*Note: If you didn't have time to soak and cook beans the night before, hey, grab a can of refried beans and doctor them up the same way with a bit of water to loosen them up, onions, cheese, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.
- 3 Tablespoons lard or bacon fat
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 Cups cooked beans*
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, minced
- 2 Cups shredded Cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
- Dash of hot sauce
- Vegetable oil
- 4 chorizo sausages
- 10 baby potatoes, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- Simple Salsa, to taste
- Flour tortillas, for serving
Heat the lard or bacon fat in a medium-sized pot, add the crushed garlic, sweat it, and then add the beans and enough water to cover them. When they come to a simmer, use a potato masher to get a smooth consistency (unless you like them chunky).
Add the onion, cheese, hot sauce, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Heat some vegetable oil in a pan over low heat. Remove the chorizo casings and crumble the sausage into the pan. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Parboil the potatoes until tender, for about 3 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Fill a deep pot or fryer about 1/3 full with oil and heat to 380 degrees. Line a bowl with paper towels. Fry the potatoes until they float and turn brown and crispy on the outside but feel a bit hollow and soft inside, about 4-5 minutes, drain, and toss in the bowl with salt.
Steam the tortillas (between wet paper towels in the microwave if you have to). Layer the beans, chorizo, and potatoes inside down the center. Top with salsa, guacamole, and shredded cheese, roll it all up, and scarf it down.
How to Recreate (and Improve) Texas Breakfast Tacos at Home
It's hard to imagine just how great a breakfast taco can be.
Well, it is and it isn't. After all, it's just a mishmash of scrambled eggs, meat, and cheese, all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. But the breakfast taco is a greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts situation. Pretty great on paper, but downright transcendent when done well. Ubiquitous throughout Central Texas, breakfast tacos are one of those institutional subjects that locals are required to have an opinion about. "Can't skip the bacon, egg, and cheese at Veracruz," they might say. Or: "Youɽ be crazy if you didn't think the potato and chorizo at Torchy's was tops."
So, after a few of us spent a few days in Texas, we called a little staff meeting in the Epicurious Test Kitchen. We asked ourselves: Is it possible to recreate the magic of breakfast tacos at home, outside the hallowed state lines of Texas?
And then we came up with an answer. Not only is it possible to pull them off—it's possible to make them even better.
How to Make Texas-Style Creamy Green Salsa
6 awesome breakfast taco recipes from Austin, runny yolks and all
Breakfast tacos have come to define the laid-back, anything-goes vibe that’s earned the trendy Texas town its “Keep Austin Weird” motto. Even the term “breakfast” taco is a misnomer of sorts, given that many residents say there’s really no wrong time to eat one. Read on for six recipes for making them in your own kitchen.
With a dizzying variety of options, Austin’s breakfast tacos are heavily influenced by both regional Tex-Mex cuisine and local pioneers who helped craft the city’s style. Tamale House , while no longer in its original location but still run by the late owner’s family, became famous for its no-frills classic, while fans of Torchy’s Tacos rave about its topping-loaded, modern offerings.
Everyone has a favorite, but the best part about breakfast tacos is that you really can’t go wrong. The following six recipes, from the restaurants mentioned above and a few others, represent just a few of the ways to ensure your taco will be the best part of an awesomely Austin morning, no matter where you actually are or how weird it turns out.
Tamale House’s Classic Breakfast Taco
In the 1980s, late Tamale House founder Robert Vasquez noticed that, while Austin was mainly populated by sit-down Mexican restaurants, Southern California was full of small roadside stands selling tacos. Following their lead, he launched his now-famous taco house, which still maintains its popularity with a simple menu of breakfast tacos priced at just over a dollar.
Get the recipe
Tacodeli’s Freakin’ Vegan Tacos with Roja and Dona Sauce
Robert Espinosa is a key figure in explaining how breakfast tacos became an everyday, anytime meal in Austin. Since 1999, the Tacodeli founder has been expanding his empire across Texas, first taking over Austin then pushing out into Dallas and now planning a location in Houston. While they were popular from the start, Espinosa’s tacos exploded when they began popping up in coffee shops across the city. Nestled inside their own portable taco warmer, they are now available all over Austin at all hours of the day.
