Oct. 4 is National Taco Day! {Our Favorite Recipes}


Tacos are having a moment and I’m here for it. Not only are tacos an easy meal, but they also check off all the boxes for quick, versatile and kid-friendly. They really are a busy Mama’s dream. You can go as simple as getting a box kit at the grocery store along with some of your favorite protein (ground beef, ground turkey, pulled pork, shrimp, etc.) or you can go all out and make everything from scratch with an endless toppings bar. Whichever way you choose, there really is no wrong way!

Now, I’m not one to brag, but my kids tell me that I make the bests tacos (insert huge belly laugh here).


So, in honor of National Taco Day, I’m sharing some of the ways we will be celebrating. We will definitely be eating tacos, but we will also be singing about them. The Taco Song is the perfect pre-dinner jam to get you pumped up (you’re welcome). To add to our taco fun, we will also read one of our favorite books, Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and David Salmieri. If you don’t have the book, you can find a read-a-loud on YouTube.

I like to keep the food simple as my kids are minimalists with completely unrefined palates. Their taco orders consist of cheese and meat, just like their burger orders. I also don’t have a lot of time on my hands to get dinner on the table, so I do a lot ahead of time (either the night before or over the weekend). Here is what the “taco night” orders look like at my house.

Ollie’s order: soft shell, meat, cheese and sour cream
Sammy’s order: hard shell, meat and cheese
Daddy’s order: soft shell stuffed to the brim with all the toppings on the table
Mommy’s order: soft shell, refried beans, cheese, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream

As you can see, our orders vary, but they all start with a shell and end with a variety of fillings. I also keep a bowl of tortilla chips on the table for dipping in the salsa and guac, which is usually how I like to finish my meal. While our array of stuffings and toppings have changed over the years as our lives, available time and dietary preferences have changed, we continue to love the versatility of the taco.

I hope you take some time today to enjoy a taco or two any way you like! Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

1 16oz package of pinto beans
4 cups cold water
1 onion, quartered
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Pour the beans into a bowl. Sort the beans to remove any bad beans or pebbles that may have found their way into the bag. Fill the bowl with cold water and soak the beans for a few hours or overnight. You will see the beans start to swell and soak up the water.

2. Drain the water from the beans and pour them into your slow cooker. Add 4 cups of water, the quartered onion and the 4 cloves of garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

3. Once the beans are cooked, remove some of the liquid and set aside. Use a potato masher or hand blender to mash up the beans. Add the liquid back in small amounts to achieve the consistency you want.

4. Serve or freeze in airtight containers. You can also add other seasonings to the beans as you like; cumin is a great addition as is cayenne pepper if you want them spicier. You can also add a jalapeno in step 2.

Homemade Salsa

1 good-sized tomato, seeded and quartered
1 slice of onion
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon of chopped jalapeno, seeded
6 cilantro stems with leaves, chopped
Juice of 1/2 of a lime
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put everything into a food chopper or blender (I use my bullet) until it is the consistency you like.
2. All ingredient measurements are flexible. Use more jalapeno if you like it spicier or less if you don’t. Same with the onion, garlic and cilantro.
2. Pour into a small serving bowl and enjoy with tortilla chips or on your taco!

Mama D’s Guacamole

1 medium-sized ripe avocado
1 clove of garlic, peeled and pressed or finely diced
The leaves of 6 cilantro stems, chopped
Juice of 1/2 of a lime
Salt to taste
A few grape tomatoes, diced (optional)
Diced jalapeno (optional)

1. Cut open the avocado and remove the seed. Using a fork, scrape out the “meat” into a bowl. Mash with a fork.
2. Add the garlic, chopped cilantro leaves (no stems), lime juice, and salt. Mix well.
3. All ingredient measurements are flexible. Use more garlic if you like it garlicky. Same with the cilantro.
4. If using, fold in the diced jalapeno and diced tomatoes.
5. Serve and enjoy with tortilla chips or on your taco!