10 Ways to Up Your Taco Tuesday Game at Home

It’s Taco Tuesday — or any day, because tacos = lyfe. Now, Tortillas have been around well before the concept of a taco came about, but since then, the taco has evolved into many shapes, sizes, and flavors. Per usual, many of us are on the hunt for one special thing — the perfect taco. There is no blueprint for making the best taco ever,  as a taco is defined differently in every culture and it all depends on one’s palate and preferences. So now that we all have a little extra time at home, it’s time to try creating the perfect taco for your taste buds — explore new ingredients and get creative in the flavors. Here are a few tips on how to take your Taco Tuesday game to the next level at home {plus some spots for takeout/delivery if that’s your thing, too}.

taco tuesday at home cooking

1. Maximize the Shell Options

At the base of your creation, the tortilla choice is arguably the most important ingredient in the taco. Get your hands on taco boat shells. They have a flat bottom that allows you to pack on the toppings without anything notoriously falling out after each bite. If you’re making a meal for more than one person, nacho scoops and Indian taco shells make for the perfect bite-size taco — and everyone loves finger food. Then, there’s the matter of corn or flour tortillas, but that’s up to you. To minimize calorie intake while maintaining a textured core, swap a shell out for lettuce. But no judgment, either way, obvs.

2. Add a Creamy Spread

A common step when completing a taco is adding a creamy spread on top, sort of like a cherry on top of an ice cream sundae {only in this case, it’s a taco}. However, instead of adding it on at the end, begin with it. Evenly spread your desired toppings such as sour cream, hummus, Greek yogurt, guacamole, cream cheese, etc., on your taco before adding the meat. This way, you’ll taste it in every savory bite.  

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3. Vary the Meat Choices

Experiment with different kinds of meat. Ground beef will always be a taco staple, but there is also pulled pork, carne asada, chorizo, grilled chicken, al pastor, sausage, prosciutto BBQ, and seafood options. Most fish make for a delicious addition, including shrimp and prawns. Take it a step further and layer up the meat, campechanos style. It is a combination of juicy meats that create a flavorful taco. Adding bacon bits on top will give it an added texture, too.

4. Explore Different Cheeses

American, manchego, cheddar, mozzarella, brie, provolone, parmigiana, swiss, Oaxaca— no cheese is off limits on Taco Tuesday. Although cheese is not an ingredient of traditional Mexican tacos, it has become a Tex-Mex favorite. Shredded or melted, no taco is complete without a cheesy topping. To ensure the flavor in your taco, you can mix the cheese with the meat as it cooks. 

5. Add an Assortment of Vegetable Toppings

Not only are vegetables good for you but they can contribute to the flavor as an added layer or serve as the main ingredient in a meatless taco. Introduce a mixture of veggies and cook them together to marinate flavors or adding them in raw is just as good. Some of the best vegetables to add to your tacos are beans, peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, squash, cauliflower, potatoes, corn, carrots, and jalapenos {for those who enjoy a kick}.

6. Introduce Fruit

Fruit is a game-changer on a taco. There always needs to be a little sweet flavor after the salty ones to strike a truly delicious balance. Adding tasty, citrus fruit creates the perfect contrast in your taco. One option is to grill the fruit mixture until the fruit is slightly softened and charred in places or, like the vegetables, add them in as-is. Core fruits are avocado, pineapple, tangerines, watermelon, pear, and peach.

7. Experiment with Different Salsas

Sure, you can buy salsa straight off the shelves of your local supermarket but it won’t be as good as a homemade one. Whether you prefer chunky or blended or spicy versus mild, salsa is the pièce de résistance. The salsa will make or break your taco. A few delicious homemade Mexican salsas to try are pico de gallo, salsa negra, salsa roja, salsa verde, and of course, guacamole. 

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8. Get Creative with Seasonings

The last step to completing your taco is the seasoning. A touch of paprika and garlic powder can go a long way. Store-bought taco seasoning is always a safe bet but try a pinch of adobo, garlic powder curry, or cilantro. These ingredients pack a punch, so start with a light sprinkle and increase the serving size as preferred. Chilli powder and cayenne pepper also serve as a delicious addition. Whatever you do, do not forget to drizzle fresh lemon or lime to complete it.

9. Go Vegetarian

We would be remiss not to include a vegetarian taco recommendation. The core ingredients to successful vegetarian tacos are beans, vegetables, fruit, and a creamy sauce or salsa. Try a corn tortilla with black beans, salsa verde, vegetables of your choice, shredded green cabbage for extra crunch, Oaxaca cheese, and fresh cilantro with a drizzle of lime. A fresh guacamole dip on the side will come in handy.  

10. Make It a Taco Salad 

For something really different, try making a taco salad. Place a handful of lettuce in a bowl, add a creamy sauce, the meat, two to three cheeses, vegetables or fruit, topped with salsa, and boom, a killer taco salad. Once your ingredients are evenly layered, dunk a tortilla chip in and enjoy a bite-sized taco. Take it a step further and make your own tortilla chips. Tasty toppings for a taco salad are black olives and diced tomatoes, but experiment with it and create your own signature dish.

Bonus — Order In During the Shutdown

Now that you have all the tips you need make your own Taco Tuesday, the rest is easy. Except, there are definitely going to be those times when you want to order in. For those nights, here are a few places still offering taco delivery locally:

Tacos are a national treasure and deserve to be eaten and enjoyed at least once a week. The best way to perfect a taco is by experimenting with ingredients and figuring out what works for you. Remember, when it comes to tacos, anything goes. Happy Taco Tues!

What are some of your Taco Tuesday tips? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by:

Victoria is a fourth-generation Hoboken native, BNR in the Mile Square, and Jersey City. Through playing softball in town for fourteen years, playing the trumpet for the Hoboken High School Redwings Band, and graduating from New Jersey City University, these two cities have a special place in her heart. When she isn’t Style Assisting or volunteering at Symposia Bookstore, Hoboken Fire Museum/Hoboken Historical Museum, she’s exploring everything the Concrete Jungle has to offer. You can catch her at art exhibitions, local festivities, traveling, diving into a new book, thrifting, or indulging in some form of arts and crafts.