s best friend. Resourceful, functional, and riff-able beyond belief, there isn’t much that cauliflower can’t do. So it was to little surprise that this meaty-textured veg ended up in a taco.
Spiced with cumin, paprika, and chili powder, the roasted cauliflower is flavorful with a little kick to boot. Brought on by cherry tomatoes, avocado, fresh cilantro, and lime, there’s a freshness to this recipe that every veggie will appreciate.
Although salmon may not be the most authentic or economical meat to feature in a taco, we liked this recipe, because, well, we like salmon.
The trick to this recipe is making sure the spiced salmon skin is charred just enough to take on a street-food edginess before it is then pulled apart, ready to serve.
Another way to replicate honest Mexican street food is to pan-fry the corn tortillas until their edges are burnt just enough that they transport you to a flaming-hot roadside grill.
Have you always loved the idea of tacos, but secretly not been a fan of their mess? This taco cone recipe does away with the very real, and the very sad prospect of losing half of your filling to the floor, and ultimately the dog. These tacos are, as they say on the tin – cone-shaped. Sprinkle grated cheese across one entire side of the tortilla and whack it in the microwave for 30 seconds. You will then want to roll the softened tortilla up into a cone shape and load it with as much filling as you can possibly fit – these puppies won’t fall apart.
A hot doggie dog shoved in a taco is as naughty as it sounds. This taco is Tex-Mex cuisine at its best – nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, shredded lettuce, pickled jalapeños, and guacamole, is loaded up with the hot dog in a hard-shell taco and that is it.
Perfect for fussy kids and adults who still believe they are kids, these are fun tacos that don’t mind being laughed at.
This is a cool recipe because it has included three cooking methods for the fish. Grilled, baked, or fried, whichever way you prefer your fish cooked, this recipe accommodates. It also doesn’t mind which fish you choose, so long as it’s neutral-flavored white fish.
Aside from the fish, the recipe includes some pretty typical fillings like avocado, cilantro, sour cream, alongside Mexican cotija cheese for a light and tangy bite. Fresh, nutritious, and packed full of flavor, we’d say these fish tacos have the winning formula.
Fusing the tropical flavors of the Caribbean with the energy of Mexico, this recipe is ready to explode off of your plate.
A super-fruity pineapple and mango salsa is piled up against Caribbean seasoned chicken, with a little cabbage and cilantro thrown in for good measure. 15 minutes to prep, 10 to cook, this is dinner sorted for a family of four in under 30 minutes – easy peasy lime squeezy!
Beef and mushroom have been buddies in cooking for a good old while. All you have to say is “stroganoff” and everyone knows that, yes, these two get along just fine.
Fry the onion with seasoning, before adding the finely chopped mushrooms, beef mince, and tomato passata on high for 8-10 minutes until browned.
Turn it down to a gentle simmer and let it thicken, while you whip up a tomato and avocado salsa. Throwing no surprises your way, this recipe is comfort food – taco-style.
Crispy oven-baked chicken pieces in a honey-chipotle sauce, Ummm, yes, please! The perfect marriage of sweet and spicy, and being ever-so-textured, these tacos can do no wrong in our books.
Piled over a bed of cilantro-lime rice, these tacos aren’t designed to be light, they are heavy, decadent, and downright delicious.
They may not be the quickest tacos to put together, but stick with them and they are poised to revolutionize taco Tuesday in the most depraved kind of way.
Toasted tortillas loaded with mashed avocado, BBQ margarita chicken chunks, sweet jalapeño margarita salsa, Mexican fries, cotija cheese, and sour cream?
Yes, we think that will do just fine. If you don’t fancy getting a little lifted from your tacos, then just skip on the tequila, this recipe still goes very hard without it.
Whichever way you come at it, this recipe is a spot of genius, and it can be all yours tonight, that is, if you want it enough?
This recipe is all about making taco night as crispy as possible. Both the tortillas and black beans are pan-fried in oil to give them a seductive crunch that can’t be argued with.
Stuffed with all kinds of fresh salad bits like tomato, avocado, coleslaw, cilantro, and feta cheese, these ultra-crunchy tacos will give any veggie, a pep in their step.
We’re rounding out this list with an absolute doozy. Caramelized strips of pork loin under a lively pineapple and cucumber salsa, and topped with sriracha mayo is, in our humble opinion, taco perfection.
With every mouthful, you’ll be enchanted by a sweet, salty, and spiced blend of flavors that will leave you in a state of bewilderment, and weak at the knees.
Make sure you warm the tortillas in a skillet with a little oil before loading them up to create a warm and comforting hideout for all that unrestrained flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Authentic Tacos Soft Or Hard?
Authentic Mexican tacos are made of soft corn or flour tortillas – they are never hard. Hard-shell tacos were created by food companies for western societies to make them easier to eat.
Sure, tortillas may be fried in Mexico to give them some extra crunch, but they are always soft and foldable in form.
How Popular Are Tacos In America?
There’s no point in hiding the fact that, here in America, we love our tacos. Our southern neighbors sure do know good food and we have been more than willing to sign ourselves up to whatever their cooking.
In fact, it’s estimated, that every year, Americans polish off 4.5 billion tacos, with 50% of the population visiting Taco bell once every 11 days.
When Was The Taco Invented In Mexico?
Although tortillas can be dated back to the Aztecs, the modern taco that we know and love was invented in the booming Mexican silver mines of the 19th century.
Termed “taco de minero” which translates to “miner’s taco”, this humble food of the miners became the beloved taco of today.
Tacos mean something different to us all. Some families religiously follow their taco Tuesday routine, others like to signal in the weekend with a stack of Friday-night tacos.
Some people like their tacos authentic, others enjoy them Tex-Mex style, while a rare few like to jazz and riff their tacos to a point where only they can appreciate them.
Whichever way you enjoy your tacos, we hope this collection of recipes has inspired your next taco.