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 88 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
    This recipe is wonderful. I used half ancho and half regular chili powder which gave them a bit of a kick.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Can you cook this in advance and reheat? Worried it will dry out but would prefer to prepare in advance if possible.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve cook this for twice and will cook more in the future. The recipe is very simple and I’m lucky that I always have all the ingredients in my counter.
    First try I didn’t have tomato sauce so I changed it with ketchup and still taste great! After this I never buy instant taco’s seasoning anymore!!!
    Thank you!!!!!

  4. 5 stars
    I just made this for our taco salad. All I can say is…. Absolutely delicious! Much better than the store bought taco mix. I will be using this for all my taco seasoning. Thank you for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    My husband happen to find this recipe about 6 months ago. It is so delicious that we have thrown out all our other taco recipes because this is the only one we make now.

  6. 5 stars
    Excellent, excellent, excellent! No more store bought taco seasoning for my family. This is so much better tasting than store bought mix and my family loves it!

  7. 5 stars
    This was actually my first time making tacos! They came out great and my kids loved them. Thanks for an easy and tasty recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    This recipie was the 1st time I ever made homemade. My kids absolutely loved it but then I lost this recipie thankfully I found it again because no other recipie compares. Best recipie ever!!

  9. 5 stars
    I love the recipe, perfect for taco Tuesday and the seasoning is perfect and the tacos are so tasty 😋.
    Easy to follow recipe 👌🏾

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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