Homemade Tacos are the perfect busy weeknight dinner. These Easy Ground Beef Tacos are better than take-out and ready in minutes.
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.
- Add tomato sauce and water to the meat.
- Cook until some liquid has evaporated, but the meat is still saucy.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of the taco meat into hard taco shells or small soft tortillas.
- Top the tacos with your favorite traditional taco toppings.
- Shredded cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- Chopped tomatoes
- Diced onion
- Sliced avocado
- Sour cream
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.
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The Best Homemade Tacos Recipe
- 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.
- 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.
Try These Great Ground Beef Recipes
I tried this recipe last night. All I can say is you don’t have to spend hours for food that tastes good. I loved this recipe and since I fixed it late last night, I will have this for lunch today. Can’t wait! Thank you for sharing.
I just made this recipe this morning for a party tomorrow. Truly great flavor and super easy. Hoping it will be even better after the spices meld overnight
Love this recipe and been using it for Years. Tried it for the first time last week with ground Turkey and still great.
Great recipe, lots of fun making a taco bar .
I tried this dish and it could be my go to
Quick dinner. I thank you for sharing
I tried this when I realized we had no packets of taco mix. It was very good. And not hard. Luckily I had all of the ingredients of the spices. I will do this again. Thanks
What do you usefor “tomato sauce”?
Is this ketchup, concentrated tomato puree, or chopped tomatoes?
Tomato sauce is different than the others you asked about. You’ll find it in a can with other canned tomato products
Absolutely incredible! So tasty super simple to make and I enjoyed it more than the packaged seasoning taco mix. Definitely will be making this from now on when I make tacos (pretty much weekly) boyfriend loved them too. Great hit!
this is delicious
Delicious! I left out the chili powder only because I do not care for the flavor, but was still delicious. My husband never liked taco seasoning in the packet, but this passed. Thank you!
But the Chili P is is my signature recipe.
My family loves it…thanks for sharing!
This was easy and tasty. Thank you!
Love the recipe. The taste my family loves the taste. Easy to make.
These home made tacos are great! I have multiple food allergies and during covd the McCormick glutten free tacos mix couldn’t be found in my area. So I searched for glutten soy gummie free recipe found this and it’s safe and terrific. So happy to have nachos again. Thanks
Bloody brilliant! This recipe was a hit with the husband and the kids. It’s now a part of my weekly rotation!
Instead of the 1/4 cup water, I like to add either vegetable broth or beef broth for more flavour.
Thanks a bunch!
I found this recipe 5/5/2021 and have making it almost every week since.
Simple, just follow the steps. Huge hit with friends and family…
Best taco recipe I’ve used
I’ve made this so many times and it’s an all-time favorite! Do you think this would work for chicken tacos too?? I need a good chicken taco recipe