Fried Tacos with Beef and Cheese

12 tacos
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Fried Tacos Recipe
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Helpful Equipment:

Skillet Tortilla Press

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Fried tacos made from quick masa tortillas and filled with a spicy beef mixture and cheese, of course. A bit of a Tex-Mex project, but worth it!

Inspired by a Los Tacos No. 1 creation.


Tortilla Mixture:

2 cups ground masa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
8 ounces queso fresco or other cheese
1 qt. vegetable oil, for frying

Filling Options:

1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 tablespoons water
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Fresh cilantro
Red onion
Hot sauce or salsa
Fresh limes


Before you start frying your tortillas, make sure you have your fillings and toppings ready to go! Once you pull the tortillas out of the fryer you don’t want them to cool off too much before eating!

1) To make masa dough, stir together masa and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in water and mix with a spoon until the mixture comes together. Then lightly knead the dough for a few minutes with your palm until it’s a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 12 even balls (a scant 2 ounces per ball if you want to be specific).

2) Working with one dough ball at a time (keep the rest covered with plastic so they don’t dry out), press the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Use a tortilla press or rolling pin to roll the ball into roughly an 8-inch round tortilla.

3) Add 2 tablespoons grated queso fresco (or your favorite) cheese to half of the tortilla and fold it over. Crimp the edges closed while pressing out as much air as possible. If the tortilla tears, try to fix it if possible with scraps from other tortillas. Use a sharp knife to trim off any extra so you have a nice half-circle filled with cheese.

4) Repeat with all the dough balls and cheese. Take your time here. This is the most important part. Heat your oil to 350 degrees F.

5) When oil is hot, work in batches and fry the stuffed tortillas for 2-3 minutes per side until they are golden brown. Remove fried tacos and let drain on a tray lined with paper towels.

6) Fry all the tacos. You can keep fried tacos warm in a 200 degree oven if you want once they have drained on a few paper towels.

7) When all the tacos are fried, use a sharp knife to slice open the top of each taco. Be Careful! Hot steam might escape and can burn you which is why you want to let them cool a bit before doing this.

8) Stuff the tacos with beef mixture, salsa or hot sauce, crumbled cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro. Serve with lots of fresh lime for squeezing!

These are filling so 2-3 of them makes a good meal, especially with chips and guacamole or something!