A Taco Burger, or sometimes referred to as a Tex-Mex Burgers, is one of those fast foods that has been around since the 50s.
It’s an easy meal to prepare quickly with minimal effort but still offers great flavor.
While many people associate tacos with Mexican food, the taco burger originated from America’s melting pot where cultures come together creating something new and unique.
What Type Of Meat Is Used In A Taco Burger?
The main ingredient in a Taco Burger is ground beef that comes in different cuts like chuck, flank steak, rib eye, etc.
The most common cut used for burgers is round steak which is also called top sirloin.
This meat can be found in many grocery stores and is usually sold near the other red meats such as pork shoulder, short ribs, brisket, and tripe.
Taco burgers use all kinds of toppings including lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, lime slices, ketchup, mayonnaise, and bacon bits.
Ground Beef Cuts Used in Tacos
- Flank Steak – This thick steak is leaner than others so it doesn’t add too much fat to your taco burger. Flank steaks are often tough so they need to be cooked long enough before you put them on a bun.
- Short Ribs – Short ribs are not only tender but full flavored. They have more marbling which means there are lots of small pieces of fat throughout the muscle. When cooking these types of beef, you should cook them slowly over low heat until they reach 145 degrees F (63.8 degrees Celsius). Then let them rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into bite size portions.
- Brisket – Brisket is very fatty so when making a taco burger, you want to keep the amount of fat to a minimum. You should always check the temperature of your brisket because if you don’t, it will take longer to cook and become dry and tasteless.
- Pork Shoulder – Pork shoulder is similar to brisket because it contains a lot of fat. But unlike brisket, pork shoulder does not require a temperature reading before putting it on the grill. As long as you know how much time you have left and adjust accordingly, you shouldn’t run out of time while waiting for your dinner to finish cooking.
- Tripe – Tripe is made up of three layers. There is the outer membrane, the middle layer, and the innermost part. The outer membrane needs to be removed prior to eating because it is extremely chewy. However, once you remove the membrane, it becomes soft and edible. Tripe is typically served boiled.
What Seasonings Are Used To Make A Taco Burger?
The main ingredients for making a taco burger include ground beef, shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and pico de gallo (a fresh salsa).
These items can be found at most grocery stores so it shouldn’t be difficult to get them on hand when preparing your own taco burger.
In addition to these basic ingredients, there are some other things you may want to add depending on how spicy you want your taco burger to taste.
A few examples would be jalapenos or cayenne pepper.
You can also use hot sauce if you prefer more heat than regular seasonings.
If you do not have all of these ingredients handy, don’t worry because they are simple enough to find at any grocery store.
Ingredients for a taco burger
- 1 pound ground beef
- 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, grated or shredded
- 6 slices tomato, diced
- ½ cup lettuce leaves, chopped fine
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Pico de Gallo (optional)
- Hot Sauce (optional)
Note: If using hot sauce, add 1 tablespoon per serving
How Long Does A Taco Burger Take To Cook?
The average time it takes to cook a taco burger ranges between 15 minutes to 20 minutes depending on your desired cooking temperature.
This includes all steps such as prepping the meat, assembling the burgers, and then finally cooking them until they reach the desired doneness.
To help you gauge how long the cooking process will last, here’s what I do when I want to know how long my favorite dish will take me to complete:
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 C)
- Place a large skillet over medium heat
- Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Once the oil gets hot, add 4 patties in batches
- Cook each side for 3 to 5 minutes before flipping again and continuing to cook the other sides for another 3 to 5 minutes
- Transfer cooked burgers onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
- Bake at 350 F (177 C) for 8 to 10 minutes
If you prefer using a grill to cook your tacos, there’s no need to wait for your stovetop burner to get hot.
Just follow these same instructions to cook your burgers on your grill pan.
The only difference here is that instead of placing the burgers directly into the heated pan, place your burgers on a baking rack placed inside the pan so that the grease drips off while the burgers cook through.
What Are The Ingredients Needed For A Taco Burger?
The main ingredient in any taco burger is ground beef.
You can use either lean or extra fatty meat depending on your preference.
If you want more fat in your burgers then add it yourself by using either butter or oil when cooking them.
Next up is lettuce which can be used to top off the burger patty.
Then comes the cheese; usually cheddar or mozzarella but other cheeses like Swiss or Provolone can also work well.
Finally, we need some fresh tomatoes along with onion, peppers, jalapeño if desired, and salsa.
The last thing that makes a good taco burger is guacamole.
Keep reading to find out how to make a tasty taco burger at home.
What Flavors Does A Taco Burger Have?
The typical taco burger contains ground beef, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and mayo.
This combination of ingredients can be found in most restaurant menus across the country.
However, there are some variations on the traditional taco burger which will make it more interesting.
Some restaurants add avocado slices to their burgers while others use guacamole instead of mayonnaise.
You might also see a few different types of toppings such as bacon bits, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa, etc.
The best part about these additions is that they give your taco burger its own distinct taste and texture so you don’t need to eat just one type of burger all the time.
Taco burger topping options
- Bacon bits
- Jalapeño pepper slices
- Sour cream
- Cheddar cheese
- Lettuce leaves
Is A Taco Burger A Healthy Option?
Taco burgers are not only considered fast food, they were also considered unhealthy when they first came on the scene in the 1950s because they contain high amounts of fat.
However, today there are healthier versions of these dishes available for purchase at most supermarkets and restaurants.
