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Tacos for a Quick Go To Meal

To kick off the Quick Summer Meals Contest I thought I’d share with you one of my family’s Go To meals that I can make in 30 minutes or less. 

TACOS for mi familia!

It’s fast, it’s easy and everyone in my house will eat them.  I wish I had more meals like this in my back pocket. 

Now in the recipe I make it for 5 average sized taco servings but keep in mind that it doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes to cook up 2 pounds of hamburger than it does 1 pound.  So depending on the number of people you will be feeding, make up more.  My girls love the taco meat for lunch the next day so leftovers in my house are welcome.

So get out the hamburger.  Even if your hamburger is frozen and you need to thaw it in the microwave – this meal can still be made in less than 30 minutes.  Brown the hamburger, drain off the fat and then add your taco seasoning.  I use Old El Paso seasoning mix or Tastefully Simple’s Southwest Spices if I have it on hand.  Tastefully Simple will give it an extra kick if you like it.  Add a little bit of water and then let it simmer until the sauce thickens a bit – about 3 – 5 minutes. 

While your hamburger is cooking – get everything else out.  What I love about tacos is that you can have a bare minimum meal or a piled high meal depending on what you like and what you have on hand. 

If I know we’ll be pressed for time, I buy the pre-shredded iceberg lettuce in the store.  It’ll save you a few minutes.    We also use salsa instead of cutting up tomatoes.  I like tomatoes on mine but salsa has a few extra veggies “hidden” in the jar so salsa it is!

Pile on the cheese – a little or a lot.  Do you like olives?  Add them.  Do you like sour cream?  Add it.  Do you like crushed up Doritos?  Add them.  See – you should be able to satisfy even a finicky eater with this meal. 

Then the hard part – deciding between soft shells, hard shells or no shells.  My youngest is a hard shell lover.  My son and husband are soft shell lovers.  My other daughter and I will sometimes just forget the shell altogether and make a taco salad.  Again – it satisfies all of us!

I don’t serve any side dishes with our tacos just because it covers all of the basics all in one shell.  Ha, ha – get it.  One shell as in taco shell.  Oh forget it.  My kids wouldn’t laugh at that one either.  Feel free to add some Spanish rice or some nachos and dip with it.  Tacos also make a great buffet meal.

Now that I’ve shared one of my Go To meals – won’t you share yours?  To submit a recipe for the Quick Summer Meals Contest read the rules and you may win a great prize from Chef’s Planet.


What do you like on your tacos?


Tip – If you have a little bit of extra time – fry up more hamburger than you need.  Make enough taco meat for several meals.  Put into individual meal sized freezer bags and freeze.  Then just pull out a bag the morning you want to use it and let it thaw in the fridge.  When you need it that night it will be all ready to go.  Just heat up and serve. 


Yield: 5 average sized tacos

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


• 1 pound of ground beef
• Taco Seasoning Mix
• Water

Optional Items
• Hard Shells
• Soft Tortilla Shells
• Shredded Lettuce
• Shredded Fiesta Flavored Cheese
• Sour Cream
• Salsa
• Black Olives
• Doritos


1. Brown your hamburger, drain the fat and return to the frying pan.
2. Follow the directions on the taco seasoning mix. It normally tells you to add some water along with the seasoning and then let simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. While the hamburger is cooking, get our all of your other items.
4. Taco shells
5. Lettuce
6. Cheese
7. Sour Cream
8. Salsa
9. Black Olives
10. Doritos
11. Etc, any other items you like
12. Once the taco meat is ready, you are all set to feed your hungry crew.

Store any leftover taco meat in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. The meat tastes good warmed up as leftovers.

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6 Responses to “Tacos for a Quick Go To Meal”

  1. #
    Sue W. — June 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Love it! This meal can also be adapted so that those trying to forego meat will also be happy…make some fish for fish tacos…or make tofu or portobello mushrooms…or Boca burgers…I’m with you – I prefer no shell.

    P.S. “fry up hamburger than you need”…shouldn’t this be “fry up more hamburger than you need”?

    • Kendra replied: — June 7th, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      You are correct Sue – Fry up MORE. My brother shared with me a fish taco recipe that I can’t wait to try. If we like it, it may show up here some day.

  2. #
    Jody Rodine — June 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I put frozen chicken breasts in a crock pot and cover it w/ salsa- by the time I get home from work the chicken shreds apart- perfect for chicken tacos and nachos!

  3. #
    Sue W. — June 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Yea for both the fish tacos that may show up AND the chicken breasts with salsa and crockpot!

  4. #
    myfudo — June 8, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Homemade tacos will surely bring everyone in the household straight into the dining area….all at once. We love the goodness of groundbeef, the cheese, salsa and the blending of everything in one delicious taco shell. Yum! I am drooling…

  5. #
    Michelle — June 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Totally got sidetracked sending you recipes for the cooking contest. lol I love tacos and make them the same way. In fact my family usually know if it’s tacos or spaghetti I’ve been running late. Thanks so much for stopping by Creative Thursday last week. I couldn’t do these parties without you. Can’t wait to see what you link up this week. Have a great week.