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Fried Tacos

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Make no mistake—these smashed and fried beef tacos wrapped in golden brown tortillas are totally worthy. The overall spice is kept to a minimum, making this recipe a great choice for flavor without overbearing heat.

plate of four fried tacos on a white plate.

White People Taco Night

When it comes to Mexican food, I am a fan—a serious fan. I could have any version of a taco recipe you throw at me. My kids…not so much. And it’s not the tacos, but adding many traditional spices is not always kid-palace friendly.

This fried beef taco recipe can be altered very easily for the perfect customization for all your family dinner needs.

The title is just a joke to refer to this funny viral song, White People Taco Night. It will give you a little snicker if you haven’t heard it.


Below the recommended instructions, I have provided extra suggestions for seasoning variations and toppings to serve for your Taco Tuesday.

  • ground beef or sirloin
  • Seasonings: garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and ground black pepper
  • White corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Toppings suggested: shredded cheese and Pico de gallo

If looking for additional heat, try adding a pre-seasoned taco packet or adding cumin, red pepper, smoked paprika, or chipotle to the dish.

How to make Fried Tacos

Prepare the Beef Mixture:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1 lb of ground beef with one teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • Mixing with your hands is the easiest way to ensure all spices are well incorporated.
ground beef with seasonings in a silver mixing bowl.

Form and Cook the Tacos:

  • Take a white corn tortilla and place approximately 1-1/2 teaspoons of the beef mixture onto one-half of the uncooked white corn tortilla. Spread the beef thinly across the tortilla using the back of a spoon, aiming for a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Prepare all tortillas with beef before moving on to the next step.
  • Pour enough vegetable oil into a large skillet to reach about 1/2 inch depth. Heat over medium heat until the oil is hot.
  • Place the tortilla in the hot oil and fry for about one minute before folding it in half. Continue frying both sides until the taco is crispy and golden brown.
  • Remove the taco from the oil and let it drain on paper towels. We also have a taco holder, which makes it really easy to keep tacos upright and draining.
instruction images on how to add thin layers of beef into a white corn tortilla.
frying tacos in a skillet.

Assemble the Tacos:

Open each taco and fill it with toppings of your choice.

We like easy and thin additions like shredded Mexican blend cheese and fresh pico de gallo.

adding toppings to a fried taco.

Taco Toppings:

Most people know what they love about tacos, but here are a few suggestions we use in our house to give a good variety of flavors.

  • Chopped Tomatoes, shredded lettuce, black olives
  • Fresh diced avocados or guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice
  • Jalapeños or Chilies
inside of a beef taco close up.

What side dishes to serve with Tacos?

Not that you need additional sides to go with beef tacos, but if you want a super filling dinner, try adding side dishes like refried beans, Mexican street corn, Frito Corn Salad, or cilantro lime rice.

And a few more Mexican Recipe Ideas

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Fried Tacos with Beef

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Smashed beef in a golden brown corn tortilla is an oven fried dinner that is inexpensive and family friendly.


  • Skillet
  • Metal Tongs


  • 1 lb. ground beef ground sirloin is fine, too
  • 30 White corn tortillas 6-inch size
  • Vegetable oil for frying


Suggested Toppings

  • Pico or Salsa
  • Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Lettuce


  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1 lb of ground beef with one teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, and salt, along with 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. As a side note, this is a basic family-friendly and kid-friendly mix. You can add, remove, or change the heat level of meat by incorporating your favorite seasonings as desired. Mixing by hand works best to distribute the spices evenly.
  • Place about 1.5 teaspoons of seasoned beef mixture on half of a white corn tortilla. Using the back of a spoon, spread the beef thinly across the tortilla, aiming for a thickness of about 1/8 inch. If the meat is too thick, it will not cook as quickly. Prep all tortillas before moving on to frying.
  • Heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Carefully place the tortilla flat in the hot oil. After about a minute, fold the tortilla in half using tongs, pressing gently to form the taco shape. Flip taco. Fry both sides until golden browned and crispy and the meat is cooked. NOTE: Lower the stove heat level if the corn tortillas fry quicker than the beef is done cooking.
  • Again, using tongs, carefully remove the cooked tacos from the oil and let them drain on paper towels or in a taco holder to remove excess oil. Work through all the tacos.
  • Before serving, open each taco and fill it with your favorite toppings like shredded Mexican blend cheese and Pico de Gallo. Add other toppings as desired.


Makes: 24-30 tacos (Varies based on the size of the corn tortillas and meat thickness) 


Serving: 4tacos | Calories: 720kcal

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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