Layers of crispy beef, melty cheese, and all of the classic toppings are folded in flour tortillas, creating irresistible Smashburger Tacos. Fire up a hot griddle and get ready to eat, these sear up quickly!
The combination of tacos and burgers comes together for the ultimate combination: Smashburger tacos are not only easy to prepare, but they are incredibly tasty. Seared beef steams to the tortilla, cooking quickly on a hot griddle or cast iron skillet. This leads to an unlimited combination of toppings, making this recipe extremely fun and open-ended. Many other bloggers started calling them Big Mac Tacos due to the similar toppings to the classic.
Why This Recipe Works
- SMASHBURGERS & TACOS. Edge-to-edge crispy beef is key, and these deliver. While only one side of the beef is directly seared, this process ensures that the meat is extremely flat, crispy, and still juicy on the inside.
- SO MANY TOPPINGS. Let’s face it, burgers are also a way to deliver delicious toppings directly to your mouth. Stick with the classics with dill pickle, a slice of cheese, and burger sauce to make Big Mac tacos, or go all out and mix it up. Keep it Mexican with chipotle salsa, pickled red onions, and white cheese. The combos are truly endless.
- QUICK RECIPE. The smash burger taco cooks extremely fast, as you only sear one side of the meat. The bad news, they also disappear just as fast. Make plenty!
- AFFORDABLE. Tortillas and ground beef are the foundation, the rest is up to you. Keep it simple with ketchup and mustard, or go all out with salsa, cheese, and veggies.
viral smashburger tacos
I was shocked at how viral this recipe for Smashburger tacos went when I posted them on TikTok and Instagram. There was plenty of support, and mixed reactions, but overall the majority are excited to discover a fun twist.
- Highly recommend using a burger press, or heavy-duty spatula for smashing down the burgers. My top choices are the Finex Flat Press or the Lodge Burger Press, both are very heavy and easy to use. Here’s another affordable option in stainless steel.
- Flour tortillas are key. Corn tortillas will work, but not near as well. The meat sticks to the flour tortillas better when seared, and can fold easier after the fact. Plus the flavor of the flour tortillas matches the missing buns, really emulating the authentic smash burger flavors. Look for smaller flour tortillas, about the same size as a typical corn tortilla.
- Any flat top, griddle, or skillet will work. This recipe shows the smashburger tacos being seared on a griddle, but this can easily be accomplished with any skillet. You just won’t be able to throw down 6 at a time, but at least you’ll have them.
- Have everything ready to go when you start. This smash burger recipe is simple, but it moves quickly. Make sure you’re ready because the meat will sear very quickly. Meat, tortilla, smash, flip, and you’re done!
Step 1: Prepare the Beef
Portion out the beef into golf ball-sized portions, roughly about 2 ounces each. When flattened, they should cover the full surface of the tortilla, sometimes creeping over.
Heat up your searing surface to a high heat. If using a griddle as shown above, do not turn on all of the burners. The tacos will be flipped over, and the flour tortilla doesn’t need to crisp up on the back. It’s best if they are flipped to a surface with ambient heat to keep them warm and pliable.
Season the beef with your choice of seasoning (can’t go wrong with salt & pepper). Place the seasoned side of the beef down onto the hot surface. Find those tortillas quickly, it’s time to smash!
What cut of beef is best for smash burgers?
Use an 80/20 ground beef blend for smash burger tacos, or any smash burgers. This blend has the right amount of fat to create a thin, crispy crust while remaining juicy. You don’t want dry burgers!
Step 2: Smash the Burgers with Tortillas
Once the meat is on the hot surface, grab a tortilla and your pressing utensil.
Place the tortilla on top of the ball of meat and smash it down, pressing the burger flat onto the surface. Lift up the press to see if you’ve smashed it into a thin patty. It’s fine if the burger smashes past the edge of the tortilla. Trust me, it will cook.
The hot surface will sear the meat within about 2-3 minutes. Watch the color of the beef change from bright red to brown, and the edges should be crispy on the bottom.
What Do You Use to Smash the Tacos?
