The Best Homemade Tacos

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Homemade Tacos are the perfect busy weeknight dinner.  These Easy Ground Beef Tacos are better than take-out and ready in minutes.

2 homemade tacos with traditional toppings

Mexican Tacos

Traditional Mexican beef tacos are made with marinated sliced or shredded beef on soft corn tortillas.  Those are great!  But, that’s not what most Americans think of when we think of classic tacos.

Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe

Most of us grew up eating ground beef tacos in a crispy corn shell or a soft flour tortilla, with lots of toppings.  That’s the traditional taco we’re making in this recipe.  But, we’re not using a pre-packaged taco seasoning mix.  This recipe uses a flavorful homemade taco seasoning.

What Kind of Ground Beef For Tacos?

Lean ground beef is the best beef to use for making tacos because you don’t need to drain off any fat after cooking it. There is just enough fat in the beef to make it super flavorful, but not so much to make it greasy.  Skipping the step to drain the fat makes this a quick and easy taco recipe.

Of course, if you have ground beef with more fat, you can still use it in this recipe.  Just cook the beef and drain off the fat before you add the taco seasonings.

How To Make Tacos

*Note:  The full printable recipe card is at the bottom of this post.

  • Break apart lean ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Cook until the beef is browned.

Homemade taco seasoning on ground beef in a skillet

  • Add tomato sauce and water to the meat.

homemade taco seasoned beef in a skillet

  • Cook until some liquid has evaporated, but the meat is still saucy.

Cooked taco meat for homemade tacos

  • Spoon 2 tablespoons of the taco meat into hard taco shells or small soft tortillas.
  • Top the tacos with your favorite traditional taco toppings.

2 classic tacos with homemade taco seasoning and classic toppings

Taco Toppings

  • Shredded cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Diced onion
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

How Much Taco Meat Do You Need Per Person?

If you use the traditional size hard taco shell, or small 6-inch flour tortillas, 2 tablespoons of taco meat per taco is the perfect amount.  This recipe, using 1 pound of lean ground beef, will make 12 tacos.  I tend to serve 3 tacos per person.  So I use 1 pound of taco meat for 4 people.

Watch the step by step recipe video for The Best Homemade Tacos Recipe below.

Find more of my recipes on TikTok

homemade tacos with classic taco toppings

The Best Homemade Tacos Recipe

4.99 from 70 votes
The Best Homemade Tacos - Ground beef and homemade taco seasoning make the best taco meat in this classic easy recipe that's better than take out.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes

Video

Servings 12 tacos
Calories 129 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb. 90% to 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 12 taco shells - either hard shells or small 6-inch soft flour tortillas will work
  • Optional Taco Toppings: shredded cheese shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, taco sauce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Instructions

  • Add the beef to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break the meat apart with a wooden spoon. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper to the meat. Stir well. Cook until the meat is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomato sauce and water. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes, until some of the liquid evaporates but the meat mixture is still a little saucy. Remove from the heat.
  • Warm the taco shells according to their package directions.
  • Fill the taco shells with 2 heaping tablespoons of taco meat. Top with desired taco toppings: shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, taco sauce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/12th | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Course Dinner, Main Course
Keyword fish taco recipe, homemade tacos, the best tacos
Cuisine American, Mexican
Author Amanda Finks

Try These Great Ground Beef Recipes

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very yummy! Made this on Wednesday night for the first time and my husband loved it so much that he requested again for tonight’s night. No more taco packets for us.

  2. I made this last night for my family & some of the meat in an Ezekial 4:19 tacos & the other half in half of a baked potato, along side a yummy collard green dish for hubby & I & carrots for my son. My 5-year-old & picky eater husband loved it! I paired it with chunks of avocado, jalepeno shredded cheese, Forager sour cream, sauteed onions, garlic & yellow bell pepper for the potato & taco & a little bit of melted butter mixed with coconut oil. They cleaned their plates! Definitely a keeper.

  3. 5 stars
    These a delicious. I’m in the midst of canning tomatoes from my garden so I used homemade tomato paste instead of sauce. It was so much better than taco seasoning from a mix and was a huge hit with my family. I also made a triple batch of filling, divided into meal-size portions, then tossed them in my freezer. This is a keeper.

  4. 5 stars
    Perfect everything! My eight year old son and hubby loved this tonight. Lots of flavor, really well balanced taste and consistency! If you prefer spicy you’ll want to up it a bit. This will be my go to for taco night! Thank you 👍🏽

  5. 5 stars
    So delicious! I always make it for my siblings and they all eat it up so fast! Defintly my #1 choice when making burritos or tacos.

  6. 5 stars
    Great flavor and easy prep! Added diced fire roasted green chilis to the pan for the last 5 minutes or so of simmering.

  7. 5 stars
    Made it tonight, it was delicious! My husband loves the prepackaged taco seasoning but he said this was better! So happy to make one of our favorites a bit healthier and it was easy too!

About Amanda Finks

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. I’m an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! I’m trained in Food Science & recipe development. It’s my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love!

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