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Travel to Austin, Texas — the unofficial capital of breakfast tacos — and you’ll find a spicy tortilla and scrambled egg concoction known as migas. There are many different versions, but the best ones allow the tomatoes to cook down into a pulp, then cook the eggs in the sauce and add the cheese at the end. The result is a saucy scramble that begs to fill up a soft flour tortilla.
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Torchy’s Fried Avocado Breakfast Taco
The sky is the limit for taco toppings, and nobody gets more creative than Torchy’s Tacos. An early icon of Austin’s food-truck culture, Torchy’s opened its first trailer in 2006 to serve up heaping tacos that bend under the weight of green chili pork, barbecued brisket, ahi tuna and more. But be warned: With the number of toppings Torchy’s throws on, that warm flour tortilla may not be enough to hold everything together. These fried avocado tacos offer an indulgent yet slightly healthier take on fried fish — think of them like the avocado toast of Austin.
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Instant Pot Huevos Rancheros Quesadilla Tacos
OK, so these may not technically be tacos, but the way we serve our Instant Pot huevos rancheros — atop a black bean quesadilla — makes them close enough. And while delivering a ranchero sauce in a matter of minutes can be challenging on the stove top, using that Instant Pot means you can have a delicious brunch before the clock strikes noon.
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Papalote Taco House’s Nopales, Mushroom and Tomato Breakfast Taco
Known for its unassuming tacos made from homemade family recipes, Papalote Taco House really shines when it comes to vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options. The little South Austin shop is known for its inventive ingredients, such as nopales (the fleshy pads of a cactus, cooked until soft). Add in mushrooms and tomatoes, and you’ve got yourself a true breakfast treat.
Get the recipe
Photo (vegan taco): Hanna Teson
Photos (migas and huevos rancheros): Ramona King
Photo (nopales): Meal Makeover Moms/Flickr (license)
How to make breakfast tacos:
- If you are making any type of salsa or pico de gallo for these do that first.
- Cook your bacon. You can bake it, or fry it!
- Fry your tortillas: heat up a little oil in a fry pan, add a tortilla, flip after 30ish seconds and then let the new side cook until it starts to brown. I like to fold the tortilla over when it starts to harden up and fry it like that to get the classic taco shape!
- Whisk eggs with seasoning then in a cold fry pan add butter and eggs. Turn heat to medium and continuously whisk until cooked.
- Build your taco! Layer the taco shell with egg, salsa, bacon, and salsa!
To make the best scrambled eggs you have to whisk continuously!
If you are looking for a healthy breakfast taco recipe, I would probably use diced Canadian bacon instead of bacon, and just warm your tortillas up without frying them. Still delicious but a little lighter on the calories.
How to make the best scrambled eggs?
Whisk your eggs, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Whisking the salt in before cooking helps break down the eggs a little making them creamy.
Add a little butter to a cold fry pan along with the whisked eggs. Heat the eggs over medium heat whisking continuously until fully cooked.
Whisking continuously makes small curds. Melting the butter while whisking and cooking the eggs make them custardy and delicious.
Bacon- fry or bake?
Either way is great it just depends on how much time you have and what is easiest for you! Learn how to bake bacon here!
As I mentioned above, there are about a million ways that you could customize the ingredients in breakfast tacos. But in general, my base recipe usually includes:
- Tortillas: Either corn or flour, up to you.
- Eggs: Scrambled or fried.
- Refried beans: I’m partial to my homemade refried beans recipe, which is naturally vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free (no lard or preservatives!), easy to make in about 20 minutes, and ridiculously delicious.
- Avocado: Either sliced avocado or guacamole.
- Salsa: I usually top mine with either red or green salsa (either homemade or store-bought). But pico de gallo, mango salsa, or elote dip would also be delicious!
- Optional toppings: Chopped fresh cilantro, cheese (cotija or cheddar are two faves), sour cream and/or diced jalapeños would also be good!
