Mix up your tailgating game plan by bringing a fun food item for all ages and palates. Even kids love tacos! Building a personalized taco to order lets the pickiest of eaters find satisfaction. Leave off the sour cream or dump a tiny truckload of cheese on board. It’s all good in the world of tacos.
It may shock you to hear that some poor individuals do not know about one of the best hand-held wonders of tailgate food – the walking taco. What is a walking taco? Instead of a traditional taco involving crunchy shells that crumble immediately in your hands, all your favourite taco ingredients are instead added into a small bag of corn chips and eaten with a fork.
Tailgate food includes burgers and hot dogs – items that are easy to toss on the travel grill and slapped together so your group of top fans can peruse around the entire party while eating. But burgers get burned. Hot dogs get boring. Both traditional fan foods are also traditionally unhealthy.
To top it off, tailgating is an outdoor activity. Should the heavens open and add rain to the party – well, let’s face it soggy bread is downright gross. Avoid the mess and keep it mobile no matter the weather with the walking taco. Easy to make, here is a recipe for a fantastic addition to your tailgate party.
To make 4 – 6 servings, stock up on the ingredients below:
- 1-lb lean ground beef
- 1 tsp. of minced garlic
- 1 packet of taco seasoning
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 green bell pepper (diced)
- 6 single serving bags of corn chips
These items are prepared in advance and placed in individual containers for the trip to the tailgate party. Of course, you may have special favourites to bring along not mentioned here:
- Sour cream
- Yellow or white onion (diced)
- Mexican cheese blend (shredded)
- Lettuce (shredded)
- Tomatoes (diced)
We recommend all the ingredients for your walking tacos be prepared in advance and not at the tailgate party itself. This frees you up for more fun on the big day.
- In a large skillet, brown the beef over medium heat for several minutes. Cook until the meat is brown (no pink at all) and crumbles apart.
- Drain the meat and dab dry with a clean paper towel.
- Return the meat to the skillet and add taco seasoning, minced garlic and bell peppers.
- Follow the instructions on the seasoning packet to finish the taco meat.
- Place the seasoned meat in a heat-safe container with a secure lid.
Prepare the desired ingredients from the above lists and store in separate containers for transport to the game. Transporting tailgate food securely is vital. Dumped ingredients make a mess in your vehicle and also ruin everyone’s options to build a walking taco to their specific tastes.
Once you arrive, set up is easy – just pop off the lids and place the containers out for everyone to build their tacos to order. No need to worry about flies since the tops can go right back on safe and sound.
When ready to serve:
- Before opening the bag, gently crunch the corn chips into smaller pieces.
- No need to crush the chips into powder lest you lose that crunchy texture.
- Open the bag carefully.
- Tearing the bag apart destroys your “bowl” and undermines the hand-held nature of your taco
- Scoop some of the taco meat into the bag.
- Leave at least the top 1/3 of the bag empty.
- Add toppings as desired.
- Toss in a fork and go for a stroll.
Healthy and Allergy Friendly Options
No team sport runs without substitutions. There are great options out there to make this snack fewer calories without skimping on flavour. Want to surprise everyone with a bonus? The recipe above is gluten-free to boot! Try these easy swaps to make your tacos healthier:
- Trade out the beef for ground turkey or chicken.
- Go for “light” cheese and sour cream or skip it altogether.
- Add ground flaxseed (still gluten-free!) when cooking the meat to help thicken the mixture and sneak in a super food.
- Choose organic corn chips instead of standard brands.
- Use a leafy green more nutritious than iceberg lettuce and opt for crunchy romaine or spinach.
Depending on the number of ingredients available, even the vegetarians may join in and make themselves a walking taco salad.
Easy to Make it On Your Own
Walking tacos is more than just a hand-held meal, it is flexible too. When celebrating in colder weather, maybe tacos aren’t the most satisfying tailgate food. Try mixing up the recipe with chili instead of taco stuffing. You can add more heat and have fewer ingredients to pack for the trip.
When breaking down the party and heading into the game, these tacos are less mess than burgers or hot dogs. The bags and forks are easy to throw away, and you do not need to bring plates. All your ingredients came in containers to reseal and take home for washing unless you decide to throw those containers away after the game. There is no grill or fuel to haul around, nor do you have to worry about theft of your items while watching the game. You will not likely have leftovers either!
Feature Image via Betty Crocker