Beef, Main Dishes, Recipes

1970s Style Tacos

Hello! I’m back. 🙂 Thanks for all your kind comments on my last few posts. It’s been a busy week and a half with my sister’s bridal shower and then working like mad on my thesis draft. I’m still not finished yet :(… but I’m making definite progress so that is a very good thing. Anyways, I thought about not blogging until I had the draft done but that didn’t seem like a good idea so here I am. Yay! On to more important things… like these awesome tacos!

1970s style tacos - an easy way to get your taco fix using pantry ingredients when you're all out of taco seasoning!

I feel like awesome is quite the appropriate term to describe these really good tacos since they are from the 1970s. I found the recipe in the September issue of Everyday Food, and the recipe was originally made by the author’s Aunt Colleen, in the–you guessed it–1970s! Since I don’t have an Aunt Colleen, I decided a rename was in order. As a side note, I made these tacos almost immediately after receiving my issue in the mail. This NEVER happens!! But these tacos were so easy, so flavorful, and so fun that I should definitely start making good looking recipes right away… Why? So I have more time left in my life to enjoy them, silly!

These tacos might seem fairly simple–onion, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, and tomato paste–but let me tell you, it’s loaded with flavor. Seriously, it tastes just like those handy grocery-store packets or homemade spice mix…but with some fresh ingredients too. Whoa! What could be better? We absolutely adored their rich depth of flavor… and their utter simplicity and speed. Perfect for a weeknight meal.

Oh… and if there are leftovers… check out this loaded taco salad! Utterly amazing.

1970s style tacos - an easy way to get your taco fix using pantry ingredients when you're all out of taco seasoning!


1970s Style Tacos

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

from Everyday Food September 2012


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • soft taco shells
  • lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, cheddar cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream for serving


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent. Stir in tomato paste, cayenne, and chili powder, and cook for about a minute until fragrant. Add sirloin and cook until browned, about 7-8 minutes. Serve in soft taco shells with lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, cheddar cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream for toppings.

Notes: Since sirloin is 90% lean, I didn’t feel the need to drain any fat. If I made this using ground turkey or chicken, I’d probably feel the same way. However, if I used a cut that wasn’t as lean, I might cook the beef first, drain most of the fat and proceed with cooking the onion and garlic, then the tomato sauce mixture.


22 thoughts on “1970s Style Tacos”

  1. I much prefer using the awesome sirloin; like you said it’s 90% lean so I feel a bit better about it. Love the look of the taco! I might have that for lunch now.

    Need any help on your draft? I’m glad it’s going well, also glad you came back without making sure it was done before posting.


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