Ready for Delicious, Classic Tacos in Just 30 Minutes?

Make a healthy version of a favorite classic, and get the whole family in on the fun by setting out a variety of toppings, and letting everyone assemble their own meal!

  • By Jackie Sun
  • May 18, 2014

We all have our fast food moments. Well…we do, that’s for sure! Every now and then, we can’t get crispy, greasy French fries out of our mind until we give in to the irresistible fast food treat. Luckily, it doesn’t happen too often, and we are usually able to satisfy our cravings with healthier versions, such as Oven-Roasted Sweet Potato Fries or Panko Avocado Fries.

We also can’t resist a good ol’ classic taco. Seasoned ground beef, juicy tomatoes, crisp shredded lettuce, cheese, a dollop of sour cream, all encased in a crunchy taco shell. What’s not to like?

Plus, it’s so easy to jump in the car and pick up a quick and inexpensive taco.

But why settle for the extra calories and sodium when it is also quick and inexpensive to make at home? Homemade tacos are a lot healthier, too!

“Perfect tacos and not made from a packet!”

We have definitely made our fair share of tacos at home, but sometimes you just want that classic taco combo. And to make things fun, make your own taco bar and have everyone assemble their own tacos!

Our taco bar fixin’s include lettuce, sour cream, cheese, salsa, and lime wedges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and jazz up taco night! Sliced black olives, freshly-made guacamole, sweet corn kernels, green onions, sliced jalapenos…the possibilities are endless.

“Great take on classic tacos. I like how there were some extra veggies (onions, tomatoes) snuck into the meat compared to a normal taco recipe.”

Which fast food classic can you not resist? Leave us a comment below, and we will come up with a healthy version for it!

Prepping Smarts

  • Get your prep out of the way by chopping jalapenos and onions up to 3 days ahead. Here’s how:

How to Dice Jalapenos

Jalapeños have great flavor and can add heat to anything. See how to easily dice them here.


How to Chop & Dice an Onion

Learning how to dice an onion correctly will save you so much time in the kitchen.

Equipment Smarts

  • Skillet – helps with even cooking and lets you saute the taco filling easily and quickly

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools

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Classic Taco Recipe

Who doesn't love a classic taco night? This taco bar is a fun dinner that everyone will love. Don't skimp out on the fun toppings, though!

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15 min

Total time: 30 min

Serves: 4


  • Lean ground beef - 1 lb
  • Coriander - ¾ tsp
  • Cumin - ½ tsp
  • Paprika - ½ tsp
  • Salt - ½ tsp
  • Chili powder - ¼ tsp
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • Jalapenos - 2, diced
  • Onions - 1, diced
  • Iceberg lettuce - ¼ head, sliced
  • Cheese (opt) - 2 oz, grated (Like cheddar, Monterey, Colby)
  • Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp
  • Crushed tomatoes - ¾ cup
  • Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
  • Lime - ½, sliced into wedges
  • Sour cream (opt) - ½ cup
  • Taco shells - 8 (Use smaller tortillas if you prefer)
  • Salsa - ½ cup (Pick a tub of your favorite salsa)



  1. Ground meat – Season with coriander, cumin, paprika, salt, and chili powder. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  2. Garlic / Jalapenos / Onions / Lettuce / Cheese – Prep as directed. For jalapenos, the fewer seeds you use, the less spicy the taco filling will be. Just wash your hands thoroughly after touching seeds.


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic, jalapenos, onions, and a bit of salt to heated oil. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes.
  2. Next add in ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Saute until broken up into smaller pieces, 4 to 6 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until meat is cooked through. Season to taste with salt, pepper and any of the spices.
  3. Slice lime into wedges. Spread out your taco bar – taco shells, meat filling, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, and salsa. Let everyone assemble their own tacos!


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