In fact, some places even offer vegetarian options.
While it may be hard to find a vegan version, vegans will likely enjoy a taco burger just fine if offered in a restaurant.
Some restaurants add egg substitutes like eggs whites to their meatless burgers so they can still taste similar to regular ground beef patties.
How Can You Make A Taco Burger More Flavorful?
When it comes to making any dish more flavorful, there are four main things to consider: seasoning, cooking time, temperature, and how much oil is used when frying your ingredients. While these may seem like obvious tips, they are often overlooked in recipes and end up being important factors for success.
- Seasoning – The first thing to do is add salt and pepper to your meat before adding other seasonings. This will allow the spices to penetrate into the meat so that all of the different flavors meld together perfectly.
- Cook Time – When pan-frying your burgers, cook them until just done (160°F). By not overcooking them, you don’t risk drying out their crust which makes them less tender. If you want to get really fancy about it, put your burgers on the grill instead of in the skillet. Grill them until they reach 160°F, then finish off by flipping them over and finishing them under the broiler for 30 seconds.
- Temperature – To avoid burning your meat, keep your fryer at medium heat, 350º F to 375º F. You can also use a cast iron skillet if you have one handy. Cast iron pans stay hot longer than nonstick pans, which means you won’t need to flip your burgers as often if you are using them.
- Oil Amount – As I mentioned earlier, adding too little oil to your pan could result in dry burgers while having too much oil will cause your breading to fall apart. A good rule of thumb is 1/4 cup per batch of burgers.
With these simple steps, you can take your taco burger to a whole new level of tasty.
What Toppings Should Be Added To A Taco Burger?
There are two main types of taco burgers which include all beef and no meat at all.
The most common type of taco burger includes ground beef in addition to onions, lettuce, cheese, and tomato sauce.
Another variation on the theme involves using only ground beef without any other ingredients, such as tomatoes, lettuce, onion, etc., which makes for a completely vegetarian option.
The options for toppings vary depending upon what region you live in – some may add sliced jalapeños while others will use pickled peppers instead.
Whatever your preference, there is always room for customization when making a taco burger.
Pickled vegetables are excellent additions to a taco burger because they provide tangy, spicy flavor.
Pickles also have a low sodium content so they won’t cause bloating if taken regularly.
Some popular brands of pickle chips include Baked Onion Chips, Chipotle Cilantro Lime Flavored Jalapenos, and Sweet & Spicy Dill Pickle Chips.
You can even find them in smaller bags than the larger ones sold in supermarkets.
An abundance of fresh onions are used by chefs to enhance the taste of their dishes, especially when preparing sauces.
They work well in both sweet and savory dishes alike.
When adding chopped raw onions to a taco burger, choose small white onions rather than red ones – these tend to hold up better under heat.
If you prefer, try adding thinly sliced green onions instead.
Chile peppers add extra spice to a taco burger, and in particular, chipotle chili powder provides an intense smoky flavor.
However, if you want less fire then opt for milder varieties like poblano or serrano.
If you need to reduce the amount of heat further then remove the seeds before chopping (or leave them in).
Adding shredded cheddar cheese gives a nice creamy texture and adds another layer of flavor to a taco burger.
This works best when combined with other cheeses such as mozzarella and jack cheese.
You can easily cut down on fat by choosing lower-fat versions of cheddar cheese.
For example, Kraft Singles 2% Milk Sharp White Cheddar Cheese contains just 0.5 grams of saturated fat per ounce compared to regular cheddar cheese which contains 3 grams.
Topping a taco burger with sour cream will help bring moisture into the dish.
Sour cream also helps prevent the burger from drying out too much during cooking time.
Is It Possible To Make A Vegan Version Of A Taco Burger?
Tacos are typically made using meat such as beef, chicken, pork, or even fish, but there have also been some vegetarian versions on offer in recent years.
However, not all taco burgers contain meat at all, so if you want to try making your own vegan version without any animal products whatsoever, then you can do just that by following these simple steps below.
- Use a vegetable oil spray when cooking the burger patties to prevent them sticking to each other.
- If you don’t like the taste of beans, use another legume instead.
- You can add more vegetables into your burger to increase its nutritional value.
- Make sure you season the burger well before adding anything else because salt will cause the spices to dissolve off.
- Don’t forget to put cheese over the top once everything is cooked through.
What Type Of Bun Is Best For A
Taco burgers are typically served on soft buns, such as hamburger rolls or hot dog buns.
These types of buns have more moisture than regular white bread which makes them ideal for holding juicy ingredients like meat or cheese.
If you want your taco burger to be extra moist then try using the same kind of bun used in a cheeseburger instead.
If you don’t want to use any sort of bun at all, just place some lettuce leaves inside of a paper bag before folding over the sides.
This will help hold everything together while keeping it fresh until you get home.
- 1 cup corn chips finely crushed
- 1 seasoning envelope taco
- 1 tablespoon onion dried minced
- 1 egg large
- 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 6 slices cheddar cheese
- Sandwich buns
- Lettuce leaves
- Tomato slices
- Combine the corn chips, taco seasoning, onion, and egg in a big bowl. Add beef crumbles to the mixture and stir well. Into six patties, form.
- For 7-8 minutes on each side or until a thermometer registers 160°, grill covered over medium heat or broil 4 inches from the heat.
- Each burger should include a slice of cheese on top. Serve on buns with salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes, if desired.