Taco Night: 7 Food Hacks That Only Taco Lovers Will Appreciate by Donna John

Cooking Tips
3 years ago

Taco Night: 7 Food Hacks That Only Taco Lovers Will Appreciate

Don’t let anything mess with taco night. Here are some easy ways to get out of any taco disaster!

  • Out of Taco Seasoning – Thought you had a package of Old El Paso in the pantry? No worries! Add 2 cloves of garlic to the meat as your brown it (you could add chopped onion, too). When brown, stir in 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt per pound of beef. If you like it spicier, add 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder as well.
  • Feeding More Taco Lovers Than You Thought – Did your brother or needy neighbor show up at dinnertime ... again? Stretch your ground beef mixture by adding potato to it. Cut russet potatoes into small cubes, boil until just tender and add to your browned taco meat. Stir gently so you don’t break them up.
  • Tired of the Cleanup – Instead of using lots of bowls for your toppings, pull out your vegetable tray server and fill each compartment with an ingredient. Just one thing to wash!
  • Sour Cream Gone Sour – Don’t have sour cream or find out if expired weeks ago? Grab a container of plain greek or regular yogurt and stir in a little taco seasoning. It makes a flavorful – and healthier – taco topping.
  • Broken Taco Shells – Don’t you hate it when you open the box and some are broken … or you break them yourself trying to open the package? No worries! Instead of taco night, turn it into taco salad night by breaking the whole package into “chips” after they come out of the oven.
  • Forgot to Buy Taco Shells – Don't be shell shocked! Always keep flour and corn tortillas in the fridge so you’ll have a backup. Serve soft tacos or lay the tortillas over your oven rack tines so they’re literally hanging like a taco shell and bake until they hold their shape.
  • No Meat – Forget to take out a package of frozen meat or just forgot to buy one? Grab your can opener and a can of black beans (or white, why not?) and use them instead. Sprinkle with the taco seasoning or just throw in whatever you have on hand for a healthy, protein-packed taco filling. Chickpeas work well, too. 

Got a taco night hack? Share it below!

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Candy Stephens
Tacos..... A Texas staple! Having 3 teens, my family can put away some tacos! I always add a can of rinsed black beans per lb of ground meat.
Donna John
Black beans! Now why didn't I think of that. :-) Another great way to add nutrition and stretch the meat. Or cut out eating so much meat. You know Ashlee Smith is trying to get me to go vegan for a week to see if I can do it. May take her up on that challenge soon.
Sara Haas RDN
So smart! And great, nutritious addition too! Well done!
Donna John
Thank you, Sara! I've got a passion for tacos like you. :-) Cannot wait to get my hands on your book! Hope you'll consider sharing more recipes/tips with us!
Elisa Schmitz
These are brilliant taco hacks, Donna John, and I love the add-on idea by Candy Stephens ! Y'all really know how to make #TacoTuesday the best dinner of the week. Gracias, chicas!! xoxo
Elisa Schmitz
I always use ground turkey in our tacos, and no one seems to notice the difference (but I feel better about the less fat in turkey rather than beef)! Donna John Candy Stephens
Donna John
I mainly use turkey, too. But sometimes my venison/beef ground meat mix. Both are good. I've even made them with ground chicken.
Elisa Schmitz
Yum! My daughter is vegan (I know Ashlee Smith is, too), so she prefers retried black bean tacos. They're actually really good!! Donna John
Ashlee Smith
Yes! I love to use any kind of beans, quinoa, mushrooms, tofu, etc! Anything can be made into tacos! I had no idea that your daughter is vegan, Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds ! Love it! :)
Elisa Schmitz
Yes, Ashlee Smith - Jules is vegan and I'm still trying to find foods/recipes she likes. It's tough since Cassie (and the rest of the house) are not vegan, so I always feel like she's left out. That's why I absolutely LOVE it when you share your great ideas so I can learn from you. I actually enjoy eating vegan, too, since I eat gluten- and dairy-free most days anyway. THANKS!! xo
Taco Tuesday is a weekly event in my house! These are great tips!
Jessica Acree
Tacos are the way to my heart! Thanks for making me drool ;-)
Donna John
Tacos ARE my heart! lol And it's so happening tonight. :-)
Michael Kennedy
This is awesome, we roll the family taco train quite often! Many times my wife and I will just pull out the tortilla/ chip and just go the taco salad route!
Eh-hem, have to cut corners where I can LOL.
Donna John
My kids would make their tacos perfectly in the shells ... then smash them all up. Never made any sense to me! lol Just make a taco salad. :-) We do taco nights maybe too often around here!
Carole Pagan
OMG, I love all of these ideas...except maybe the potato one. I would use beans.
Donna John
Glad you like them! Potato really is good. Try it! I've added beans as well.
Donna John
You should try it! It's my family's favorite. Carole Pagan Happy National Taco Day!
Gwen Johnson
For meatless taco night, I use chickpeas instead of ground beef.

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