These crispy ground beef tacos are filled with seasoned meat, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. An easy dinner recipe that the whole family will enjoy, even your pickiest eaters! Includes a recipe for ground beef taco seasoning.

My beef tacos are so much better than the fast food version, especially when you use homemade taco seasoning instead of the store bought kind. Best of all, this dinner can be on the table in 20 minutes.

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Ground beef tacos in hard taco shells topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.

When I’m looking for an easy dinner that I know my kids will happily eat, I often turn to tacos. I make these ground beef tacos almost every week, they’re so fast to make! I put out a condiments bar and let everyone assemble their perfect taco, this is a great recipe for entertaining too.

How do you make taco meat?

To make taco meat, you’ll need ground beef, taco seasoning, an onion and canned tomatoes. The onion and beef are cooked until browned, then are seasoned with homemade taco spice and tomatoes.

A skillet of ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, onions and tomatoes.

I use petite diced tomatoes which I drain before adding to the meat. I like the flavor and texture that the tomatoes add, but if you’re not a big fan of tomatoes they can easily be omitted.

How do you make taco seasoning?

I use homemade taco seasoning for this recipe, it only takes 5 minutes to make and tastes so much better than the store bought taco seasoning packets. For homemade taco seasoning, simply mix together chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano and red pepper flakes.

A mixture of spices to make homemade taco seasoning.

What is the best ground beef for tacos?

I like to use 90% lean ground beef for tacos. The meat is flavorful and tender, yet not overly greasy. You can also use an 80% lean ground beef, but you’ll have a lot more fat to drain off at the end of the cooking process.

After your meat is cooked, it’s time to start filling your tacos! I use the traditional hard shells here, but soft flour tortillas will also work great.

Crispy ground beef tacos with an assortment of toppings like lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese.

What are the best toppings for tacos?

I typically put out a toppings bar and include some or all of the following taco toppings

  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Minced red onion
  • Jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Olives
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Diced avocado

After your tacos are assembled, it’s time to eat! Sometimes I make a double batch of the ground beef taco filling and freeze half for another night for an even speedier dinner option.

Taco shells filled with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese.

More taco recipes you’ll love

5 from 31 votes

Ground Beef Tacos

AuthorSara Welch
Ground beef tacos in hard taco shells topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.
These crispy ground beef tacos are filled with seasoned meat, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. An easy dinner recipe that the whole family will enjoy, even your pickiest eaters! Includes a recipe for ground beef taco seasoning.
Time
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Mexican
Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef I use 90% lean
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14 ounce can petite diced tomatoes drained
  • 8 taco shells
  • assorted toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onion and shredded cheese

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a large pan over medium high heat. 
  • Add the ground beef and break up with a spatula.
  • Add the onion to the pan.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is done and onion is soft, 5-6 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir to coat the meat in the seasonings.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  • Spoon the beef into the taco shells and add toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 549mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 715IU | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3.9mg

Hello! I’m Sara!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My go to taco recipe!! Everyone I make this for loves it… including my 4YO! I make two slight changes: I use ghee or avocado oil instead of vegetable oil and fresh tomatoes instead of canned. I also skip the crushed pepper because we are spice wimps. They taste delicious with some sour cream in the Siete brand hard tacos shells or in Food for Life corn tortillas.

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is a family favorite. I’ve been making this for a few years now. Haven’t used store bought taco seasoning since the first day I made this. Definitely a keeper.

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is a winner. Haven’t made it any other way since finding this web site. Everyone I made it for loved it. 💖👍

    1. I haven’t tried it this way but I think it would work fine! You may need to adjust the seasonings since sausage is typically pre-seasoned.

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe! Followed to a ‘T’ and boy was it good! Oldest son scarfed down 5 of these leaving barely 2 each for Dad & I – LOL! Hubby not a huge fan of spicy, but happy with this one – “just right”. Served jalapenos on the side with other toppings. Definitely a keeper!

  5. Loved it and doubled it for another night in freezer vacuum bag. I live in Texas, s-west Tex Mex was right on.

  6. Great recipe!! I doubled the recipe and the defrosted-frozen beef recipient was as good as the week before! Thank you

  7. I absolutely love this recipe! So do all of my friends! I haven’t changed anything…it doesn’t need it! Thank you💕💕💕

  8. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe. I did add a green bell pepper and 2 spicy jalapeños diced for a little extra heat. Truly delicious and one of the best taco recipes I’ve found. Thank you!!!