How to Make Tacos at Home

charred corn bean tacos served in plate with sauce

Welcome to your ultimate taco-making guide! Bursting with colourful flavours and made for sharing, Mexican cuisine is perfect for family meals – and you don't have to pack your bags and travel across the globe. You can whip up homemade Mexican meals right there in your kitchen, starting with tacos!

buffalo chicken tacos with ranch slaw

What is a taco ?

  • A taco is a tortilla (made out of corn or wheat), which is generously filled with seasoned fillings and garnish. Traditionally, tacos are handheld delights that can be savoured as a meal or a quick snack.
  • Tracing the roots of tacos takes us back to 18th century Mexico, where they first gained popularity, and if you're curious – the term 'taco' comes from the mining lingo, referring to paper wrapped around gunpowder inserted into rocks.
  • Over time, the taco grew in popularity and as Mexican migrants made their way into the United States, more and more people were introduced to this delicious and versatile meal we know and love today!

buffalo chicken tacos

What do you put in a taco?

When it comes to the perfect taco, the choice is yours! There's a load of ways to enjoy this dish – all you need is a tortilla or a crunchy shell as your canvas, and heap in your favourite meat or fish. Don't forget your veggies, salsa, cheese and guacamole for that extra zing!

Shell: Cracking the taco code starts with the shell. Unlike their cousins the fajitas and burritos, tacos are usually compact and bite-sized. Soft ones use flour tortillas, the crunchy kind use corn. For the can't-decide crowd, try our Stand 'N' Stuff™ soft tortillas, boat-shaped for easy loading with all your beloved ingredients.

Filling: After the shell, comes your filling – and there’s plenty of room for imagination here! Traditional choices range from chicken, beef, slow-cooked pork, to white fish. Some adventurous souls even opt for beans, sweet potatoes, or lamb.

Salsa: Salsa and sauces are the soul of your taco, tying all other ingredients together. A tangy pico de gallo complements almost everything. Want to try something different? Go for a mango salsa which harmonises incredibly with fish tacos.

Garnish: Now the final touches! Sour cream, cheese, guacamole are all fan favourites. For an extra zip of flavour, toss in some coriander, radish slices or lime too.

Sauces: Like the cherry on top of a sundae, sauces amplify the taste of your fillings and lend even more variety to your dish. Finish it off with a drizzle of hot sauce for artful decoration before serving up.

shredded cabbage, carrot & mayo mixing in a yellow bowl

How to make homemade tacos

The tantalising taste of tacos comes from a mix of simple, fresh ingredients. No need for anything overblown – the magic of tacos lies in the harmony of its elements.

To slice off some prep time, consider purchasing some parts and prep your fillings ahead of time. Pull together a pulled pork in your slow cooker. It can be frozen for even quicker future taco nights. Tacos are incredibly versatile to prepare – and when you're hosting family and friends, you can put together a mix of fillings for a delightful spread.

Jazz up your own taco with your style and savour it in countless ways. For a bold dose of heat, introduce jalapeños into your filling, or infuse some melted cheese for irresistibly gooey tacos.

Going plant-based? You're still spoilt for choice! Avocado, sweet potato, mushrooms and roasted cauliflower are a deliciously diverse range.

beef tacos with lime drink

How do you eat tacos?

Tacos are made to be eaten with bare hands! Forget utensils – enjoy an easy, casual atmosphere around the table with this Mexican staple.

Take the fun a step further by getting everyone involved with a DIY filling station where everyone can assemble their own unique taco mix.

tacos with nachos & beans

Taco side dishes

Tacos, whether a bite or a meal, go brilliantly with a few tasty sides – here are a few quick ideas to ramp up your taco night:

Nachos: Cooking up nachos is swift and uses many of the ingredients from your taco prep.

Refried beans: Jazz up any Mexican meal with refried beans – especially when you've got a can of our Old El Paso™ refried beans close at hand!

Chips & Dips: Tortilla chips with dips like salsa and guacamole are always a hit. Why not try a chunky five-layer Mexican dip or a hearty taco bean dip for a protein-packed treat?