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Classic Tacos
with iceberg lettuce and avocado salad

Active: 35 minTotal: 35 min

First featured as "Taco Night!" in the early days of our meal plan service, this fun recipe leads to a taco bar where everyone can build their own right at the dinner table. It's a classic dinner that we love as much today as we did when it was first featured in March 2014.



Classic Tacos:
  • Beef, ground and lean - 1 lb
  • Coriander - 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin - 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Jalapenos (opt) - 2, diced
  • Onions, medium - 1, diced
  • Lettuce, small iceburg - 1/4 head, sliced
  • Cilantro - 1/4 bunch, chopped
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Tomatoes, crushed - 3/4 cup
  • Tomato paste - 1 Tbsp
  • Taco shells - 8 (use soft tortillas if you prefer)
  • Limes - 1/2, wedges
  • Cheese, shredded white cheddar - 4 oz
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1/2 cup
  • Salsa - 1/2 cup (choose your favorite)
Iceberg Lettuce and Avocado Salad:
  • Lettuce, small iceburg - 1/4 head, sliced
  • Paprika - 1/4 tsp
  • Vinegar, red wine - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Brown sugar - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp ((like grapeseed, vegetable, or avocado))
  • Avocados - 1, cubed

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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  1. Season meat - Combine beef with coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and chili powder. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  2. Garlic / Jalapenos / Onions / Lettuce (for tacos and salad) / Cilantro- Prep as directed. Combine jalapenos and onions. Store remaining ingredients separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)


  1. Heat oven to 375F / 190C.
  2. Make vinaigrette by whisking together paprika, red wine vinegar, sugar and oil (the portion for the salad). Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil (the portion for the tacos) and then jalapenos and onions with a bit of salt to heated oil. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, ~1 minute.
  4. Next add in ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Saute until broken up into smaller pieces, 4 to 6 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until meat is cooked through. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.
  5. Place taco shells on a sheet pan and bake in oven until warm and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Cube avocados and slice lime into wedges. Toss chopped iceberg lettuce and avocados with vinaigrette.
  7. Set out your taco bar: taco shells, meat filling, lettuce, cheese, yogurt, lime wedges, cilantro and salsa and let everyone assemble their own tacos. Enjoy with salad.

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This meal has 37 reviews

I made it for a crowd and it went over well! Keeping it as a favorite for a classic homemade taco meat! I got 85/15 meat and it definitely needed a little draining before adding the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. I added back extra seasoning that was drained off.

By: Lindsey
Posted: Apr 16, 2018
Diet: Original

You can't go wrong with tacos!

By: Katie
Posted: Oct 16, 2017
Diet: Original

Tacos were delicious!

By: Allison
Posted: Jul 28, 2017
Diet: Original

OMG, so yummy, tasty, and delicious! The salad was the perfect partner for this dish. Definitely one of our favorites now.

By: Nina
Posted: Jul 12, 2017
Diet: Original

Very good taste to the meat, although mine came out pretty greasy. The avocado salad was also yummy.

By: Jenna
Posted: Jun 13, 2017
Diet: Original

Really good taco meat - I used pork/veal which I like more than plain beef. Didn't make the salad as I can't eat avocado, so not sure what it was like...

By: Donna
Posted: May 22, 2017
Diet: Gluten-free