This taco meat recipe is perfect for Easy Ground Beef Tacos! They are quick and easy to make with spices you probably already have in your cupboard. That means there is no need to buy a sodium loaded taco seasoning packet at the store!
Also included in this post is a Recipe Round-Up. I’ve joined a fun group of bloggers to put together a roundup of recipes on the first day of every month. This month we’re sharing Easy Taco Recipes.
Easy Ground Beef Tacos
My sweet mom preferred ground beef tacos. We went out to lunch every Friday, and if they only had shredded beef tacos on the menu, she wouldn’t hesitate to ask if they would make her one with ground beef.
I’m sure I probably rolled my eyes a time or two because, given the choice, I’d always pick shredded beef. Now, I do realize that if you need a quick and easy meal, you just can’t beat this taco meat recipe for ground beef tacos. So, I am happy to share my recipe!
How to Cook Beef for Tacos
When making tacos, it starts with the meat. In this case, I more often than not will choose a slightly fattier ground beef. I know that I will be draining that extra grease off the meat, but experience tells me that it also adds a richer flavor to the meat.
I prefer using a large skillet or cast iron skillet for cooking ground beef. When using higher fat meat, you don’t need to add oil to the pan. If you choose a lean beef option, you may want a bit of vegetable oil to prevent sticking.
- Spread the meat into an even layer and season with just salt and pepper to begin. Stir regularly to make sure all meat is cooked through and browned well. I love using this meat chopper. In between stirring, you can keep a lid on the pan to prevent grease splatters.
- Once the meat has cooked completely, you will drain the excess grease. After the grease is drained, then you add in your taco seasonings and simmer it as directed for optimum flavor.
Tip: When possible, opt for grass-fed beef or ground sirloin instead of ground chuck. Both will give you a richer beef flavor.
Choosing Tortillas for Tacos
If you’ve ever had a real authentic street taco, you know that they typically come in thin corn or flour tortillas with a bit of cilantro, onions and a wedge of lime. Over the years, many have become accustomed to the more “Americanized” version of tacos in hard crunchy shells and loaded with cheese and salsa.
My family prefers flour tortillas over corn tortillas.
All of these options are equally delicious.
- For street tacos use 2 thin corn tortillas with onions, cilantro, and fresh lime
- Make your own American style tacos, bake or deep fry larger corn tortillas and serve topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and salsa or sour cream
- For making a quesadilla with shredded beef, use a large flour tortilla
- If they’re available, my family likes the fresh tortillas that you brown before eating.
Best Taco Toppings
As mentioned above, my mom liked the classic ground beef taco. I prefer shredded beef, so you may expect I preferred a bit more traditional toppings. Below are some great additions to tacos that you may love. This list includes both traditional, and different options that may be new to you!
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Diced onions or jalapenos
- Diced tomatoes and lettuce
- Shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Cotija cheese
- Diced pineapple and red onion
- Black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans
- Black bean and corn salsa
- Salsa, Verde sauce, or hot sauce
- Creme Fraiche, sour cream, or nonfat plain Greek yogurt
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
Of course, these easy ground beef tacos are one of my family’s favorite meals, but there are tons of options with similar flavors you may also add to your menu. Maybe you enjoy something more like these Southwest Egg Rolls or my fun Chicken Taco Cornbread Wedges as finger food? My family also loves the perfect Carne Asada Tacos when we are looking for a beef based meal.
More options are the Crispy Chicken and Black Bean Tacos or the Shredded Pork Tacos. If you’re looking for a vegan option, try these Black Bean Tacos. There really is no limit to how you can make tacos more delicious!
Easy Ground Beef Tacos
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- dash cayenne powder
- 1 cup water
- In a large frying pan cook ground beef until it's no longer pink. Stir in spices and water and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes until the all of the water cooks off.
- Serve with cheese, salsa, lettuce, and tomatoes, or your favorite taco toppings. While you're at it, make a double batch and freeze the leftovers in individual ½ cup servings.
Easy Taco Recipes You’ll Like:
Easy Seasoned Chicken Tacos
Slow Cooker Pork Tacos
Chicken Tinga Tacos
Easy Ground Beef Tacos
Pan Seared Steak Tacos
Grilled Sirloin Steak Tacos
Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken & Poblano Street Tacos
Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Coleslaw
BBQ Meatball Street Tacos