25 Delicious Ways to Make Every Day Taco Tuesday

From Steak to Salmon

chicken tinga tacos on platter

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Tacos are fun to make and eat and often call for relatively affordable ingredients, perfect for feeding a crowd. They're also just about endlessly customizable—dress them up with lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cabbage, or try sliced radishes and pickled onions for a street taco feel. If your pantry has gotten a little bare, never fear. Just grab a few tortillas—they keep forever in the fridge, and you can get a pack of 30 or more for a few bucks—add the filling if your choice, a couple dashes of hot sauce, and call it a meal. Many tacos can be made with corn tortillas, which are naturally gluten free. And for plant-based diners, try decadent fillings like oyster mushrooms, Soyrizo and guacamole, or even just pan-fried potatoes and vegan cheese.

For a fun do-it-yourself meal, have diners assemble their own tacos. Just put out everything the recipe calls for (and more toppings if you'd like) and let everyone have fun creating their own edible masterpiece.

Tip

  • Remember to heat the taco shell before serving, for both hard- and soft-shell tacos. Warming it up makes the taco shell more tender and easier to eat, plus it blends better with the fillings. For hard shells, set them on a baking sheet and wrap soft shells in foil, then heat in a 350 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until warm. 
  • 01 of 25

    Sweet and Spicy Tacos al Pastor

    Tacos al Pastor

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    These savory, and spicy tacos use an Instant Pot or a slow cooker to give the signature adobo, chile, and vinegar pork its tender, low-and-slow flavor and texture without the rotating spit you'd traditionally need. Pineapple adds a tropical sweetness and the tacos taste great topped with crumbled cotija cheese, chopped onions, salsa, and diced avocado.

  • 02 of 25

    Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

    Pulled Chicken Tacos

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Use your Instant Pot to make this simple chicken taco that's easy enough for a weeknight meal. A few simple spices you probably already have in your cabinet give it Mexican flavor in a flash. Just add your favorite taco toppings, and you've got dinner.

  • 03 of 25

    Birria Tacos

    Mexican Birria

     The Spruce

    This typical Jalisco street food takes some time and effort, but the result is worth it. The recipe includes several different types of chiles, but feel free to use whichever dried ones you can find. Goat meat is the traditional protein, but you can also use pork, beef, or a mixture, too. You will also need a Dutch oven with a rack inside to cook the meat.

  • 04 of 25

    Vegetarian Tofu Tacos

    tofu tacos

     Laurel Randolph

    Break up firm tofu into chunks and sauté with spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika for a delicious vegetarian taco. Make a light and easy slaw to top it all off, and serve with tangy salsa verde. To make it vegan, leave out the cheese or swap it out with a nondairy option.

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  • 05 of 25

    Christmas Tacos

    Christmas Tacos

    The Spruce Eats / Pete Scherer 

    This taco recipe is perfect for winter and a festive alternative during the holiday season. Christmas tacos feature slow-cooked short ribs seasoned with pomegranate juice, chiles, and cinnamon. While the meat cooks, make the fresh pomegranate pico, then build the tacos in corn tortillas with cilantro, lime, cotija cheese, and crema.

  • 06 of 25

    Instant Pot Carne Asada Tacos

    Instant Pot carne asada street tacos.
    Diana Rattray

    Although carne asada is traditionally grilled—the name translates to "grilled meat"—you can achieve a satisfying smoky flavor with the use of smoky and woody spices like cumin and oregano, which are included in this recipe. It comes together in less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner. Note that you don't need an Instant Pot or even a pressure cooker to make this dish, but it does cut down on cooking time.

  • 07 of 25

    Instant Pot Carnitas

    Instant Pot carnitas in flour tortillas.
    Diana Rattray

    The homemade pickled onions add a nice twist to these pork carnitas tacos, and the Instant Pot makes for a quick cooking time. Pork shoulder is browned and then cooked along with seasonings, onion, jalapeño, orange and lime juice, and chicken broth; the meat is shredded, broiled, and then spooned into soft tacos along with the pickled onions and other toppings of choice.

  • 08 of 25

    Chorizo and Avocado Breakfast Tacos

    Chorizo and Avocado Breakfast Tacos

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Yes, you should be eating tacos for breakfast. These savory tacos use tater tots, eggs, chorizo sausage, and your other favorite taco seasonings for a delicious start to your day. Try them for Cinco de Mayo or anytime you want a little South-of-the-border flare.

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  • 09 of 25

    Beef Tacos

    Ground Beef Tacos Recipe

     The Spruce

    Believe it or not, these ground beef tacos were actually invented by a Scandinavian woman. They're easy to make and a smart budget stretcher since it calls for affordable ground beef. This recipe comes out very mild, so if you prefer tacos hot enough to sear your tongue, add some minced chile peppers. Jalapeños add a mild heat, while Serrano chiles are hotter, and habaneros—watch out.

  • 10 of 25

    Instant Pot Barbacoa

    Barbacoa tacos with fixings.
    Diana Rattray

    Beef barbacoa is a braised meat dish that's tender, flavorful, and an ideal filling for tacos and burritos. Cooking it in the pressure cooker makes it much quicker and easier while still producing delicious results. Try it on nachos, too.

