Ground Beef Tacos

03.20.2019

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!

Row of tacos filled with ground beef filling, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro.

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.

Plate full of tacos.

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 powdersalt 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.

Taco Toppings

  • 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.

Ingredients needed to make tacos shown here including ground beef, oil, spices, tomato sauce, beef broth, tortillas, cheese, lettuce, garlic tomatoes.

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.

Showing how to make tacos. Searing ground beef in chunks in a non-stick skillet to brown.

  • Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and cook until just cooked through, about 1 minute.
  • Pour in chicken broth and tomato sauce.

Adding tomato sauce and chicken broth to taco meat filling in skillet.

  • 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.

Ground beef taco meat filling in a skillet.

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.

Row of tacos with taco filling.

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.

Long row of ground beef tacos on parchment paper finished with fresh toppings.

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?

Meat tacos served with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and Mexican hot sauce.

More of the Best Taco Recipes You’ll Love:

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Ground Beef Tacos

5 from 3 votes

These 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!

Servings: 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Filling

  • 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

Tacos

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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. 

  2. Let brown on bottom, about 3 minutes then flip, break up beef and continue to cook until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes.

  3. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and cayenne pepper and continue to cook until beef is just cooked through, about 1 minute.

  4. Pour in chicken broth and tomato sauce. Simmer over medium-low heat until sauce has reduced and thickened, about 3 - 5 minutes.

  5. Serve warm over warmed tortillas with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and other desired toppings (see notes).

Recipe Notes

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • Guacamole or diced avocados
  • Sour cream
  • Cholula or Tapatio Mexican hot sauce
  • Chopped red or green onions
  • Cilantro

*Nutrition does not include optional toppings or oil for tortillas.

TO COOK 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 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). 
Nutrition Facts
Ground Beef Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 458 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 95mg32%
Sodium 428mg19%
Potassium 773mg22%
Carbohydrates 28g9%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 3175IU64%
Vitamin C 7.8mg9%
Calcium 236mg24%
Iron 4.6mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Ground Beef Tacos
Calories: 458 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

10 comments

  • Niki: I am planning on making these this week, they look delicious! Can you tell me what brand of tortillas you used? They look super yummy. Thanks! April 12, 2019 at 10:52pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Guerrero is the brand, but the tortillas color comes from the cooking method. I cook in a little olive oil in a small skillet over medium high until golden brown on each side. Hope you enjoy! April 13, 2019 at 12:48am Reply

  • Naomi B.: I made these last night. They are our new go to recipe. My husband has cardiac issues, so I like to control his salt intake. I like no preservatives in anything, so I tend to gravitate towards these recipes. This is hands down the best I’ve had. My husband and I both agreed it is our new go to recipes. I used good old standard hard shells vs. the soft ones shown above and LOVED IT! March 26, 2019 at 4:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad to hear this recipe was a success for you! Thanks for your review Naomi! March 26, 2019 at 8:50am Reply

  • Christine Jones: I made this recipe tonight. It was outstanding. I have a sensitive stomach and can’t tolerate preservatives in mixes. This recipe gives me a great way to enjoy tacos and not use a mix. Thank you for sharing. March 22, 2019 at 5:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Christine! Thanks for leaving a review! March 22, 2019 at 8:51pm Reply

  • Dave Cearley: While I too fry my corn tortillas in a skillet, I heat flour tortillas the way I see them do it at my favorite taqueria. I brush them with butter and lay them over an open flame on the stove for about ten seconds a side. (Turn them with a pair of tongs.). Piping hot with a nice char, perfect. March 21, 2019 at 10:45pm Reply

  • Annie: Noticed a typo… ingredient list says chicken broth but in the instructions says beef :)… Making it tonight, can’t wait! We love every single one of your recipes❤️ March 21, 2019 at 4:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry! Thanks so much for pointing that out, errors I miss when editing at midnight :). I’m so glad you like my recipes, I hope you love these tacos too! March 21, 2019 at 5:16pm Reply

  • sao ribeiro: Costumo fazer para aproveitar restos de carne picada.
    Fica uma delicia. March 21, 2019 at 9:31am Reply

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