Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe

2 mins read

These classic Ground Beef Tacos feature homemade taco meat loaded into freshly fried taco shells. Serve up with all your favorite toppings for an easy family meal that takes less than 30 minutes!


Why make this Ground Beef Taco Meat Recipe?  

  • Quick and easy: this meal can be ready on the table in under 30 minutes, making  this a perfect family weeknight meal.  
  • Homemade seasoning blend: skip the packets and make your own seasoning!  This allows you to control the salt and heat to suit your family’s needs.  
  • Family Friendly & Perfect for Gatherings: cook up the meat and serve this buffet style so guests/kids can get the toppings they want!

Ingredients Needed:  


Notes on Some Ingredients:  

  • Ground Beef: The best meat to use for taco meat is a simple ground beef, a  70-80% lean. The fat is going to help give flavor to the meat and we are able to  drain the grease prior to serving.  
  • Tomato Sauce: grab any kind of canned, pureed tomato sauce. Or if you want  more spice you could use a thick salsa instead. 
  • Oil: this is used for frying up the tortillas. Use either a canola or a vegetable oil.
  • Tortillas: white corn tortillas fry up perfectly to make a crisp taco shell. If you would prefer you could use flour tortillas and not fry them. I would recommend using tortillas that are 6 inches.

How to make (Step by Step) 

  • Step 1: Cook the ground beef, cook it up until it’s completely browned. Drain the  grease. Then when we return to the heat to the stove lower the heat, add the  homemade taco seasoning and a small amount of tomato sauce. 
  • Step 2: Allow the taco meat to simmer briefly in the sauce to give more flavor.
  • Step 3: Fry the corn tortillas in a small amount of oil in a medium size skillet. Once fried  on both sides, remove the tortillas and fold in half to form their shape. 
  • Step 4: Fill the taco shells with the cooked beef and any toppings desired. 


How much meat should I use per person?

Plan on using 1 lb of meat for 4 people. This will yield about 2-3 tablespoons of meat  per taco.

What are some good topping ideas?

Some suggestions are: Shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour  cream, guacamole, salsa, diced cilantro.

What do I serve as a side?

Mexican Rice and refried beans are always great options. Other ideas include: charro  beans, Mexican Street Corn, or Street Corn in a Cup.

How can I add more heat to the seasoning blend?

Add a bit of crushed red pepper as needed for more heat.


Expert Tips:  

  • Fry your own tortillas: White corn tortillas, or even yellow corn tortillas can be easily  fried in a small amount of oil. These turn out so much better than store bought crunchy  shells. 
  • Skip the water: The tomato sauce thickens it up and helps the spices stick to the meat.  It’s so flavorful and you will never go back to using water with your seasoning again!
  • Variations/Modifications: If you want to use flour tortillas I would recommend using a  smaller, 6 inch size. You can also switch out the ground beef for ground turkey or  chicken.  
  • Extra Veggies: looking to add some more veggies? Chop up some peppers, zucchini,  and carrots to sauté with the meat while it cooks.  

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Recipe first published March 23, 2018. Updated June 25, 2021 with new images and information.

Photography done by the talented @KJandCompany.coSaveSave