Top 20 most popular taco toppings: recipes, styles & fillings

From early Mexican silver mines straight onto the plates of American families: tacos are here to stay. Made from corn or wheat tortillas, this mouth-watering and filling dish is perfectly customizable, because there are so many delicious taco toppings to choose from! Soft shells are the oldest and traditional version that most closely resembles the original. Hard shells are a North American invention and most Americans prefer their tacos crispy.

Fueled both by regional varieties that arrived from its country of origin and American ingenuity – there are almost no limitations to what you can make out of this dish. No wonder that Taco Tuesdays have become a little custom around the country. Whether you are hitting one of the fast food chains or cooking at home, here is our rating of the best taco toppings sorted by category. Whip out these fun toppings on the next Taco Tuesday, on the National Taco Day on October 4th or any time you crave them!

Traditional taco toppings for every occasion

1. Cheese: there is no taco topping that wouldn’t benefit from its gooey melty goodness
2. Salsa is the taste of sweet, spicy freshness
3. Sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt for creaminess and tang
4. Lettuce for a crunchy crisp
5. Guacamole for the creamy signature Mexican flavor
6. Fresh cilantro for a fresh and citrusy taste profile

Meat toppings for hungry omnivores

7. Spicy ground beef or grilled steak stripes are probably the most popular ingredients for folded tortillas out there
8. Rotisserie chicken comes a close second, since there are so many ways to season it: from traditional lime and cumin all the way to buffalo sauce
9. Flavorful shrimps or smoked fish bring the coastal flair to your dining room
10. Juicy pulled pork, hearty lamb or fine turkey breast round off the list

Vegetarian tacos for happy plant-eaters

11. Chickpeas or black beans: these legumes pack some seriously filling protein
12. Quinoa: replace rice with this protein-rich superfood
13. Avocados: you can never have too many healthy delicious fats
14. Cabbage: all the fiber without the lettuce
15. Tofu and tempeh: another protein bomb for a fun vegetarian taco

Funky taco toppings for those, who’ve seen it all

16. Chili dog in a shell instead of the bun
17. Sashimi for a sushi inspired dish
18. Mac and cheese: comfort food to the power of two
19. Sausage and eggs for a perfect breakfast
20. Fresh fruit and chocolate with homemade tortillas for a fun dessert to make this taco madness complete


Photos by Peter Roberts Jr & Natasha Bogal

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