Easy Ground Beef Tacos

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Ground Beef Tacos are the perfect dish for easy weeknight dinners. This quick taco recipe is not only tasty but it uses spices you likely have on hand!

Add your favorite toppings like guacamole and pico de gallo and serve in soft or crisp taco shells (or add the taco meat to lettuce for an easy taco salad)!

Ground beef tacos on a tray filled with taco meat and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.

Quick Beef Tacos

Traditional Mexican tacos are one of my all time favorite foods and the thing I search out the minute I land in Mexico! I often fill them with either carnitas or salsa crockpot chicken but when I’m home we make ground beef tacos!

Tacos are a terrific way to stretch your meal budget. For a family of four or five, you can get by with just a pound of ground beef.

How Much Ground Beef Per Person for Tacos?  Considering that it takes 2 ounces of filling max, per shell (about 4 tablespoons, or ¼ of a cup), a single pound can make up to eight tacos. If you add diced onion, Mexican Rice, beans or other fillings, you could make a pound of taco meat stretch even more.

A frying pan of cooked ground beef with taco seasoning and tomato past on top for making taco meat

Favorite Taco Seasoning

The great thing about tacos is that you can whip up a big batch of homemade taco seasoning to have on hand for a quick meal and it’s the perfect way to season homemade taco meat!

Taco seasoning is a mélange of classic Mexican herbs and spices (and you can add a little heat if you’d like). Ingredients include chili powder, garlic and onion powders, ground cumin, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. If you are short on time, use prepared taco seasoning.

Toppings for Tacos

Fill the warm shells with meat and serve with your choice of toppings. Wondering what to serve with tacos? An array of toppings including shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce. Sour cream and guacamole, sliced jalapenos and salsa are also great on ground beef tacos. Cilantro, olives… the sky’s the limit!

Sides to serve with ground beef tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice and beans for complete and hearty meal.

A row of ground beef tacos topped with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.

How to Make Tacos

Ground beef tacos are super simple, especially if you make your taco seasoning in advance. Tacos are literally as easy as 1,2,3!!

  1. Brown Beef: Brown the ground beef over medium-high heat (I sometimes add diced onion and garlic too). I like to use a lean (but not extra lean) beef (85/15) to get a bit of flavor from the fat. Drain any fat before adding seasonings.
  2. Add Seasoning: Add the tomato paste, water and taco seasonings, and simmer until thickened. The water rehydrates the spices and allows the sauce to coat every morsel of the meat.
  3. Heat Taco Shells: Hard shells should go in the oven (to make them crisp and warm) and soft shells can be cooked either in the oven or microwave.

You can also serve this over a bed of lettuce to make a great Taco Salad!

Cooked and seasoned taco meat with lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese on the side for serving

To Make Tacos Ahead of Time

You can definitely make taco filling ahead of time! It will keep in the freezer for up to four months, or in the refrigerator for up to four days!

Batch Cook: A good way to make use of those family packs of ground beef is to batch cook taco meat. You can prepare several pounds at once and freeze what you don’t use.

Freeze: Separate into freezer bags or containers, and you’ll have taco filling at your fingertips. I do some single portions for lunches and some family sized portions.

Reheat: Reheat the meat in a frying pan (add a splash of water so it doesn’t dry out) or in the microwave. Frozen taco meat makes a great (and super easy) Taco Soup as well!

More Awesome Tacos

5 from 10 votes
Review Recipe

Ground Beef Tacos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex Mex
You’ll love this ground beef taco recipe because it is super quick and super tasty. 


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 8 hard taco shells or soft
  • toppings as desired
Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper

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  1. Brown ground beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  2. Add seasoning mixture, water and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and let simmer 5 minutes or until thickened.

  3. Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F. Place taco shells on a tray and bake 5 minutes or until heated.
  4. Fill taco shells with meat and desired toppings.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 174, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 467mg, Potassium: 525mg, Carbohydrates: 3g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Protein: 25g, Vitamin A: 750%, Vitamin C: 1.7%, Calcium: 31%, Iron: 3.9%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword ground beef tacos, taco, tacos

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Ground Beef Tacos lined up on a wooden board with all the fresh toppings on the side

These easy ground beef tacos are perfect for taco night. We love making this beef taco recipe with homemade taco seasoning. Just add your favorite taco toppings! #spendwithpennies #taco #tacos #beeftacos #groundbeeftacos #easytacos #taconight #tacorecipe
These easy ground beef tacos are perfect for taco night. We love making this beef taco recipe with homemade taco seasoning. Just add your favorite taco toppings! #spendwithpennies #taco #tacos #beeftacos #groundbeeftacos #easytacos #taconight #tacorecipe

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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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  1. Thank you, the article is very good and easy to follow, hopefully the recipe will be expanded, I am waiting for the next article

  2. We love taco recipes, so easy to whip up together and yes you are right, they can be made with minimal spices. Such a delicious recipe and it’ s keeper.

  3. Man incredibly tempting these tacos look! I can’t believe they are making me hungry now when it’s almost midnight. Totally trying them out tomorrow!

  4. I am always up for tacos. Also, I always gravitate towards the recipes with “easy” in the title as well, so this is right up my alley.

  5. This right here is my 4 year old’s all time favorite dinner, haha. I always try to mix things up with different kinds of tacos, but he always says “No Mommy, the ones with the brown meat and the lettuce and crunchy shells!” I guess you just can’t beat a true classic!

  6. This is comfort dinner. So many amazing tips here, I can’t wait to try this version of tacos soon. BTW I never heated taco shells (the hard ones), this is interesting tip!

  7. I have not had beef tacos in a while, and we love tacos, these just might be on our dinner table week. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I seriously love a great beef taco! Your photos are gorgeous and are definitely making me crave a few tacos now! Thanks for sharing!

  9. This is the ultimate weeknight dinner! The hardest part is deciding between soft tortillas or hard taco shells! Thanks for the recipe :)

  10. I took out ground beef for dinner tonight with no idea what to do. Oh yes. I think I found what I’m doing now. Never thought to heat the taco shells as well. So smart!! Plus the idea of batch cooking – would be a great last minute dinner this way! Thanks!!

  11. Did you know that in Scandinavia tacos are a Friday tradition? Ever since I studied in Norway I tried to incorporate this tradition into my life at times, but it became more regular since I moved to Sweden. We just love to eat tacos, not only on Fridays!