These allergy friendly tacos are a staple in our dinner rotation. They require minimal specialty ingredients, are quick and easy to make, and are also free of the top 9 allergens!
If you're eating with food allergies, you know that a lot of meals need to be made from scratch rather than relying on convenience foods or dining out. That's why so many of our meals are simple. We don't have the luxury of getting take out or throwing a frozen lasagna in the oven for a quick dinner.
Simple meals are a necessity as are meals that the whole family likes. Enter tacos! My kids will eat tacos two or three nights in a row. They love them! That's why they are in the weekly meal rotation at our house. But that's not the only reason. They're so quick and easy to prepare and they don't really require many substitutes to make them free of the top 8 allergens.
What Makes These Tacos "Allergy Free"?
The main substitutes used in this recipe are dairy free cheese and homemade taco seasoning that is wheat/gluten free. Even though you can find gluten free taco seasonings at the store, I like to make my own to avoid "extra" ingredients. It is a little tedious to measure out all of the spices so I make a jar full so I don't have to do it every time we have tacos. My kids hate spicy foods so my taco seasoning tends to last a while. I only put a tablespoon in each pound of taco meat!
Double Up and Save Time
Making tacos takes the same amount of time whether I make enough for one meal or two so I usually make a large batch and freeze half of it. If you're already in the habit of doubling up when cooking, you know what a time saver it is. When I'm crunched for time for dinner prep and realize I have frozen taco meat in the freezer I'm like, "YEEEEEESSSS!" Not only can you use it for tacos but you can put it in soups, on salads, and even mixed into a casserole. Double up and save yourself some time and effort!
Pick Your Protein
I tend to use ground turkey in place of ground beef a lot when I cook because it's leaner, has less saturated fat, and generally, has fewer calories. I do love ground beef in tacos, though! Sometimes I mix a pound of ground beef with a pound of ground turkey to have the best of both worlds! I also like to mix in a can of black beans. It stretches the meat further and is a great source of protein and fiber!
Allergy Friendly Tacos
- ¼ cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1-½ teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons corn or tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- cayenne pepper optional - to your taste
- 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1-15 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning to your taste
- Gluten free taco shells/tortillas
- Shredded lettuce
- Chopped tomatoes
- Chopped avocado
- Shredded cheese for dairy allergy, try Daiya dairy free cheese
- Chopped cilantro
For taco seasoning:
- Combine the chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, corn/tapioca starch, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, sugar, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper in a glass jar with lid. Cover the jar and shake to combine.
- Cook beef or turkey and onion in a large skillet over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is brown; drain. Stir in the black beans, 1-2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (to your taste), and ⅓ cup water. Simmer until the water has mostly evaporated, about 10 minutes.
- Place meat and bean mixture in tortillas/taco shells and top with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!
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This seasoning sounds interesting with the brown sugar. Thank you for sharing! What brand of hard taco shells do you use? My son has multiple food allergies, and it has been difficult finding safe ones made without cross contact. Thank you!
Kristi Winkels, RDN, LD says
I usually buy taco shells from Aldi (Casa Mamita) and Old El Paso brand. We haven't had any cross-contact issues with them and they do not have advisory statements as far as I can tell. I hope that helps!
This is such a simple meal that everyone in my family can eat! I love the taco seasoning - not too spicy, just right!