Use any flat burger press, such as you would to make traditional smash burgers. Flat spatulas don’t work here as well, you’ll need something heavy. One of the best burger presses would be this Stainless Burger Press with a thick handle.
An alternative way to prepare Smashburger Tacos
Smashing the beef onto the griddle is the fun part of making smash burgers, but it’s not the only method that can be used.
Press the meat into the corn tortillas, spreading it all the way to the edges. You can use wax paper or parchment paper to stack the prepared smashburger tacos before searing them on your griddle or cast iron skillet.
Step 3: Scrape and Flip
Using your metal spatula or scraper, flip the burger with the tortilla over to the cool side. The tortilla does not need to be heated up on the back, otherwise, it will crisp up and cannot fold easily.
If using a large cast iron skillet, transfer the smash burger taco to a warmed plate so it doesn’t quickly cool off.
The bottom of the burger will be cooked through, so don’t worry. If by chance the meat separates from the tortilla during the flip, just set them back together.
Make sure the smash burger taco is flipped to the COOL SIDE of the griddle. If you flip it right into where it was searing, it will crisp up the taco and potentially burn. While a crispy shell may taste delicious, it will not fold easily and can break on you. The back of the tortilla just needs to warm a little bit, it doesn’t need to be fried.
Toppings for Smashburger Tacos
Stick with this homemade smash burger recipe combination if you want to make your own Big Mac Burger Tacos. Generally, classic burgers use American cheese which is perfectly melty and softens right after being placed on the warm beef. Use any cheese you prefer, but melty cheese would be the best for smashburger tacos. Some of our favorites are:
- Monterrey Jack or pepper jack
- Smoked Gouda
Frequently Asked Questions
Typically not. The burgers are seared on the griddle and the liquids are squeezed out during this phase. Some of it will be absorbed into the tortilla, but most of it falls with gravity onto the hot surface.
No, as long as the instructions were followed and the burger was smashed adequately flat. The high heat will cook right through the beef, searing the surface and keeping the meat juicy. If there’s ever a question, flip the tortilla and warm it on a very low heat for a minute.
Yes you can, however, the flour tortillas have worked better through testing. The tortillas are more pliable and the meat adheres better, due to the flour absorbing some of the moisture and creating a bond. Plus it’s a more classic taste paired with the meat.
Yes, this is a great solution if you do not have a burger press. It will take a couple minutes of prep work, but cooks just as well.
- 1 pound ground beef, 80/20, portioned into 2-ounce balls
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 8 small flour tortillas
- 8 slices American cheese
- Burger Sauce (recipe below)
- Sweet and Spicy Pickles
- Shredded lettuce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Portion the beef and prepare the workstation. Make sure the beef is about a small golf-ball size, roughly 2 ounces. Have the tortillas, cheese, and everything ready to go as this process happens quickly.
- Heat up the griddle to a high heat for searing. Don’t turn on all of the burners, just the one you’ll need to sear. This will give your tacos a cool landing place for when they are flipped.
- Season the beef and place on the griddle. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto one side of the beef and place it face down on the griddle. Do this for all of the portions, spacing them far enough apart so you can smash them down.
- Add the tortilla to the top and smash down. Quickly place a flour tortilla on top of the beef and smash it down using a press or your spatula. Press down to make sure it’s extremely thin. It’s not a problem if the burger is a little bigger than the tortilla. Let the meat cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the color of the beef has darkened and it’s crisp on the bottom.
- Scrape and flip the tacos. Using a bench scraper or spatula, forcefully scrape the meat off the griddle and flip the tortillas to the cooler side. Do not sear the tortillas on the hot surface, or they will crisp up. Add your cheese and cover the taco with a bowl or a lid to assist in melting if needed.
- Top and serve immediately. No need to wait for the meat to rest, these smashburger tacos are waiting for your toppings. Enjoy!
- These can be prepared on a cast iron skillet as well. Transfer the tacos to a warm plate when flipping to make sure the tortillas stay pliable.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Beef & Lamb
- Method: Griddle
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: smashburgers, tacos, smashburger tacos, burgers, cheeseburgers, pickles