EASY Ground Beef Tacos

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    Crispy and delicious tacos filled with seasoned ground beef and all your favorite toppings. These easy ground beef tacos are simple, flavorful and ready in just 20 minutes! 

    If you’re looking for an easy and tasty dinner recipe for Taco Tuesday, these beef tacos are perfect for you! They’re simple, quick and taste absolutely delicious. Plus you can load them up with all your favorite toppings, like cheese, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa and guacamole. Yum!

    two ground beef tacos on white plate

    These ground beef tacos are a super easy dinner to whip up when the family is craving Mexican food. You only need 5 simple ingredients (plus any extra toppings) and it’s ready in under 30 minutes. The tacos taste authentic and are warm, cheesy and filled with flavor in every bite.

    This would also be the perfect dinner to make for a crowd and can easily be kept warm in the oven until serving. You could even double or triple the taco meat recipe if needed, depending on how many guests you’re serving. We like to set up a taco bar with lots of different toppings in bowls on the counter. That way guests can grab a taco or two and pile it high with all of their favorites. So simple and delicious!

    making taco meat for beef tacos

    Tips for the best beef tacos

    • Ground beef. I like to use 90% lean ground beef. The meat still has great flavor, but doesn’t get overly greasy. Always make sure to drain any excess grease after browning the meat before you add in your seasonings.
    • Meat ratio. This recipe calls for a pound of ground beef, which will make about 12 tacos. Once the taco meat cooks down, you’ll be left with about 12 ounces of meat. So you should put about 1 ounce (or 2 Tablespoons) of beef in each taco.
    • Bulk it up. You can mix in some black beans and/or rice to stretch the meat even further. I do this sometimes when I want to have leftovers the next day.
    • Warm the shells. After assembling the tacos, I love to bake mine in a pan in the oven for about 10 minutes to get them extra warm and crispy. The cheese melts and gets super gooey, which tastes amazing.
    • Leftovers. When warming up leftover taco meat, try adding a dash of broth of water so that the meat stays moist. You can use leftovers to make more tacos, or make a totally new dish like stuffed peppers or a taco salad.

    Possible variations

    These tacos are pretty customizable, so feel free to make any of the below swaps or additions.

    • Use ground turkey instead of beef for a lighter alternative.
    • Swap hard taco shells for small corn or flour tortillas.
    • Add a dash of red pepper flakes or cayenne in with the meat for some heat. Or use hot salsa instead of mild.
    • Spread a layer of refried beans (about 1-2 Tablespoons) in each taco shell before adding the meat.

    ground beef tacos in pan with melted cheese on top

    How do you keep taco shells warm for a crowd?

    If you’re making these beef tacos for a large crowd, there are several ways you can keep them warm. I like to place them in a baking dish and bake them at 400°F for about 10 minutes. Then I’ll turn on the “keep warm” setting and let them sit in the oven until serving. This will ensure they stay warm, but don’t overcook and get too crispy. You can also cover them tightly with aluminum foil to help keep them warm as well.

    Favorite toppings

    Some may argue that the toppings are the best part! I keep it classic with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, onions and sliced olives. Oh and shredded cheese, of course. Any of the below toppings would taste delicious when assembling your tacos.

    close up of ground beef tacos with toppings

    More easy Mexican dinners:

    beef tacos

    Ground Beed Tacos

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican
    Keyword: ground beef tacos
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 262
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    Crispy and delicious tacos filled with seasoned ground beef and all your favorite toppings. These easy ground beef tacos are simple, flavorful and ready in just 20 minutes! 

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound ground beef , 80-90% lean
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    • 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning , more to taste
    • 1/2 cup salsa or tomato sauce
    • 1/4 cup water , more as needed
    • 12 taco shells , or small tortillas

    S&P to taste

      Toppings: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro

        Instructions

        • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until browned, stirring occasionally breaking up any large pieces. 
        • Once browned, drain off any extra grease. Then add in the taco seasoning, salsa and water. Bring to a light simmer. Add more water as desired. 
          how to make taco meat
        • Serve in taco shells as-is or place in a 9x13" dish to bake. Then add cheese and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. 
          ground beef tacos
        • Add desired toppings. 
          beef taco recipe

        Video

        Notes

        Optional: You can also add 1-2 Tablespoons of refried beans to the base of the tacos. If I'm adding them, I like to place them in a zip top bag and then snip the top off and place it on the bottom of the shell. 
        This recipe should make enough for about 2 Tablespoons of meat in each taco. 
        You can mix in some cooked rice and black beans to stretch the meat even further. 

        Nutrition

        Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 300mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1.8mg
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