The Easiest Ground Beef Tacos
Taco ’bout a weekly staple! We LOVE Mexican food and flavors around here, and typically have various taco nights on the regular. Almost every Tuesday I add a Mexican-inspired meal to my weekly meal plan, and these ground beef tacos are a hit with everyone in my family. Leftovers can be used for taco salads, quesadillas or nachos during the week, but I doubt you’ll have any morsels of meat left.
I taught a Zoom cooking class about these tacos that you can watch on YouTube. You’ll get all the inside tips and tricks! To sign up for my cooking class newsletter, head to my cooking class page and scroll to the bottom to enter your email.
What is the best ground beef for tacos?
I typically use roughly 80% ground beef, but 90% will work too. Most meat departments label ground beef with percentages, which are a ratio of lean meat to fat. If you don’t see a percentage label, just look for ground chuck, round or sirloin. The higher the fat contact, the more crumbly the meat will be. More fat also means better flavor, sorry! You can drain any accumulated grease in the cooking process. Of course, I prefer to buy meat directly from a rancher, such as Five Marys Farms or Yonder Way. You can also look for purveyors at your local farmer’s market. Grass-fed organic is the way to go!
The secret (veggie) ingredient!
This is a hack I use for almost any ground beef-based recipe, such as meatloaf, bolognese or picadillo. Add about a cup of riced cauliflower to the pan after the meat has lost its raw red color. It will just disappear into the meat and get seasoned with the spice mix. More veggies, more healthy!
Can I use ground turkey?
Yes! If you do, definitely use dark meat ground turkey for better texture and flavor. White meat will work too, but the texture will be chunkier and it will turn out a little dry. You can also use ground pork or dark meat ground chicken!
How do you make taco seasoning?
It’s super easy to make your own homemade taco seasoning! Check out this post for instructions. Keep it in your pantry in a jar with a tight fitting lid and use as needed. I also like Siete brand taco seasoning or Simply Organic. Traditional store bought taco seasonings have an absurd amount of sodium, preservative and msg.
How much ground beef per taco?
Each taco shell or small soft taco-size tortilla fits about 2 ounces or 1/4 cup of meat. If you add diced onions, you could stretch a pound of ground beef to make about a dozen tacos. With just the meat and spices, you can make about 8 tacos from a pound of meat.
What are the best toppings for tacos?
This is such a personal preference, but I like to put out the world’s fair and let everyone go to town.
- Refried or whole beans, either black beans or pinto beans
- Grated cheese (Jack, Cheddar or Mexican blend)
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Avocado slices or guacamole
- Pickled or fresh jalapeños
- Pickled red onions
- Salsa! Green, red, pico de gallo, you name it!
- Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce, such as Yellowbird or homemade La Taqueria sauce
Can you make tacos ahead of time?
Yes! Make the meat a couple days ahead if you’d like, then cool and store in an airtight container in your refrigerator. When it comes time to reheat, warm in a pan on the stove over medium-low heat. Add a couple tablespoons of water to help loosen up and moisten the meat at it warms.
What are the best tortillas for beef tacos?
We have a variety of soft tortillas on hand or in our freezer at any given time. Siete Cassava grain-free tortillas (for me), regular flour tortillas (for my son) or sometimes my youngest will make homemade corn tortillas. You can roll them out by hand in between two cut open sheets of plastic freezer bags, or make life easier and get a tortilla press. You can also use crunchy tortilla shells, we just opt for soft tacos most of the time!
How do you keep tortillas warm?
I usually warm tortillas individually in a cast iron pan, on a comal or flat griddle or directly on a low gas flame. Once you warm them up, keep them that way in a tortilla warmer. I have an unattractive plastic one, but I really want to replace it with this or this.
How can I make lower carb tacos?
Serve your taco meat in lettuce cups, jicama tortillas (literally just round slices of jicama sold packaged in some grocery stores, such as H-E-B) or almond flour Siete tortillas.
What sides should I serve with tacos?
Definitely make my La Taqueria hot sauce for taco night!
More Taco Tuesday Favorites!
Ground Beef Tacos
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1/2 yellow, white or red onion, diced about 1 cup
- 1 pound ground beef (or turkey, lamb, pork or chicken)
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning homemade or store bought
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 10 soft tortillas or hard taco shells
- Toppings: sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, grated cheese, shredded lettuce, Pico de Gallo or salsa, avocado, cilantro, pickled jalapeños
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil warms, add onion and cook until onion becomes translucent. Add ground meat and cook, breaking it up with the side of a spoon, just until meat is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in taco seasoning and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add broth or water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid becomes thick and clings to the meat.
- Divide meat mixture, lettuce, and cheese among taco shells and serve immediately with optional toppings.