Ground beef tacos have always been a staple at my house, but I recently started adding a few extra ingredients that took them from tasty to downright delicious!
You can use the homemade taco meat in crispy hard taco shells, warm soft tortillas, or even on top of taco salad. The whole family is sure to love it.
TACO NIGHT JUST GOT BETTER!
If all you do is brown some meat and throw in a packet of taco seasoning, don’t feel bad. That’s what I did for years. Until I discovered how much tastier it is to season your own taco meat.
Here’s why we love these tacos:
- Adding your own spices means you can adjust the seasonings your liking. You can also adjust the heat.
- Browning the ground beef with some onion adds flavor and a nice texture.
- Blooming (heating in the skillet) the spices and garlic with the meat brings out the flavors early on, so you don’t have to wait long for the meat mixture to simmer.
- The tomato sauce and broth not only add flavor, they help bind the ground beef together so it’s less likely to fall out of your taco shell.
- Dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes, and you only need one skillet.
- You can prep the taco meat and most of the toppings ahead of time, so it’s a great make ahead meal.
- Leftover meat freezes really well. Go ahead and double the recipe so you can freeze some for another busy day!
And last but not least. TACOS. Who doesn’t love tacos?
How much ground beef per person for tacos?
Typically you will need a pound of ground beef for every eight people if they each eat two tacos. This will give you about 2-3 ounces, or 1/4 -1/3 cup of filling per taco. (Adding ingredients like onions and tomato sauce will give you closer to 3 ounces and 1/3 cup of filling.)
Of course, if you have small children, you will need less taco meat, and if you are serving hungry boys and men, you will need a little more.
HOW TO MAKE TACOS WITH GROUND BEEF
- BROWN MEAT – Cook the ground beef and diced onion over medium high heat in a large skillet until the beef is completely browned. Drain off any fat with a paper towel.
- SEASON – Add the salt, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir for 30-60 seconds, just until fragrant.
- COOK – Add the tomato sauce, broth, and sugar. Turn heat to medium; simmer until thickened, about 5-10 minutes.
- TOPPINGS – While the meat is simmering, wash and chop the lettuce, tomato, and any other toppings you will be serving.
- SERVE- As soon as the meat mixture is as thick as you want it, immediately serve the tacos with hard shells, or flour tortillas, and your favorite toppings. At my house, it works best when I let everyone assemble their own tacos. Enjoy!
FAVORITE TACO TOPPINGS:
- shredded lettuce or shredded cabbage (or a blend of the two)
- diced tomatoes
- shredded cheddar cheese, mexican blend cheese, or queso fresco
- sour cream
- salsa or homemade pico de gallo
- sliced olives
- diced avocado or fresh guacamole
- sliced green onions or diced red onion
- black beans or pinto beans
- diced jalapeno or pickled jalapeno
- chopped cilantro
- lime wedges
- Cafe Rio cilantro lime dressing
STORING AND FREEZING LEFTOVERS
You can store leftover taco meat in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
If you need long time storage, or if you want to make your taco filling ahead of time, it freezes well. First transfer the taco meat to a freezer safe container and chill it for a couple hours. I like to use freezer ziplock bags.
When the meat is cold, transfer the container to your freezer. It will keep for up to 6 month in the freezer.
How to reheat taco meat
When you are ready to serve your leftover tacos, you can simply heat the taco meat in the microwave. Make sure to cover the dish, it does splatter. I love this microwave food cover!
You can also heat the meat in a saucepan or skillet. Simply add a bit of water, and cook and stir the meat over medium heat until it is heated through.
GROUND BEEF TACO VARIATIONS:
- If you are really in a hurry, you can use 3-4 tablespoons of ground beef taco seasoning. I like homemade, but no judgement if you use store bought.
- Adding a can of mild diced green chilies is also tasty. They add great flavor, but no too much heat.
- To make your meat stretch farther, add some beans. I usually stir in a can of black beans or refried beans. Sometimes I even use one of each, and no one complains!
- Want to turn up the heat? Stir in some hot sauce, additional red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper.
MORE OF OUR FAVORITE MEXICAN RECIPES:
- Crescent Roll Taco Bake
- Taco Salad with Doritos and Catalina Dressing
- Cheesy Beef Taco Pasta
- Chicken Fajita Rice
- Mexican Lasagna with Tortillas
- Chicken Tostada Recipe
- Taco Chicken Soup
- Chicken Fajita Quesadilla
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp sugar
Additional Ingredients To Make Tacos:
- 8 crunchy corn taco shells
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 Tbsp per taco)
- 2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce (1/4 cup per taco)
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced (about 2 Tbsp per taco)
- 1/2 cup sour cream (1 tbsp per taco)
- In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and diced onion over medium high heat until the meat is completely browned. Use a paper towel to drain off any fat.
- Add the salt, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir just until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
- Turn heat to medium or medium low and add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and sugar. Stir together, then simmer until thickened, 5-10 minutes.
- While the meat is simmering, prepare your toppings. Wash and dice the lettuce and tomatoes, and grate the cheese. And of course prep any other toppings you are using.
- To serve, you can let people assemble their own tacos, or you can put them together yourself and place them in a serving dish.
-You can of course use soft corn tortillas or flour tortillas, the nutrition will just vary.
-To make the meat stretch further, I like to add a can of black or refried beans. You can either add more filling to each taco, or plan on needing 10-12 taco shells.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 615mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 24g
If you make these tasty ground beef tacos, come back and let me know how you liked them! 🙂