Camp tacos are one of the most delicious meals you can make at your campsite. Not to mention, they’re also one of the easiest. But it can be easy to fall into a “same-old, same-old” routine with tacos. That said, here are five new twists to help brighten up your dinner routine on your next trip — or on any Taco Tuesday. No judgment here.
To start, you’ll want to pick the base of your taco. Hard shell corn tortillas hold your taco filling well to start, but they can get very messy once you’ve taken a few bites. If you prefer a soft shell, look for small flour or corn tortillas. Most corn tortillas, either hard or soft, are also gluten-free.
If you’re not a big fan of a corn or flour tortilla base, grab some leafy lettuce at the store. The larger the leafs are, the easier it will be to fill them with your filling of choice. Another healthy alternative is to use cabbage leaves for tacos. They’re hardy, delicious and super budget-friendly. These recipes generally make enough for 3 to 4 people, but don’t be afraid to experiment and double the recipe. It’s tacos, after all. Leftovers are welcome.
Time for the fun stuff! Here are five alternative camp taco solutions for you to try.
No. 1: Fish tacos with mango salsa
What you need: 1.25 pounds of thin tilapia fillets, sea salt to taste, 1 to 2 tablespoon pepper, half a squeezed lemon, 1 bunch of thinly sliced green onions, 2 avocados cut in squares, 2 ripe peeled and chunked mangos, 2 seeded and finely diced jalapeños, 1/2 of a bunch of cilantro (just the leaves) chopped, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
How to make: Cook your fish seasoned with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon; either cook for 12 minutes in your preheated broiler on a foil-lined baking sheet or cook in hot oil over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side until it’s done and the thickest part flakes easily. In a medium bowl, mix your green onions, avocados, mangoes, jalapeños, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper and set aside. Heat your base if desired, shred the fish and place in the middle of each tortilla and top with salsa.
No. 2: Buffalo chicken tacos
Buffalo marinade: 1 pound (2 to 3 chicken breasts) pounded thin, 1/4 cup of Frank’s hot wings sauce or similar, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Corn avocado topping: Combine 1 cup of chopped romaine lettuce, corn from an ear of corn (or a small can), 1 cup of matchstick carrots, 4 sticks of celery, chopped and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add 1 chopped avocado and stir gently.
How to make: Start by adding the chicken to your marinade (combine all ingredients) and let sit for 2 hours or overnight. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, let it sit on the counter 15 to 30 minutes. Heat over medium high and cook in skillet without touching it for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn it over, cover, reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through. (You can also just cook the chicken on your grill.)
When you’re ready to eat, melt a little cheddar cheese as desired on your base, top with buffalo chicken, corn avocado topping, and drizzle with blue cheese, ranch or both. Garnish with additional blue cheese and lime if desired.
No. 3: Spicy lamb tacos
For the Meat: Start with a 2-pound lamb shoulder and your favorite marinade — something like KC’s BBQ sauce mix and dry rubs can work well. Apply to the chops and grill for approximately 3 minutes until you reach your desired doneness (The FDA recommends reaching 145 degrees). Remove from grill and slice.
Toppings: Making your favorite coleslaw works well here. Queso fresco or feta cheese pairs really well with lamb. Top it with a cucumber salsa: 1 cucumber diced, 1/2 red onion diced, 1/2 jalapeño and 1/4 cup cilantro and one lime, juiced.
No. 4: Crock pot pork verde tacos with jalapeño sauce
Pork verde sauce: Chop 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 stalks of celery, 2 jalapeños finely. Mix in 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Blend together with a blender and add water as needed, likely 1/2 cup to 1 cup.
Prepare the pork: Heat a bit of oil in a pan and brown the pork on each side. Place in the crock pot, add the sauce you made on top of the pork. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until it will shred easily and is tender.
Remove from the crock pot, shred, and drain about half of the liquid out and put the shredded meat back inside the crock pot. Add 2 7-ounce cans of salsa verde, stir and heat through.
Jalapeño sauce: Take 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (fat free is fine), 1/2 cup light mayo, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 bunch of cilantro, 3/4 tablespoon vinegar, 3/4 tablespoon water, 14 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 to 2 seeded jalapeños and juice from 1/4 of a lime. Blend together and add additional salt and pepper as needed to taste.
Ready to serve? Place the pork on your base and drizzle jalapeño sauce on top. Throw some of your other favorite add-ons in if desired, like avocado, cilantro or cheese.
No. 5: Cheeseburger tacos
Yes, of course you should put cheeseburger in a taco! The truth is, corn tortillas make a great neutral base for almost anything.
What you need: 1 pound lean ground beef, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 an onion, diced, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded, 1 tomato, chopped, and 1 cup of shredded lettuce.
Optional toppings: Barbecue sauce, mayo, pickles, bacon
How to make: Cook ground beef and onion until browned in a large skillet on your stovetop or campfire. Season with salt and pepper. Make your tacos — and if desired, hard tacos stand up pretty well if you bake them in the oven, which will melt your cheese and get the base and all ingredients heated through. (Try baking at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.) Add all your toppings and enjoy!
If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy this article on six skillet recipes for winter.