Raise your hand if you love Taco Tuesday, America's most awesome weekly food celebration that's been around since the 1980s. (Started by Taco John's, which trademarked the name.) It's possible to improve on that already amazing feast with these quick and easy tips featuring top-rated recipes. OK, a few require a bit of effort, but it's so worth it!
1. Start with the Seasoning
Who doesn't love the convenience of a packaged seasoning mix? But take 10 minutes to put together a custom batch of the chili-based stuff and be prepared to be blown away by the difference. Bonus: DIY mixes are almost always lower in salt, so the brilliant pop of the spices shine more brightly.
- Taco Seasoning I
- Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Famous Taco Seasoning Mix
- Taco Bell® Seasoning Copycat
- Taco Seasoning Mix (Without the Chili Powder)
2. Fine-Tuning The Tortillas
If you're feeling ambitious, you could make your own corn or flour tortillas. Even if you go the store-bought route, there's a simple way to make those soft tortillas even better. Most people warm them up, wrapped in foil, in the oven. That's cool, but next time, try tossing them in a hot skillet and sprinkling a few drops of water in the pan. Turn a couple of times and keep the tortillas warm under a tea towel. Or, mix things up and try making Chef John's Puffy Taco Shells. Watch this quick video for the full scoop on making these:
3. Prepping Pays Off Big Time
Get out ahead of your Taco Tuesday party by making the fillings the morning of, or the day before. That works especially well when you use that kitchen MVP, the slow cooker. Only exception: Don't make the guacamole in advance unless you take extra special care to keep it from turning brown.
- Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Simple Slow-Cooked Korean Beef Taco Filling
- Charley's Slow Cooker Mexican-Style Meat
- Slow Cooker Carnitas
4. Bring on the Veggies
Tortillas make for the most amazing blank canvas. So many clever cooks have contributed plant-based taco fillings that taste incredible and work so well if you're trying to eat less meat. That doesn't mean you have to skip the pork, chicken or beef. Just pile on the veggies and use the meat almost like a condiment.
5. Try These Better-Than-Salsa Toppings
OK, there's nothing better than salsa, right? But, have you tried Calabasitas? The squash and corn salad that's positively addictive. Or a zesty slaw? Pico de gallo treads the fine line between salsa and salad, while landing smack in the middle of tasty town. Heck, since Taco Tuesday rolls around every week, mix it up and try something new.
6. Go BIG
It's no biggie if you want to supersize Taco Tuesday by building a massive version. (Just don't get carried away like the guys in the Saturday Night Live skit below.) While overstuffed burritos have become classic, it's harder to pull off with a taco. Unless you go for the Double Decker Taco! Genius!!