Walking Taco Recipe

The grass is green and freshly painted, the laced-up cleats are broken in, and the bleachers are full of excited fans. Most importantly, the concession stand is open for business, and you're ready for America's favorite Tex-Mex snack: the walking taco.

A staple at many a tailgate or school event, the walking taco is a filling take on a regular street food staple, swapping the tortilla for a bag of corn chips to allow for ease of transport -– hence the name. In this recipe, we're going for classic walking taco vibes, filling our bag with crumbly ground beef, freshly prepared pico de gallo, and a silky cilantro-lime crema that could honestly be eaten by the spoonful. Whether you're making it for a football tailgate menu or dinner at home, get ready to dig in. And just a heads up: Unlike regular tacos, you may want a fork for this one.

Gather your walking taco ingredients

The walking taco starts with its famous vessel: a bag of chips. We recommend using Fritos and Doritos because they are corn chips that taste most similarly to tortillas. This recipe uses 1-ounce snack bags, which you can buy in party packs at most grocery stores and will each yield a walking taco equivalent to two small tacos.

Next, grab the filling ingredients. For this recipe, you'll need ground beef, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, canned chipotles in adobo (we'll actually just be using the flavorful adobo sauce, so save the peppers for a later use), fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, and lime. As for finishing touches, you'll want an avocado, lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese to top up the taco.

Crumble the beef

Like making a taco, we start by crumbling the beef into taco meat. To make a juicy, flavorful mixture, crumble the beef into small pieces, then add tomato sauce, seasonings, and a few tablespoons of chipotle adobo sauce for a smoky heat. For completely mild, leave out the adobo; if you want more heat, add a few extra spoonfuls. Beef not your thing? You can also use cubed chicken, pulled pork, or vegetarian-friendly sautéed bell peppers.

Stir together the crema

This crema will change your life; you'll seriously want to put it on everything. Best part is, it's easy to make with the help of a food processor or blender. Add the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, salt, and lime juice, then blend until smooth. The sauce will be a light green color, slightly tangy, and perfectly garlicky. You can store leftover sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Make a quick pico de gallo

While you can always dice a tomato and use it by itself, bring your taco to the next level by making a super quick pico de gallo salsa. Stir together diced tomato, diced onion, lime juice, finely chopped cilantro, and a sprinkling of salt. You can use red or white onions, depending on preference. Store any leftover salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, just like the crema.

Assemble the tacos and serve

Open up a bag of your favorite corn chips and add the prepared beef, up to ½ cup per bag. Layer on the salsa, crema, lettuce, and cheese. Smash an avocado in a small bowl for a quick, plain guacamole and add a dollop on top of your build. Not feeling the pico de gallo? You can swap these toppings for your favorite taco add-ins, such as red cabbage, queso, leafy cilantro, or salsa verde.

To save leftovers, store the taco meat, pico de gallo, and crema in separate containers for up to a week. Reheat the meat before using and assemble tacos fresh to avoid soggy chips.

Walking Taco Recipe
5 from 29 ratings
A staple at many a tailgate and school event, the walking taco is a filling take on a regular street food staple, swapping the tortilla for a bag of corn chips.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Fork lifting chips,meat, and tomato out of Doritos bag
Total time: 20 minutes
  • For the meat
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
  • salt, to taste
  • For the crema
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the pico de gallo
  • 2 tomatoes (Roma or on-the-vine), diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped white or red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • salt, to taste
  • For assembly
  • 7 (1-ounce) bags of corn chips
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pit removed
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add ground beef. Break apart until finely crumbled and browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add cumin, chili powder, tomato sauce, and adobo sauce. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt, then remove from the skillet.
  3. For the crema, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until very smooth. Garlic and cilantro should be well chopped. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  4. For the pico de gallo, combine the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and lime juice in a small bowl and season with salt to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  5. To assemble walking tacos, open a bag of chips and add ¼ cup to ½ cup of ground beef mixture. Top with pico de gallo, cheese, lettuce, and cilantro crema. Mash avocado in a small bowl and add on top to serve.
Calories per Serving 547
Total Fat 42.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.2 g
Trans Fat 1.0 g
Cholesterol 81.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Total Sugars 3.5 g
Sodium 606.4 mg
Protein 19.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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