Some combinations are so perfect that they’ve become timeless classics. Who doesn’t know peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese or chicken and waffles? Yet the universe is vast and there are plenty of perfect flavor combinations still waiting to be discovered. I realized this when I made this viral recipe for smash burger tacos. Where has this combination of griddle-cooked burgers and tortillas been all my life? I’m a convert.

What Is the Appeal of Smash Burger Tacos?

Is it the juicy, oozing beef patty? Is it the crispy tortilla? Is it the tangy sauce or the pickles? Or is it some combination of everything, the satisfying sum of all parts? Yes. “Smash burger tacos are hitting the streets with layers of crispy beef and all the toppings,” announces a TikTok creator in his video (which has more than 3.7 million views). They’re a crowd-pleaser—we predict it’s going to be the summer of the smash burger taco. So hop on board now. Oh, and be sure you make the burger sauce, which tastes like Big Mac sauce.

@chilesandsmoke Smashburger Tacos are hitting the streets. Grab some tortillas and let’s GO! I’ve been working on this process for a bit and realized that smashing the meat with the flour tortilla directly on the griddle is very effective, and saves a few steps of preparation. The full walkthrough is in my bio. These cook quickly, and with a tortilla instead of the buns you can crush more meat + toppings. #smashburgertacos #smashburgers #streettacos ♬ original sound – chilesandsmoke

How to Make Smash Burger Tacos

This recipe below (which makes eight smash burger tacos) is straightforward. But things come together fast on the griddle, so make sure you have all the elements ready to go before you start. While there are any number of ways you can enjoy ground beef on tacos, there are a few tricks to this recipe.

• Always use flour tortillas, because they’re more absorbent and the meat sticks better.

• Make sure you season your meat with salt and pepper.

• Always use a flat top or a griddle. Use a burger press, or a heavy spatula to smash the burgers.

• While you can use any cheese, melty American is the way to go.

One note: Some commenters expressed concern that the tortilla side of the burger didn’t get fully cooked. One critical commenter even said, “dude only cooked one side of the burger.” But these fears are unwarranted. A tortilla is thin and the meat will cook through. “As long as the instructions were followed and the burger was smashed adequately flat,” answered @chileandsmoke, “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.”


For the burgers

1 pound ground beef, rolled into 2-ounce balls
Salt and pepper
8 small flour tortillas
8 slices American cheese
Burger sauce (recipe below)
Pickle slices
Shredded lettuce

For the burger sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons pickle relish
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Black pepper


Step 1: Roll the beef and get ready

Roll the beef into 2-ounce, slightly larger-than-golf-ball size balls, and season them. Get all the toppings ready. Shred the lettuce. Get your tortillas and pickles set. Combine all the burger sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.

Step 2: Fire up the griddle

Turn some of the burners on high heat (where you’ll cook the burger) and others on low (for a cooler spot to rest the tortilla side after you flip).

Step 3: Toss it on and smash

Place the beef balls onto the griddle, then quickly place a tortilla flat on top and smash it down with a press or spatula. Make sure to press down until it’s very thin. Don’t worry if the burger comes to the edge of the tortilla or is a little bigger. Cook the burger for 2-3 minutes, until the meat is dark and crisp. Then scrape, and flip to the cooler side of the griddle (make sure it’s the cooler side so the tortilla doesn’t get too crisp).

Step 4: Add the cheese, then the toppings

Top with a slice of American cheese and let melt. Remove from the heat and top with lettuce, pickles, and burger sauce. Serve immediately.

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