Beef Patty Tacos

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Beef Patty Tacos
Servings: 1 taco
Teresa Matias told me that to help satisfy her children's cries for burgers when buns weren't handy, she would fold a hamburger patty into a tortilla and fry it. Topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato, it later became a regular menu item at her restaurant, Teresa's Mosaic Cafe.
Apparently, a lot of moms had the same experience, because the beef patty taco has been standard restaurant fare around southern Arizona since at least the mid-1970s.
For this beef patty tacos recipe, a plant-based, high-moisture ground beef alternative such as Beyond Beef also works well.


For each taco you will need:

  • 1/4 cup lean ground beef
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • Salt pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Canola or neutral flavored vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoons Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Shredded Iceberg or Romaine lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon Diced tomatoes


  • Spread a thin layer of ground beef over half of each corn tortilla so that the meat is about ¼-inch thick.
  • Sprinkle the beef with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Using tongs, carefully lay the open-faced tortilla meat-side-up in the oil. Fold the other side of the tortilla over the meat and gently press down.
  • Fry for about 2 minutes, then flip the taco with the tongs and cook until until the tortilla is crispy and the meat is cooked, about two minutes longer.
  • Remove the taco from the oil, turning it on its side over the oil to drain. Transfer to a paper towel.
  • To[p with shredded cheese, lettuce and diced tomatoes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican, Sonoran, Sonoran Style Mexican
Keyword beef patty tacos, beef patty tacos recipe, hamburger patty tacos, patty tacos, Sonoran Beef Patty Tacos, sonoran recipe, taco recipes, Tucson Sonora recipe