Taco night is about to get even more delicious when you put out a platter of these crispy chorizo tacos! Corn tortillas are stuffed with spicy pork chorizo and plenty of Monterey jack cheese and then baked to perfection to make the most irresistible party meal. Plus, these tacos come together in 30 minutes and truly couldn’t be easier to prepare.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Crispy tacos without frying: I love a fried taco shell. Frying makes magic happen. Surely, a baked taco can’t be as delicious as a freshly fried taco shell, right? I still love freshly fried taco shells but wow – these are just as tasty.
These baked tacos are so crispy, and it is nice not having to deal with frying every time you want crunchy tacos. Both preparation methods have their place.
Great for a crowd: After some easy prep work, we bake everything on one large sheet pan, so your guests can grab their tacos, add their toppings and dig in – this makes for a great family-style meal. While this recipe makes about 10 tacos, you can easily double, triple or quadruple it for a large crowd.
Makes entertaining simple: With its batch preparation, we can make a ton of tacos at once to make hosting easy as can be. After all, you have good company and margaritas to enjoy.
Is this one easy ingredient list or what? Now for just a few ingredient notes and tips.
Chorizo: Make sure you get fresh Mexican chorizo, not the dried Spanish chorizo, which is more for charcuterie boards. Generally, I can find fresh chorizo with ground pork or breakfast sausage, depending on the store.
You can alternatively make your own homemade Mexican chorizo — it’s simply ground pork mixed with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, such as chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, cloves and vinegar.
Corn tortillas: I recommend corn tortillas over flour tortillas for these chorizo tacos. Crunchy taco shells are generally made from corn tortillas. I find they work better in the oven, and that delicious masa flavor really comes out after baking, making for a more delicious taco shell.
All right, let's show you how to make this super easy chorizo tacos recipe.
Step 1: For our first step, we add our chorizo to a large skillet over medium heat and cook the meat (photo 1). After cooking, we remove the chorizo with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excessive grease.
Step 2: Now it’s time to assemble. We start by heating up our corn tortillas and then brushing one side of the tortilla with olive oil (photo 2).
Step 3: On the ungreased side of the tortilla, we add chorizo and cheese and fold the other side on top like so (photos 3 and 4). We repeat with the remaining tortillas and chorizo filling.
Step 4: Just like that, we’re ready to bake. We put the tacos into a hot oven for about five minutes, flip them and then bake for another few minutes (photo 5). When the cheese melts and the tortillas are perfectly brown and crispy, we’re ready to pull from the oven.
All that’s left is to add your favorite toppings to these tasty chorizo tacos. For the perfect finishing touch, we whip up a top-shelf margarita, grab some chips and salsa and serve with some lime wedges and a side of coconut-lime rice and black beans. We’re in for one delicious meal.
Related: For more taco ideas, try my blackened salmon tacos or these street tacos from Glenda Embree.
This recipe was specifically designed for using fresh tortillas and letting them crisp up in the oven. I recommend following that method because the shells are way better than what you’d buy in your typical grocery store.
That said, you can substitute store-bought tacos shells with an adjustment. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees instead of the 450 degrees noted in the recipe card and simply bake until the cheese melts, which should take about seven to 10 minutes. But I really do encourage the directed method — it takes so little effort and results in a much better taco.
If you try to roll a room-temperature tortilla, it will likely rip. Warm tortillas allow us to stuff and fold our tacos and keep our filling perfectly secure.
We have three options for warming our tortillas. My preferred quick and easy option is to simply zap them in the microwave. Another method is to heat a skillet to medium and cook the tortilla for about 20 seconds, flip and cook for another 10-20 seconds. Alternatively, you can stack the tortillas, wrap in tin foil and then heat in a 350-degree oven for about seven to 10 minutes — but no longer or else they start to dry out.
For easier assembly: When folding the chorizo tacos, press down on the tortilla to help it adhere to the chorizo mixture.
Don’t skip the olive oil: Coating the tortillas with olive oil is what helps us achieve that crispy texture. If you skip this step, the tacos won’t come out right.
Grate you own cheese: Bagged shredded cheese come with an anti-clumping agent, so it doesn't melt quite as nicely as freshly shredded cheese.
Make your own variations: Feel free to get creative and apply this taco-making method to your other favorite filling. Swap chorizo for chicken. Smear some refried beans on one side. Use a different type of cheese — you have so many options!
Add your favorite toppings: While these chorizo tacos are delicious on their own, I love entertaining with a platter of different taco toppings. Some of my favorites include pickled onion and radishes, chopped cilantro, sour cream or Mexican crema, chipotle salsa, avocado or guacamole, lettuce and diced tomatoes.
Beer and tacos go hand in hand, so you’ll love a nice amber ale here. The sweet malt backbone tames the heat and adds a contrast to the spicy chorizo. That said, if you’d like to amp up the spice, the hops in an IPA accentuate the heat, making IPAs a popular pairing with spicy food. I also love a crisp pilsner with these chorizo tacos, which is great if you’re looking for more of a palate-cleansing beer.
If you’d prefer a glass of wine with these crispy chorizo tacos, grab a bottle of joven Rioja. This wine makes for a classic chorizo pairing, and you’ll love how its fruity profile counters the heat and adds some subtle baking spice notes that are wonderful with the chili flavor of the chorizo.
And, of course, taco nights call for tequila. Some of my favorites margaritas include this blackberry margarita and coconut margarita. You can also go with my classic tequila sour or triple citrus tequila smash for something a little different for taco night.
When you need an easy yet crowd-pleasing meal, it doesn’t get better than whipping up a big pan of these crispy chorizo tacos. You will love every crunchy, spicy bite.
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Crispy Chorizo Tacos
- 12-inch skillet
- Large sheet pan
- Pastry brush
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for brushing tortillas
- 18 ounces fresh chorizo
- 10 corn tortillas
- ¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Favorite toppings such as pickled onions, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc.
- Turn oven to 450 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chorizo and cook through, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Remove chorizo from skillet and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to allow the excess grease to drain.
- Heat a corn tortilla in the microwave just until it's pliable, about 10 seconds, depending on the microwave. Using a pastry brush, coat one side of the tortilla with olive oil. On the uncoated side, add 2 tablespoons chorizo and 1 tablespoon cheese to half of the tortilla. Fold the other side of the tortilla on top, gently pressing to adhere the tortillas to the chorizo mixture. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Place filled tortillas on a large baking sheet. Bake until the tacos start to brown on the bottom side, about five to seven minutes. Flip the tacos and bake until the other side browns and the cheese melts, about another five minutes.
- Remove from oven. Serve with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- Coating the tortillas with olive oil is what helps us achieve that crispy texture. If you skip this step, the tacos won’t come out right.
- Bagged shredded cheese come with an anti-clumping agent, so it doesn't melt quite as nicely as freshly shredded cheese.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Do these tacos freeze well? If so would you recommend freezing before or after baking?
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
Hi there! Honestly, I have not tried freezing them, so I can’t say from personal experience how they’d turn out. That said, I did find this article from The Kitchn about making freezer taco kits, so it sounds like this could possibly work by assembling and freezing before baking: https://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-freezer-taco-kits-freezer-friendly-recipes-from-the-kitchn-216435. I will have to put this on my list to try this method.
These chorizo tacos were delicious! I will be serving these at my daughter's birthday party in a few weeks! Thanks for the great recipe!
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
You're so welcome!
These turned out great. Summer pool parties are right around the corner and these are perfect for them -- just the right size and full of flavor.
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
I definitely plan on making them a bunch this summer as well. Perfect party food!