Taco Night Ideas

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Taco Night is one of our favorite dinners, and it can be prepared ahead of time for a healthy, delicious meal. Try these taco night ideas with your family.

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.

tortillas rfrdDoes your family enjoy taco night? I’d love to hear your taco night ideas in the comments.


  1. Taco night is on our menu every week for sure! We have used leftover roasted spaghetti squash, butternut squash or any leftover roasted squash for that matter. Also roasted beets, parsnips and shredded kale are wonderful additions for winter tacos too.
    Love your recipes and meal planning thank you ever so much!

    1. Thanks, Aroha! I use a couple teaspoons of seasoning for 1/2 pound of meat (or a couple cups of beans). Start with one teaspoon and taste as you go. Everyone likes it a little bit differently.

  2. We have a regular taco night. We try to do beans and meat and to season the meat. We also try to have cheese, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions (unless I’m adding them to the meat and cooking them), and sour cream/creme fraiche. I prefer homemade tortillas, but the process of rolling out the flour ones stretches my (lack of) upper body strength. I’ve thought about getting a tortilla press (yes, we eat that many tortillas), but most seem to be for corn tortillas only.

    1. Joyce, do you roll them out with a rolling pin? I looked for a flour tortilla press, but I only found the smaller corn tortilla size too. I did recently discover whole wheat tortillas with a clean ingredient list in the refrigerator section at Whole Foods. It’s more expensive than homemade, but a nice shortcut on occasion.

      1. I use a standard rolling pin and use the flour tortilla recipe from Dining on a Dime cookbook, but the dough is very stretchy and tends to retreat back on itself when you roll it out.

  3. Annemarie,
    I have Kombu now! Thanks for the reminder of what I actually bought it for in the first place!
    We love taco night here, as well.

  4. Out here TJ’s has a whole wheat flour tortilla that is clean – so I’ll indulge with those 🙂

  5. Yum. We do taco night almost weekly with lots of variations. But my concern is always that with packaged flour tortillas, there is always a dough conditioner or some kind of preservative – and that is scary to eat regularly. I love your recipe for homemade flour tortilla. I see you use ghee but have you used butter and have they turned out ok?

    1. I have made flour tortillas using coconut oil in place of the ghee, and they turned out to be delicious! 🙂

      1. Thanks, Crystal. I love cooking with coconut oil, so I’ll try that the next time.

    2. I agree about those packaged tortillas, Atiera. I have made my tortillas with butter and they turn out very well.

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