If You're Tired of Breakfast Tacos, You're Tired of Life.
November 14, 2014 1:17 PM   Subscribe

I love breakfast tacos! I eat them a lot. If I eat the exact same combination of ingredients every time it gets boring; thankfully there are endless combinations. Help me think of every ingredient that would be tasty in a breakfast taco.

Part of the reason I'm so obsessed with them is that I've been cutting out the major sources of animal fat in my cooking lately (I'm not vegetarian, I eat whatever the hell I want at parties and restaurants, but I don't bring home pounds of butter and cheese on a weekly basis anymore). It turns out a taco with black beans, poblano rajas, green onions, and chipotle sauce is just as flavorful and filling as one with eggs scrambled with chorizo and topped with cotija!

Feel free to post meat and cheese ideas, but if you post a recipe for a salsa, or tell me your regular order from Rancho Gordo, or your favorite chile to make rajas from, please know I'm putting a mental gold star next to your answer and wishing we could cook breakfast together.

I live literally across the street from a mercado/carniceria and I'm a Mexican-American who has been receiving family cooking lessons since I was eye-level with a stove, if that expands your suggestions at all. I am aware that breakfast tacos are mostly a Tex-Mex thing but they are still delicious.
posted by Juliet Banana to Food & Drink (34 answers total) 123 users marked this as a favorite
I like those jarred cactus strips in tacos. Those plus avocado plus chipotles in adobo would prob be fantastic.

If I were you, I'd grow a cilantro plant and snip a few leaves off in the morning, too.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:31 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

i would have cheesy arepas stuffed with crockpot pulled pork every day for the rest of my life if possible.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:32 PM on November 14, 2014

It's a simple salsa, but it's in my house more often than not.

1 onion - diced
2 tomatoes - diced
1 jalapeno - minced
2 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 'package' of cilantro - diced/minced
1 lime - squeezed
1 - 2 tsp salt
(optional) 1/2 green pepper diced

ideally let sit in fridge for a couple of hours to before eating (lets the flavors soak in).

For the most part all of the ingredient proportions are to taste; you might want more tomato, you might want less/more salt, etc, etc. I'm honing this all the time to the households preferences.

If you want it less hot, take the seeds out of the jalapenos (oh, and wash your hands immediately after cutting that).

I use that for salsa omelets all the time (+ some sharp cheddar), but it's a great fresh salsa for all uses.

Oh, and learning to properly cut an onion made my life a better one.
posted by el io at 1:33 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

These potato and kale enchiladas are really really good and the filling would work great in tacos.
posted by something something at 1:35 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

I practically live on refried black beans, queso chihuahua, and red salsa breakfast tacos.
posted by novelgazer at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about smoked salmon? Buy the trimmings, they're cheap as hell but taste just as good as the "good" parts of the salmon, in my opinion.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2014

Potato and kale is good. Sweet potato and kale is amazing. With or without a tiny bit of soyrizo.

A white bean mash or puree makes a good sticky base for stuff that may be dry enough to escape, in lieu of eggs or cheese.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:43 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Roasted tomatillo salsa
Goat cheese
Scallions and tomatoes for crispness
posted by Diablevert at 1:47 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't eat eggs (am weird), so when I have breakfast tacos or burritos OUT, I ask them to sub fried potatotes for the eggs, and lemme tell ya it's AWESOME. I cook a recipe at home from the Homesick Texan cookbook, that goes like this:

2 tablespoons canola oil/bacon grease
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and stems removed, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Black pepper, to taste
Optional: About 1/2 pound chorizo, fried
3-4 eggs, scrambled

In a large skillet, preferably a cast-iron skillet, heat the oil on medium-low heat. When warm, add the potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and while stirring occasionally, cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Stir in the onions and cook for 2 more minutes then stir in the jalapeno, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and smoked paprika. Cook for 30 more seconds and then turn the heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.

Remove the cover and stir, scraping up any potatoes that may be stuck to the bottom. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are your preferred texture. Stir in the vinegar and the chopped cilantro, add pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.

Optional: Fry 1/2 pound chorizo in a skillet and scramble 3-4 eggs. Top the potatoes first with the chorizo and then with the eggs. Garnish and serve as a breakfast skillet.


