The Adventure Zone | Taako ‘s Picadillo Tacos

Taako 's PIcadillo Tacos inspired by The Adventure Zone D&D podcast. Recipe by The Gluttonous Geek.

Holy Taako on a Triscuit! Two Adventure Zone recipes on the blog in a row? What is this sorcery?!

It’s true, folks. I’m switching gears from last week’s goat cheese pizza inspired by Amnesty arc and going back to our favorite RPG podcast’s D&D roots in the Balance arc. It’s about time I finally make Taako’s Tacos.

Click here to skip to the recipe for Taako’s Picadillo Tacos.

Taako from TV

Taako, the wisecracking elven wizard of TAZ’s Balance arc, cannot help but be the center of attention. Throughout each season we watch him grow from the manipulative spell-slinger who will steal a dead dwarf’s boots from under the nose of its family to the cosmically powerful conjurer hellbent on saving the multiverse. His player, Justin McElroy, masterfully develops a character both charming and flawed, where fear of abandonment hides behind the guise of selfishness.

I say this because Taako’s love language is food. Through simple acts such as giving elderflower macarons to his coworkers on Candlenights and traveling as a Chef Entertainer, he presents himself to the world. He asks for it to accept him through his art of which’s value cannot be disputed. So that in doing this, he connects to others by cooking for them. 

So you could say that what first starts as McElroy’s joke about his character’s quest being to invent the taco becomes a fabulous wizard’s journey to save existence itself.

The Bite of Destiny

Taako does eventually eat a taco for the very first time. How and why are spoilers for Balance’s finale, but I can tell you this much: they are picadillo tacos. Picadillo is a Latin American hash containing various regional ingredients. Most recipes include the following four components, though: ground meat, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes

I could give you a standard picadillo recipe, but that wouldn’t suit our Umberstaff-slinging wizard. Taako is not standard. So why should his tacos be? Taako’s story is one of redemption through self-discovery and compassion for others. So this picadillo will be one where we take Taako’s critical failure and turn it into a critical success. 

Critical Chef

We are making 40-garlic clove chicken picadillo tacos. Yeah, I know. I forgot that it was thirty cloves, but are you really arguing against more garlic? I didn’t think so.

I tried to impart more details and flashbacks for Taako’s quest for the taco such as “ground” by using ground chicken and “spicy meat” by incorporating fresh poblano pepper

I also wanted to add some other details, such as his flashback to Grandpa Tostada churning soured cream. Taako also mentions that after a magical incident, everything he drinks tastes like Key Lime Gogurt. Where am I going with this? Well, does a key lime and agave syrup-sweetened crema tickle your tastebuds?

Finally, the flashbacks reference cheese and taco shells. I figure fresh cotija sprinkled over your favorite magical salsa will do the trick. As for the shell, while you can buy taco shells, you could also make them. I will offer you a small prophecy, though. Learn from my critical failure!

So guess what, folks? It turns out that frying involves hot oil. Simple concept, I know. Tell that to past me. For the love of Isthus, PLEASE heat your oil in a skillet large enough to flip the tortillas without splashback. The Temporal Chalice, unfortunately, only exists in the TAZ universe.

Do as I say, not as I do! My scar is not nearly cool as Magnus’s.

Sing for your Supper!

If you plan to cook the recipe off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I now have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.

The printable recipe cards and playlist for Taako’s Picadillo Tacos will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until Wednesday, January 15th, 2019, at 8 pm EST.


You can instead join my Patreon community at the “Sing for your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. Patrons of all reward tiers will even receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January 2019 to get you started.


Sizzle it Up with Taako

Taako 's PIcadillo Tacos inspired by The Adventure Zone D&D podcast. Recipe by The Gluttonous Geek.

Taako's Picadillo Tacos

Makes 20 Tacos.

Equipment: Stovetop, two large skillets, tongs, paper towels, skillet lid, zester, vegetable oil.


  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 russet potato, diced
  • 23 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 40 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1 small poblano pepper, minced
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packed chicken bouillon
  • 20 corn tortillas (or taco shells)
  • shredded cheese or cotija
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • salsa of light and shadow, or of your choice
Key Lime Crema:
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • Zest and juice of 1 key lime
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or agave syrup


Make the Picadillo:
  1. Heat two tablespoons of cooking oil in a skillet. Then add the onions, garlic, poblano peppers, and taco seasoning to sweat for a minute. 
  2. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer before adding the chicken and bouillon. Break up the chicken with the potato masher, then stir in the potatoes and 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Simmer and stir frequently for 10-15 minutes until cooked through, thickened, and the potatoes are fork-tender.
  4. Season the picadillo to taste with kosher salt and remove from heat. Cover the skillet with a lid to keep warm.
Make the Shells:
  1. Heat 1-inch of cooking oil in the other skillet.
  2. Fry the tortillas by holding one with a pair of tongs and dipping half of it into the oil for a minute.
  3. Turn the tortilla over and fry the other half so that it forms into a half-moon shell.
  4. Dry the shell on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
Make the Toppings and Tacos:
  1. Blend the ingredients for the crema together in a serving bowl. Set aside.
  2. Serve the shells, filling, and toppings for self-serve assembly.

The Gluttonous Geek