Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe (2024)

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By Serene

Jun 25, 2021

4.99 from 1705 votes

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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!

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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:

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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)

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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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.

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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.

More Recipes To Enjoy:

  • 30 Minute Chicken Tacos
  • Birria Tacos
  • Guacamole
  • Homemade Salsa

Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe (8)


Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe

4.99 from 1705 votes

Prep: 5 minutes mins

Cook: 20 minutes mins

Total: 22 minutes mins

Servings: 4

Author: Serene

The absolute BEST ground beef Tacos! An easy to make homemade taco seasoning and a secret ingredient that makes this the most flavorful and juiciest taco meat EVER! The perfect family weeknight meal that can be ready in less than 30 minutes!

Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe (9)


  • 1 lb ground beef 70-80% lean*
  • 1 tbsp chili Powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp dried Mexican oregano
  • ¼ tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp granulated onion
  • ½ cup tomato sauce

Taco Shells

  • 8 white corn tortillas
  • ½ cup oil avocado or vegetable


  • Cook Ground Beef: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef. Break the beef up with a wooden spoon while cooking. Cook the ground beef fully, until browned and no longer pink.

  • Drain: Drain any excess grease from the skillet. Then return to the stove and reduce the heat to low.

  • Season: Add the 1/2 cup tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Stir together until the meat is coated in the sauce.

  • Simmer: Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

  • Fry Tortillas: Pour 1/2 cup oil in a medium size skillet, heat over medium high heat. Carefully dip a tortilla, if the oil sizzles and bubbles then it's hot enough. Gently lay the tortilla in the oil and fry each side for about 30 seconds, just enough to give some color and add some crispness.

  • Shape Tortillas: Remove the tortilla to a paper towel to absorb oil, and carefully fold the tortilla over to create a taco shape. I do this with my tongs, or two forks, whatever I'm using to lay the tortillas in the oil and remove them.

  • Toppings: Fill the tortillas with the ground beef taco meat and add desired toppings



  • Ground Beef: Using 80/20 ground beef, this keeps the meat flavorful, but not greasy.
  • Ground Beef Substitution:instead of ground beef use ground chicken or turkey.
  • Extra Veggies: looking to add some more veggies? Chop up some peppers, zucchini, and carrots to sauté with the meat while it cooks.
  • Control the Heat: if you are wanting to add more heat to this recipe sprinkle some crushed red pepper into the seasoning blend according to your preference.
  • Tortillas: Taco shells shown are white corn tortillas that have been fried in canola oil.
  • Topping ideas: shredded mild cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced grape tomatoes, diced cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, jalapeños, and onion.
  • How much meat per person? Plan on using 1 lb per 4 people. This is approximately 2 tablespoons of meat per taco.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 280mg | Potassium: 223mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 363IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

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

Photography done by the talented

30 Minute and Under Dinners Beef Recipes Essentials Gluten Free Main Dishes Tacos Tex Mex

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Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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  1. We have made tacos my whole life,then I married a Mexican Gal and my taco Game stepped up. You got a winner here!


  2. This was really good. I like how the tacos turned out. The spices are better than the store packets. My family thought I bought take out. Thank you for this recipe.


  3. This has become my go to recipe for ground beef tacos. Thank you!


  4. Excellent recipe! Thank you a billion for sharing! Can I put tomato paste, instead of tomato sauce?


  5. Use this recipe every time I make tacos. Family Favorite!


  6. We just didn’t care for it. Too much tomato and not enough spices.


  7. This recipe looks so good! I need to make a large batch of ground beef taco meat for our family beach week. Can I make this recipe ahead and freeze?


    1. I have never made tacos, since my husband insisted he wouldn’t like them. I cut down on the chili powder, since he doesn’t like his food too spicy. Everything else I kept the same. He absolutely loved them and wants them again! Thank tou!


      1. So simple and delicious! Our family has been craving crunchy beef tacos. We topped with sour cream, shredded Mexican blend cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and chunky red salsa. Tastes even better than the Crunchy Taco Supreme we were trying to replicate. Thank you!

  8. Thank you for sharing this recipe was good keeper


  9. Really good thanks.


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