Tacos of Garlicky Mexican Greens

Garlicky tender greens, soft, fresh cheese, and seared onions - turn meatless tacos into savory fare for everyone.

  • Serves
    10 PEOPLE
  • prep
    20 MIN
    20 MIN
  • Skill

Ingredients List

  • 8 to 10 corn tortillas (plus a few extra, in case some break)
  • 9 cups (about 1 pound) loosely packed, stemmed lamb’s quarters (quelites) or 6 cups loosely packed, sliced green or red chard leaves (slice them 1/2-inch thick; you’ll need a 12-ounce bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup finely crumbled Mexican queso fresco, queso añejo, dry feta, pressed salted farmer’s cheese, or Parmesan
  • About ¾ cup salsa for serving


  1. Warming the tortillas: Set up a steamer (a vegetable steamer in a large saucepan filled with 1/2 inch of water works well); heat to a boil. Wrap the tortillas in a heavy kitchen towel, lay in the steamer and cover with a tight lid. Boil 1 minute, turn off the heat and let stand without opening the steamer for about 15 minutes.
  2. The greens-and-onion filling: While the tortillas are steaming, prepare the filling. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the greens and cook until barely tender, about 2 to 3 minutes for the lamb’s quarters, 1 to 2 minutes for the chard. Pour into a colander, then spread out on a large plate or baking sheet to cool. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop.
  3. Heat the oil in a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, stir for 1 minute, then add the greens and stir for a minute or so longer, just enough to heat them through. Taste and season with salt.
  4. The tacos: Scoop the mixture into a deep, warm serving dish, sprinkle with the cheese if you’re using it, and carry to the table along with the warm tortillas in a cloth-lined basket for each of your guests to assemble tacos al gusto. For a sit-down appetizer, you may want to roll the tortillas around the filling, arranging them by twos on each plate, then spoon the salsa in a strip across their middles. Sprinkle with cheese and top with sprigs of cilantro.