Do you love a good taco? Not the seasoning packet and ground beef  kind of taco, but REAL tacos. Nowadays, I’m always on the hunt for an authentic taco – they’re everywhere these days! I’d be lying if I said I had authentic Mexican tacos growing up in Wichita Falls. Back then, my mom bought hard shells and we filled them with ground beef, bagged shredded cheese, and plenty sour cream (of course!).

Today the world us much more taco-savvy than that. New York has a ton of incredible taquerias (and I’ve tried most of them!), but when my taco craving hits, there’s no time to go out. That’s why I needed a 20 minute taco recipe in my arsenal. When I want tacos, I want them fast! This version uses ground pork, but any ground meat would do. Use what you like! A bit of onion, garlic, chilies and cumin are all I need to add some major flavor into these tacos. Let me show you how it’s done.


Cast of characters: Corn tortillas, ground pork, onion, garlic, chili pepper, garlic, cumin, lime, avocado, cilantro, and queso fresco


Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Then add 1/2 a chopped onion, two minced cloves of garlic, and one minced hot pepper of your choice. I used a Thai long chili pepper because I had it on hand, but you could use jalapeño, or even habanero if you REALLY love spice.


Sauté until everything is soft and starting to caramelize. Your kitchen will smell incredible!


Next, throw in a pound of ground pork, and break it up into little bits with your wooden spatula. IMG_0168

Once the meat it browned and cooked through, season with salt and a teaspoon of cumin. Stir it all together and smell that smoky goodness!


Now that your taco filling is ready, you can toast up some corn tortillas on your stovetop. I just set them on top of the burner for a few seconds until they begin to char. So easy!


Once they’re nice and toasty, I like to spread my tortillas with a little mashed avocado. I just used a fork to mash up one avocado with a pinch of salt. But if you feel like making up a batch of guac, go right ahead!


Next I layer on some meat and top each taco with cilantro and creamy queso fresco. Queso fresco is just a mild, creamy Mexican cheese. It crumbles beautifully and adds a touch of richness to the tacos. If you can’t find queso fresco, use any cheese you like. A squeeze of lime is the final touch – now I’m ready to eat!

Spicy, creamy, and fresh, these tacos are just like the ones I love from the taquerias. They’re the perfect solution to your weeknight dinner rush or an intense taco craving any time of week. Enjoy!

Do you have a weekly taco night? What are your favorite fillings? Let me know! Comment, Tweet, and Facebook me!

Smoky Pork  Tacos 

Makes 8

1 T olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 hot pepper, minced

1 pound ground pork

1 teaspoon cumin


8 corn tortillas

1 avocado, mashed

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco

Cilantro sprigs

Lime wedges, for serving


Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and chili. Saute until mixture begins to caramelize. Add ground pork and break meat up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and cumin. Cook until browned and cooked through. Set aside.

Turn gas burner on medium-low heat. Using tongs, place on tortilla over flame and toast until just charred. Flip and repeat on other side. Repeat for remaining tortillas.

Mash one avocado with a generous pinch of salt. Spread mixture onto tortillas. Top each with meat, crumbled cheese, and cilantro. Serve with a wedge of lime for squeezing.