Taco Night is Party Night: 30-Minute Meal
Tacos may be a classic Mexican street food, but they’ve come to symbolize an American ideal of pure fun, says Shelley Wiseman, author of Just Tacos, an amazing guide (with 100 recipes) to the best of all things wrapped in a tortilla. When we want to celebrate or just kick back, when a great movie or a big game is on, or when we just need any old excuse to have a margarita, it suddenly becomes Taco Night.
As simple to prepare as a sandwich, the taco is also anything you want it to be. What’s folded into soft, warm tortillas (or a hard taco shell, if that’s the texture you like) is pretty much left up to your imagination. Beef, chicken, fish, pork, beans, guacamole, veggies, and even tofu are all serious, delicious contenders (and typically topped with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese). And on a night when you want to put a smile on everybody’s face, just say “taco party,” and let it roll out with whatever you’ve got on hand.
For starters, how about a classic ground-beef taco? Picture above are Soft Beef and Veggie Tacos, about as quick-and-easy a taco as you’ll find. Using soft tortillas (gently warmed) is the traditional way to eat Mexican tacos. The hard shell is more of an American invention. Watch our video “How to Make Tacos” for a recipe and a step-by-step guide.
Shredded Pork Tacos aren’t exactly a 30-minute meal, but they are if you’ve already cooked a pork shoulder in a slow cooker for another meal. Or fire up the slow cooker in the morning, and by evening all you’ll need to assemble the tacos is to shred some lettuce, avocados, and any other vegetable you want to top the tacos with.
Keep it light with Chicken Tacos, but feel free to pile on the green chiles if you like to turn up the heat. These call for a hard-shell tortilla shell, but, as always, use soft or hard, as you like it.
If a taco can be called elegant, this is the recipe. Steak Tacos with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa top grilled, sliced sirloin steak with red cabbage and fresh cilantro, and the salsa of cucumber and avocado is super fresh with a squeeze of lime. Steaks grill up in no time, and this taco is ready in about a half hour.
These Grilled Fish Tacos take sole, cod, or flounder into the tortilla zone, with a citrus marinade that gives the fish a bright flavor. And an optional pineapple salsa packs a surprising fruity punch.
Who needs meat? These low-fat vegetarian tacos put tofu and lentils at center stage, and are packed with protein and plenty of spice.
Explore recipes for more Mexican Taco Dishes!