The vinegar is an important step here, and I often put a big blob of chopped up chipotle in adobo instead of (or with) the jalepeno - these are AMAZING in tacos. Here's another potato recipe of hers that I'd eat in a tortilla in a heartbeat, and then fall asleep from the carbs for a couple hours - Hatch Chile Potato Casserole
posted by ersatzkat at 1:56 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]

I should add that this morning I was in a rush so I threw together tator tot, pickled jalapeño and cheese. Passable. I've also tried white rice with canned chipotles in adobo, which was delicious, but very seedy. I'll clean the chipotle next time.
posted by novelgazer at 1:58 PM on November 14, 2014

Best answer: 15-minute fire-roasted tomato salsa
4 tomatoes, quartered and seeded + 1 jalapeno, halved and seeded + 1/2 onion + 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled

Toss everything with a bit of olive oil, dump the tomatoes, jalapeno, and onion onto a baking sheet, flip all the pieces over so everything is cut side down, and stick it under your broiler for ~6-8 minutes or until everything is a bit charred on top. Pull out the pan, add the garlic, and stick the pan back under the broiler for another minute or two. Dump everything into a bowl and blend it with a stick blender. Add lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Nom.

red sauce for everything
2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes + 3 to 5 dried chiles (a combination of anchos, guajillos, and New Mexico; I usually toss a chipotle in there for good measure as well) or 2 chipotles in adobo + 1/2 onion, diced + 3 cloves garlic, minced + 1 tsp cumin + 1/2 c vegetable broth

If you're using dried chiles, remove the stems and seeds and tear them into pieces. Heat a medium-size pot over medium-high heat and toast the chiles until fragrant and puffy, anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Dump the toasted chiles into a bowl, add hot or boiling water to cover, put a plate on top to trap the steam inside, and set the bowl off to the side. Heat up some vegetable oil in the pot and add the diced onion, fry for 5 or 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin, fry for another minute. Deglaze the pan with the diced tomatoes (and chipotles in adobo, if you opted for those), bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Drain the water off of the soaking chiles, reserving ~1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Add the chiles to the tomato mixture in the pot and blend everything with a stick blender, adding splashes of soaking liquid and/or vegetable broth to thin the sauce as needed. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, salt to taste, pour all over all of your food.


One of my favorite things to eat in a breakfast taco (especially with black or Rio Zape beans, zomg) is chipotle butternut squash.
posted by divined by radio at 2:05 PM on November 14, 2014 [13 favorites]

These are breakfast nachos but make all of that and put them in tacos instead (that's even recommended!).

I don't know how you feel about tofu in general, but tofu scramble is an excellent addition to things like this -- bulks up the protein and is tasty.
posted by darksong at 2:14 PM on November 14, 2014

Nopales came to mind, perhaps with a tomatillo sauce. In CORN tortillas, or better yet, breakfast tamales!

Tomatoes, guacamole, black olives, diced potatoes in a mole sauce.

Black beans, diced avocado, tomatoes, corn in salsa fresca.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:24 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

wait, you're not putting pickled onions on your tacos? drop what you're doing and pickle some onions!
posted by juliapangolin at 2:24 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Yellowbird Habanero sauce, it's sweeping Austin Texas. So damn tasty, will wake you up.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 2:28 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Easiest Salsa - canned tomatoes in blender with whatever other salsa ingredients, blend to desired consistency, done. Simple ingredients are delicious - handful cilantro and adobe sauce/jalapeno from a can is my favorite for fast salsa. I'm not saying there aren't better salsas but this is fastest and a lot of reward for a little effort.

Less Easy Hot Sauce - this Rick Bayless recipe takes a taco to another level.

novelgazer - open the can of adobo sauce with chipotle pepper and puree contents in blender, place in freezer bag, freeze flat, break off piece from freezer as needed, no unwanted chunks or seeds.
posted by RoadScholar at 2:31 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]

I highly recommend looking at the menus of Austin's finest breakfast taco joints and just copying their recipes.

I like:
Taco Deli
Mi Madres
posted by lunalaguna at 3:30 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Border Grill's Black bean and butternut squash tacos.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:47 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Tempeh, sweet potato, avocado.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:59 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh! Here's a link to Border Grill's Trio of Salsas (Chipotle, Tomatillo, and Roasted Arbol.) They're all great but the Chipotle is my favorite salsa ever -- I buy it fresh from the restaurant once in a while and pour it on everything until it's gone.

