Irresistible Tacos de Canasta: The Ultimate Party Pleaser

Easy Mexican Tacos De Canasta Recipe - Perfect for Parties and Potlucks

Discover the secret to effortlessly serving tacos at your next potluck or party with these mouthwatering Tacos de Canasta (Basket Tacos)!

Ever dreamed of bringing tacos to a potluck without the hassle? Say goodbye to juggling multiple containers and commandeering the host’s kitchen. Tacos de Canasta are here to revolutionize your party game!

Inspired by the streets of Mexico City, these pre-assembled tacos are a game-changer for social gatherings. They’re not just convenient – they’re a delicious twist on traditional tacos that will have your friends begging for the recipe.

Unraveling the Magic of Tacos de Canasta

Tacos de Canasta, also known as “basket tacos,” “steamed tacos,” or “sweaty tacos,” are a clever invention of Mexican street vendors. These pre-made tacos are assembled in advance, packed in a basket, and allowed to steam in their own heat. The result? Perfectly soft tortillas infused with flavors from the fillings and a drizzle of chile oil.

Crafting Your Tacos de Canasta Masterpiece

The Perfect Basket

Start with a basket or container roughly 9-by-13-by-6-inches. This size comfortably holds about 50 tacos, but don’t worry – you can easily adjust the quantity to suit your needs.

Fantastic Fillings

The key to spectacular Tacos de Canasta is using fillings that aren’t too wet. Refried beans, mashed potatoes, or well-drained meats like beef barbacoa, carnitas, or chicken tinga work beautifully. Remember, these tacos will be served with salsa, so don’t worry about them being too dry!

Tortilla Magic

For the best results, warm your tortillas in batches of 10, wrapped in foil, in a 300°F (150°C) oven for about 30 minutes. This method ensures you can work quickly, keeping everything hot as you assemble.

Flavor Boosters

Elevate your Tacos de Canasta with layers of thinly sliced raw white onion and a drizzle of homemade chile oil. Our recipe includes a simple yet flavor-packed chile oil that will take your tacos to the next level!

Tacos de Canasta: Your New Go-To Party Recipe


  • 50 corn tortillas, divided into groups of 10, each wrapped in foil
  • 2 medium white onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups), divided
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 6 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups canola, vegetable, or other neutral oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Fillings as desired (see notes)
  • Salsa verde or other salsas, for serving


  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Place the foil-wrapped tortillas in the oven and let them warm for 30 minutes.
  2. While the tortillas warm, create your flavorful chile oil. Heat a dry cast iron skillet over high heat until it’s lightly smoking. Add half of the sliced onion, all of the garlic, and all of the chiles. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re blackened and charred in spots. Pour in 1 cup of oil and fry over medium-high heat until the garlic and onions are browned and softened, about 3 minutes. Transfer this aromatic mixture to a blender, add the remaining 1 cup of oil and a generous pinch of salt, then blend until smooth. Pour the chile oil into a small saucepan and keep it hot, stirring occasionally to prevent the solids from scorching.
  3. Prepare your basket by lining it with a cloth or blanket large enough to have ample overhang. Next, line the cloth with a clean plastic bag, then line the plastic with sheets of butcher paper.
  4. Now for the fun part – assembling your tacos! Working in batches, remove a packet of tortillas from the oven. Quickly fill each tortilla with your chosen filling, fold it in half to seal, and place it in the lined basket. Once you’ve completed a layer of tacos, sprinkle some of the remaining sliced onion on top and drizzle with the hot chile oil. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas, fillings, onion, and oil until your basket is full of delicious tacos.
  5. Once all your tacos are nestled in the basket, it’s time to wrap them up. Fold the butcher paper over the tacos, then twist and seal the plastic bag closed, pushing out any excess air. Lastly, fold the overhanging cloth over the tacos to create a tidy, packed basket. Let your tacos steam in their cozy nest for 1 hour, then open the basket and serve immediately. Don’t forget to pass around plenty of salsa for your guests to enjoy!


For the best Tacos de Canasta, opt for fillings that are flavorful but not too moist. Long-cooked braised or simmered dishes, well-drained, are perfect. Try refried beans, beef barbacoa, carnitas, or chicken tinga. For braised meats, place the cooked meat in a colander set over a bowl and press with the back of a ladle to remove excess sauce. Don’t discard that flavorful liquid – serve it alongside the tacos for an extra flavor boost!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
135 Calories
10g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 50
Amount per serving
Calories 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 60mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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