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Classic Ground Beef Tacos are so easy to make at home. Our delicious filling uses ingredients you might already have on hand in your kitchen pantry!
I’ve always loved ‘build-your-own’ meals – and some delicious Ground Beef Tacos are a great way to get everyone together at meal time!
Our taco filling made with ground beef is all-homemade – no packaged spice mixes used here! Instead, we seasoned the beef with our homemade taco seasoning – and chances are, you have most of the ingredients at home already. You can adjust the flavors based on how spicy (or not) your family prefers.
Chef’s Secret – Our ground beef taco sauce has a silky, thick texture and rich flavor thanks to adding corn flour (masa harina) to our taco seasoning mix. It adds both texture and flavor to the sauce!
Once your ground beef taco filling is ready – just put out some soft or hard taco shells along with bowls of assorted toppings like shredded cheddar or shredded Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, diced fresh tomatoes or pico de gallo, guacamole, pickled red onions, pickled golden beets, sour cream and of course, our terrific homemade taco sauce! Then – just let your family make their own tacos with each of their favorite toppings for a fun family meal!
Why You’ll Love Ground Beef Tacos
- This is a meal the entire family will love.
- You’ll never need to buy the expensive packaged mixes again!
- You can make the beef mixture as spicy or as mild as you’d like.
Key ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground beef – Buy a lean ground beef such as 90/10 or 97/3. For the most flavor, you don’t want to drain the juices that come out as you cook the beef. With a lower fat ground beef, there won’t be much rendered fat either, so you can leave it in with the cooked beef. If you use a higher fat ground beef, you will need to drain the excess fat after browning the beef – but you’ll also lose some of the juices.
- Taco seasoning – Use ¼ cup of our homemade taco seasoning mix per pound of beef. We mix up a batch of this seasoning ahead of time, so we always have some on hand when the taco cravings strike!
- Water – The ratio is ¾ cup of water per pound of beef and ¼ cup of seasoning mix.
- Onion – Yellow onion is sautéed up in olive oil. You could substitute a sweet onion (such as Vidalia) for a milder flavor, or red or white onion (such as Spanish onion) for a stronger flavor.
- Taco Shells – We show hard corn taco shells (store-bought) in our photos, but you can also use soft flour or corn tortillas if you prefer. If you use the soft corn tortillas, we suggest heating them in the oven or in a skillet to remove the raw flavor.
- Toppings – Your choice here: Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, red or yellow sliced onion, diced tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce, taco sauce, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro and limes. If you want things spicier, add Pepper Jack cheese, pickled jalapenos (mild or hot), and diced green chiles.
Special supplies needed
- High-sided skillet
- (Optional) Meat chopper, makes cooking ground beef easier
- Taco holders, such as these, for easy serving.
How do I make Ground Beef Tacos?
- Sauté onions in olive oil.
- Add ground beef and cook to brown. Leave some of the rendered fat in the pan.
- Add taco seasoning mix and water, then cook until thickened. Add more water if you like a loose sauce, or more seasoning mix if want a thicker sauce.
- Serve in taco shells with your favorite toppings.
Chef’s Tip – Our trick for eating tacos is to place a hard corn taco shell in a soft flour tortilla before filling. That way, when the taco shell cracks when you bite into it, the soft outer flour tortilla holds everything in.
Frequently asked Questions
Can I make Ground Beef Tacos ahead of time? You can prepare the cooked beef mixture and refrigerate until later, then just reheat in a pan with a little water to loosen it up.
How do I store leftovers? Store the beef mixture in a sealed container refrigerated for up to three days. Store all other ingredients in separate containers as well.
How do I reheat leftovers? Reheat the meat mixture in a pan with a little water to loosen up the sauce.
Can I freeze? Yes, the ground beef mixture can be sealed in a zipper bag and frozen. Be sure to squeeze as much of the air out of the bag to avoid freezer burn.
What ground beef is best for tacos? As mentioned above, we recommend a low fat mix such as 93/7 or 90/10. We like to keep the juices in the sauce since it adds flavor, but when you drain the fat, you also drain the juices. Using a lower fat ground beef allows you to skip the draining step.
You might like these other Taco recipes:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups water
Hard corn taco shells
Soft flour tortillas
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Sliced red or yellow onions
In a medium to large skillet over medium heat, add two tablespoons of olive oil and once hot, add the onions and cook for three minutes.
Add the beef and raise the heat to medium high and cook and brown while breaking up the pieces.
Add the taco seasoning and stir, then add the water and simmer on medium low for ten minutes. Add more water if you like it loose or cook longer to evaporate some of the water. Add more taco seasoning as needed. The taco seasoning has corn starch and corn flour in it and acts as a binder as well as a flavor enhancer.
Serve hot in corn taco shells or flour tortillas with your favorite toppings.
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