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Happy National Taco Day! 6 easy recipes and taco deals everyone will love

by Megan O. Steintrager / / Source: TODAY

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Today, Oct. 4, is National Taco Day and we've got some seriously delicious — and seriously easy — taco recipes to help you celebrate.

Whether it's quickly preparing proteins in a slow cooker or getting dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, these dishes are sure to please any taco-loving crowd.

Still not quite easy enough for you? Go out and treat yourself to some cheap (or totally free) tacos with one of the many Taco Day deals around the country. Here are three that caught our attention:

  • Taco Bell is offering a taco gift set: For $5, you get four kinds of tacos.
  • With the purchase of one taco platter, El Pollo Loco will give you another taco platter for free.
  • On the Border is serving up 50 cent mini tacos all day long.

Also keep an eye out for local and other national #NationalTacoDay freebies and promotions in your social media feeds. And if you feel like cooking and eating out, you can just have tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There's no shame in that.

You can start celebrating Taco Day first thing in the morning with this easy recipe that can be made with any leftover cooked vegetables you have on hand, including roasted broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, spinach, corn and peas.

Chicken Chili Tacos

Chicken Chili Tacos

Sweet Potato Chronicles

It doesn't get much easier than this Crock-Pot taco recipe. Just put chicken thighs, salsa and a few herbs and spices in your slow cooker and simmer until the meat is tender. Then pile it into tortillas with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Sure, there are fancier fillings for tacos than ground beef — but there are few that are just as easy and satisfying — as this recipe from chef Ryan Scott proves. These tacos are also great with ground turkey.

Cauliflower Tacos

Cauliflower Tacos

Elizabeth Mayhew

If you'd prefer to skip the meat altogether, give these scrumptious cauliflower tacos a try. To make them, simply mix cauliflower rice (which you can make or buy) with taco seasonings and a handful of other ingredients, then bake until it turns into a crumbly, savory mixture that's perfect for piling into tortillas.

Firecracker Shrimp Tacos

One of the great things about shrimp is how quickly they cook. In this recipe, the shrimp are dunked in a chipotle marinade, then sautéed and served in corn tortillas with jicama slaw for an impressive taco dinner that's surprisingly easy to make.

Put leftover cooked chicken (or pork or beef or even veggies, for that matter) to good use in these open-faced tacos. They're topped with cheese and baked until the whole dish is melted and bubbly, so these little taco treats might just satisfy your mini pizza cravings, too.

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