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Tacos Dorados

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Gluten Free
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Why we love it:

These are the tacos I’d make for my brother and myself when my parents went out when I was a kid. They are the tacos from the kids’ book “Dragons Love Tacos.” They are almost comically simple and really good. Double the spice blend and store it for next time - lasts for 6 - 12 months!


  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 12 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 14 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 14 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or more, to taste, or omit)
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
  • 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese (or shredded Mexican cheese blend)
  • 1 Slicer Tomato (or salsa instead)
  • 1 head Romaine Lettuce
  • 8 Corn Tortillas (or hard taco shells)
  • 1 Avocado
  • 4 Tablespoons Sour Cream (optional)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. MEAT

    In a large sauté pan, melt the butter. Then add the meat and break it up with a spoon. Keep cooking and breaking it up.


    Meanwhile, stir together all of the spices.

  • 3. SEASON

    When the meat is mostly browned, add the tomato paste and cook. Add the spice blend and keep cooking. Add 1 - 3 Tablespoons of water to help make a nice thick sauce. Cook for another 1 - 2 minutes until all is browned, seasoned and coated.


    If needed, grate cheese. Slice the tomato. Slice lettuce into thin strips. Slice the avocado. Set out the sour cream for topping.

    Warm the tortillas/taco shells in the oven or microwave for just a couple of seconds.

  • 5. SERVING

    I like to serve a make your own station for this kind of meal but you could assemble tacos for people if needed.

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    omit cheese, use oil instead of butter
  • BEEF:
    ground chicken or turkey
  • FISH:
    filet of fish or grill shrimp is an easy swap here - use the spices and sear until golden on the edges and break up fish to assemble in the tacos
    to make them as pictured get the store bought crunchy shells!
    you can certainly use a store bought blend
    great to use a purchased salsa
    assemble tacos with their preferred ingredients or serve them deconstructed - my kids will only nibble lettuce, so I give them each ½ an avocado and some apple slices

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. Mix the spice blend
  2. You can slice the peppers and onions up to 48 hours ahead, store in tupperware
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