Give taco night a fun new twist! Have fun with your food. These silly faces are the perfect tacos for toddlers that the entire family will love.
The Perfect tacos for toddlers
Last summer, I had the opportunity to be a contributor to Kleinworth & Co, a very creative blog where Gina Kleinworth shares recipes, gift ideas, crafts, simple and cost-effective ways to decorate your home, creative and fun projects for the kids and photography tips. One of the ideas I shared was Crazy Taco Faces, a fun food idea you can make with your kids.
At our house, Tuesday dinner is typically “Taco Tuesday”, but we like to mix it up by offering a wide variety of Mexican dishes in addition to traditional tacos. Some weeks we have enchiladas; some weeks we have fish tacos, and some weeks we have shredded beef tortilla wraps. Anything of that genre is fair game for “Taco Tuesday” at our house, so you can imagine how delighted my kids were when we decided to make Crazy Taco Faces one Tuesday for dinner.
How to Make Crazy Taco Faces
Crazy Taco Faces are a creative twist on traditional soft tacos. I think they are perfect for toddlers, but everyone of any age will enjoy them too.
You and your kids will have a blast using olives, grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, and taco sauce to make silly faces.
If your family prefers crispier tacos, I would suggest you spritz or lightly brush all of the corn tortillas with olive oil and bake at 375 degrees for 4-5 minutes before you begin assembling the Crazy Taco Faces. This will make the corn tortillas crispier from the beginning. Otherwise, they tend to get soft once you add the beans, meat, and cheese.
These are the ingredients you’ll need. All the exact amounts are in the printable card at the bottom of this post.
- Corn tortillas
- Ground beef or turkey
- Chopped onion (optional)
- Taco seasoning
- Refried beans
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Black olives
- Shredded carrots
- Grape tomatoes
- Shredded romaine lettuce
- Taco sauce
Tacos for Toddlers Tips
Have fun with this recipe! Here are some tips that will help you make the most amazing and fun crazy taco faces for your family.
Make the Ground Beef ahead of time
You can do this step days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator if it’s a busy night.
I like to add chopped onion to my ground meat. After it’s all browned, add the taco seasoning and the water.
Make the taco faces on a baking sheet
Use cooking spray to lightly grease a large baking sheet. I also like to line the baking sheet with foil before I spray it to make clean-up after dinner a little easier.
Place tortillas on the baking sheet for as many Crazy Taco Faces as you plan to make. Spread a thin layer of refried beans on each of the tortillas. You can skip the refried beans if you don’t care for them, but the refried beans really help the Crazy Taco Faces stick together.
Spread the beans on the tortillas first
There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. I just found that everything sticks together better if I put the refried beans on the bottom.
Don’t forget the cheese
Shredded cheese also helps the Crazy Taco Faces to stick together, so liberally add cheese to each of the tortillas. We used mozzarella since that’s what we had on hand, but any shredded cheese will work for the inside of the Crazy Taco Faces.
Add a second tortilla on top and bake them
Place a tortilla on top of each of the Crazy Taco Faces. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt inside the Crazy Taco Faces.
Use cheese for the face
After they are completely baked, carefully remove the Crazy Taco Faces from the oven.
The corn tortillas may have started to turn up at the edges, so gently push the edges back down.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top of each tortilla. Again, any cheese will work here as long as it’s the same color (e.g. I wouldn’t use a Colby jack blend or something two-toned for this part). Return the Crazy Taco Faces to the oven and bake for another five minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
Build the taco faces
Now is the fun part. Create faces by using black olives for eyes, half a grape tomato for a nose and shredded carrots for eyebrows. We returned ours to the oven for another 4 minutes but if they’re hot enough to you, you could move on to the next step.
Use taco sauce for the smile
Put taco sauce in a resealable bag, then cut off a small corner of the bag. Use the bag to creatively decorate your Crazy Taco Faces with smiles, frowns, or jagged monster grins.
Add shredded lettuce for silly hair
Use a large spatula to move the Crazy Taco Faces from the baking sheet on to a plate. Top those silly guys and gals with shredded lettuce for hair before serving.
Other meats to use in tacos
Crazy Taco Faces makes a fun family dinner or a heavier snack if you’ve got leftover taco meat in the fridge from another meal.
They’d also work great with shredded chicken or fish. If you’re a vegetarian you can skip the meat altogether and just go with the refried beans. No matter how you change them up, one thing is for certain — when your kids see this meal, they’re going to smile as big as these Crazy Taco Faces!
Are corn tortillas or flour tortillas better for tacos?
If you use corn tortillas, you will have to bake them. They will break and fall apart if you don’t.
If you are really busy and don’t have time to bake them, you can warm up some flour tortillas in the microwave and use them. It’s a huge time-saver.
Tacos for toddlers: Side Dish Ideas
These are a complete meal. You don’t really need any side dishes. But if you want to add a little something else to your table, try one of these ideas.
- Spanish rice
- Chips and queso
- Chopped pineapple
If you enjoyed these Crazy Taco Faces, please share the recipe with your friends or pin it for later:
You may also like these Fun Food Ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –
For more great ideas, follow our Food Ideas the Kids Will Love Board on Pinterest!
Originally published January 2015. Updated January 2019.