American-Style Tacos

These are the tacos I grew up eating as a kid. Fried tortillas filled with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. My mom would often prepare them with flour tortillas and fry them in oil until they puffed up and became crispy, like these.

I’ve decided to use corn tortillas, simply to save on carbs and I don’t often fry them in oil anymore, in an effort to keep the calories down.

These American style tacos are every bit as delicious as my moms and feature an amazing array of flavors and textures.  Crispy lettuce, cool sour cream, spicy guacamole salsa and a squeeze of lime make these tacos a mouthwatering family favorite.

American Style Tacos

Not to be confused with Mexican-style tacos, which are made up of impecibly cooked meats that are topped with simple garnishes, like fresh cilantro sprigs, diced onions or pico de gallo and homemade salsa. American-style tacos are a creation all their own.

They’re typically made with ground beef (carne molida) and topped with diced tomatoes, and shredded lettuce and cheese.

Additional toppings often include sour cream, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, but you can put almost anything on them.

The types of tacos you can create are limitless. From pork verde tacos, stewed beef tacos and chicken tacos, the combinations are nearly endless.  Almost anything can go onto a taco and the only limitation is your creativity.

The best thing about American-style tacos is that they’re easy to make.  You don’t have to be an amazing cook, as long as you have access to delicious, fresh produce, you can create an amazing taco with very little effort.

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American Style Tacos on Soft Corn Tortillas

Most American-style tacos are served up on store-bought flour tortillas or crispy corn “shells,” but we love serving ours on soft corn tortillas, lightly fried in oil.  Soft corn tortillas add a ton of flavor to your tacos and can be prepared in a number of ways.  They can be warmed, fried, or even dipped in hot oil to create San Antonio’s famous puffy tacos.

How to Make American Style Tacos

American-Style Tacos

These delicious American style tacos feature an amazing array of flavors and textures.  Crispy lettuce, cool sour cream, spicy guacamole salsa and a squeeze of lime make these tacos a mouthwatering family favorite.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired, Tex-Mex
Keyword: American Tacos, Tacos
Servings: 12 tacos
Author: Chantilly


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb cheddar cheese shredded
  • 12 soft corn tortillas warmed
  • 1 head lettuce shredded
  • 1 lb roma tomatoes
  • 1 onion diced
  • Herdez salsa verde or guacamole salsa
  • sour cream
  • 1-2 tsp salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp garlic to taste
  • 2 tbsp cumin to taste
  • 2-3 limes rolled and cut into wedges


  • To start these tacos, make sure you prep all of your cold ingredients and produce.  Diced your onions (to sautee with the meat) and tomatoes, and shred your lettuce and cheese. 
  • TIP: If you can help it, try to get block cheeses instead of pre-shredded cheeses. When you buy a bag cheese that’s already shredded, it is often dusted with flour or another starch to prevent the shreds from sticking together. Unfortunately, this can also cause your cheese to be less flavorful and aromatic. You can also set out your toppings, including sour cream, salsa or lime wedges. 
  • Once you’re done cooking, you want to plate up your tacos quickly so that you can eat them while the meat is still hot and the ingredients or toppings are still crisp and cold. The contrasting textures, flavors and temperatures are what really make these tacos special.
  • For the meat in these tacos, we used 97% ground beef, and once cooked through, added salt, diced onions, garlic and cumin to taste. Allow the ingredients to cook on low, stirring frequently until the onions are translucent and the dry seasonings have been fully incorporated, moist and heated through. If necessary, add a very small amount of oil or water to the pan to keep your ingredients moist.
  • Next, you’ll want to fry up your tortillas with a light amount of oil.  Once done, stack on your toppings, drizzle the salsa and a squeeze of fresh lime and you’re ready to eat!


This post was first published on Nov 15, 2017.

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