Oh Boy, Skinny Taco Night

Ok, I admit it, I love the original crunchy tacos at Taco Bell. Although small in size, they are quite high in fat and not very healthy due to the fatty beef, regular cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce. I decided to try and recreate the same taste but make it a whole lot skinnier. First off, I’m using very lean beef and draining the fat after browning it.  I’m also using reduced-fat cheese and adding nutritious chopped tomatoes and romaine lettuce.  The results… An absolutely delicious taco that I think taste even better than Taco Bell’s! Each skinny taco has 126 calories and 4 grams of fat. With these numbers you can easily have two! Enjoy a taco night and let everyone create their own!
Oh Boy, Skinny Taco Night

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Makes 12 tacos (serves 6, 2 tacos each serving)

Food Facts

Glen Bell founded Taco Bell and opened his first location in Downey, California in 1962.  The first franchise was sold two years later to Kermit Becky, a former police officer, in Torrance, California. The company grew so rapidly that by 1967 there were 100 locations. By 1978, Mr. Bell sold to Pepsi Co.

Shopping Tips

Most major supermarkets sell Mission crunchy taco shells.  They are available in both yellow and white corn. I used white corn for these tacos.
I used Trader Joe’s 96/4 lean ground beef.  Most supermarkets carry lean ground beef.  The fat is further cut down by draining off most of the excess fat after browning the beef.

Substitution Tips

Not a fan of crunchy shells?  You can use soft corn tortillas.  You’ll save 1 gram of fat per taco.

WW SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints
SKINNY FACTS: for 1 skinny taco (includes cheese)
126 calories, 4g fat, 2.4g sat fat, 22mg chol, 11g protein, 10g carbs, 1g fiber, 175mg sodium, 2g sugar


Oh Boy, Skinny Taco Night

Oh Boy, Skinny Taco Night

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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 126 kcal


Ingredients for Tacos:

  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 1 cup onions,  diced
  • 1 package (1 ounce) Lawry’s Taco Seasoning
  • cup water
  • 1 box (12 shells) taco shells, I used Mission white corn taco shells

Ingredients for Toppings:

  • 2 cups or more, shredded romaine lettuce, as desired
  • cups or more, chopped tomatoes, as desired
  • ¾ cup (3 oz.) reduced-fat cheddar cheese or lite Mexican blend


  • In a large, nonstick pan or skillet, add beef, onions and garlic.  Sauté together until meat is browned.  Bring to sink, pour in a colander and drain off any excess fat.  Add beef mixture back to pan.
  • Add taco seasoning, water and mix well.  Bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  • To make one taco-add about ¼ cup taco meat to the shell.  Fill with as much lettuce and tomato you desire and top with 1 tablespoon cheese. The taco meat freezes great.


Serving: 1tacoCalories: 126kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 11gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 175mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gBlue Smart Points: 3Green Smart Points: 3Plus Points: 3
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  1. OMG! Just this morning I went to Taco Bell’s website to check on the nutrition of my favorite food there: the original crunchy taco!! It is 5 Smart Points using my WW hand calculator. This taco is even better than most restaurant tacos. Sorry, but true, and I have loving them since my first in 1969!!!! LOL!!!! In 1969 I remember the taco juice (read orange grease) running down my palm and wrist!! They don’t do that anymore, and are still delicious. Those and the Meximelt–I don’t have the Meximelt’s as much cuz they have changed them and they aren’t quite as delicious as they used to be when you could really taste the cilantro.
    Anyway, I was thinking about looking for a WW version–and here you are. I just can’t believe the coincidence!!!! -db

  2. Perfect timing Debbie! Looks like we both have Taco Bell tacos on our mind. I hope you thoroughly enjoy these!
    My best,

  3. My skinny tacos consist of: Corn shell, romaine lettuce, my homemade salsa, and sharp cheddar cheese. Believe it or not this is delicious. And I can have two. I call myself a Vegetarian, so no meat, but I do eat dairy and cheese. I should just say I don’t eat meat, haha. 2 Shells = 6 pts cheese = 8.5 pts (1/4 C divided between the two tacos), lettuce salsa free pts. Total = 14 1/2 pts

  4. Yay! These are so much better than the taco recipe on WW’s website which is 11 (purple) smartpoints for 23 tacos!!! Tonight is going to be taco Wednesday! Thanks.

  5. How many points are you calculating for the extra lean meat?

    I am coming up with 3 points with the meat alone. and 6 points per taco when adding in the cheese and shell. Still isn’t bad but I wish I could have a realistic 3 point taco

  6. Jenna, I calculated the Skinny Facts and points using Trader Joe’s extra lean ground beef. A 4 ounce serving has 130 calories, 2g sat. fat, 21g protein and 0g sugar. It has 2 points.
    I also used reduced-fat cheese.
    I hope this helps!
    All the best,

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