For years my family served Walking Tacos at parties. Whether it was a birthday bash during the grammar school years, a Halloween party during middle school, or a band get-together in high school, Walking Tacos have been among the most-requested foods at our house.
Portable, easy, delicious, and perfect for big crowds, this delightful treat has been a go-to recipe for me since I first learned about them from my sister-in-law years ago. They're called "Walking Tacos" because you walk around while you eat them.
I used to make these with ground beef but now that my youngest has adopted a vegetarian lifestyle, we've been Walking-Taco-less for a couple of years. Lately we've defaulted to serving our teenage guests cheese pizza, but that can get boring pretty quickly.
But wait! Hope is on the horizon! Morningstar Farms makes "Meal Starters" which are soy-based meat crumbles that act and taste a lot like ground beef. My daughter and I decided to see if this veggie-friendly item would work to bring back the Walking Tacos she used to love so much.
And guess what? It did. The taste was spot-on!
Now, before I provide the recipe, let me share a few tips with you. You can make this, exactly as described below, with either the veggie option, or with real ground beef. If you're making this for a crowd, you'll want to brown your ground beef on your stovetop, but then once it's seasoned, place it in a crockpot to keep nice and hot.
Also, if you're feeding a crowd (as we often do) you may want to buy the mini-chip bags in bulk. We get ours at Sam's Club -- usually 50 small bags at a time. (See, I really did mean a crowd!). Most kids eat two bags, but this makes great leftovers, so we always prepare extra and it never goes to waste.
Ready? Here goes:
(multiply as needed)
1 lb ground beef or veggie substitute
1 pkg taco seasoning (I use McCormick original)
+/- 6 small bags of chips (We like Cool Ranch Doritos, but this works well with regular Doritos and Fritos)
Brown ground beef/heat beef substitute. Add Taco Seasoning and water as directed on package. Heat until beef/substitute is cooked through.
Choose a bag of chips. Crush them (you may want to allow a little air to escape before you start sqeezing the bag. We've had a few bags explode with first-timers!)
Add a heaping spoonful of cooked and seasoned ground beef/substitute
Add shredded cheddar, and (as desired) chopped onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and sour cream.
Grab a fork and you're good to go! You eat right out of the bag as you mingle and chitchat.
One small word of warning. If you add a lot of ground beef to your bag, the bottom gets pretty hot. Just hold a napkin there (convenient for when you need to wipe your mouth!) and you're all set.
We're thrilled to know we can start serving these again here at the Hyzy house. My older two daughters won't have a problem with the meat version, but since they're not home that much these days, it looks like it's Morningstar Farms for us.
I hope you enjoy this. It's super easy and everyone who's ever tried it here, has gone on to serve it at their parties. It's genius!
On a personal note, although I'm super swamped with my current manuscript, I'm very much looking forward to Bouchercon. Just over a week from now--I can't believe it. I hope to see some of you there!
Julie Hyzy’s White House Chef Mystery series features State of the Onion, Hail to the Chef, and Eggsecutive Orders (coming in January). All from Berkley Prime Crime.
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