Tacos make for a healthy, simple weeknight meal the whole family will look forward to.

All recipes make eight healthy tacos.

Healthy Taco Recipe: Spicy Grilled Pork Tacos

The right cut of pork is an inexpensive and super lean source of protein. Plus, the meat is easy to flavor.

Ingredients

8 corn tortillas
Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Pork
1 lb thick-cut, boneless pork chops
1 jalapeno, sliced
¼ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup light craft beer (recommended blonde ale or sessions IPA)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T olive oil
1 T honey or agave
½ T Sriracha or hot sauce
½ T cumin
1 tsp sea salt

Pineapple salsa
4 pineapple rounds (sliced ½ inch thick)
1 large avocado, diced
½ red bell pepper, finely diced
½ jalapeno, minced (remove seeds to reduce spice)
2 T fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lime
¼ tsp, each, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Creamy chili BBQ sauce
2 T light sour cream or Mexican-style crema
1 T barbecue sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

Place pork chops in a large Ziploc bag. Add the rest of the ingredients, seal bag very tightly and shake to mix the ingredients together. Let marinate 2 hours, up to overnight, in the fridge. Heat grill to medium and cook pork chops over direct heat for 5–7 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Chop into small pieces. Grill pineapple rounds over medium heat 2 minutes per side until charred grill marks appear. Let cool on a plate. In a bowl, gently combine the rest of the salsa ingredients. Once the pineapple has cooled, remove the cores and dice the rest of the pineapple. Add to the bowl and gently stir until evenly combined. To assemble, heat the tortillas on the grill. Whisk barbecue sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Divide the pork into the taco shells and top with the pineapple salsa. Drizzle the barbecue sauce over the top and sprinkle with fresh cilantro if desired.

healthy taco recipe
Photo: John David Becker

Healthy Taco Recipe: Veggie Tacos

Roasted cauliflower and garbanzo beans create a rich depth of flavor and are complemented by a touch of creamy melted cheese, sweet caramelized onions, avocado and crunchy cabbage.

Ingredients

8 small whole-wheat tortillas
4 oz Queso Oaxaca (Munster may be substituted)
1½ cups purple cabbage, finely shredded
2 large avocados, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Cauliflower and garbanzo beans
1 head cauliflower florets, finely chopped
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 T olive oil
1 tsp chipotle seasoning
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper

Onions
2 yellow onions, finely sliced
½ cup beer (recommend stout or brown ale)
2 T olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh cracked pepper

Directions

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and non-stick cooking spray. Divide the cauliflower and garbanzo beans between the two sheets, and toss with the oil, seasoning and salt and pepper. Bake for 30–40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes, until the cauliflower and beans are golden. Meanwhile, heat the oil for the onions over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the seasonings, stir to coat the onions and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the beer and reduce for 10–15 minutes, until the liquid is gone and the onions are caramelized. To assemble, thinly slice the cheese and divide among the tortillas. Heat the tortillas in the oven, until the cheese is melted. Divide the cauliflower and garbanzo mixture among the tortillas. Top with the onions. Scatter cabbage and avocado over the top and sprinkle with cilantro.

Photo: John David Becker
Photo: John David Becker

Healthy Taco Recipe: Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Corn Salsa

A light white fish, steak or shredded chicken can easily be substituted in this recipe. Bonus: This salsa is likely to become a favorite in your recipe arsenal.

Ingredients

8 corn tortillas
2 cups arugula, lightly chopped
Avocado slices
Queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional)

Shrimp
24 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (request this at the fish counter)
1 T olive oil
¼ tsp, each, salt and pepper

Salsa
3 cobs of corn
3 Roma or tomatoes on the vine, sliced in half
1 T olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
¼ cup white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp, each, salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T freshly chopped cilantro

Directions

Toss the shrimp with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill shrimp approximately 90 seconds per side—do not overcook. Remove and let rest on a plate. Keep the grill on medium-high heat, and grill the corn about 2 minutes per side, until lightly charred. Spray the tomato halves with non-stick cooking spray. Grill 1–2 minutes per side, until lightly charred. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté 2 minutes. Add the wine, lemon juice, corn, salt and pepper. Let bubble for 8 minutes until the juices have absorbed, adding the garlic during the last two minutes of cooking. Remove pan from heat. Finely chop the grilled tomato and add to the pan, along with the cilantro. To assemble, heat the tortillas on the grill. Divide the arugula among the taco shells. Place 3 shrimp on each tortilla. Top with the warm corn salsa and avocado slices. Sprinkle with queso fresco or cotija cheese, if desired.

healthy taco recipe
Photo: John David Becker

Healthy Taco Recipe: Thai Chicken Tacos

In this non-traditional taco recipe, rotisserie chicken adds to the ease of preparation.

Ingredients
8 small whole-wheat tortillas
2 small rotisserie chickens
Queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional)

Peanut sauce
¼ cup smooth natural peanut butter
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 T reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 tsp agave or honey
1 tsp Sriracha or hot sauce

Slaw
2 cups Napa cabbage, finely shredded
½ cup carrots, finely grated
1/3 cup radish, finely sliced
¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 T peanuts, finely chopped
1 tsp agave
2 T fresh lime juice, plus zest of 1 lime
2 T fresh orange juice, plus zest of 1 orange

Directions

In a bowl, whisk together the peanut sauce ingredients. Remove and shred the breast meat from the chickens. In a wok or large sauté pan, heat the chicken over medium-low heat. Add the peanut sauce and toss until the chicken is well-coated. Heat until warm. To make the slaw, whisk together the agave, lime juice/zest, and orange juice/zest in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss until well combined. To assemble, heat the tortillas in the oven. Divide the chicken and peanut sauce among the tortillas and top with the slaw. Sprinkle with queso fresco or cotija cheese, if desired.