How to Make Walking Tacos (Perfect Party Recipe) + Video

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Walking tacos allow guests to enjoy their favorite Mexican flavors without the mess. Make this recipe for your next potluck or outdoor event!


If you’ve got a crowd to feed on a budget, then this is the recipe for you!

All of the toppings can be prepared ahead of time, and the meat can be kept warm in the crockpot until your guests arrive and you’re ready to eat.

In fact, you can cook the ground beef in the slow cooker to begin with! Just swap the spices listed in that post for your favorite store bought or homemade taco seasoning.

For more big-batch options with south-of-the-border flavor, take a look at my cheesy taco or steak fajita pasta salad recipes.

I love that all your favorite taco toppings are in one simple chip bag! This is super cute to make for birthday parties, football games, and an easy meal for Taco Tuesday.

Not only is clean up a breeze, but it’s literally the perfect party food where everyone can make their own great meal. 

With so many different options, this easy walking tacos recipe is perfect at the end of a long day.

The whole family can add their favorite taco ingredients, and they’ve got the perfect quick meal. It’s such a fun idea – and just what you need to put a spin on taco night! 

If you’re a family that likes to camp, this easy walking taco recipe is also great for an easy campfire dinner.

As you can see, this great idea opens up so many different ways to enjoy your bag of chips – loaded with taco taste! 


Walking Tacos

Also known as “taco in a bag,” walking tacos are simply seasoned meat and all of your favorite toppings inside an individual-sized bag of corn chips or Doritos.

Once everything is mixed together, it tastes just like a taco!

Walking tacos are especially helpful for potlucks and outdoor events since people can easily walk around with their food. Plus, all that’s needed to eat this is a fork, so cleanup is a breeze.


How To Set Up a Walking Taco Bar

  1. Set up a table with all of your toppings in bowls with spoons.
    A long counter or kitchen island would work as well.
  2. Place a basket or container with small bags of chips at one end of the table.
    I also place a basket of plastic forks nearby.
  3. Have a slow cooker with the ground beef next to the chips, and add a small plate to rest the serving spoon on.
  4. Serve! Guests can start at one end and add whatever they would like right into their taco in a bag!

Topping Suggestions

The sky is the limit, so feel free to include anything else that may be missing from this list.

  • The Classics: Shredded cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, salsa, cilantro
  • Extra Veggies: Diced tomatoes, jalapenos, avocado, green onion, red onion, black olives
  • Heartier Options: Black beans, refried beans, Mexican or cilantro rice
  • Sauces and Spreads: Guacamole, hot sauce, pico de gallo, chili, cheese sauce

Walking Taco Recipe FAQ

Which chips are best for walking tacos?

Fritos are the most popular choice, since they taste closest to a classic corn tortilla shell. However, Doritos will give you a few different flavor options depending on what flavor chips you use. I like to use Doritos to make copycat style Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos

Can I use a different type of meat?

Sure! Shredded chicken, ground turkey and pulled pork are all excellent alternatives.

How many servings will this walking taco recipe make?

Plan for about ¼ cup meat per person, which means 2 pounds of meat will yield 16 portions.

However, you won’t get as many out of it if someone decides to load theirs up with extra meat. If your head count is right around 16 people, you may want to cook extra just to be safe.


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walking tacos ingredients on table

walking tacos in Doritos bag

How to Make Walking Tacos (Perfect Party Recipe) + Video

Donna Elick
Walking tacos allow guests to enjoy their favorite Mexican flavors without the mess. Make this recipe for your next potluck or outdoor event!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican
Method Stovetop
Servings 14 – 16


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning, homemade or from the store, 2 regular sized packets
  • 1 cup water
  • 16 ounces bag chips , 16 1-ounce bags, Doritos and Fritos recommended


  • Shredded cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sour cream
  • Green onions


  • Prepare all vegetables and toppings and set aside or refrigerate anything that needs to be chilled.
  • In a large, non-stick skillet, brown ground beef over medium high heat until slightly pink. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and drain grease.
  • Return to heat and stir in ¼ cup taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and cover or transfer to a slow cooker on the warm setting.
  • Serve with small bags of chips and your favorite toppings. To create a walking taco, crush your bag of chips, then open and top with meat, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, guacamole, or any of your other favorite toppings. Serve with plastic forks and enjoy!


Donna’s Notes

How do you make a walking taco bar? I recommend setting up a table with all of your taco toppings in bowls with spoons. Then place a basket or container with your small bags of chips at one end of the table, along with plastic forks. Next to the chips, place a slow cooker with your taco meat and a serving spoon. It’s a good idea to have a plate for your serving spoon.
Topping suggestions for a taco bar:
Cilantro, lime, green onions, guacamole, salsa, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, avocado, black beans, refried beans, rice, shredded lettuce, sour cream, sliced red onions, sliced black olives, pico de gallo, cheese sauce, chili, hot sauce
These are perfect for parties and crowds because the chip bags make the meal portable.
What is a walking taco? This is kind of like a meal to-go. You grab your bag of chips and crush them up, add taco meat and toppings, and serve with a plastic fork.
If you would like to make these ahead, I recommend cutting up all of your vegetables and other toppings and place them in serving bowls, cover and refrigerate. You can also make your taco meat ahead of time, just refrigerate and place in an airtight container, then reheat just before your event.
Alternatives to ground beef: shredded chicken, ground turkey, or pulled pork’
I recommend using Doritos or Frito chips for this recipe.
With each taco using about 1/4 cup, 2 pounds makes about 16 tacos. If you have someone that loads up their taco with extra meat, you will have less tacos.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 250cal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 491mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Walking Tacos with a Taco Bar

Originally published March 2021, updated and republished June 2024

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  1. I love this idea. The only suggestion I'd make is to use a 1/4 cup scoop instead of a spoon. It might slow down those who might want to use lots of meat. Great recipe for summer gatherings in your yard or a picnic at the lake, beach, river.

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