Though we sometimes love the tasty crunch of a hard shell taco, soft shells have our heart - learn how to make these soft, pillowy tacos with ground beef, homemade taco seasoning, and all of your favorite classic toppings!
Ever talked to someone about which brand is better in Coke vs. Pepsi? We have and learned that people are very strongly connected to their food preferences.
There's another big debate over one of America's favorite foods- tacos! Some like crunchy hard shells while others like soft doughy shells - at Taco Bell, they even make tacos with a hard shell wrapped in a soft one. Talk about the best of both worlds!
We love most tacos no matter how you make them, which is why we built the best soft taco recipe that's more like the Mexican, soft-shelled classic than more modern hard shells.
Though taco seasoning packets are easy to grab and dump, our homemade taco seasoning blend is easy to make and preservative-free. Use it to simply spice up some fried ground beef, toss on some flour tortillas, and have tacos on the table in 25 minutes total prep time - it doesn't get much better than that!
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, diced
1 lb ground beef
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp crushed chili pepper flakes or cayenne
1/2 tsp Mexican or regular oregano
1 tsp kosher salt or seasoning salt
3-4 corn or flour tortillas
Diced fresh tomatoes
Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Diced sweet onions
Diced fresh avocado
Heat a large-sized cast-iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Once preheated, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
Once your olive oil is hot, toss in your diced onion, fresh garlic, and bell pepper. Cook, occasionally stirring until your onion is translucent and the veggies are soft.
Remove the ground beef from its package and add it into the skillet. Use a large spoon to break down the meat into smaller pieces and cook until the beef browns.
Carefully drain the excess grease from your pan before you add your seasonings. Pour the oil into a container for easy disposal - do not pour it down your drain!
Add in your beef seasonings - chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, Mexican oregano, and salt.
Cook for 2-3 mins, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Scoop out some ground beef and place it on your taco shell, then top with all your favorites - tomatoes, grated cheese, and sour cream.
Serve and enjoy this easy soft taco recipe!
Serving: 1 soft shell taco
Calories: 407 kcal; Total Fat: 25 g; Sodium: 903 mg; Carbohydrates: 12 g; Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 1 g; Protein: 33 g.
Soft taco shells may contain several different ingredients, depending on the shell and the brand. Some shells are wheat-based flour tortillas, more traditional taco shells are corn-based, and these days, you can find plenty of gluten-free alternative shells as well.
A soft taco shell and tortillas are one and the same, so many use the terms interchangeably.
We're not going to say that soft shell tacos are "better" than hard shells - whether you like a soft dough or a crispy crunch to your taco is a matter of personal preference, and in our books, ALL tacos are great for our bellies.
We do, however, think that soft shells have a significant advantage over hard, as you can fold your soft shell tacos to minimize dropped toppings and mess as you eat. With a hard taco, you're more likely to have shell breakage and spills.
The main difference between burritos and soft tacos is their size - taco shells tend to be made in smaller corn or flour shells, while we almost always wrap our burritos with an extra-large flour shell.
Whether you're making hard shell or soft shell tacos, you can use this taco holder as a serving tray to keep the mess to a minimum and display your fresh tacos beautifully! Then, you don't need to fold them at all, leaving more room for toppings.
If you'd like to wrap your soft shell beef tacos like burritos, place the toppings to one side of the wrap, then fold the edge over the meat once. Tuck in the bottom and the top flaps, then keep rolling until the open end meets the taco.
We like to use a quality blend of 80/20 ground beef, as it cooks up with more flavor and moisture. Be sure to drain the extra fat and enjoy your delicious homemade soft tacos with beef!
Approximately ¼ lb is the average ground beef serving for each taco. Keep in mind when you're grocery shopping that ground beef cooks down and becomes lighter - you'll need slightly more than 1 lb of beef to make 4 taco servings.
These tacos are great when enjoyed fresh, but they keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days afterward, too.
If you want to save your tacos for leftovers, keep the toppings, the meat, and the shells separate, then assemble right before you eat! To reheat your taco beef, pour in 1-2 Tbsp of water and cook on the stovetop or in the microwave. Heat just until warmed so as not to dry out your taco beef.
Enjoy a taste of Mexican with these delicious, soft-shelled beef tacos!
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