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Classic Crunchy Tacos

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Classic Crunchy Tacos

Classic Crunchy Tacos

Jessica Braider
Who doesn’t love crispy tacos, even though they are practically designed to fall apart at first bite? If the crumbling-factor bothers you, make soft tacos or crumble up the shells or use tortilla chips and make taco salads instead.
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Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine Latin American, Mexican, Tex Mex
Servings 6 servings
Calories 262 kcal


  • 1 lb. ground turkey or use meatless crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt or more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. salsa plus extra for serving
  • 12 taco shells or use whole wheat or white flour tortillas
  • ½ head iceberg lettuce thinly shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a nonstick skillet, brown the turkey or vegetarian crumbles over medium heat, mixing in the chili powder, salt, and 2 Tbsp. salsa, and breaking the turkey into small pieces with a wooden or plastic spatula as it browns, 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, put the lettuce, cheese, and remaining salsa in serving bowls.
  • When the meat is nearly browned, put the taco shells on a baking sheet, overlapping them a little bit, and heat them for about 2 minutes until they are warm (this makes them extra crispy—watch them carefully so they don’t burn).
  • Serve the tacos immediately, letting family members layer the fillings to their own tastes. (We like to add the meat, then cheese, then lettuce, and finally drizzle salsa over everything.)

Slow Cooker Directions

  • There's no need to pre-brown the meat in advance. Mix the meat or vegetarian crumbles, chili powder, salt, and 2 Tbsp. salsa in the slow cooker, breaking up the meat.
  • Cook on low for 7 - 8 hours or on high for 3 - 4 hours until the meat is cooked through and no longer pink. Serve it in heated taco shells with the fillings, as directed. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook and refrigerate the ground meat mixture, shred the lettuce and the cheese if necessary and refrigerate.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use hot Mexican or chipotle chili powder and spicy salsa. Top the tacos with guacamole, sour cream, and/or hot sauce.
Tip: If you shred the lettuce ahead of time, wrap it in a damp paper towel, seal it in a baggie and store it in the refrigerator.  This will keep it nice and crisp for when you're ready to use it.
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!


Calories: 262kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 27gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 446mgPotassium: 421mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1061IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 161mgIron: 2mg
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Main Dish, Nut-Free, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Vegetarian, Winter
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