These crispy 30-minute fried tacos are a tasty and easy way to enjoy the flavors of Mexican cuisine for lunch or dinner. This delicious taco dish uses just eight simple ingredients, and can be cooked in one-pan on the stovetop.
🌟 Why this recipe works
Fried tacos are a classic Mexican dish that can be enjoyed for any meal. The combination of lean ground beef, onion, garlic, and taco seasoning mix creates a flavorful taco filling that is perfectly complemented by melted cheese and crispy fried tortillas.
They are perfect for dipping, serving as an appetizer, or sharing with friends on taco night. The flavorful ground beef mixture inside a crispy taco shell will no doubt be a huge hit with your guests!
This easy-fried tacos recipe is also incredibly simple to prepare. The filling takes just minutes to cook and can be adjusted with different herbs and spices according to taste. The tortillas only need a few minutes in hot oil before they’re golden brown and ready for eating.
Fried tacos are the same as the original tacos, but just fried instead, and are a great way to enjoy Mexican cuisine without spending too much time in the kitchen, making them perfect for busy parents.
Need some more delicious Mexican dishes to make for taco night? Check out these easy and flavorful creations, like Mexican spring rolls, beef enchilada casserole, enchilada verdes casserole, or baked beef empanadas make with our homemade empanada dough. You can find them and more on our Mexican recipes page.
🍽 Key Ingredients
This section covers the key ingredients needed to make this delicious fried tacos recipe.
Taco meat - To make the flavorful meat mixture, you'll need some lean ground beef, onion, garlic, and taco seasoning.
Salsa for serving - Buy your favorite salsa or make homemade.
Shredded cheese - Use a Mexican cheese blend for the cheesy topping.
Tortillas - Corn tortillas work best for this recipe to achieve the perfect crispy texture.
Canola vegetable oil - This type of oil is best for frying and will give the tacos a crunchy exterior.
You can make this recipe with ground turkey, shredded chicken, or even sausage.
If you don't have a Mexican cheese blend, cheddar cheese or Monterrey jack cheese are good substitutes.
You can also make this recipe with flour tortillas as a substitute for corn.
🔪 How to make
These Mexican-inspired fried tacos are sure to be a hit with all your guests! This simple recipe only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and requires just eight ingredients, so you can have this tasty dish on your table in no time.
- Finely dice the onion and garlic.
Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the ground beef for a few minutes to brown before adding the garlic and onion.
Cook for a few more minutes until the beef is completely cooked and the onions are soft.
Tip: Remove the grease from the ground beef mixture and add the taco seasoning. Combine well and cook until no liquid remains.
Transfer the taco meat to a bowl and lay the corn tortillas on a clean surface.
Divide the shredded cheese among the tortillas.
And then spoon the taco meat on top.
Fold each corn tortilla in half.
Clean the skillet, then set it over medium-high heat with the canola oil.
Once the oil reaches 370 degrees Fahrenheit (184 degrees Celsius), place one or two stuffed tortillas into the hot oil at a time, cooking for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
Use tongs to flip them and transfer the fried tacos to a paper towel-lined plate.
Repeat with the remaining tacos.
Allow the tacos to cool slightly before serving them with your favorite taco toppings.
Toppings suggestions: Salsa, diced tomato, freshly chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime,black beans, corn, shredded lettuce, sliced jalapenos, or sour cream.
💭 Cooking tips
Close the tacos during cooking.
Use the tongs to clamp the tacos closed for the first 20 seconds during frying so that they stay closed. Otherwise, they will open, and the ground meat mixture will seep out.
Don't overcrowd them.
Leave room in between the tacos during frying to allow the hot oil to make them crispy. For best results, fry 2 to 3 in batches.
Keep your eye on the oil temperature.
Don't let the temperature go beyond 400F because the cooked tacos will burn. Also, if the oil is not hot enough, the tacos will go soggy rather than crispy.
Warming the tortillas
Before filling the tortillas, warm them up in the microwave for 20 seconds. This will make it easier to fold them.
