Recipes For Everyone Who Loves Tacos

Tacos make people happy. It's a scientific fact (probably). So why do we tend to relegate tacos to only the rare, special occasion taco night?

Because tacos seem hard, that's why! All the chopping and the marinating required to get a delicious taco can seem so time consuming that we might think we have to plan ahead. Depending on the taco, we might even want to block off a whole afternoon that we can solely dedicate to cooking. All that just have one taco night? It's exhausting just thinking about it — but it doesn't have to be that way!

We've gathered up some fantastic recipes for tacos or taco-like dishes that will satisfy your cravings without requiring more work than they're worth. From traditional tacos to one-pan nachos to a taco-pizza hybrid, if you love tacos, you're going to love the recipes on this list. However your work day went, whatever activities the kids have, however late your Zoom meeting lasts, and however early you have to get up tomorrow, you deserve taco night today. Now, let's get cooking!

A one-pan taco the whole crowd will love

This taco casserole recipe is great for when you're feeding a crowd. With all the same ingredients of a taco, it's really the assembling and baking that takes this from a regular taco to a casserole. It only requires about 15 minutes of prep-time and 30 minutes in the oven. The only downside to this recipe is that it doesn't keep — it's best fresh out of the oven. With the recipe making 12 servings, you're going to want to wait to make this one until you're serving a crowd or you're feeding your really, really hungry cousin.

Chicken tacos in less time than a sitcom

These chicken tacos only take 20 minutes total. You read that right: you can go from "I feel like tacos," to "These tacos are great!" in less than half an hour. The trick is to cut your raw chicken breasts into smaller pieces to help them cook faster. That will also give you more flavor because the cut-up chicken will have more surfaces for the taco seasoning to stick to.

This recipe does call for pre-made taco seasoning, but if you don't have any or if you prefer to make your own, it shouldn't add much time to this recipe (here's our own taco seasoning recipe to get you started). Taco seasoning can be made with a few staple seasonings many people have in their cabinets anyway: onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.

A little Caribbean inspiration for taco lovers

You might not have ever heard of barbacoa, but it simply means "barbeque" in Spanish. Barbacoa originated in the Caribbean, but it later traveled to Mexico. It's a highly seasoned and flavorful meat that will seriously upgrade your homemade tacos. This barbacoa recipe tastes fantastic in not only tacos, but you could also use it in any dish in which you need shredded meat with a strong flavor.

Our barbacoa includes many of the usual Mexican spices: adobo sauce, green chilies, and cumin. You need plenty of time to cook this meat, whether you are making it in an oven or a crock pot. The wait is worth it, and giving your seasoning plenty of time to work its magic on the meat will bring fantastic results.

Fast tacos with a bit of fancy flair

Whether you're trying to impress your friends or spoil yourself, these shrimp tacos have some surprising bursts of flavor. Your friends will be convinced that you spent all day making these tasty delights, especially once you tell them the secret ingredients: pickled onions, parmesan-encrusted tortillas, and homemade white sauce.

These special ingredients all sound like they take much longer to prepare than they actually do. The most time consuming is the pickled onions, but even that won't take you hours. Sweat the onions in a pan, then marinate them in a rice wine vinegar and sugar mixture for 20 minutes. While they're marinating, you can cook the shrimp, make the three-ingredient white sauce, and cook the parmesan into the tortillas. Even you'll be surprised how quickly these fancy tacos come together.

Chips are good, but taco fries are better

Like nachos with French fries, this recipe for carne asada fries is a combination straight out of comfort food heaven. It will be a hit for a friendly gathering, but we wouldn't blame you if you made this dish just for yourself: Top it with all your favorite nacho toppings and dig in!

The star of this dish is the carne asada — it needs to marinate between one and eight hours, but the results are stupendous. To make it authentic carne asada (which translates to "roasted meat") it should be grilled, but if you need to cook it on the stove, you can still get a nice char with a hot pan.

Drive-thru tacos without any driving

Fast food isn't healthy, but sometimes you crave it. This Taco Bell-inspired recipe doesn't try to make the tacos any better for you. It strictly tries to recreate the sinful deliciousness of the Doritos Locos tacos. That's why there's some unexpected ingredients in the recipe, like oats and cocoa powder.

This recipe also has two versions of the spicy Doritos-flavored shell. You can make your own version from scratch or just make a flavored coating to put on pre-made taco shells. Neither version calls for actual Doritos, but both versions will give you a pack of hot, cheesy goodness.

Taquitos are a great addition to taco night

Taquito literally translates to "little taco," so it's a safe bet that if you love tacos, you'll love taquitos, too. Taquitos are usually made with corn tortillas and shallow-fried. While that's delicious, all that oil isn't the healthiest choice. But the taquitos in this simple recipe are baked, which is healthier, faster, and easier.

You're going to want to make a big batch of these, since they can be frozen, and that means you're never more than a few minutes from a Mexican treat. And if unexpected guests show up, you've got something great to serve them!

