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It’s April in San Antonio and we just finished celebrating Fiesta!! Neighborhoods and downtown buildings are still in the spirit, decorated in bright Fiesta colors and ribbons. And as I wander around, am I still catching the scent of Fiesta food? Especially tacos?

Tacos have always been my ‘go to’ dish when friends drop in, and I’ve got a great, easy recipe for them… the crispy kind. I added a lettuce wrap version to this recipe if your guests prefer a healthier meal. Me? I’ll stick with the crispy corn shell — the way tacos are supposed to be.

Authentic crispy tacos

Patricia's Crispy Tacos

Serves 3 to 4


1.5 lbs ground beef

Olive oil

1/4 cup diced yellow onion

½ cup diced mini bell peppers (yellow, red and orange)

2 to 3 cloves minced garlic

½ tsp cumin

1/2 cup fire roasted salsa

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp parsley

Goya chicken powdered bouilloon (about ½ of a small packet) mixed with ¼ cup warm water

Salt, to taste

Blue corn crispy taco shells ( I use the brand 365, because they are thin and have a nice texture to them)

Avocado for garnigh

Cole slaw for garnish

Jalapeñoos for garnish

Lime for garnish

Romaine lettuce leaves (if you prefer this to crispy taco shells)


  1. Heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet, and once hot, add diced peppers and onions and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 4 minutes and add the garlic and cook on low heat for another 2 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Saute the ground beef with a pinch of salt , and once it starts to brown, add the smoked paprika and cumin.

  3. When the ground beef is cooked, add back in the diced peppers and onions, the salsa and the chicken bouillon diluted in  warm water. At this point you can taste and add more spices if your like.

  4. Cover the pan and let it simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. On a cookie sheet place the taco shells , and cook according to directions on box.

If you prefer a less spicy version, you can use fire roasted tomatoes instead of salsa. And if you prefer a healthier version, serve the taco filling wrapped in lettuce leaves rather than in crispy tacos.

Patricia is a photographer and the editor of our neighborhood recipes.

Patricia's Crispy Tacos

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

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