Discovering Tacos de Canasta Mexico: Tradition, History, and Delicious Recipes

Tacos de Canasta Mexico

Tacos de canasta Mexico are one of the favorite dishes of locals and tourists, usually eaten in central Mexico, especially in the largest cities of the Aztec country. Here we will detail everything you should know about tacos de canasta Mexico.

This dish of Mexican origin is made with tortillas filled with a variety of stews, such as potato, chicharron, beans and adobo, in addition, tacos de canasta Mexico are usually bathed in oil or melted butter, served with spicy green or red sauce, pickled chiles or guacamole.

The tacos de canasta Mexico are considered a simple and very economical snack, they do not usually exceed 10 Mexican pesos, they are usually found in street stalls or street vendors that are transported through their bicycles, they are called tacos de canasta because the vendors placed them in a wicker basket, where they were accommodated and wrapped in brown paper or napkin to keep them warm.

Currently, tacos de canasta are considered an important part of Mexican gastronomy and culture, and despite being consumed more regularly in the center of the country, you can really find them in every corner of the Aztec territory, especially in urban areas, therefore, the street stalls that sell tacos de canasta Mexico are an emblematic part of the landscape of large Mexican cities.

It should also be noted that tacos de canasta are different from other taco variations because of the stew they usually have and the way they are stored to keep them warm.

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History and origin of tacos de canasta Mexico

The tacos de canasta Mexico, also known in some regions as tacos sudados have their origin in San Vicente Xiloxochitla, Tlaxcala, where the oldest taquera is located, which sold its tacos since the 50’s, it is important to mention that this taquero is called Marcial Balderas.

It should be noted that according to historical accounts, tacos de canasta Mexico were the daily food of the working class, because they are easy to make, transport, keep warm and eat. It is for this same reason that in the Porfiriato era, tacos de canasta Mexico were known as a common food for people of low income, such as laborers, workers, miners and peasants; however, after the Mexican Revolution, tacos de canasta increased its popularity throughout Mexican society, regardless of whether you were upper, middle or lower class, which caused it to gradually become a street dish.

It should also be noted that the oldest taqueria, which began selling its tacos around 1950, had this idea due to the lack of job opportunities and the poor state of the Mexican countryside at the time. It is precisely for this reason that the town of San Vicente Xiloxochitla, Tlaxcala began to look for other forms of sustenance, and the commercial way was the most feasible for them, an economic, tasty and easy to transport taco in large quantities was what led most of the families of the town to get a good way of sustenance.

It should be noted that currently, 80% of the families of Vicente Xiloxochitla are dedicated to the preparation and sale of tacos de canasta Mexico, the best of all, is that this activity is family, so you will see that from grandparents to grandchildren are dedicated to the preparation and sale of tacos de canasta.

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Tacos de Canasta Mexico

Cultural impact of tacos de canasta Mexico

Tacos de canasta Mexico are considered a food of great importance in the gastronomic tradition of Mexico, and that is precisely why it is such a popular dish throughout the national territory.

A curious fact about this dish is that according to chef Irad Santacruz, this dish from Tlaxcala was originally called tacos de la canasta, not tacos de canasta, but its name evolved. In addition to this, it is important to mention that the wicker basket where tacos de canasta Mexico are usually kept, are made in the municipality of Santa Colonia Teacalco, which is located next to Nativitas.

The merchants who sell authentic canasta tacos transport them on a bicycle and store them in a basket wrapped in plastic or cloth. This traditional food is accompanied by sauces in huge jars of mayonnaise and normally the taco peddlers do not make much noise, rather, they always stop at the same corner so that their regular customers know where to find them.

Why did tacos de canasta become so popular?

At the beginning, many considered tacos de canasta Mexico to be a food exclusively for low-income people, but due to their practicality and flavor, their popularity grew rapidly and they became an ideal dish to eat on the street, regardless of your social status. Tacos de canasta are filled with different stews, the most popular are the ones with refried beans, pressed chicharrón, adobado and potato. Currently, besides being a common meal among workers, students and office workers, they are also considered a good option because of how practical and easy they are to eat.

