An assembled walking taco rests in a stainless steel lunch box.

You could say that tacos need no improvement, but somehow they got even better with the invention of the Walking Taco. A bag of corn chips and your favorite taco ingredients are perfect for a busy weeknight, school lunches, campfire dinners, birthday parties, and more! This great idea has been around since the 1950s—and is still here for good reason.

A hand holds up a walking taco made in a bag of corn chips on a light background.

What is a walking taco? 

It’s a fun way to eat your favorite food! it just means that instead of using a taco shell or tortilla, all your favorite taco toppings are put on top of chips in a bag and eaten with a fork. That makes it easy to eat and walk!

Is this the same as frito pie?

Kind of! Frito pie is typically served as a casserole, but these walking tacos are basically the handheld version. But they do contain a lot of the same ingredients. 

What you’ll need to make these delicious walking tacos

Overhead of all ingredients needed to make walking tacos, including ground beef, taco seasoning, taco fixings, and bags of chips.
  • Ground Beef: Lean ground beef is our favorite for this recipe.
  • Taco Seasoning: Store-bought or homemade taco seasoning will both work.  
  • Water: A splash of water + taco seasoning = perfect taco meat.
  • Chips: We like Doritos or Fritos!
  • Shredded Cheese: A little (or a lot) of cheddar cheese is a must. 
  • Shredded Lettuce: All good tacos need a little green. 
  • Black Beans: One can, drained and rinsed. Or make your own.
  • Tomatoes: Freshly diced or canned work great! 

Protip: Add more flavor!

Use chicken or beef broth instead of water to infuse the meat mixture with even more flavor!

How much taco meat do you need per person?

These walking tacos are a great way to stretch a pack of ground beef because there are so many other fun ingredients to make room for too. A pound of ground beef will make at least six walking tacos, but you may be able to stretch it even further, depending on how many toppings you offer and the taste preferences of everyone eating.

How to make walking tacos

The only thing that makes taco night better is when it takes just 20 minutes to come together. Did we mention that these deconstructed tacos make clean up a breeze? Just crumple up the bag and throw it away. 

Collage of three easy steps to make walking tacos.
  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling into bite-size pieces as it cooks. Drain the fat, then return to heat.
  2. Add your taco seasoning and ¼ cup of water, simmering until fully incorporated.
  3. Grab a chip bag and start building your ideal walking taco. 

Protip: Pick the right size chip bags!

Traditionally made with a 1 oz bag of chips—which are perfect for kids—we recommend using a larger bag of chips to satisfy an adult-sized appetite.

How many people does this serve?

This recipe serves six, but can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled to serve as many people as you need. 

A corn chip snack bag stands up in a lunch box with the makings of a walking taco visible from the top of the bag, including corn chips, lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, and seasoned beef.

How to spice up your walking taco

The best part of Taco Tuesday? You can make it all your own with a walking taco bar! Add a fun twist to your deconstructed taco with the following—or make up your own tacos entirely and leave us a comment with your favorite toppings.

  • Not into red meat? Ground turkey or even ground chicken can be used too!
  • Turn these walking tacos into a vegetarian dream by using meatless crumbles or skipping the meat entirely.
  • Swap the black beans for pinto beans (or use both)! 
  • Any crunchy chips that come in an individual-sized bag will be perfect! We recommend a bag of Fritos, Nacho Cheese Doritos, Cool Ranch Doritos, Takis, etc. There are so many different options to choose from! 
  • It’s time for your favorite taco fillings to shine. Try adding green chiles, chopped bell pepper, green onion, avocado, a spoonful of elote, hot sauce, pico de gallo, or sour cream.
Overhead of a deconstructed taco lunch in a bento-style lunch box.

Can I make walking tacos ahead of time? 

This recipe is best assembled when ready to eat! If you’d like to prep ahead, cook the beef ahead and refrigerate, then keep all ingredients separate until ready to assemble.

If packing this in a school lunch, we recommend making a mini taco bar in their lunchbox by individually packing the ingredients so they can build it in the cafeteria. Who doesn’t love a little lunchtime arts and crafts? 

 
An assembled walking taco rests in a stainless steel lunch box.

Walking Tacos Recipe

Yield: 6 small walking tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Walking tacos are fun to eat and great for both packed lunches and campouts. These walking tacos are easy to make, affordable, and down-right delicious.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, brown the beef, crumbling it as you cook. Drain the fat, then return to the heat.
  2. Add the taco seasoning and ¼ cup of water and cook until the seasoning is consistent throughout.
  3. Assemble the walking tacos with the beef and toppings!

Notes

  • Feel free to use any of your favorite taco toppings, like sour cream, salsa, guacamole, avocado, sliced olives, nacho cheese, etc!
  • This recipe is best assembled when ready to eat. If you’d like to prep ahead, cook the beef ahead, then keep all ingredients separate until ready to assemble.
  • This is really fun party food, especially for kids! It’s also great for camping and tailgating!
  • We used 1 oz bags of chips to make our six small walking tacos, which are fairly small and don’t fill all adults up. For larger walking tacos, use 4 of these 2 oz bags of Fritos for this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1082Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 47gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 1201mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 8gSugar: 1gProtein: 37g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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