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Sarah's Tacos


Sarah Carey, editor of Everyday Food, says, "Add a teaspoon of sugar to the filling if you like a hint of sweetness (I do about half the time). Making your own shells is easy, but you could also buy them."

  • Yield: Makes 8

Photography: Bryan Gardner

Source: Everyday Food, September 2012


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste (from a 6-ounce can)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 pound ground beef (80 percent lean)
  • Coarse salt
  • 8 crisp taco shells
  • Lettuce, tomatoes, scallions, cheddar, and lime wedges, for serving


  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, cayenne (if using), and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

  2. Add beef and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. Spoon off excess fat. Serve filling in taco shells with toppings.

Cook's Notes

Sarah says, "My aunt Colleen made these tacos all the time when I was little, so I call them 1970s tacos (though they're actually pretty classic). The secret is in the filling: Using a few bold flavors and zesty spices is just as easy as tossing in some store-bought seasoning packet, and way more delicious! Now I make them for my kids on special occasions -- like Monday-night dinner."

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