The tacos de canasta Mexico have also become the perfect option for an excursion, picnic or family reunion, and because of the way they are wrapped, they stay warm for hours.

It should be noted that today, tacos de canasta are an iconic dish appreciated by locals and tourists alike, so much so that the dish has managed to transcend borders.

Elaboration of canasta tacos

The first thing you need to know to make tacos de canasta Mexico is an art, and that is that this type of taco is not made in the same way as the traditional ones. Likewise, it is important that you keep in mind that there are 4 traditional stews with which this taco is filled, which are, with refried beans, potatoes, pressed and marinated pork rinds, all these types of canasta tacos are accompanied by a good green or red hot sauce, here we detail how they are made step by step:


Here we will tell you in detail how to make canasta tacos with beans, potato, adobo and chicharron:

Tacos de canasta stuffed with beans 

You will need: 

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 2 cans of baked berry beans, cooked without broth

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Tacos de canasta stuffed with potatoes 

You will need to make them: 

  • 4 potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 2 serrano chiles seeded and chopped 
  • ¼ cup milk

Filling for adobo basket tacos 

You need: 

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon oil 
  • 300 grams beef brisket, cooked and shredded
  • 150 grams of guajillo marinade 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1 cup of beef broth reserved from the cooking you did before. 

Filling for chicharrón canasta tacos 

You will need to make them: 

  • 250 grams of pressed chicharrón (pork rinds)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped onions 
  • 1 ½ cups of guajillo marinade 


Bean stuffing 

  • You must sauté the onion and add the berry beans.
  • Then mix and mash the beans until they become a puree. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the stuffing over low heat until the beans have no liquid and can be removed from the pan without any problem, then proceed to remove from the stove.

Potato stuffing 

  • The first thing you must do is wash and disinfect the potatoes, then peel them and place them in a pot with water and boil them until they are soft and mash them in a bowl until they become mashed. 
  • Proceed to sauté the onion and serrano peppers. 
  • Mix the potatoes with the onion and serrano peppers, add a little salt and pepper.
  • Then pour in the milk and mix all the ingredients until they are incorporated together.
  • Cook over medium heat until the mixture has no liquid, finally store in a container.

Adobo stuffing 

  • The first thing to do is to sauté the onion and add the beef, then add the guajillo adobo and mix it with the meat and onion, we also recommend you to pour beef broth (previously cooked) to make the stew juicier. 
  • Mix everything together and check if the seasoning is appropriate for your taste, cook over medium heat until the stew is dry and store it in a container. 

Chicharrón stuffing

  • Fry the pressed chicharrón and gradually add chopped onion until golden brown. 
  • Proceed to pour the guajillo marinade and mix everything and cook over medium heat, when the stew is dry fill the tortillas.

Importance of the basket and how to use it

If you want to prepare tacos de canasta Mexico, you need to know the importance of the basket, because it helps to transport the product, so it is used to keep the tacos warm.

Tacos de Canasta Mexico

What do you need to assemble the basket? 

  • 1 wicker basket 
  • 1 small roll of brown paper 
  • 1 plastic roll 
  • 1 large syringe 
  • 1 roll of aluminum foil 
  • 2 kg of taqueras corn tortillas 
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 liter of oil 
  • 100 gr powdered guajillo chiles


  • The first thing you must do is to place the crumpled paper all over the wicker basket, it is necessary to leave the edges of the paper outside the basket, then you must cover it with plastic in the same way you did with the paper and then cover it with the big jarga.
  • Replace the plastic wrap and the brown paper and finish by covering the basket with aluminum foil. 
  • Proceed to heat the taquero tortillas and wrap them with a napkin, then you need to wrap them with a plastic bag in order to put them in the microwave oven.
  • After this, fill each tortilla with a tablespoon of the filling of your choice.
  • Place the filled tacos in the basket and when you finish the block, sprinkle with sliced onion and guajillo chili powder. 
  • Heat the oil until it starts to smoke and then pour it into the tacos, and then close the layers of paper, plastic and aluminum foil. 
  • Let the preparation rest and then serve the tacos de canasta Mexico with a nice hot salsa verde. 

Now you know how to make tacos de canasta Mexico, now tell us, do you crave them?

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