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Build-Your-Own Tacos

Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 16 minutes. Stick with baked taco shells instead of fried. You'll avoid trans fat and cut way back on saturated fat and sodium.

Health SEPTEMBER 2007

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 tacos)


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 12 ounces ground sirloin
  • 1 cup salsa, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained
  • 8 baked taco shells
  • 1/4 cup preshredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican-blend cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream


1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add ground sirloin and cook, stirring often with a spatula, until meat browns, about 10 minutes; drain excess fat. Stir in 1/2 cup salsa, chili powder, cumin, and pepper. Continue cooking until heated through.

2. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350°. Put taco shells on a baking sheet and heat as per package directions.

3. Combine beans and remaining 1/2 cup salsa in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Keep warm.

4. To serve, arrange taco shells on platter. Place meat on a separate serving dish, and put the beans, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream in bowls. Let diners assemble their own tacos.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 427
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2g
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbohydrate: 42g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 55mg
  • Iron: 4mg
  • Sodium: 844mg
  • Calcium: 221mg

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Build-Your-Own Tacos Recipe