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 wooden board with cheese tomatoes and lettuce on the side

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.

Ground beef and seasoning in a pan for ground beef tacos

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.

Ground beef tacos on a wooden board

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!

Ground beef in a pan

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

Ground beef tacos in a row on a wooden board
4.88 from 32 votes
Review Recipe

Ground Beef Tacos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
You’ll love this ground beef taco recipe because it is super quick and super tasty. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • cup water
  • 8 hard taco shells or soft
  • toppings as desired
Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • ½ tablespoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper

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Instructions

  • Brown ground beef over medium heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Add seasoning mixture, water and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and let simmer 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Meanwhile preheat oven to 350°F. Place taco shells on a tray and bake 5 minutes or until heated.
  • Fill taco shells with meat and desired toppings.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 174, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 467mg, Potassium: 525mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 750IU, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 3.9mg

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

Keyword ground beef tacos, taco, tacos
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex Mex

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Holly

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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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Comments

  1. AMAZING! I followed the taco seasoning to a T and it came out fantastic. Never buying store bought seasoning powder again.5 stars

    1. It’s so much better than store-bought, isn’t it? Thanks for the positive review, Shaina!

  2. I tried to order tacos yesterday from my favorite taco place with no luck (I couldn’t even get through on the phone!). So we took matters into our own hands and made these ground beef tacos. They turned out even better than the taco place, especially drizzled with aioli!5 stars

  3. So very bland – even using true New Mexico ground red Chile, not generic “chili powder” from the grocery store. Next (?) time, I’ll try using just 1/3 c water to stew the mix.1 star

    1. Sorry to hear that, you can definitely increase the spices to your preference when cooking!

  4. I’ve always made tacos but decided to get another recipe for a change. I tried yours and my family got hooked. This all we make on a taco night. Outstanding. Thank you!5 stars

  5. How much of the season mixer do I do the whole thing it says to make or how much of the seasoning mixture. Didn’t know if this was made to to make for this recipe. I don’t know how to explain. Hope to hear soon trying to make this in a half hour

      1. Thanks. I saw everyone recipes they use 2 tablespoons of there seasoning mixture so I thought I ask I didn’t want to ruin it. This sounds so amazing. Is this healthier than the store bought packages. My boyfriend is only allowed so much salt a day how much do you think I should use without ruining is salt intake or is this amount ok

        1. Hi Jennifer, when making your homemade taco seasoning you reduce the salt in it to taste, so you could add less if desired.

  6. Thank you, the article is very good and easy to follow, hopefully the recipe will be expanded, I am waiting for the next article5 stars

  7. 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.5 stars

  8. 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!

  9. 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 stars

  10. 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!

  11. 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!5 stars

  12. 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!5 stars

  13. I seriously love a great beef taco! Your photos are gorgeous and are definitely making me crave a few tacos now! Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  14. When you say easy you mean easy! These ground beef tacos will come together wonderfully on busy nights.5 stars

  15. This is the ultimate weeknight dinner! The hardest part is deciding between soft tortillas or hard taco shells! Thanks for the recipe :)5 stars

  16. 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!!5 stars

  17. 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!5 stars