  • 11 of 25

    Grilled Shrimp Tacos

    Grilled Shrimp Tacos

    Leah Maroney

    Try these zesty shrimp tacos for an easy meal that uses just the grill. A spicy aioli slaw gives it both crunch and extra flavor and topping it with crumbly cotija cheese would add authentic flare. A spritz of lime juice over the whole thing enhances the taste, so serve with lime wedges on the side.

  • 12 of 25

    Turkey Tacos

    Turkey tacos recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

    Ground turkey makes a lower-fat alternative to beef, but it tastes just as great in tacos when cooked up with some cumin, chile peppers, and cayenne. Garnish with shredded cheese, guacamole, lettuce, or whatever taco toppers you like best.

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  • 13 of 25

    Cauliflower Tacos With Crispy Chickpeas

    cauliflower tacos served on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 

    Crispy cauliflower stands in for meat in these vegetarian tacos with a zippy vegan chipotle lime crema and a crunchy slaw. Use either flour or corn tortillas or use the fillings to top rice for taco bowls.

  • 14 of 25

    Carne Asada Tacos

    Carne Asada Tacos

     The Spruce

    Skirt steak marinated in cumin, lime juice, and garlic, then grilled, turns into a tender and lightly spiced filling for these easy tacos. Serve it on corn tortillas with sliced jalapeño, diced onion, salsa, and any other ingredients you like. Cook the steak just until medium-rare for the best texture.

  • 15 of 25

    Seitan Carne Asada Tacos

    seitan tacos

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Marinate seitan in a tasty citrus mojo sauce, then grill it up and top with pico de gallo, vegan queso fresco, and maybe a squirt of lime for delicious vegan tacos. Those who avoid gluten can swap in soy curls, but remember to rehydrate them before using.

  • 16 of 25

    Middle Eastern Pita Tacos

    Middle Eastern Pita Tacos

    The Spruce / Anita Schecter

    Swap out the tortilla for a pita, spice grilled chicken breast strips with cumin, add a tart lemon-tahini sauce, and toss it all together with some cucumber, tomato, carrots, and red onion for a Middle Eastern take on tacos. They taste like a cross between chicken souvlaki and tacos—a truly delicious and unique meal.

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  • 17 of 25

    Vegan Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

    chickpea tacos

    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

    Using canned chickpeas gets these smoky, spicy, crunchy vegan tacos on the table in under half an hour. This recipe also uses no dairy, but go ahead and add a little cotija cheese or sour cream if you don't follow a vegan diet.

  • 18 of 25

    Sweet Potato Tacos

    Sweet Potato Tacos

    The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

    Because they pair so well with both citrus-forward and spicy ingredients, naturally sweet and creamy sweet potatoes make a fabulous vegan taco filling. We also included instructions for homemade pickled red onions and a quick crema, to round it all out.

  • 19 of 25

    Tilapia Fish Tacos

    tilapia fish tacos

    The Spruce Eats/ Leah Maroney

    Blacken tilapia in the oven for a smoky, flaky fish taco filling, then serve with a tangy Baja sauce and some crispy coleslaw. Finish with a squirt of lime juice to bring all of the flavors together.

  • 20 of 25

    Easy Canned Tuna Fish Tacos

    Easy Canned Tuna Fish Tacos

    The Spruce

    Liberate canned tuna from the traditional sandwich preparation with these couldn't-get-easier canned tuna tacos. Serve in either hard or soft taco shells with whatever toppings strike your fancy for a speedy weeknight meal even the kids can make.

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  • 21 of 25

    Vegan Mushroom Tacos

    Vegetarian Mushroom Tacos

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    Meaty mushrooms have a hearty texture without the animal protein, and they make a delicious taco filling. Try oyster, shiitake, portobello, cremini, or your other favorite mushroom types. Bell peppers add some fajita flare. Try them taco bar-style by setting out toppings and letting diners fix their own.

  • 22 of 25

    Tri-Tip Steak Tacos

    DSC_7575.JPG
    Tri-Tip Steak Tacos. Sabrina S. Baksh

    Plan ahead to marinate the steak for four to eight hours before taco night. We like tri-tip for steak tacos, a flavorful bottom sirloin cut that has the best texture when cooked to medium-rare or medium. Use a meat thermometer to cook it to perfection so the lower-fat cut doesn't dry out.

  • 23 of 25

    Seitan Tacos With Roasted Vegetables

    Vegan Seitan Tacos with Roasted Vegetables

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

    Roasted zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms add even more smoky flavor to seitan tacos. Use store-bought seitan or make your own, then pile it into corn or flour tortillas or spoon over rice and beans for a taco platter.

  • 24 of 25

    Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos

    chicken tinga tacos on platter

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    Chicken tinga consists of stewed chicken, tomatoes, onion, and chipotle peppers, and works wonderfully as a taco filling or as burritos, enchiladas, or even over nachos. Using a slow cooker means you can set it and forget it, but you can also make the stew on the stovetop.

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  • 25 of 25

    Rolled and Baked Taquitos

    Rolled and baked tacos recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Baked, rolled tacos or taquitos work great as a party main, fun appetizer, or hearty snack. Instead of sprinkling the toppings over the tacos, dip them in guacamole, sour cream, salsa, or any other sauce of your choice. Use chicken, ground beef, or a mixture of the two.