Both of my sons are swimmers and, like so many sports activities, the summer swim meets are always over dinnertime. Typically, I feed the boys an early meal and pack a few snacks for them to eat later.  This helps limit the flow of snack bar dinners and treats.

At a recent meet, my younger son approached me as I was doing my timing duties and asked if he could buy a “walking taco,” saying he had never ever tried this snack bar special. Because I firmly believe that treats have their place, I said yes.  When he returned a few minutes later to tell me they were sold out, I told him we could make them at home one evening soon.

So, a few nights later, he invited a couple of his pals for a walking taco dinner.  My family actually loves a traditional taco salad, and I always load it with all sorts of ingredients that make it both healthy and delicious.  A few tortilla chips crushed over top add crunch and flavor without doing too much damage.  (My favorite are the Hint of Lime variety…so much so that I make a copycat version!)  And while we typically don’t eat our dinner out of a snack bag, this was a fun treat for the kids and is a clever idea for a child’s birthday party.  My husband and I stuck with a plated version, so feel free to choose either option.

The homemade taco seasoning provides extra flavor with spices you likely have on hand, minus the preservatives in store-bought varieties.  For that recipe, click here.  For my homemade take on our much-loved Hint of Lime tortilla chip, click on this link.

Walking Tacos

Yield: 1 pound of ground beef will be enough for about 6 walking tacos

Walking Tacos

This is a clever idea for a kids’ party or a fun dinner or lunch. If you add enough veggies and serve with something healthy on the side, you don’t have to feel guilty about an occasional walking taco!

We also like to assemble the taco salad ingredients on a plate, drizzle with a dressing of half ranch, half salsa, and top with crushed tortilla chips for a delicious and fairly healthy taco salad without the bag.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning mix (see link for homemade version)
  • Chopped tomato
  • Shredded lettuce (I like shredded hearts of romaine)
  • Chopped onion or green onions
  • Cooked corn
  • Chopped avocado
  • Shredded cheese (Mexican blend, cheddar, or your favorite)
  • Sliced black olives
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa or picante sauce
  • Individual lunch-sized bags of Doritos or corn chips

  1. Brown the ground beef and drain.
  2. Add the taco seasoning mix, cooking according to directions.
  3. To assemble: Break the chips before opening the bag. (Best to gently crush but not pulverize!) Open the bag of chips, being careful not to tear down the side, as this is your bowl!
  4. Add toppings of choice.
  5. Leave a little room at the top of the bag so you have room to mix.
  6. Grab a fork and dig in!