Taco night has never been easier or more delicious than with these Easy Ground Beef Tacos that are seasoned with a simple homemade taco seasoning and paired with your favorite toppings.
Favorite Beef Taco Recipe
You know those nights during the week when you just don’t know what to make? Let me introduce you to the recipe you will want to make over and over again –> ground beef tacos.
These beef tacos are:
- ready in less than 30 minutes
- packed with protein (19g/serving!)
- versatile (think tacos, nachos, bowls, oh my!)
- naturally gluten-free
- so flavorful
What ground beef is best for tacos?
The best ground beef for tacos have anywhere from 80 to 85% lean beef, so 15-20% fat. Fat adds so much flavor, and we don’t suggest going any leaner. Our favorites include ground sirloin or ground chuck.
4. That’s right. 4 ingredients is all you need for seriously delicious ground beef taco meat!
- ground beef: ground beef is the star of the show. Make sure to buy either 80 or 85% lean beef (so 15-20% fat). Ground sirloin and chuck work best.
- taco seasoning: while we recommend using our homemade taco seasoning (see below), you’re more than welcome to use store-bought.
- tomato paste: tomato paste helps thicken your ground beef tacos and also adds a delicious flavor.
- water: water is needed because it allows you to let your beef taco meat simmer and become more flavorful
best ground beef taco seasoning
We are all about homemade taco seasoning because it doesn’t have any fillers or ingredients you can’t pronounce. Here’s what you need:
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Coarse sea salt
- Red pepper flakes
- Ground black pepper
- Ground oregano
- Smoked paprika
This is mild as-is, but if you prefer a spicier mix, add more smoked paprika or red pepper flakes. If you like it hot-hot, add a bit of cayenne pepper to the mix. We promise you’ll never want to grab a pouch of store-bought taco seasoning again.
Can I use a different ground meat?
We have tested this recipe with ground chicken, ground turkey, and even a plant-based ground! So, the answer is YES, you can use whatever ground meat you want.
If you use any of the above meats, we suggest adding a little olive oil to your hot pan before browning to make sure it doesn’t stick.
How to Make Tacos with Ground Beef (3-Steps)
Now it’s time to learn how to cook ground beef for tacos! Lucky for you, it takes less than 20 minutes and is done in 3 easy steps!
- Brown beef: First things first, let’s brown your ground beef! Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat and add beef. Use a wooden utensil to move the beef around in the pan until fully cooked. At this point, you’re more than welcome to discard any excess grease/fat, but we like to keep at least some of it for flavor.
- Add beef taco seasoning: Next, add beef taco seasoning. If you’re using our homemade taco seasoning, add 3-4 tablespoons. In addition to taco seasoning, add tomato paste and water and mix.
- Let simmer: Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 5-7 minutes in order to thicken beef.
Toppings for Ground Beef Tacos
Now that you’ve got the perfectly seasoned ground beef ready to go for your tacos, let’s talk toppings!
Feel free to make this recipe your own, and add your favorite taco toppings. You’ll find us serving our ground beef tacos with the following (depending on what we have on hand):
- Shredded cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Diced onion
- Diced tomato
- Sliced avocado or guacamole
More Ways to Serve Ground Beef Taco Meat
No need to stick with the traditional hard or soft shell taco if you’re looking for a low carb or GF option instead! This ground beef taco meat is great in so many different ways, like:
In a soft shell: we love flour, corn and Siete’s cassava flour soft shells!
In a hard shell: Siete also makes a hard shell taco shell that we love. Otherwise, you’ll find us grabbing the traditional hard shell corn tortilla.
As nachos: Whip up a batch of our ground beef nachos in the oven and top with your favorite taco toppings.
In a lettuce wrap: We love using romaine hearts or cabbage leaves for a delicious and low carb lettuce wrap taco!
As a salad: Who doesn’t love a taco salad?! Simply put all your taco toppings + the ground taco meat over a bed of lettuce, and you’re on your way to a delicious taco salad.
In chili: Got leftover ground beef tacos? Add it to a batch of our beef chili! taco seasoning is very similar to chili seasoning, so this is a perfect way to repurpose any leftovers.
How long is ground beef taco meat good for? Taco meat is the perfect make-ahead meal to store in the fridge for up to 5 days!
Let ground beef taco meat cool completely, then transfer into an airtight container and store in the fridge.
Can I freeze beef tacos?
Freezing ground beef taco meat is simple. Let taco meat cool completely. Then, transfer into a freezer-safe container such as a gallon-size bag and remove as much air as possible. Then, seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
Easy Ground Beef Taco Recipe
- Begin by heating a large skillet over medium/high heat.
- When the pan is hot add ground beef. Using a wooden utensil, break the ground beef into small pieces. Let the beef cook for 3-5 minutes.
- When the beef begins to brown*, add taco seasoning, tomato paste, and water to the pan and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat to low and let the simmer for 5-7 minutes in order to thicken the sauce.
- Remove beef from heat and serve in a soft or hard taco shell.
Tips & Notes
- Taco seasoning: this ground beef taco recipe calls for our homemade taco seasoning, which we keep on hand at all times. If you don't want to make our homemade beef taco seasoning, option to use a taco seasoning packet purchased from a grocery store.
- *Option to dump the beef grease before adding the taco seasoning. We prefer to keep the grease because it adds great flavor to the tacos.
- Nutrition information is for taco seasoned ground beef, and does not include taco toppings or taco shell.