By Christie Vanover | Published July 21, 2021 | Last Updated June 13, 2022
Make your backyard cookouts more experiential by offering a walking taco bar, using a variety of lean proteins, chips and foil packets.
Disclosure: This recipe was sponsored by Reynolds Wrap®. All opinions are my own.
What is a walking taco?
Eating crunchy tacos can be messy. As soon as you bite into the shell, it breaks and the ingredients fall out – hello laundry day.
A walking taco solves that messy mishap. It’s basically a portable taco in a bag. Instead of using a fragile taco shell, you cook up your ingredients and spoon them on top of tortilla chips or corn chips and eat it all up with a fork or spoon.
I had my first walking taco at an international military fair in Belgium. The U.S. booth had a big pot of seasoned ground beef and they spooned the meat right into single-serving chip bags along with cheese, lettuce and tomato.
Walking taco bar
Well, being the backyard griller and campfire gal that I am, I wanted to recreate this experience at home, on a smaller, more personal scale, which led me to the walking taco bar.
When you’re throwing a backyard party or hosting people at your campsite, the easy meal solution is burgers and dogs, but the fun solution is walking taco foil packets.
By giving everyone a sheet of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil and an assortment of ingredients, they can have fun creating their own taco combos. Once they fill their foil packets, the only thing left to do is throw them on the grill or campfire for 15 minutes.
Reynolds Wrap® now has a new box that is easier to open and comes with a tab that keeps the box fully closed when you store it. The new boxes are also color-coded by type. For Heavy Duty Foil, look for the box with the light blue end.
Choose your ingredients, choose your adventure
In order to make this experiential, offer options at your walking taco bar, starting with the protein. Ground beef is an obvious choice, but you can also offer ground pork, ground chicken or ground turkey.
I do recommend choosing a lean meat, so you don’t end up with too much grease in your foil packet. Pork, chicken and turkey are naturally lean, but with beef, consider a 93% lean beef.Next comes the taco flavor. This recipe uses canned enchilada sauce. It helps keep the meat juicy while adding a mix of tomatoes and chiles. And guess what? You’ve got options here, too. You can go with a red or green sauce and you can offer hot and mild.
Before we add the foil packets to the grill, throw on some diced peppers and onions. I like jalapeños, poblanos or Anaheim peppers.
Finally, sprinkle on the cheese. A mild cheddar is nice, but pepper jack and Oaxaca are also super choices, because they melt well.
How to grill walking taco foil packets
Once everyone’s foil packet is ready, close up the packet by folding the long edges toward the center. Then, fold the shorter edges toward the center.
Then, place the packets on the grill over medium-high direct heat.
After 15 minutes, the meat should be cooked through. The veggies will be tender and the cheese will be melted. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165F degrees or more.
Open the foil packet and carefully smash up the meat with a fork.
Time to eat
Tear off one more sheet of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil per person and shape it like a bowl. Using heavy duty foil makes the walking taco container more durable, so you don’t have to worry about breaking or tearing.
Pour some corn chips inside and then pour the cooked taco meat right on top.
Offer a selection of cool toppings like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, diced green onions, sour cream and guacamole.
Everyone can grab their walking taco foil packet and share how they concocted their personal recipe.
More foil packet recipes
Grilled Walking Taco Foil Packet
- 1 box Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil
- 1 lb lean ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey
- 10 oz can enchilada sauce
- 1/4 cup white onion diced
- 1/4 cup peppers diced
- 4 cups corn chips
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese
- 1 cup shredded lettuce
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup tomatoes diced
- 1 green onion diced
- Heat the grill to medium heat.
- Tear off 4 sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil.
- Place a quarter of the ground meat onto the center of the foil. Pour on a couple tablespoons of enchilada sauce.
- Add on some onions and peppers. Top with cheese.
- Close up the foil packet by folding the long edges toward the center. Then, fold the shorter edges toward the center.
- Place on the grill and cook for 15 minutes.
- Tear off four more sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil. Turn a soup-size bowl upside down.
- Add the foil on top and press down to shape it into a bowl. Remove it from the bowl and roll up the edges.
- Place corn chips in the foil bowl. Spoon on the cooked meat.
- Top with lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes and green onions.