Walking Taco Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

This super-easy Walking Taco recipe is a fun, zesty dinner option that the whole family will go crazy for! Individual bags of chips make the perfect base for taco-seasoned beef and all your favorite toppings.

Fun, Flavorful Tacos in a Bag!

Have you ever heard of tacos in a bag, also known as walking tacos? A walking taco is a taco made with a bag of chips as the base, instead of a flour or corn tortilla. These are hugely popular all over the country, but especially in the Midwest. 

Walking tacos are a fun dinner option for when you just need to get everyone out the door, or if you’re looking for a kid-friendly birthday party lunch. Game night, movie, night, almost any night would be better with walking tacos!

(Looking for even more taco spinoff recipes? I’ve got ’em! Slow Cooker Cheesy Taco Pasta, Dorito Taco Salad, and Taco Ranch Chicken Chili are just a few fun ways to change up taco night.)

Overhead shot of a taco in a bag, made with doritos and toppings.

Why Is It Called a Walking Taco?

It’s not exactly clear why these cute little taco kits are called walking tacos, but most people think it’s because they are easier to carry around than a regular taco, without spilling. That’s definitely something to love about them! It’s also nice that you can customize the type of chip you use, and that there’s so little cleanup.

Ingredients for walking tacos, including chips, ground beef, shredded cheese, salsa, and more.

What You’ll Need

If you can brown ground beef in a skillet, you can make a walking taco! This recipe really couldn’t be any simpler. Here are the ingredients you will need to gather up:

Basic Walking Taco Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef: While ground chuck is a good, flavorful option, I’ve been going with lean ground beef these days. I like the fact that you don’t have to drain it much, if at all! You can use whatever ground beef you like, though.
  • Taco Seasoning: Homemade taco seasoning, or store-bought. It’s your call! I like this McCormick Taco Seasoning and buy it in bulk since we use it so often!
  • Salsa: I like to use a good chunky salsa so that the walking tacos don’t get too soggy. You could also use fresh Pico de Gallo.
  • Water: As needed, to make the beef just a bit saucy. You can also leave the water out.
  • Chips: We love corn chips, like Fritos or Doritos. You will need the small individual bags.

Optional Toppings:

Okay so, the sky is truly the limit when it comes to toppings. You can set out just one or two toppings, or go crazy with a whole slew of ’em. If you’re feeding kids, I recommend keeping things simple so they don’t accidentally overload the bags and spill them out.

  • Beans: Black beans or pinto beans, warmed up. Canned beans are great for this – just rinse, drain, and microwave or heat on the stovetop. Keep in mind that none of the toppings should be too hot.
  • Cheese: Queso, or shredded cheese.
  • Cilantro: Dice/chop the cilantro, or leave it out of you aren’t a cilantro fan!
  • Tomatoes: Diced, fresh tomatoes. Romas are great because they aren’t watery, but you can use whatever you have on hand – remove the pulp if it seems too liquid-y.
  • Onions: Regular onion or green onions, diced.
  • Lettuce: Chopped.
  • Black Olives: Sliced black olives are so yummy in this recipe! I often use canned, sliced olives, well-drained and rinsed.
  • Jalapeño: Sliced jalapeño is a great way to add some heat. If you’re not too sure about a spicy walking taco, try diced green bell pepper instead.
  • Avocado: Diced. Guacamole would also be great!
  • Sour Cream or Mexican Crema
  • Salsa: Additional salsa, whatever kind you like.
Overhead shot of four walking taco servings with spoons and toppings.

Let’s Make a Walking Taco!

The only cooking that you will have to do here is making the seasoned ground beef. Nothing to it! From there, you’ll assemble your walking taco, and munch away. Check it out:

  • Brown the Beef. Heat up a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat, and once it’s hot, add the ground beef. Let it cook until it’s no longer pink, breaking it up as you go.
  • Season the Beef. When the beef is nicely browned, sprinkle your taco seasoning all over it, along with the salsa. Stir to combine, and if it seems a little dry, ad a splash of water. Let this simmer until it thickens.
  • Make Tacos! Open up your chip bags, being careful not to rip down the sides of the bags. Each person can spoon in some ground beef, and add any desired toppings.
  • Enjoy!

How Are You Supposed to Eat a Walking Taco?

To eat a walking taco, you really will need spoons or forks – the chips are all at the bottom of the bag, so they don’t work well as nachos. It’s more like a taco salad. A spoon is probably easier than a fork for scooping up chips and toppings, but either one will work!

A plastic spoon in a taco-in-a-bag made with Fritos.

Recipe Notes

Want more pro tips for making (and eating) a walking taco? I’ve got you covered. Here are some helpful tricks and hacks for this easy recipe.

