Wondering how to make tacos with ground beef? This simple, 10-minute ground beef tacos recipe will be your new favorite for Taco-Tuesday! No store-bought seasoning or sauces – this EASY ground beef taco recipe is made from scratch and tastes amazing!
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How to Make Tacos with Ground Beef
If you’re thinking of making tacos for your next Taco-Tuesday or weeknight dinner, this simple ground beef tacos recipe is perfect! In just 10 minutes, you will have the perfect ground beef taco meat for your tortillas and crispy taco shells.
In this post I will show you how to make tacos with ground beef and what simple spices to use – NO store-bought spice mixes or sauces. Making tacos from scratch is very easy and can be done with basic ingredients. This recipe is perfect for feeding your family or serving for your friends.
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Start by mixing together your taco seasoning
I like to mix together a large batch of homemade taco seasoning and store in my pantry. The store-bought stuff contains extra junk like sugar, cornmeal and other preservatives that are not good for us. Using your own mix of spices is not only better for you, it’s less expensive, too!
If you make a big batch of seasoning (like above) you’ll need 2 tablespoons of the spice mix. If you decide not to make your taco seasoning in advance, I’ve broken down the exact spices for what you will need for a single batch in the recipe at the bottom of the post.
How do you make taco meat from scratch?
Start by browning the ground beef. Drain off any excess fat that renders.
Next, add a tomato paste, the homemade taco seasoning and water. Heat on medium-low heat and stir together well. Bring to a low simmer and heat until the water evaporates. The taco meat is done!
Do you add water when making taco meat?
Yes. This helps bring the tomato paste and spices together into a very light sauce that coats the ground beef. When simmering, most of the water will evaporate off, leaving the perfect ground beef consistency.
What ground beef is best for tacos?
I recommend either 90/10 or 85/15 grind ratios of beef. This ratio is meat to fat. The 90/10 will have less fat render off when browning, but is slightly more expensive. The 85/15 will render more grease, but is a less-expensive option.
I prefer grass-fed ground beef, so if you have the ability to purchase this option, I recommend it.
Do you drain ground beef for tacos?
Yes, I would recommend draining off any excess grease/fat that the beef renders after browning. This will allow the tomato paste and spices to adequately incorporate with the beef without the fat separating out.
What can I add to taco meat?
This is totally optional, but I recommend adding a can of black beans to the seasoned ground beef. Not only does this stretch the amount of filling you have, but it will add more protein and fiber to your tacos.
What do you put on a taco?
Here are some traditional taco toppings that are great for ground beef tacos:
- Shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- Diced tomatoes
- Shredded lettuce
- Fresh cilantro
- Sliced/diced avocados
- Lime wedges
Here are some other dips and sides that go perfectly with this ground beef tacos recipe:
- Classic Pico de Gallo Salsa
- Homemade Taco Sauce
- Loaded Guacamole
- Southwestern Corn Salsa
- Hot Queso Blanco Dip
If you loved this Ground Beef Tacos recipe, you are sure to love these other Tex-Mex recipes:
- Rotisserie Chicken Tacos
- Healthy Shrimp Tacos
- Ground Beef Sour Cream Enchiladas
- Healthy Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
- Healthy Easy Taco Casserole
- Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Ground Beef Enchiladas
- Grilled Steak Fajitas
- Taco Stuffed Peppers
Here’s how to make tacos with ground beef:
- 1 lb. ground beef (you can also use ground turkey)
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 c. water
- Optional: 1 (15 oz.) can, black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain off any excess fat that has rendered.
- To the drained ground beef, add the tomato paste, water and all spices.
- Return to medium-high heat and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until water has evaporated.
- Optional: add 1 can black beans that have been drained and rinsed. Stir together with the beef and heat for 3-5 more minutes.
- Serve with soft tortillas or crispy taco shells.
Soft tortillas or crispy taco shells
Shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
Avocados - sliced or diced
Pico de Gallo Salsa
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 6 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 131Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 16g