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This ground beef taco recipe is inexpensive, quick and simple to make, and you’ll love the really easy homemade seasoning! They’re fabulous for busy weeknights.
Why you’ll love it
I’ve been using this easy beef taco recipe for years now, and I figured it’s about time I put it on my blog. Tacos are one of my all-time favorite comfort foods, and I definitely make these on the regular. Perfectly seasoned, tender ground beef is always a good idea.
Who doesn’t love loading up their own tacos on taco night with all the toppings? These tacos with ground beef are an awesome way to get the little ones involved and actually excited about dinner. It’s also a 30-minute meal, which is a win for busy families.
What you’ll need
- Ground beef – it’s readily available and friendly on your wallet. I like using 90% lean.
- Garlic powder and onion powder – the savory base of our signature seasoning blend
- Smoked paprika – my special ingredient to set these tacos apart from others. It adds a warm, smoky quality!
- Ground cumin – an earthy, classic spice in taco seasoning
- Chili powder – the kind in grocery stories is generally mild, so these tacos aren’t spicy
- Tortillas – serve with oven-warmed tortillas, and add all your favorite toppings. Feel free to use either flour or corn tortillas.
Why is homemade taco seasoning better?
- I prefer making my own taco seasoning. With individual spices, you can better control the salt content as well as adjust a spice if you want to add extra. For example, I love smoked paprika, so I always add a bit more than called for! Adjust to your tastes.
What are the best taco toppings?
The possibilities for taco toppings are endless. Let everyone choose their own from divided serving dishes and serve ’em buffet style.
- Recommended fresh toppings include diced tomatoes, avocado or Guacamole, sliced jalapeños, red onions or scallions, chopped cilantro, and shredded iceberg lettuce.
- For a cooling effect, try sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
- Salsa and hot sauce are must-haves for me!
- For the cheese lovers out there, a Tex-Mex blend works great.
- A squeeze of fresh lime juice makes these tacos pop.
- I have a gas stove, so I warm up/char my flour tortillas by carefully placing them over a low flame, turning them regularly. The Kitchn has a guide on this. You can also warm them up in the oven. Put them in a stack in foil in a 375F oven, or use a tortilla warmer.
- I prefer to use the leanest ground beef I can find to skip the step of draining out any excess fat. It goes quicker and is a bit healthier. With that said, fattier ground beef will be more flavorful and less prone to drying out.
- If you prefer the beef mixture to be more “saucy”, add in a bit of beef broth and tomato paste. Try a couple tablespoons of each. I top my tacos with plenty of sour cream, salsa, and lime juice for moisture, so I don’t find it necessary to add extra sauce ingredients to the beef mix, though.
How to make ground beef tacos
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Warm up the tortillas, and prep all your ingredients and toppings.
- In a skillet, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up as you go along. Add in the seasoning mix, and cook until the meat is cooked through. If there’s any excess fat, drain it. Taste the beef, and add salt & pepper if desired.
- Assemble the tacos right away, and enjoy!
Substitutions and variations
- You can swap the ground beef for ground turkey, pork, or bison or even sausage meat.
- Add in some cayenne pepper (start with 1/2 teaspoon) or some red pepper flakes if you want these tacos to have a kick.
- This recipe makes 4 reasonable servings, or about 2-3 tacos per person if you go fairly easy on the meat, so you may want to double the recipe if you’ve got very hungry tummies.
What to serve with ground beef tacos
- Pile them up with all your favorite toppings! We’ve got plenty of suggestions above.
- One of my favorites to complement these tacos is my Black Bean Corn Avocado Salad with Rice.
Leftovers and storage
- You can definitely make the seasoned beef mixture ahead of time or easily store any leftovers. Keep in the fridge for a few days or frozen for a few months in an airtight container.
- Just reheat it in a skillet. You may want to add some beef broth or water to ensure it doesn’t dry out while reheating, though.
I’m hoping you’ll agree this is the best beef taco recipe. Did you make them? Leave me a comment below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.
Super Easy Ground Beef Tacos
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- For serving: tortillas, and your favorite toppings (see blog post for suggestions) to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (to warm tortillas), stack tortillas and wrap them in foil and place in oven. Or use a tortilla warmer or warm the tortillas over a gas stove burner if you have one. You can prep the toppings beforehand or while the meat is cooking.
- Add the beef to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's started to cook and you've broken it up a bit with your spoon, add in the spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes or until the beef has cooked through.
- If there's a lot of excess fat released from the beef, spoon it out. Give the beef a taste and adjust ingredients as needed (e.g. add more smoked paprika). Season with salt & pepper to taste (chili power usually contains salt so you may not have to add too much).
- Serve warm with tortillas and desired toppings.
- This recipe makes about 2-3 tacos/person if you don’t load them up with too much meat, so I recommend doubling it if you’ve got very hungry people.
- You can definitely go with a fattier % of ground beef if you want more flavor and don’t mind draining some of the excess grease.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. Info for this recipe is just for the taco meat as toppings and the size/brand of tortillas vary.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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