Taco Night

Total Time:
20 min
10 min
10 min

8 servings

  • For the taco filling:
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or beef
  • For serving:
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Salsa or taco sauce
  • Shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend
  • Low-fat or regular sour cream
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced avocados
  • About 12 taco shells
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Place the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, salt, cornstarch, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne or red pepper flakes, if using, in a small bowl or plastic container. Blend well.

  • Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Add the turkey or beef and cook, stirring and making sure to really break it up into small crumbles, until it is browned throughout, about 5 minutes. Drain off any liquid. Add the spice mixture and cook stirring, until you can smell all of the spices, about 1 minute. Add 34 cup of water and stir until the water is mostly evaporated, the meat is evenly coated with the spices, and there is still a little bit of liquid in the pan, about 4 minutes.

  • To serve, place your choice of toppings in small individual bowls. Heat the taco shells on a baking sheet (or right on the oven rack, whichever you prefer) in the oven until warm and toasty, about 5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a serving bowl. Place the taco shells on a plate and cover them with a napkin or clean dish towel to keep them warm, setting them out with the bowls of toppings. Let everyone serve him or herself.

  • Photograph by Todd Coleman/The Mom 100 Cookbook

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Back-to-School Made Easy