These ground beef tacos are flavorful, quick and easy to make, and they're sure to be a hit with the whole family! Great for busy weeknight dinners.
I've been using this recipe (well, some variation of it since I don't actually measure anything when I make it) for years now, and I figured it's about time I put it on my blog. Tacos are one of my favorite comfort foods, and I seem to go through phases where I make them regularly and then stop, but they're always delicious when they make it back into my rotation. Using ground beef may not be the fanciest or most authentic for tacos, but it's sure tasty.
So, if you're wondering how to cook ground beef for tacos, you've found the right recipe. My ground beef taco seasoning is super simple, and you likely have all the ingredients in your pantry already. With individual spices you can better control the salt content as well as adjust a spice if you want to add extra. I love me some smoked paprika, so I always add a bit more than called for.
Beef taco topping ideas:
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Avocado or guacamole
- Chopped cilantro
- Red onions or scallions
- Cheese (try a Tex-Mex cheese blend)
- Thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
- Hot sauce
- Lime wedges for serving
The possibilities for toppings are virtually endless. I recommend letting everyone choose their own toppings... it makes dinner more fun (in my opinion).
Recipe notes & tips:
- Feel free to use flour or corn tortillas for this recipe. I used flour tortillas in the photos.
- I have a gas stove, so I warm up/char my flour tortillas by carefully placing them over a low flame (turn them regularly). The Kitchn has a guide on how to do this. You can also warm up tortillas in the oven (I just put them in a stack in foil in a 375F oven) or by using a tortilla warmer (this one is microwave safe).
- I prefer to use the leanest ground beef I can find because then you can just skip the step of draining out any excess fat and it goes quicker/is a bit healthier. With that said, fattier ground beef will be more flavorful and a bit less dry.
- If you prefer the beef mixture to be more "saucy", I suggest adding in a bit of beef broth and tomato paste (try a couple tablespoons of each). I load my tacos up 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.
- You can swap the ground beef for ground turkey, ground pork, ground 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 be spicy.
- You can make the taco meat ahead of time. It'll be good in the fridge for a few days or frozen for a few months. Just reheat it in a skillet (you may want to add some beef broth or water to ensure it's not dry while reheating).
- This recipe makes 4 reasonable servings (about 2-3 tacos/person if you go fairly easy on the meat), so you may want to double the recipe if you've got starving tummies.
Love tacos? Try these recipes:
Questions about this ground beef taco recipe? Did you make them? Leave me a comment below! 🙂
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.