These Ground Beef Tacos are made with a deliciously seasoned ground beef filling, served in corn tortillas and finished with all the best toppings. They’re likely to become a go-to weeknight dinner the whole family will enjoy and you’ll love how easy they are to prepare!
The Easiest Taco Recipe
Who doesn’t love the classic, Tex-Mex style ground beef tacos we grew up eating? They’re one of the easiest, quickest dinners. I make them for my family at least twice a month.
Sometimes I go the route of just ground beef, garlic, lime and cilantro then others it’s this saucy version with a richly seasoned tomato sauce base. This is the classic homestyle version we all remember, but made even better with a simple homemade seasoning blend and fresh garlic.
You can have these tacos on the table in under 30 minutes! Including fillings, tortillas, toppings and all. Now wonder they’re a dinner staple.
What Ingredients are needed for Tacos?
- Olive oil – helps brown the beef better
- Lean ground beef – I like to use 85% lean angus. 80 – 90% lean is ideal here.
- Garlic – use fresh chopped. Not bottled not powder here.
- Spices – chili powder, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper
- Tomato sauce – this makes the taco filling rich and saucy.
- Chicken broth – adds flavor and thins the filling.
- Tortillas – I prefer corn tortillas but flour will work just as well, or even crisp taco shells.
- I think these toppings are a must – shredded cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.
- Optional toppings – avocados or guacamole, chopped onions (red or green) sour cream, hot sauce.
How do You Make Taco Meat Filling?
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add beef in large chunks to skillet spacing apart. Season with salt and pepper.
- Let brown on bottom, about 3 minutes then flip, break up beef and continue to sear until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and cook until just cooked through, about 1 minute.
- Pour in chicken broth and tomato sauce.
- Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 3 – 5 minutes.
- Serve taco filling warm over warmed tortillas with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and other desired toppings.
How do You Cook the Tortillas?
To cook corn tortillas, I like to cook them in a non-stick skillet or on an electric griddle in a little olive oil or vegetable oil over medium-high heat just briefly, about 15 – 20 seconds per side or until a few golden brown spots appear.
You don’t need much oil (maybe 3/4 tsp per side, swirl to evenly coat tortillas or brush tortillas with oil then cook).
Alternately you can just heat the tortillas without oil. Warm tortillas until they’re more pliable (about 10 seconds per side) then transfer to a plate and cover with a pan lid or foil until ready to use.
Can I Use Ground Turkey for the Filling?
Yes. Ground turkey will work great here as well. Preferably don’t use the super lean kind or it will come out grainy and no need to sear in chunks, ground turkey doesn’t brown the same as beef.
How Can I Make Lower Carb Tacos?
Skip the tortilla and serve them the beef filling in Romaine or Iceberg lettuce leaves instead.
Want to Simplify the Recipe Even More?
- Use a store-bought pre-shredded lettuce, pre-shredded cheese, and pico de gallo from the produce section of the store (in place of the tomatoes).
- For the fastest, no-heat tortilla option use crisp corn tortilla shells.
- You could even use a store-bought taco seasoning here to save time. If doing so omit the salt then use 1 package (or to taste) low-sodium taco seasoning – preferably one without cornstarch.
How to Add Even More Flavor:
- Saute 3/4 cup chopped yellow onion with the beef then omit the onion powder.
- Try it with different types of chili powder – Ancho, New Mexico etc.
- Add in more spices like paprika, coriander and a little oregano.
- Add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper to the filling for a tasty kick.
- Serve with lime wedges for a nice spritz of bright flavor.
What Sides Should I Serve with Tacos?
More of the Best Taco Recipes You’ll Love:
- Grilled Chicken Street Tacos
- Barbacoa Beef Tacos (Slow Cooker)
- Breakfast Tacos
- Fish Tacos
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Shrimp Tacos
- Salsa Chicken Tacos (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
- Black Bean Tacos
- Salmon Tacos
- Carnitas Tacos
Follow Cooking Classy
Ground Beef Tacos
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 1/2 tsp chili powder*
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 corn tortillas (5 - 6 inch)
- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese or shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 2 Roma tomatoes or 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups shredded romain or iceberg lettuce
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef in large chunks to skillet spacing apart. Season with salt and pepper.
- Let brown on bottom, about 3 minutes then flip, break up beef and continue to cook until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and continue to cook until beef is just cooked through, about 1 minute.
- Pour in chicken broth and tomato sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 3 - 5 minutes.
- Serve warm over warmed tortillas with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and other desired toppings (see notes).
- *In addition to the chili powder if you'd like a spicing beef filling then you can add 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste.
- Guacamole or diced avocados
- Sour cream
- Cholula or Tapatio Mexican hot sauce
- Chopped red or green onions
- I like to cook them in a non-stick skillet or on an electric griddle in a little olive oil or vegetable oil over medium-high heat just briefly, about 15 - 20 seconds per side or until a few golden spots appear.
- You don't need much oil (maybe 3/4 tsp per side, swirl to evenly coat tortillas or brush tortillas with oil then cook).