5 Foolproof Summer Taco Formulas

Photographed by Will Styler.
What's better than a cold margarita on a hot summer day? A cold pitcher of margaritas plus a table filled with tacos. We'd have to argue that this particular food and drink pairing is one of our favorite easy seasonal meals. Why? Because the classic Mexican dish is incredibly customizable — from veggies, meat, and fish, to all the savory-sweet add-ons. Plus tacos are affordable to assemble in bulk and (most importantly) can be tailored to quick home-cooking with just a few simple steps and ingredients.
In order to demonstrate how foolproof tacos can be as the ideal warm-weather, make-it-yourself meal, we've created a formula to follow for five separate summery recipes. Ahead, find fun ideas for easy taco assembly.
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The Foolproof Summer Taco Formula:

Tortilla + Protein + Crunchy + Creamy + Zesty = Dinner
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Mango Shrimp Tacos
Makes 4-6 tacos

Ingredients
1 package of small corn tortillas
1 lb. of shrimp (de-shelled and deveined)
1 mango, diced
1 10 oz. package of cotija cheese
1 lime
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile, pat shrimp dry and coat with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to pan and sauté until pink, then remove from heat and place shrimp on paper towel lined plate — you can either dice the shrimp up into smaller pieces or halves, or serve whole.

2. Optional: Place the oiled shrimp pan back on the stove over medium heat and toast the corn tortillas on each side until light browned and crispy. (You can also heat in the microwave, separated between dampened paper towels.)

3. Meanwhile, peel and dice the mango, slice the lime into wedges, and crumble the cotija cheese.

4. Assemble the tacos. Cover toasted corn tortilla with desired amount of sautéed shrimp, then sprinkle on diced mango, cotija cheese crumbles, and finish off with a fresh squeeze of lime.
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Pineapple-Chicken Tacos
Makes 4-6 tacos

Ingredients
1 package of small flour tortillas
2 chicken breasts (if thick, slice in half length wise)
1 cup pineapple (either fresh cubed or canned)
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce, Cholula (optional)

Instructions
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile, pat chicken breasts dry and coat each side throughly with salt and pepper. Add breasts to pan and cook until browned on each side (4-6 minutes per side). Remove pan from heat and place chicken on paper towel lined plate — you can either slice or shred the chicken (with a fork) before serving.

2. Optional: Place the oiled chicken pan back on the stove over medium heat and toast the flour tortillas on each side until light browned and crispy. (You can also heat in the microwave, separated between dampened paper towels.)

3. De-pit and slice avocado, dice pineapple into bite-sized chunks, and slice lime into wedges.

4. Assemble the tacos. Cover heated flour tortillas with desired amount of sliced or shredded chicken, top with sliced avocado and pineapple chunks, and finish off with a fresh squeeze of lime juice and an added dash of hot sauce (if you like a little kick).
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Sriracha-Salmon Tacos
Makes 4-6 tacos

Ingredients
1 package of small corn tortillas
2 lbs salmon filet
1 cup shredded cabbage mix
6 oz package of feta cheese, crumbled
1-2 tsp Sriracha
2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile, pat salmon fillets dry and coat each side throughly with salt and pepper. Add fillets to pan and cook until well-seared on each side (4-6 minutes per side). Remove pan from heat and place salmon fillets on paper towel lined plate — you can either slice or shred the salmon (with a fork) before serving.

2. Optional: Place the oiled salmon pan back on the stove over medium heat and toast the corn tortillas on each side until light browned and crispy. (You can also heat in the microwave, separated between dampened paper towels.)

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a medium bowl. Then add in shredded cabbage mix and toss until well coated.

4. Assemble the tacos! Cover toasted corn tortillas with desired amount of shredded or sliced salmon, then add on a dollop of slaw and some crumbles of feta.
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Scallion-Steak Tacos
Makes 4-6 tacos

Ingredients
1 package of small flour tortillas
2-3 lb flank steak
1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 lime
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Hot sauce, Cholula (optional)

Instructions
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile, pat flank steak dry and coat each side throughly with salt and pepper. Add steak to pan and cook until well-seared on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side). Remove pan from heat and place steak on paper towel lined plate — slice directly before serving.

2. Optional: Place the oiled chicken pan back on the stove over medium heat and toast the flour tortillas on each side until light browned and crispy. (You can also heat in the microwave, separated between dampened paper towels.)

3. Meanwhile, thinly slice scallions along with lime into wedges.

4. Assemble the tacos! Cover warmed tortillas with desired amount of sliced flank steak, following with a sliced avocado, a sprinkle of scallions and a squeeze of fresh lime. Add in a dash of hot sauce if you like it spicy!
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Black Bean-Sweet Potato Tacos
Makes 4-6 tacos

Ingredients
1 package of small corn tortillas
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1 large (or two smaller) sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz package of queso fresco
1-2 tsp Sriracha
2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
3-4 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of scallions or cilantro, sliced/chopped (optional)

Instructions
1. Heat oil and minced garlic in a pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, pat dry rinsed black beans and peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Add both to the pan and season well with salt and pepper. Sauté until softened (about 10 minutes). Remove pan from heat and place veggie sauté on paper towel lined plate.

2. Optional: Place oiled pan back on the stove over medium heat and toast the corn tortillas on each side until light browned and crispy. (You can also heat in the microwave, separated between dampened paper towels.)

3. Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl.

4. Assemble the tacos! Cover toasted tortillas with desired amount of sauté mix, following with an ample crumble of queso fresco, and finishing off with a dollop of Sriracha aioli. Add on a sprinkle of sliced scallions or chopped cilantro for a little green zest!
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