The best beef taco meat recipe is ready start to finish in just 10 minutes with a few simple ingredients. This beef taco recipe is always a crowd pleaser, incredibly flavorful and low in calories, too!
Use my incredibly simple tricks to take your tacos to a whole new level – you’ll be amazed at just how delicious these tacos are.
I’ve been making this ground beef taco “recipe” for years, but when we purchased the lake cottage, it became a weekly staple.
Why? Because they’re quick, easy, almost mindless and everyone in our family devours them without a complaint. Pretty much a miracle for anything with meat in our family!
Each weekend at the lake I have a mental grocery list for sandwiches, tacos, breakfast and snacks – it doesn’t change, which keeps it effortless, and we all look forward to it, each and every weekend.
Why You’ll Love these Ground Beef Tacos
- This ground beef taco recipe is effortless. When I say 10 minutes, I mean it!
- These are incredibly easy… with a few elevated ingredients, this ground beef taco recipe is out of this world.
- This is a “shortcut” recipe with a few little tweaks to make them delicious – like freshly shredded cheese and a seasoning shortcut you’ll love.
- Who doesn’t love tacos? Such a crowd pleasing dinner!
5 STAR REVIEW
“These are absolutely the best tacos I’ve ever had! The shredded block cheese makes a huge difference! And the warm, thin taco shells are so good! I love to top them with a little pico de gallo! I’ve made these for friends and shared this recipe many times. It’s a great recipe to make for meal trains! Always rave reviews!”— CHERYL—
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Monterey Jack Cheese – Fresh shredded monterey jack or colby jack cheese. It takes just two minutes and is totally worth it. The best cheese is usually reserved for blocks, have less preservatives and remains intact, making it much creamier than pre-shredded cheese. Learn more about the Best Cheeses for Tacos here.
- Ground Beef – As noted earlier, I like 93/7 lean ground beef. It’s the perfect ratio – just greasy enough, without being too greasy.
- Taco Seasoning – You can make your own taco seasoning with spices you have on hand or use Old El Paso Taco Seasoning.
- La Tiara Corn Taco Shells – Toast them in the oven for just a minute or two for a thin, crispy, delicious crunch! Truly my very favorite brand – I know they aren’t available everywhere, so be sure to choose the thinnest, most delicate crunchy shell you can buy.
- Sour Cream – For drizzling, dipping or dolloping, whichever you prefer.
- Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip – Optional, but it really makes these Mexican beef tacos taste like a party!
- Even better? Make your own Fiesta Ranch Seasoning to create this topping!
- Spice it up – use a tablespoon of your favorite taco seasoning along with a tablespoon of homemade fiesta ranch for your taco meat! The combo is out of this world.
- Serve this combo as Walking Tacos.
- Try this beef taco meat recipe as part of a Rice Fajita Bowl.
- Or, serve with our favorite homemade Taco Salad Bowls.
How to Make these Ground Beef Tacos
- Preheat the oven as directed. Bake corn taco shells for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly warm.
- In a skillet over medium heat, add ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add taco seasoning and cook until brown.
- Optionally, combine sour cream and ranch mix for a fun fiesta topping.
- Fill taco shells with ground beef and shredded cheese. Top with Fiesta sour cream. Enjoy!
- To keep this beef taco recipe low calorie, I like to purchase lean ground beef, also known as the 93/7 variety. If you would like a higher fat content, simply purchase an 85/15 or 80/20, whichever they have on hand.
- 1-2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning will season a pound of ground beef perfectly.
- Fresh grate your cheese. I promise, it makes all the difference in the world and it’s worth that extra step!
- Finish every taco with a squeeze of lime – it’s the easiest trick for a major flavor boost.
- Set up a taco bar with a variety of toppings to serve friends, and don’t forget the margarita bar too!
Frequently Asked Questions
One packet of taco seasoning contains a little over 1 ounce of seasoning – the right amount to season your on pound of ground beef to perfection. In tablespoons, that equals approximately two tablespoons.
Since we are making these weeknight tacos with lean ground beef, one taco is only 263 calories, toppings and all! So go ahead – have two, (or three)!
To make the best beef tacos, the best ground beef is a must. The key to choosing the best beef for tacos is to find beef that is ground right in the store you are buying it. At grocery stores and supermarkets, this is at the beef counter.
Simply ask the butcher behind the counter – that’s why they’re there! Generally, you’ll want to land somewhere around 90/10 – we like to use a 93/7 to keep things a little leaner, and you can go as low as 80/20 if you like a higher fat content.
Optional Taco Toppings
The best side dish for easy beef tacos are ones that complement the flavor. Click through for a complete guide to the best taco sides – but here are a few of my best ideas!
How to Store
- Room Temperature – These beef tacos can sit out at room temperature for up to two hours while serving.
- Refrigerator – Store this ground beef taco meat (separately from shells and toppings) in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer – You can freeze this ground beef taco meat in an airtight container or freezer bag. It keeps well for up to three months – just defrost overnight in your refrigerator and heat through to serve.
- Gluten Free (Use corn shells)
- Dairy Free (Eliminate cheese and sour cream)
- Nut Free
- 8 ounce sour cream
- ¼ package Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip optional
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Meanwhile, cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up with a masher or base of a wooden spoon and stir in taco seasoning until just brown.
- While you're cooking the taco meat, bake taco shells 2-3 minutes.
- Optional: combine sour cream and fiesta ranch mix for a topping.
- Fill tacos with ground beef, shredded cheese and fiesta sour cream and any additional toppings.
Substitutions and VariationsMonterey Jack Cheese – Can substitute colby jack or pepperjack Taco Seasoning – Can substitute Old El Paso Taco Seasoning or your favorite. La Tiara Corn Taco Shells – Toast them in the oven for just a minute or two for a thin, crispy, delicious crunch! Truly my very favorite. Sour Cream – Substitute crema
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.