  • Crush the Chips: Not everyone loves it this way, but we personally like to lightly crush the chips before adding everything in. It makes a little more room in the bags and gives a better chip to toppings ratio!
  • Watch the Heat: Since these will be hand-held tacos in small chip bags, make sure your taco meat and any other warm toppings have cooled down a bit before you serve them. Piping hot toppings could burn if spilled, or even through the bag.
  • Meat: Ground chicken or turkey could also be used here, or you could make a meatless version with Mexican Beans, lentils, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, etc.
  • Chili Walking Tacos: This recipe is also amazing with your favorite Beef Chili in place of the taco meat. Yum!
  • Pulled Pork Walking Tacos: Yep, that’s right – throw some Pulled Pork on that walking taco for yet another twist!
  • Chicken Walking Tacos: Another fun option is to use my favorite Crockpot Salsa Chicken. The chicken goes especially well with white queso and lots of cilantro!
  • Sideways Bag: You can use a pair of scissors to cut the bag open sideways, instead of from the top. This will give you a wider, shallower walking taco with more room for toppings (but it will be slightly easier to spill).
  • Chip Variations: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Funyuns, Ruffles… you can honestly make this with almost any chip, not just your typical corn chips. Use what you love! Keep in mind that thinner chips will soften up faster and lose their crunch.
Lifting a bite of chips, beef, and shredded lettuce on a fork.

What to Serve with Walking Tacos

Walking tacos don’t necessarily need any side dishes – it’s all in the bag! Maybe just don’t forget the Margaritas, or Mangonadas for the kids, if it’s that kind of party! But if you would like to add something extra to your meal, I recommend something light and simple to balance out the savory, highly-seasoned taste of the chips and meat. These recipes would fit the bill perfectly:

Overhead shot of a walking taco with a plastic spoon in it.

Store and Reheating 

You won’t really be able to refrigerate an assembled walking taco without it becoming mushy, but you can definitely store the seasoned beef! It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days, sealed in an airtight container. Warm it up in a covered skillet, or just in the microwave, before serving.

Can I Freeze This?

The seasoned beef can be frozen in an airtight container or freezer bag for 3 months. Make sure to cool it down before packaging and freezing it. You can thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it to serve.

Taco toppings added to individual bags of chips.

More Great Taco Recipes

Walking taco made with Doritos, shredded lettuce, and more.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 6 Servings

Best Walking Taco Recipe

This super-easy Walking Taco recipe is a fun, zesty dinner option that the whole family will go crazy for! Individual bags of chips make the perfect base for taco-seasoned beef and all your favorite toppings.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients

Basic Walking Taco Ingredients:

Optional Toppings:

Instructions 

  • Cook the beef in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until the meat is no longer pink, breaking apart the meat as it cooks.
  • Add the taco seasoning and salsa and stir to combine. If needed, add the water and simmer until the meat is thickened. (Depending on the salsa you use, you may need to add water. Add the water if your meat is too dry/thick and you want to thin it out.)
  • Open the chip bags and allow everyone to assemble their walking tacos with the beef and all the optional toppings.

Notes

  • Storing: You won't really be able to refrigerate an assembled walking taco without it becoming mushy, but you can definitely store the seasoned beef! It will keep fresh in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days, sealed in an airtight container. Warm it up in a covered skillet, or just in the microwave, before serving.
  • Freezing: Taco meat can be frozen in a freezer bag or airtight container for 3 months. Thaw overnight before reheating.
  • Crush the Chips: Not everyone loves it this way, but we personally like to lightly crush the chips before adding everything in. It makes a little more room in the bags and gives a better chip to toppings ratio!
  • Watch the Heat: Since these will be hand-held tacos in small chip bags, make sure your taco meat and any other warm toppings have cooled down a bit before you serve them. Piping hot toppings could burn if spilled, or even through the bag.
  • Meat: Ground chicken or turkey could also be used here, or you could make a meatless version with Mexican Beans, lentils, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, etc.
  • Chili Walking Tacos: This recipe is also amazing with your favorite Beef Chili in place of the taco meat. Yum!
  • Pulled Pork Walking Tacos: Yep, that’s right – throw some Pulled Pork on that walking taco for yet another twist!
  • Chicken Walking Tacos: Another fun option is to use my favorite Crockpot Salsa Chicken. The chicken goes especially well with white queso and lots of cilantro!
  • Sideways Bag: You can use a pair of scissors to cut the bag open sideways, instead of from the top. This will give you a wider, shallower walking taco with more room for toppings (but it will be slightly easier to spill).
  • Chip Variations: Flamin' Hot Cheetos, Funyuns, Ruffles… you can honestly make this with almost any chip, not just your typical corn chips. Use what you love! Keep in mind that thinner chips will soften up faster and lose their crunch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 386kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 76mg, Sodium: 662mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 7g

Categories:

Post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Related Posts

Comments

We LOVE hearing from you! Submit your question or comment here and don’t forget to leave a rating! Click the icon below to upload a pic of your creation!

Recipe Rating:




0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thank You For Being Here!

Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.