Five Taco Recipes for Your Next Family Dinner


Tacos make me super happy.

Some of my favorite restaurants in Cincinnati offer delicious tacos. Hardshell, softshell, nachos (let’s be honest, they are just hard shell tacos that are less messy to eat), even double shell with cheese in between – all are good in my book! When we don’t know what to eat for dinner, tacos are our go-to meal. Below you will find some of our favorite recipes that you can make to celebrate tacos!


Taco Salad


  • 1 lb ground 90/10 ground beef or turkey
  • 1 packet favorite taco seasoning
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/3 a cup of water
  • 1 cup of chunky salsa at your desired spice level
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 head of lettuce of choice (we use romaine)
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, tomato, jalapeño, sour cream, cheese, and dressing


    1. Brown ground meat, adding in diced onions about halfway through cooking. Once no longer pink, drain the fat.
    2. Cut and wash the lettuce while the meat is cooking.
    3. Sprinkle taco seasoning over meat and onions and let cook for about 30 seconds (this allows the seasoning to toast for a little bit)
    4. Add in the water and combine it with the meat. It will be a little thicker than a regular taco mixture.
    5. Add in the salsa, beans, and corn, then stir to combine.
    6. Let sit for 5 minutes to slightly cool, then serve over lettuce with desired toppings.

Taco Ziti


  • 1 lb ground 90/10 ground beef or turkey
  • 1 packet favorite taco seasoning
  • 2/3 cup of tap water
  • 6 ounces of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 cup of reserved pasta water
  • Salt


    1. Bring water to a boil and add in a couple of shakes of salt, then the rigatoni. Cook pasta until al dente, and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. Return the pasta to the pot.
    2. While the pasta is cooking, brown meat until no longer pink, drain, then add in taco seasoning and cook for 30 seconds. Add in 2/3 cup of tap water and cook the mixture for 2 minutes.
    3. Dice the cream cheese into chunks and add it to the taco meat. Stir until completely melted and combined.
    4. Add in the cheese and stir until melted. If mixture at this point seems too thick, add in a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water until slightly thinned out, but still pretty thick.
    5. Combine the meat and cheese mixture with the pasta and stir until combined.
    6. Serve immediately.

Spicy Shrimp Tacos


  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons of adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of oil of choice
  • Corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray


    1. Combine adobo sauce and honey in a medium-sized bowl, then add shrimp.
    2. Stir to coat the shrimp and let sit for 5 minutes.
    3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add shrimp to skillet.
    4. Cook shrimp 1-2 minutes per side (they cook quickly!) or until firm and no longer translucent.
    5. Removed from skillet and place in a bowl.
    6. In a separate skillet warm your tortillas, spraying the pan before putting each tortilla in.
    7. Serve with a creamy slaw like this one.

Corn and Black Bean Tacos or Quesadillas


  • 1 can of black beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 packet favorite taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • Taco size flour tortillas
  • Optional: cheese


    1. Add oil to pan and heat over medium heat.
    2. Once the oil is hot add in the diced onions, then cook until slightly browned and charred.
    3. Add in the black beans and corn, stir.
    4. Add in a packet of taco seasoning and water.
    5. Slightly mash the beans to make it slightly creamy. If the mixture is thick, add in a bit more water.
    6. Warm flour tortillas in a separate pan.
    7. Serve as a taco, or add cheese to the tortilla and cook as a quesadilla.

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

These can also be made in the crockpot. Start with Step 2, then instead of the Instant Pot, place it in the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours, low for 6.


  • 2 chicken breasts, trimmed
  • One 16 oz jar of chunky salsa of your choice (even fruit-based like mango!)
  • One packet of taco seasoning
  • One onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Taco Size Flour Tortillas
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole


  1. Turn on the Instant Pot.
  2. Mix the salsa, taco seasoning, onions, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
  3. Put the chicken breast in the pot and top with salsa mixture while completely coating the chicken.
  4. Turn Instant Pot lid to close and check to make sure the knob is on sealed.
  5. Set Instant Pot to poultry setting and adjust time to 12 minutes (10 minutes if breasts are thinner). Once the timer goes off do quick pressure release.
  6. Remove chicken from pot and shred.
  7. Add chicken back into the sauce and serve.

Want some delicious guacamole to go with your taco feast? Check out this recipe!

What are your favorite taco recipes? Share them in the comments!

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Kristin Latchaw
I am a born and raised Cincinnatian, and I love this city and everything it has to offer. I'm married to my wonderful husband, Joe, and our daughter is a spunky, opinionated toddler named Rozlyn. I was raised a West Sider, but moved northeast shortly before marriage. My husband teases that West Side roots run deep, and I cannot go anywhere without seeing someone I know! I love exploring the city with my little family. Some of the most fun we have had together is when we just get up and see where the day takes us. I am embracing my current role as a SAHM and constantly learning as I go!


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