Although those tiny pouches of pre-packaged spices and “flavorings” might be tempting, your tacos deserve much better in the taste department. It’s best to use your own spices, and it can be just as convenient. Just prepare your taco spice blend in DIY packets ahead of time, with pre-portioned amounts stored in separate zipper-lock bags. Come taco night, you can just grab a bag of spice mix and add it to the sautéed aromatics. One of our favorite blends includes chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt.
Crisp taco shells are an essential component to any great taco, but stuff them with filling and toppings, and they inevitably shatter. To avoid any chance of a messy explosion, line the shell with a lettuce leaf, and then add filling and toppings. When the shell shatters, the lettuce contains the filling (and still delivers a satisfying crunch).
What is a taco without cheese? Grated cheese is a must-have garnish, and if grated cheese is good, we’d like to think that melted cheese might taste even better. To line your tacos with a cheesy blanket of goodness, arrange the shells on a baking sheet so they can be warmed in the oven before they’re filled. Sprinkle a bit of grated cheese onto each shell, and then the cheese will melt as the shells warm up. Feel free to insert your own “shells and cheese” joke here.