Most tacos are traditionally gluten-free, thanks to the ubiquity of corn tortillas in most of Mexico. Except for northern Mexico, where flour tortillas are popular, the overwhelming majority of the country uses corn as the default starch. Thus, when you choose to eat out at a Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurant, most of the options will appear to be gluten-free.
For those with a gluten allergy or celiac disease, however, the danger comes from cross-contamination. Taquitos (rolled tacos) made with corn tortillas, for example, can be deep-fried in a communal fryer with wheat ingredients, rendering them unsafe. Deep-fried goods are almost always problematic for this reason. Similarly, sometimes hard shell tortillas that are traditionally made of corn will have a little bit of wheat baked in to help keep them from breaking. Mole often includes crushed up cookies or bread for flavor and body. Always ask your server about any items you're ordering, or even better, call the restaurant beforehand.
When you're craving tacos but don't want to deal with the fuss of going out—and all the questions that entail—rely on the following recipes. Many of them are ideal for weeknight dinners; feel free to substitute ingredients with what you have on hand.
If you want to take things up a notch, make your own corn tortillas. You don't even need a tortilla press. While you're at it, make your own gluten-free taco seasoning mix, too. Packaged seasoning mixes can contain wheat flour or wheat-derived modified food starch as thickeners, so read labels carefully. When making your own seasoning mix, double or triple the recipe and store the mixture in a spice jar, and you'll have delicious taco seasoning when you need it.
And if you're looking for a go-to recipe for guacamole or salsa, we've got you covered. Either will complement any of these recipes and are far more economical and flavorful than buying a refrigerated or canned version from the grocery store.
01 of 06
Fish tacos are best prepared with a firm, fatty fish like halibut. The halibut in this recipe is pan fried, omitting the time and extra calories that a batter necessitates. This recipe comes together in less than 25 minutes and is the perfect Monday night meal.
02 of 06
03 of 06
This carne asada taco recipe aims at capturing the essence of Mexican street tacos. It calls for small corn tortillas and one of the most popular taco fillings, carne asada, or grilled or barbecued steak. This recipe necessitates a grill, which is requisite for the flavor of asada. Because this recipe omits shredded cheese—which is not traditionally found in most Mexican street tacos, except for vampiro tacos—this recipe is dairy free as well as gluten free.
04 of 06
Traditionally deep fried and optionally slathered in salsa, these taquitos or rolled tacos are the ideal snack or appetizer. Because this recipe bakes them, they're lower in fat and also less labor-intensive to prepare. If you're vegan, vegetarian, or simply want to reduce your meat intake, mushrooms make an excellent substitute for chicken or beef.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Shredded baby spinach adds extra heft and body to this otherwise classic weeknight taco recipe. Vegans and vegetarians can substitute tofu, soy crumbles, or even potatoes for the beef called for in these tacos. This versatile recipe is easily customizable with whatever ingredients you have on hand—so feel free to get creative.
06 of 06
The beauty of these small tacos, or tacos pequeños, is that they're much easier to eat than standard street tacos or hard-shell tacos. You only need one hand to eat them (be careful not to overstuff, so the fillings don't fall out), so they're ideal for party appetizers or social gatherings. They're also a fun snack for kids, and the fillings, of course, are customizable.