Tacos hold a very special place in my heart. Serious. Ever since I was little, something about the crunchy little shells filled with spicy meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and hot taco sauce just made my mouth so darn happy. I mean sure, you can have better, more authentic tacos — and I enjoy those too — but it’s the totally Americanized version that I adore. No food snobbery here.
My kids really like tacos too, but for a two-year-old and a four-year-old, they can be a challenge to eat. Plus, I always worry if they are actually eating enough on taco nights. Paige usually doesn’t eat the shell (and gets tired of the spiced meat pretty fast) and Will stops after one, maybe two, tacos. How could their bellies be full? It’s with that thought that I usually whip up a side salad and yellow rice too.
There has to be a better way, right? A way that I can have the flavor of tacos that I love but in a form that is more kid friendly. Enter the Taco Burger.
Burgers have been on my mind lately. A friend mentioned them a few weeks back and I said that I usually don’t cook them in the winter. No sooner did those words exit my mouth then I developed a hankering for a good, homemade burger. Go figure.
Anyway, the other day while I was trying to figure out dinner, I got the idea to take the seasonings of a taco and use them in burger patties. It was a simple thought (and one that took advantage of ingredients we had on hand!) but it seemed like worth a shot. So, I mixed, we cooked and we ate. The result? A lip-licking good burger that everyone in the family enjoyed. It was everything that I was hoping for.
These juicy burgers are perfect topped with taco-inspired toppings like salsa, guacamole and sour cream. Delish! And if your kids want in on the salsa action without the spice of your favorite hot blend, try spooning on a little jarred bruschetta — it looks very similar without any of the spice.
Are you a taco fanatic too?
Be warned, these aren’t spicy taco burgers. They are seasoned enough that they are unmistakeably taco flavored, but they won’t make anyone’s mouth burn. (Hence, these are very kid-friendly.) If you want spicy taco burgers double the quantities of the spices.
1 lb ground sirloin
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
4 1 oz slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 hard rolls
Combine the ground sirloin, chili powder, garlic salt, dried oregano and cumin (I use my hands to knead it together). Separate into four equal pieces. Form patties, making sure to press an indentation into the center of each (it will prevent shrinkage).
Cook as desired. When the burgers are close to being done, top with a slice of cheddar and let it melt. Transfer the patties to the hard rolls.
Serve with a choice of toppings such as lettuce, tomato, guacamole, salsa and sour cream.