Walking Tacos are an easy way to eat your favorite Mexican meal on the go without all the mess! Take taco meat and your favorite toppings, place them into individual chip bags, grab a fork, and you’re ready to eat! These are a great option for Cinco de Mayo, football games, birthday parties, graduation parties, pool parties or even just Taco Tuesday!
What is a Walking Taco?
The term “walking taco” refers to taco fillings and toppings that are more easily eaten on the go (or when walking) as compared to actual tacos, which can be pretty messy! Generally, you see these in individual chip bags eaten with a fork!
Don’t confuse these with street tacos, which are delicious Mexican cuisine staples found in vendor carts, roadside stands, or food trucks.
SAVE THIS EASY WALKING TACOS RECIPE TO YOUR FAVORITE PINTEREST BOARD!
Where did the name Walking Tacos Originate?
Walking Tacos is the Midwest name for this taco dish. In the south, it’s often called Frito Pie, since you generally put the taco meat in a Frito bag. Other people call it Tacos in a Bag. If you hear someone call these “walking tacos,” they are probably either from the Midwest or got the recipe from someone who is!
What is the best type of chips for Walking Tacos?
You can make this easy meal with Doritos, Fritos, or tortilla chips. My husband loves using Cool Ranch Doritos! You want sturdy chips to hold all the taco meat and toppings without getting soggy.
Ingredients for Walking Tacos
You need just a few ingredients to make the taco meat:
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ¾ cup water
- 1 ounce taco seasoning (or use my homemade taco seasoning)
- 8 bags of chips
You can add any (or all) of your favorite taco toppings to these walking tacos. Here are some suggestions:
- Shredded cheese (use cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or your favorite cheese)
- Diced onions
- Diced tomatoes
- Chopped lettuce
- Scallions or green onions
- Diced green chiles
- Pico de gallo
- Taco sauce
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Black beans or pinto beans
- Black olives
How to make Walking Tacos
I’m so happy to share this easy walking taco recipe! Making the taco meat is so easy, and then you can choose how many toppings to provide based on your crowd.
- Cook the ground meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through. Drain the grease and return the beef to the pan.
- Add the water and taco seasoning to the pan. Cook until all the water has thickened into a sauce.
- Lightly crush each bag of chips, then cut off the top of each bag. Gently fold over the bags so there is less empty space. Scoop the taco meat into the bags.
- Top the taco meat with your favorite toppings. Stir to combine, and enjoy with a fork!
Will the heat of the taco meat melt the chip bags?
I have been making these for years, and the meat has never been hot enough to melt the chip bags. I promise this isn’t something you need to worry about!
Can I make these with ground turkey?
You can make these with ground chicken or turkey if you’re avoiding red meat. There’s also a meatless option by just using beans and other taco toppings!
Can these Walking Taco Bags be made in advance?
Yes, you can make these in advance—sort of. I don’t recommend assembling them until you are ready to serve, or the chips will get soggy. This is a perfect party food because you can make the meat ahead of time and keep it warm in a crockpot until ready to serve.
You can also freeze the cooked taco meat, then thaw and heat it in a saucepan before serving. This works great if you’re going camping or are making these for a large crowd and need to cook a whole bunch of meat at once. It also makes clean up easy on the day of your event.
Can I make Walking Tacos without the expensive chip bags?
While technically they aren’t walking tacos without the bag, you can make a Walking Taco Bar if you want to save money by avoiding the expensive single-serve chip bags. Instead, buy party-size bags of chips, lightly crush them, then pour them into a large serving bowl.
Guests can assemble their walking tacos on a plate or in a bowl as they like. It’s not as fun as eating them out of a chip bag, but it does save you money!
Other Taco Recipes
There are so many fun ways to serve taco meat! Here are some of my favorites:
- Taco Braid– This has been a reader favorite for years!
Fill dough with taco meat and cheese, bake it, and top it with your favorite taco toppings!
- Taco Pockets– a bite-sized way to get your taco fix!
- Easy Layered Taco Dip– I love serving this as a delicious appetizer at parties!
- Slow Cooker Carne Asada Taco Boats– elevate your tacos with tender, savory carne asada!
Mexican Inspired Recipes
Make some of these delicious Mexican-inspired recipes next time!
- Skillet Mexican Corn
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole
- Loaded Huevos Rancheros
- Mexican Wedding Cookies
Walking Tacos Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ¾ cup water
- 1 ounce taco seasoning
- 8 bags of chips single-serve
- Toppings as desired
- Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until the meat is cooked through. Drain the grease and return the beef to the pan.
- Add the water and taco seasoning to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until all the water has thickened into a sauce.
- Lightly crush the bags of chips and cut off the top of each bag.
- Scoop the taco meat into the bags.
- Top the taco meat with your favorite toppings.
- Feel free to substitute ground chicken or turkey for the ground beef, or go meatless by using beans for protein.
- Use tortilla-style chips like Doritos, Fritos, or classic tortilla chips for best results, but you can use any kind of chips.
- Note that nutritional information can vary depending on the specific chips and toppings used. The nutritional values seen below have been calculated using only lean ground beef, water, taco seasoning, and a bag of Doritos.