While you're at it, you might as well make the Skillet Chilaquiles on the same page and throw it in a taco!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:54 PM on November 14, 2014

re: lunalaguna's mention of Tacodeli, they have a unique potato filling that goes in their bkfst tacos. they're not fried potatoes like most places - it's a very creamy mashed potato with a ton of milk/cream and serrano or jalapeno mixed in. the babyfood consistency is actually divine. I have never been able to successfully replicate it at home but I think the key must be boiling then mashing the potatoes with the right amount of added liquid and the chiles without letting them turn gummy.
posted by slow graffiti at 5:02 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Apologies for the self-link, but here is my recipe for tofu "chorizo" tacos.
posted by zombiedance at 5:05 PM on November 14, 2014

Also no one said migas yet, so migas
posted by slow graffiti at 5:07 PM on November 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

how about something sweet? Spread peanut butter on the tortilla, then add some plain yogurt and a banana, sprinkle in some granola and put on a little honey. roll it up and go at it. so so good.
posted by dawkins_7 at 5:34 PM on November 14, 2014

Oh, crap, I totally forgot my must-have condiment for some kinds of tacos: curtido, a lightly self-fermenting cabbage pickle. I put a whole jalapeno in mine, seeds and all, but by the time it hits the 3-week mark it has become nearly inedible to my moderately delicate self.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:47 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

it's a very creamy mashed potato with a ton of milk/cream and serrano or jalapeno mixed in. the babyfood consistency is actually divine. I have never been able to successfully replicate it at home but I think the key must be boiling then mashing the potatoes with the right amount of added liquid and the chiles without letting them turn gummy.

I swear I have no affiliation with Border Grill (I wish I did!) but it sounds a lot like their Potato Rajas Tacos, just mashed. It's actually the first recipe I thought of but changed my mind because of all the cream and cheese.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:35 PM on November 14, 2014

Kim chi
posted by salvia at 8:48 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really like this style of creamy (but vegan!) green salsa with potato or bean breakfast tacos. It's rich enough that it would be overkill with something like chorizo.
posted by nebulawindphone at 9:03 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Just popping in to say bacon, refried bean and pickled jalapeño, preferably from la canaria on Airport.

At home we do a lot of nopales and kale, steamed with the picking juice of a jar of jalapeños.
posted by CharlesV42 at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

It used to be you could get Jackfruit Carnitas at a restaurant here called Pure Luck, but they went out of business despite having the most delicious vegetarian food. They are fantastic.

The Oaxacan cheese called Quesillo is this mildly tangy and fragrant white cheese that is stringy and will melt. Pair it with refried black or pinto beans and avocado.

And put this on everything:

14.5oz can of tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
4-? chile tepins*
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
Blend ingredients well.

* I've seen them two ways: whole dried and ground fine. The ground chile tepins are like freakin' pepper spray, be careful. The pea-sized, bright red whole and dried version is not any less hot, but it's not so easily airborne. I put 8 whole ones in the blender.
posted by carsonb at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

My only addition to the previous suggestions is that a handful of greens makes a wonderful addition--in textures and color as well as flavor. A handful of chopped spinach or arugula or baby kale goes in or over my morning breakfast. Trader Joes sometimes has bags of chopped mustard greens that are a spicy change.
posted by LarryC at 12:18 AM on November 15, 2014

My breakfast taco of the moment is white beans, marinated and grilled zucchini, diced potatoes, scrambled egg, a green salsa, feta cheese.
posted by kmennie at 3:53 AM on November 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's a tomatillo salsa I like to make:

8 tomatillos (about 12 ounces), (husked & rinsed)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 jalapeno (with seeds)
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro

Put the tomatillos in a medium saucepan and cover with water by about an inch. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, about 7 minutes.

In a blender, combine the onions, garlic, jalapeno, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and puree until smooth. Using a slotted spoon transfer the tomatillos to the blender, along with about 1/4-cup of the cooking liquid, puree until smooth. Add the coriander and blend briefly.

Swiss chard + potatoes makes a good filling:

1/2 pound Swiss chard (stems and leaves), rinsed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus as needed
1 teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Fresh ground pepper

Strip the leaves from the stems of the Swiss chard, and chop the leaves and coarsely slice the stems; and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the 2 tablespoons oil. Add the potatoes and cook until golden brown and tender, about 8 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper, to taste. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the Swiss chard stems, cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the leaves, and remaining salt and pepper, cover, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the mixture to a strainer over a medium bowl, drain off any excess liquid.

(If you have a random bit of bacon on hand, toss it in with the potatoes while they cook)
posted by mikepop at 6:42 AM on November 17, 2014

Mushrooms, lentils*, onions, chipotle in adobo. Top with avocado, eat until you feel ill.

*I've also used tofu (ok), crumbled tempeh (also ok), seitan (great), and kale (besssst) instead.
posted by libraritarian at 4:07 PM on November 18, 2014

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