Tacos are a fun and versatile meal. You can easily get most, if not all, of the main food groups into one serving. Traditionally, the most popular version of tacos are filled with ground beef, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, however, it is not uncommon to hear of ground turkey, chicken, or fish tacos as well.
Tacos can go into either a hard or soft shell. Theoretically, you can fill the hard taco shell or soft flat-bread version with anything you want, even going for the unusual. In the mood for tacos, but want to try something a little different? Here are several things I’ve tried, along with one that is on my list to things to try.
Unusual Filling Ideas for Tacos
Tofu, Cheese and Beans
Not in the mood for meat, but want to get a good dose of protein? Try sauteing some diced tofu with a bit of onion and garlic to make tofu and bean tacos. Firm or extra-firm tofu will work best and any seasoning you sprinkle on the mixture will absorb nicely. Once you cook the tofu to the desired consistency, add your favorite canned beans to the mix and heat thoroughly (you can use dried beans too, but keep in mind this needs extra planning to soak and cook the beans). Top your tofu and bean taco with shredded cheddar, or other preferred cheese, if you want that oh-so-good gooey taste.
Egg and Mushroom
Sauteed mushroom tacos are another excellent option. You can toss in with your favorite soft cheese for a unique taste. I like to sometimes toss some egg and fresh spinach in there too. Or, if I’m really in the mood for something different, I’ll spread some goat cheese flavored with chives (or other flavor) on the tortilla before adding my filling.
Chickpea tacos are another great meat alternative, suggests the Vegetarian Times. The options are many when it comes to chickpeas. You can have chickpeas and rice, chickpeas and corn salsa, or even chickpeas and potatoes (or sweet potatoes for an even more unique taste). Blend with cumin and some chili powder, or experiment with your own flavors. This is the one I want to experiment with.
For a kid-friendly option, try building pizza tacos. Substitute the salsa and/or taco mix with a bit of tomato sauce. Simmer in ground beef, turkey, sausage or whatever suits your fancy. Top off your filled shell with your favorite pizza toppings and don’t forget the cheese. Or, if the kids are fixated on chicken fingers, try expanding their taste buds a bit by chopping up the chicken fingers and topping with some sauce.
Tacos aren’t just for breakfast anymore. Mix and match your favorite breakfast foods and toss them into a soft taco. Dice up tofu and veggies mixed with egg (add some ricotta cheese for a creamier flavor) or go more “traditional” with scrambled eggs and bacon (or sausage).
Mix it Up!
One of the best things about tacos is that you can get truly creative with the fillings, as the options are limitless. You can combine a blend of flavors to satisfy any craving. Try barbecued pork with yellow corn and beans sprinkled on top. Or perhaps a bit of stewed or breaded eggplant, topped with mozzarella and sliced black olives. I like to bake up cubes of eggplant in olive oil until crispy and simply mix with cheese.
Another easy and unique way to prepare an unusual taco is to use leftovers from the night before or whatever you find in your fridge. The sky’s the limit! The possibilities are many, unusual filling ideas for tacos can work anyway you want. Anything goes with tacos is a staple in my house.
Leigh has been writing on the web since 2007. She has a high interest in business, tech, higher education, and Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia travel, but loves to write about a variety of topics. In addition to writing on Writedge, she also runs a blog about the Washington DC Metro Area and a photography blog Photos by Leigh Goessl.