Taco Night is a regular dinnertime feature in my house. It works well for people with different tastes because everyone chooses the fillings they want. I like that I can prepare the ingredients ahead of time so when it’s time for dinner, all I have to do is set out the fillings, warm up the tortillas, and everyone does the work of filling their own tacos.
My favorite part of taco night is lunch the next day. I toss the leftover fillings with lettuce, rice vinegar, crushed tortilla chips, and salsa to make a delicious taco salad.
Family Taco Night Ideas
Try these taco night ideas with your family, and see what ingredients everyone chooses.
Tortillas: I haven’t found any flour tortillas at the store that I’m comfortable buying, so I make my own. Trader Joe’s does have hard and soft corn tortillas with short, clean ingredient lists, so we use those as well.
Seasoning: Start with your own homemade taco seasoning. Store-bought seasonings tend to include ingredients like partially hydrogenated oils and maltodextrin, and they’re also more expensive than homemade seasoning. You can make a big batch of taco seasoning and keep it in an airtight container with your spices.
Beans: I cook a one-pound package of black beans or pinto beans, which yields about 8 cups of cooked beans. We eat half the beans at taco night, and I freeze the remaining half for next time. Beans should be cooked with a small piece of kombu to add minerals and nullify the gassy side effects. If your children don’t like whole beans, mash them up for a refried bean consistency. You can stir in the taco seasoning after the beans are cooked, or you can add it while the beans are cooking if you won’t need to drain them.
Meat: To keep the cost down, think of the beans as the main taco filling and add just a little cooked shredded chicken, ground turkey breast, or ground beef. You can also skip the meat altogether and your tacos will still be delicious.
Cheese: I include a little shredded cheddar in my taco night spread for those who want it.
Veggies: I like a lot of veggies in my tacos, so I offer several vegetables. We typically enjoy lettuce, shredded carrots, peppers, and scallions in our tacos.
Salsa: My children don’t always include salsa, but I think salsa is the best part of a taco. I love using homemade corn salsa or tomatillo salsa. Trader Joe’s also has several healthy, affordable salsas that are good to keep on hand.