a purple plate holding two grilled lobster and corn tacos topped with avocado and red cabbage
Photo by Ted and Chelsea

15 Ways to Upgrade Your Taco Night

Every day is a good day to make homemade tacos, whether they're filled with carne asada, al pastor, or vegan-friendly grilled seitan.
February 22, 2018, 8:00pm

Oh, how we love an excuse to eat tacos. All because of the power of alliteration. Taco Tuesday. Or Thursday. Or any freaking day, jeeze, alliteration isn’t binding. But we here at MUNCHIES are willing to bet your taco night game plan has gotten a little stale. We won’t judge you if you’re falling back on ground beef and those little store-bought seasoning packets and—gasp!—crunchy shells like it’s 1997. But tacos can be so much more! Here’s a whole arsenal of recipes to up your taco game, including all our favorite marinades, tortilla secrets, and accoutrements. Bust out the good tequila because it’s Taco Night.

Mission-Style Tacos Recipe

Mission-Style Tacos Recipe

San Francisco might be the land of burritos, but the Mission sure knows how to make a good taco, too. These tacos came from pro skater and bassist of Bad Shit, Tony Trujillo, and they taste like California. (Watch his episode of How-To, where he learns that his v cute six-year-old son has discovered the word "bro.")

Mexicali-Style Carne Asada Recipe

When Trujillo makes his Mission-style tacos, he picks up some pre-marinated skirt steak from his local Mexican meat market for his carne asada. To go big for a fully homemade taco night, we like to use this version from Mexicali missionary Esdras Ochoa.

Grilled Fish Tacos Recipes

Guachinago is a derivation of the native Nahuatl language in Jalisco, Mexico, that refers to red snapper. Any other rockfish or grouper would hold up well to the marinade in these grilled fish tacos, too.

Fish Al Pastor Tacos Recipe

You’ve probably never had tacos al pastor quite like these before. But chef Gabriela Cámara has one foot in Mexico City and the other in San Francisco, and that means she sees Mexican food a little differently than most. We salute her for that, and for these fish al pastor tacos.

Carne Asada Tacos Recipe

Carne Asada Tacos Recipe

Taqueria La Cumbre has been making carne asada tacos since 1967, so you can trust that Eddie Duran knows what he’s talking about. If you get the chance to make it out there, you even can let him serenade you while you wait for your skirt steak to get that good, good char.

Lengua (Beef Tongue) Tacos Recipe

If you ever wanted a good reason to get over your fear of asking your butcher weird questions, this recipe is worth the exposure therapy. You probably won’t find tongue wrapped in Styrofoam next to the ground beef, so you’re gonna have to ask for it.

Grilled Lobster and Corn Tacos Recipe

Lobster roll? Tired. Grilled lobster tacos, however? Wired.

Vegan Adobada Tacos Recipe

While the spicy, chile-based marinade for adobada is typically paired with pork, it also makes textured soy protein taste way more appealing than the phrase "textured soy protein," and the end result is one of our favorite vegan tacos.

Beer-Marinated Vegan Tacos Recipe

Braised in lime- and cilantro-infused beer, the grilled seitan in these vegan tacos tastes pretty dang close to carne asada, but without the carne.

Flour Tortillas Recipe

The debate over corn versus flour tortillas will rage on until the end of time, but everyone agrees on one thing: homemade is always better. Here's our go-to recipe for flour tortillas.

Salsa de Hormiga Recipe

Making salsa from dried chiles might be a new experience for you, but once you experience this smoky-savoriness of a salsa like this, you’re going to want to put it on absolutely everything and kiss the jarred stuff goodbye.

Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

Tomatillo salsa can provide the bright acidic note you need to balance out your savory protein and other toppings for the perfect taco. And then, you know, just dig in with some chips ‘cause this is too good to waste.

Classic Guacamole Recipe

Simplicity is key to a good guacamole. Beyond a ripe avocado, there are a few core components. Welcome, lime, salt, pepper, jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. We know, the tomato is debatable, but we have strong opinions here at MUNCHIES. And definitely keep your peas, jarred salsa, and cumin the hell outta here.

Chilaquiles with Roasted Tomato Salsa Recipe

We know it’s not likely that there are any leftovers after taco night, but just in case there are—chilaquiles are 100 percent the way to go to use all that good stuff up. And with an egg on top, you could justify eating tacos for breakfast.

Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme Recipe

Taco Bell might be "kind of a bastardization" of a "real taco," but it still has a soft spot in our hearts. For those days you can't get to one, a homemade crunchwrap supreme is possible—the only thing missing is the big icy cup of Baja Blast.

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