Remix your usual brunch offerings with these tasty breakfast tacos.
So you&rsquore sick of eggs Benny or French toast &mdash your usual go-to brunch recipes? We hear you. Enter: the breakfast taco. Stuffed with cheese and egg &mdash and topped with a fresh tomatillo salsa &mdash this quick breakfast recipe is fun, filling and fast, clocking in at just 20 minutes to make. You can serve the tacos with cooked bacon, or you can leave out the meat and make this a totally vegetarian breakfast tacos recipe. After all, when it comes to brunch, there are no rules.
Of course, you don&rsquot have to make this for brunch. Serve it for breakfast (or breakfast-for-dinner!) when you&rsquove got the in-laws in town these are the perfect breakfast tacos for a crowd because everything cooks together on one sheet pan. To speed things up, make the tomatillo salsa in advance. Just broil a few tomatillos and one jalapeño until they&rsquore charred in spots, then blend them together with a few handfuls of fresh cilantro and a good amount of lime juice. The zippy green dressing is the perfect pairing to gooey, melted cheese and rich eggs.
Basic Breakfast Tacos
- Calories 196
- Fat 11.1 g (17.1%)
- Saturated 4.4 g (22.0%)
- Carbs 16.1 g (5.4%)
- Fiber 1.8 g (7.3%)
- Sugars 2.1 g
- Protein 8.5 g (17.0%)
- Sodium 303.8 mg (12.7%)
russet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then simmer just until the potatoes are fork-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet, flipping halfway through, until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, crumble the bacon.
Add the potatoes, onion, bell pepper, cumin, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper to the bacon skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and the vegetables are lightly browned around the edges, about 8 minutes.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until the whites and yolks are completely mixed and the eggs are a bit frothy. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and milk until just combined.
Melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, scramble the eggs, stirring occasionally and pushing the cooked parts from the edges of the pan to the center, until they are just set but not dry. Remove from the heat.
To assemble, fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of eggs, 1/4 cup of the vegetable mixture, crumbled bacon, cheese, and pico de gallo.
Make ahead: The bacon and vegetables can be cooked up to 2 days in advance and stored in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. Reheat the vegetables on the stovetop before assembling.
Kelli is the Food Editor for Plan & Prep content for Kitchn. She's a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and author of the cookbooks, The Probiotic Kitchen, Buddha Bowls, and Everyday Freekeh Meals. She lives in New York.
10 delicious breakfast tacos waking up San Antonio
Much has been written about the battle between Austin and San Antonio for breakfast taco supremacy, but today, we aren’t here to cast aspersions on our frenemy to the north. In fact, let’s ditch the war and instead bask in the warm, foil-wrapped glow of all the delectable options San Antonio has to offer.
This hole-in-the-wall does breakfast exactly as it should be: simple, fast and cheap. With 23 all-day options (plus a wide variety of add-ons), your taco can be as elaborate as you want, but we think the unfussy tacos are the best. Try the simple chorizo and egg and add onions and cilantro for a little freshness. Need a little extra heat? The excellent homemade red jalapeño salsa might cause you to break a sweat, but the complex flavor is worth it.
Chapala Taco House
Before you even order, your server at Chapala Taco House will bring you two salsas (a red and a green) to prepare for the feast ahead. Go for the Quiero taco and add an egg for a treat. Be warned, however. Although the homemade tortillas are substantial enough to contain the bulk of the bacon, egg, potatoes, veggies, and queso without tearing, it can still be a very messy eat.
Chela’s Tacos began as a food truck, but quickly became so popular that it expanded into a full-fledged restaurant in Alamo Heights. Thick, homemade tortillas provide a great base for hearty dishes like deshebrada con huevos (shredded beef with sautéed veggies and eggs) or papas rancheras. And the well-stocked salsa bar is full of endless possibilities.
El Milagrito Cafe
Some breakfast tacos are made by the tortillas, while others are special because of the spicy chorizo or fluffy chicharrones. At El Milagrito, it’s the orange and green salsas that steal the show. You’ll automatically get the basic red sauce with your chips, but be sure to ask for the special varieties if you really want to jazz things up. Their zippy, smoky flavors compliment everything from papas to chorizo.
