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Loaded with seasoned beef, melty cheese and plenty of toppings, Walking Tacos are the perfect on-the-go meal for parties, potlucks and weeknight meals!  

A walking taco topped with sour cream and jalapeños.

If you’re from the midwest, you’ve likely heard of a walking taco and enjoyed them at a variety of events.  Some people also call them “Frito Pies” or “Pepper Bellies!”  Either way, they’re essentially a taco in a chip bag, full of crunchy chips, seasoned meat and all the toppings…SOOO yummy!

Why I Love Walking Tacos

  • They’re the perfect party food!  Prep the meat, keep it warm in a slow cooker and set up a walking taco bar.
  • A taco in a bag with a plastic fork makes for few dishes and super easy clean up!  
  • Everyone can add their favorite toppings to customize it to their liking.
  • They’re super quick and easy to make, perfect for a busy weeknight!
  • Kids LOVE walking tacos.  There’s something about the individual bags of chips and choosing their own toppings that makes a kid love ’em!
The ingredients needed to make walking tacos on a white background.

What’s in a Walking Taco?

  • Ground Beef – You could also use ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey.
  • Dried Minced Onion – Optional, but adds a little extra flavor!
  • Water
  • Taco Seasoning – You can use mild taco seasoning or heat it up with medium or hot!  Store-bought or a homemade taco seasoning will work great!
  • Chips – I grew up eating these with original Doritos.  However, they’re also delicious with a bag of Fritos or Cool Ranch Doritos!
  • Cheese – Shredded cheddar cheese is my go-to, but you could opt to use Colby jack, Monterey Jack, pepper jack or even a creamy nacho cheese.
  • ​Your Favorite Taco Toppings – This is the best part….all the toppings!  I’ll list some ideas below.
Four walking tacos on a wooden board with toppings and forks.

Walking Taco Topping Ideas

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Jalapeños
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Diced avocado or guacamole 
  • Salsa, pico de Gallo and/or hot sauce
  • Black olives

How to Make Walking Tacos

Start by making the meat.  You’ll brown the ground beef with minced onion, then add water and taco seasoning.  Once it’s thickened a bit, you’re ready to build the walking tacos!

Take a pair of scissors and cut the top off of a small bag of chips.  

A small individual bag of Doritos opened.

Add some meat, cheese and toppings, grab a fork and enjoy!!

A fork scooping out a bite of a walking taco.

Making Walking Tacos for a Crowd

Walking tacos is a really great easy meal for a large crowd – fundraisers, birthday parties, football games, etc!  Here are a few tips if you’re making a large amount…

  • Plan on about 8 walking tacos per pound of ground beef (depending on how much meat you plan to put into them).
  • If you’re looking to save a few bucks, adding some black beans to the beef mixture will stretch the meat out a bit!
  • Once the meat is hot, store it in a slow cooker on low heat and make the walking tacos when ready to enjoy.
  • You can serve the walking tacos already put together (great for football games or fundraisers) or have the toppings on a table for everyone to customize them.
A walking taco in a Doritio bag with a fork scooping up a bite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make walking tacos without the bag?

You sure can…though they will no longer be as easy to eat “on the go!”  Use a bowl and layer chips, meat, cheese and toppings.  It’s essentially a deconstructed taco and just as delicious as a walking taco!

Is a walking taco the same thing as a “Frito Pie”?  

Some people use these two names interchangeably.  However, a Frito Pie is typically more of a casserole with similar ingredients, including a bag of corn chips, ground beef, cheese and toppings.

Are walking tacos the same thing as “pepper bellies?”

Yes!  In Southern California, they call them pepper bellies!

How should I store leftovers?

Store the leftover meat mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

A hand holding a walking taco made in a Frito bag.
A walking taco topped with sour cream and jalapeños.

Walking Tacos

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
8 walking tacos
Loaded with seasoned beef, melty cheese and plenty of toppings, Walking Tacos are the perfect on-the-go meal for parties, potlucks and weeknight meals!  

Equipment

  • One Skillet or Saucepan

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • One 1 ounce packet taco seasoning
  • Eight 1 ounce bags Doritos chips OR Fritos corn chips
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Toppings as desired (ie. shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa, black olives, etc!)

Instructions

  • Brown the ground beef with the minced onion in a large skillet; drain excess grease.
    1 pound ground beef, 2 teaspoons minced onion
  • Stir in the water and taco seasoning and cook on medium low heat for 5 minutes or until bubbly/thickened.
    1/2 cup water, One 1 ounce packet taco seasoning
  • To serve the walking tacos, crush a bag of chips and cut the bag open.
    Eight 1 ounce bags Doritos chips OR Fritos corn chips
  • Top with meat, cheese, and other desired toppings. Enjoy!
    2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, Toppings as desired (ie. shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapeños, sour cream, salsa, black olives, etc!)

Notes

  • Swap the ground beef for ground pork or ground turkey.
  • Keep the meat in a slow cooker on warm to serve later.

Nutrition

Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.9g | Trans Fat: 0.9g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.9g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 255mg | Iron: 1.4mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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