Repurposing that rotisserie chicken for taco night

This chicken taco recipe gives new life to that leftover rotisserie chicken. Just because the chicken is already cooked doesn't mean that you can't reheat it and re-season it to make a fantastic taco. With strong flavors like smoked paprika and cumin, no one will realize you didn't start from scratch. The other thing that will give these tacos a burst of flavor is the toppings you choose. You can go traditional, with ingredients like lettuce, cheese, guacamole, and salsa — but if you're feeling daring, you can try some more outside the box toppings like cabbage, mangos, radishes, potatoes, or mushrooms.

Quick and easy taco in a dip. Need we say more?

The next best thing to a great taco is a great Mexican dip. This 7-layer dip recipe is perfect for parties or game nights. Best of all, it only takes 15 minutes to make, with no cooking required, so go ahead, give your stove the night off. Of course "7 layers" is just a suggestion. If you want to make this dip taste more like tacos, add a layer of ground beef cooked with taco seasoning. Then, you'll essentially have taco dip!

Think outside the tortilla when making tacos

Like a true taco-aficionado, you've probably had tacos made with both flour and corn tortillas. But this chalupa recipe will take your tacos to the next level, as a nice homemade chalupa will give your taco a different texture that you're going to love.

Chalupas are essentially, fried bread. The frying takes time and attention, and you have the added challenge of not eating the bread as you make it. But if you can hold out, you can fill these delicious rounds with your favorite taco ingredients to make a great meal. If you have leftovers and don't want to eat tacos too many days in a row, you can fill them with lunchmeat to make a delicious sandwich or use fruit and whip cream to make a dessert taco.

Go under the sea with salmon tacos

Fish tacos are tasty and they don't have to take long. This recipe for fish tacos with salmon is another 20 minute recipe. While the salmon is cooking, you'll prepare pickled jalapenos and avocado crema with a sauce of mayo, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. With mashed salmon, avocado crema, and the mayo sauce, this taco is a guilty pleasure you will crave often

Best of all, salmon comes packed with nutrients that can help your body in so many ways. From your brain, to your heart, to your thyroid, the nutrients in salmon can truly give your body a boost. So even if you don't eat fish regularly, give this taco recipe a try and it may just make you a fish fan, at least in tacos.

A taco you can almost drink

This tortilla soup recipe has all the same great ingredients you would use in a taco, but in soup form. With taco seasoning and salsa stirred right into the mix, this is a broth you will greedily slurp, and with only eight ingredients, you won't have to spend forever prepping this soup, either.

The only downside to this tasty dish is that it's not a slow cooker soup you can prep, then walk away from, returning several hours later to a finished treat. Unless you have pre-cooked, pre-shredded chicken on hand, you're going to start by cooking the chicken in some stock in the slow cooker. After about two hours, the chicken should be cooked and ready to be shredded. Then, everything else goes in the pot, and it all cooks for a couple more hours. Your work will be rewarded, though, with a truly phenomenal taco soup!

Discount tacos that taste gourmet

This carnitas taco recipe is specifically designed around Aldi's seasoned boneless pork shoulder. With only four other ingredients (all of which you can conveniently also find at Aldi) this recipe won't break the bank, even though it will give you 12 hearty tacos. The pork comes already seasoned, which saves you time and effort, too.

Aldi is pushing to become a competitor with other grocery stores. They pride themselves on low prices, fast check-out lines, and quality ingredients. If you're not in a place that has Aldi stores, you can check out Trader Joe's, which is owned by half of the Aldi company. (It's complicated!)

When you can't have tacos, have nachos

If you're looking for easy, look no further than this recipe for sheet pan nachos. You don't have to carefully measure each of the ingredients if you don't want to. How much beef do you want? Feeling extra cheesy today or looking for more spice? Put on however much of the ingredients looks (and tastes) good to you. This is another recipe that unfortunately doesn't last. Because you're heating the ingredients right on top of the chips, those crunchy delights will become soggy if they sit around too long. Solution: just eat them all!

Tacos are another way to make shrimp taste fantastic

There's more than one way to skin a cat and more than one way to shrimp a taco. This shrimp taco recipe features charred tortillas. And you don't have to pull out the grill to get a nice char. You can use the oven or stove and get that lovely, crispy flavor.

These tacos also have a creamy chimichurri sauce. Chimichurri is an Argentinian sauce, and while it is often made with parsley, this recipe also adds cilantro to kick it up a notch. But don't skip this recipe if you're one of the people who find cilantro to taste like soap. You can replace the cilantro with basil and still have a flavorful sauce on tacos the whole family will love.

A match made in taco heaven

Because why wouldn't you combine two of the greatest foods ever invented? Enter this recipe for a taco pizza. With your favorite pizza crust and some of your favorite taco ingredients, it's the best of both worlds. In place of tomato sauce, you'll be using refried beans and taco sauce, and instead of mozzarella, you'll be using queso (although you could also use a Mexican blend shredded cheese to get that stretchy cheese that's so great on pizza). You can put ground beef on top, though it also tastes great without the meat if you need it to be vegetarian.