Garcia’s Mexican Food
Brisket for breakfast? Yes, oh, yes. While barbecue may not seem like the logical choice for the first meal, the brisket tacos at Garcia’s are legendary for a reason: the lean, smoky, and rich meat. Add some avocado for extra creaminess, and douse the whole thing in the spicy green salsa. Beware, the dining room at Garcia’s is deceptively small, so you may find yourself waiting in line. Skip the wait by ordering to-go and consider adding an extra order of brisket because you’re going to want it again (and again and again).
The Original Donut Shop & Tacos
It’s no wonder the Original Donut Shop eventually got an addendum to its name. At this shop, the tacos are even better than the donuts. A highlight of the experience is watching the cooks make the tortillas on the plancha, particularly because the ladies working behind the counter give the best advice. When they insist you double your order, heed their words. Once you get your first taste, one toasted bean and cheese taco won’t be enough to satisfy your hunger.
Los Tacos Gueros
A staple of many local menus, the “trash can taco” is a combination of usually about five ingredients saving you the hassle of having to choose between adding bacon or cheese. Los Tacos Gueros’ version comes with eggs, potatoes, refried beans, bacon, carne guisada, and melty cheddar cheese (all for only $2.79). The super-doughy tortillas soak up all the gravy from the carne guisada nicely, and an addition of rich and smoky Tlaquepaque salsa or bright and citrusy avocado salsa is sure to wake you up.
Taqueria Chapala Jalisco
A mark of a good breakfast taco is evenly distributed ingredients throughout the dish. At Taqueria Chapala Jalisco, the crispy bacon and roasted potatoes are chopped and mixed with the eggs while cooking to ensure every bite is as flavorful as the last. The true stars are the salsas, though. The red is deep and smoky, while the green is creamy and fresh, and both are suitably fiery. Take a quart of the good stuff home for only $4.50 and thank us later.
If you’re looking for atmosphere, Taqueria Datapoint is not the place. If you’re looking for cheap, flavorful tacos with quite possibly the best flour tortillas in town, it will serve you well. Each order is practically overflowing with eggs, and, should you order cheese, you’ll find a mild white variety (as opposed to the orange blend most shops use). Datapoint is also one of the few places in town that offers huevos con nopales (eggs and cactus) for breakfast.
Twin Sisters Bakery & Cafe
So Twin Sisters may not be the obvious choice choice for breakfast tacos, but if you’re craving something a little bit different, they have got you covered. Starting with a whole wheat tortilla, the cafe layers options like tofu chorizo, black beans, mushrooms, spinach, and sweet potatoes for a health-conscious take on the morning staple. These tacos may not be traditional, but they are certainly delicious.
Breakfast Taco Notes & Tips
Slice your veggies evenly.
You can use a variety of vegetables to make these tacos. Just try to slice them into similarly sized strips or rounds so they all cook in the same amount of time.
Options include cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, onion, zucchini or yellow squash, Brussels sprouts, etc. More dense vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potato will probably require longer on the stove, so you could add those first.
Butter and sour cream make them better.
For real, cooking the vegetables and then the eggs in a reasonable amount of butter makes them so flavorful. They’re as good as my favorite taco truck’s.
Whisking one tablespoon of sour cream into the eggs yields gloriously fluffy and creamy scrambled eggs. If you take nothing else away from this recipe, make it be this!
Garnish with what you have.
If you’re like me, you probably have salsa or hot sauce, a handful of cherry tomatoes, or an avocado and cilantro on hand. You can’t go wrong.
I tend to treat these tacos as a full meal, but roasted breakfast potatoes or crispy hash browns would be epic.
Please let me know how your breakfast tacos turn out in the comments. I love hearing from you.
Craving more eggs with Mexican flavors? Me, too. We’re in luck:
You’ll also love the breakfast fajitas with fried eggs in my cookbook, Love Real Food (page 32).