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Food & Recipes

You’ll Love Smash Burger Tacos: Delicious Lower-Carb Recipe Cooks in 15 Minutes

The creator of the viral dish tell us the secret to an ultra-crunchy taco shell!

Sometimes we see a trend on social media and have to try it right away. A recent viral favorite of ours: the smash burger taco. This treat takes all of the elements of a traditional burger and places them in a tortilla rather than a bun. It’s a swap that’s lower in carbs and results in a crunchy outer shell as the dish cooks. All you need is 15 minutes and a handful of pantry staples like ground beef and cheese slices to make this dish for dinner. Keep reading to learn how to whip up smash burger tacos like a pro!

What are smash burger tacos?

These tacos consist of a thin cooked beef patty filling inside of a crispy flour tortilla and topped with condiments. It’s a dish created by Brad Prose, chef and author of Chiles and Smoke, and has gone viral over the past year. Combining the elements of burgers and tacos creates a tangy and savory dish that’s also low in carbs.

The surprise low-carb perk of this dish

Replacing a burger bun with a tortilla may sound odd, but it works as a reduced carb alternative. A single burger bun contains 180 calories and 32 grams of carbs, while 2 mini flour tortillas have 90 calories and 17 grams of carbs. This difference can help you regulate your daily carb intake, which is key for weight loss and reducing chronic disease risk. On top of this, you won’t be skimping on flavor — especially using a few chef’s tips to prepare this treat. (This Lettuce-Wrapped Burgers recipe is another low-carb twist on the classic sandwich.)

Several smash burger tacos on a dark serving board

3 tips for tasty smash burger tacos

Here, Prose shares his three top tips for nailing crunchy and tender smash burgers tacos.

1. Smash the meat into the tortilla.

This dish involves cooking each portion of ground beef and tortilla simultaneously. To do this, place a small ball of ground beef onto your heat pan or griddle, cover with the tortilla and smash to flatten the meat. Cook until the meat side is browned and then flip.

2. Flip the tortilla using this trick.

After the meat is seared, don’t flip the taco right into the grease as it may cause it to burn. Instead, have a second pan or cool side of the griddle that you can flip it onto. The back of the tortilla needs to be warmed through for around 1 minute so the cheese on top can melt.

3. Have fun with the toppings.

This is a taco and a burger, and there are so many add-on options. You can go with taco toppings such as shredded lettuce and cheese with your favorite salsas, or stick with the burger theme and use pickles, onions and sauce. Alternatively, BBQ sauce, crumbled bacon or sliced avocado are some of the more experimental toppings you can try.

How to make smash burger tacos

Now that you know the ins and outs of smash burger tacos, it’s time to prepare them! Prose shares his simple recipe that can be cooked in a cast iron skillet, stovetop griddle or outdoor flat top (as shown in the video). You can fill the tacos with condiments, or allow guests to personalize their toppings for a party-perfect dish! (For more trendy recipes, make a Chopped Italian Sandwich, Bubble Pizza or Boba Tea.)

Smash Burger Tacos With Burger Sauce


Burger tacos:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (80/20)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 small flour tortillas
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • Sliced pickles
  • Shredded lettuce

Burger sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbs. pickle relish
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  • Yield: 8 tacos
  1. Heat cooking surface to high heat.
  2. Divide ground beef into 8 golf-ball size balls. Working 1 to 2 meat portions at a time, sprinkle salt and pepper onto one side and place it face down on pan or other surface.
  3. Place flour tortilla on top of beef and smash down using spatula or press. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes or golden brown and crisp on bottom.
  4. Using spatula or bench scraper, scrape meat and flip tortillas onto opposite side. Add cheese and cover taco with bowl or lid to assist in melting if needed; cook 1 minute. Transfer from pan to serving platter. Repeat process with remaining ground beef portions.
  5. Top smash burger tacos with condiments and serve hot.
  6. Note: You can swap ground beef for turkey. Just be sure to grease the surface with oil or cooking spray to avoid sticking.

Read on for more scrumptious lunch or dinner recipes!

Baked Tacos Cook Up to Crispy Perfection in Just 12 Minutes — Easy Sheet Pan Recipe

Kentucky Hot Browns Are the Perfect Bacony, Cheesy Sandwich — Easy Broiler Recipe

Chef’s Secret to Your Best-Ever Pizza: Bake It in Cast Iron for a Crispy Crust — Easy Recipe

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