📖 Recipe Variations
This fried taco recipe is amazing as it is, but can also be easily adapted to suit your personal tastes or preferences. Here are some ideas for variations you can try:
Black bean fried tacos
Add ½ cup of drained and rinsed black beans and corn kernels to the meat mixture.
Spicy fried tacos
Add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a tablespoon of enchilada sauce, and one or two chopped chipotle chili peppers to the meat mixture for extra heat.
Ground beef and chorizo fried tacos
Add 1 or 2 diced chorizos to the beef for a smoky flavor.
🥗 What to serve with
These fried tacos are incredibly delicious on their own, but you can also enjoy them with a variety of Mexican dishes for a taco or Mexican night. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make a delicious soup to pair with your tacos. Try a classic Mexican soup like chicken taco soup, slow cooker chicken fajita soup, or sopa de fideo. Or give one of these 30 best Mexican soup recipes a go.
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Grilled cheese sandwiches are the perfect side for tacos. Make grilled cheese and top with my easy guacamole recipe for an amazing flavorful sandwich that everyone will love, or something spicier like the jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich. For a change you can also try my chorizo breakfast burrito recipe.
Light side dishes
If you're looking for something with added flavor and crunch, our cheese quesadilla with pico de gallo is a great option.
🙋 Frequently asked questions
Why are my fried tacos greasy?
Fried tacos tend to become greasy if the oil temperature is too low. Make sure your oil is heated up to 370F before you make fried tacos. Additionally, don't overcrowd the pan - this will lower the temperature of the oil and result in greasy tacos.
Can I deep-fry tacos?
Yes, deep-fried tacos are just as tasty but require you to submerge the tacos in hot oil rather than frying each side in a skillet. Deep frying them will make the crispy fried tacos greasier as they will absorb more oil.
🧊 Storing and ♨️ reheating
On the off-chance you happen to have any leftover fried tacos, you can store and reheat them to enjoy again and again.
Fridge - Once your tacos have cooled, you can transfer them to an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer - Put the tacos in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and freeze for 2 hours. Once they have frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheating - Preheat the oven to 350F and spread the tacos on a baking sheet. Heat them for 10-12 minutes or until they are crispy and hot. You can also reheat the tacos in hot oil again for 2 to 3 minutes.
🍳 Related recipes
They're sure to become family favorites! Another fantastic idea to share with family is my easy Mexican stuffed peppers recipe. Check it out!
👪 Serving Size
This fried taco recipe serves 8-10 people, making it the perfect dish for large family gatherings or potlucks. You can even double or triple the taco quantity to suit your needs.
Fried tacos are a deliciously easy and flavorful Mexican dish that can be customized to your individual tastes. With this recipe, you are sure to impress everyone with your taco-making skills! Enjoy your fried tacos with a variety of side dishes and sauces for the ultimate taco experience.
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Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
- 1 pound Lean ground beef
- 1 medium Yellow onion - minced
- 2 cloves Garlic - minced
- 3 tablespoons Taco seasoning mix
- ¾ cup Salsa - for serving
- 2 cups Mexican cheese blend - shredded
- 12 Corn tortillas
- Canola vegetable oil - for frying
- Finely dice the onion and garlic.
- Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the ground beef for a few minutes to brown before adding the garlic and onion.
- Cook for a few more minutes until the beef is completely cooked and the onions are soft.
- Remove the grease from the ground beef mixture and add the taco seasoning. Combine well and cook until no liquid remains.
- Transfer the taco meat to a bowl and lay the corn tortillas on a clean surface.
- Divide the shredded cheese among the tortillas and then spoon the taco meat on top.
- Fold each corn tortilla in half.
- Clean the skillet, then set it over medium-high heat with the canola oil.
- Once the oil reaches 370 degrees Fahrenheit (184 degrees Celsius), place one or two stuffed tortillas into the hot oil at a time, cooking for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Use tongs to flip them and transfer the fried tacos to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Repeat with the remaining tacos.
- Allow the tacos to cool slightly before serving them with your favorite taco toppings.Toppings suggestions: Salsa, diced tomato, freshly chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, black beans, corn, shredded lettuce, sliced jalapenos, or sour cream.