Soft Beef Tacos and Taco Tray

By April 29, 2014Recipes


Back in January, when the snow was deep and the temperatures had fallen, we escaped to Mexico.  The weather was a constant 85 degrees and the shine didn’t stop shining, not even once.  We had a great trip full of wonderful memories.  We also ate a lot of really great food.  I happen to love Mexican food.  Tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, margaritas….. what’s not to love?  (Oh, refried beans.  I do not love refried beans!)  As next Monday is Cinco de Mayo, I thought it would be the perfect time to reminisce about our trip and bring back the flavors of that beautiful place.

I’m not sure how authentic my recipe is, but we’ve been enjoying this simple taco recipe for years.  I always use my homemade salsa, but you can use any bottled brand or variety.  My husband prefers to use soft tortillas and I prefer to spoon the beef over shredded lettuce and taco chips to make a taco salad.  We have no rules, crunchy or soft.  Medium or mild.  Either way, it’s a delicious recipe.

Soft Beef Tacos

1  1/2 lbs. of ground beef

1 cup salsa, medium or mild, your preference

1/4 cup beef broth

1 Tablespoons minced garlic

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

salt and pepper, to taste

soft tortillas or tortilla chips

Brown beef until cooked, about 3 minutes.  Drain grease.  Add salsa, broth, garlic, sugar and soy sauce; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until beef is tender, stirring often, about an hour.  Season with salt and pepper.

Warm tortillas and top with beef mixture, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and/or guacamole.  Or, use tortilla chips to create a taco salad.  In my humble opinion, I think Johnnies Restaurant Style Utz White Corn Tortilla Chips are the best chips ever!  These chips can stand on their own, they are crispy, salty and have a slight corn flavor.   Just perfect for tacos, dips or salsa.    


This appetizer is one of my daughter’s favorites.  Again, it’s very simple.  (She usually whips it up herself these days.)  You can get creative with your toppings depending on what you have on hand and create a totally different dip based on your choices.

Taco Tray

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1 envelope taco seasoning packet or DIY Taco Seasoning Packet (see recipe below)

toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green chilies, black olives, avocadoes…….

Mix all ingredients well.  Spread mixture onto a plate or tray.  Refrigerate for an hour.

Before serving, top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and/or chopped green chilies.

Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.


*This DIY taco seasoning mix just might save you a trip to the store, plus you can control what goes into the mix.  You can crank up the heat by adding some extra spice or lower the sodium levels by cutting back on the salt.

DIY Taco Seasoning Packet

2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder

3/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon dried oregano

Mix seasonings together and use in place of one premade packet of taco seasoning.


Now, I just need to perfect my margarita recipe before Monday!!

*To the best of my ability, I have tried to indicate all ingredients, products and equipment that are available at Johnnies in Bold Print.  


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