Homemade Tacos – Homemade Tacos with Ground Beef are easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd. While we prefer authenticity around here, this recipe strays from authentic Mexican tacos to bring you the American taco nights of my childhood.
To keep grocery shopping affordable, my family rotated a few recipes growing up. A dish I always looked forward to was ground beef tacos. They are simple, tasty, and not at all authentic! I must have passed this joy on to my son because he enthusiastically told me, “Mama, people need to know how to make this meal so they can feed it to their kids.” You got it, kid; there’s something special about a meal from childhood, even if it’s simple.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Warmed Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are the key to a great taco! Check out our cooking tips for How to Heat Corn Tortillas.
- Avocado Oil: Avocado oil sautés the onion and flavors the ground beef mixture.
- Onion: Onion infuses with ground beef, garlic, tomato, and taco seasoning for maximum flavor.
- Ground Beef: I use 80/20 lean ground beef; if you choose to use beef with a higher fat content, be sure to drain the excess oil after the meat cooks. Failing to do so will result in greasy tacos and no one wants that.
- Garlic: I suggest using two cloves, but don’t let my recipe tell you how much garlic to use – go for it.
- Cilantro: Cilantro brightens the beef mixture.
- Taco Seasoning: Taco seasoning is a tasty combination of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and cayenne powder. I use homemade Taco Seasoning, but for transparency’s sake, I have to mention my mom’s tried and true store-bought spice blend, Ortega’s Taco Seasoning. This is the brand I reach for when I’m in a hurry.
- Toppings: Taco nights are all about making tacos your way, and because of that, everyone is happy- even the pickiest of eaters! The key is preparing a topping bar; we use shredded cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, lime, cilantro, Guacamole, and Tapatio. Now and then, we add chopped black olives, sliced jalapeños, onions, and Chunky Salsa or Pico De Gallo.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TACOS
The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Warm oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent and soften.
Next, add ground beef and break it up with a meat chopper; cook until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomato, garlic, and cilantro.
Season with 2-3 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Spoon beef into a corn tortillas and garnish with your favorite toppings.
- If using beef with higher fat content, drain the excess oil after browning the meat. If not, you will end up with greasy tacos.
SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS?
If you love this recipe, try one of these Mexican favorites!
- Vegan Mexican Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice
- Seasoned Black Beans
- Guacamole without Tomato
- Grilled Zucchini
- Pico De Gallo, Chunky Salsa, Mango Salsa Recipe, Corn Salsa
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS
- Refrigerate – Store the leftovers in an airtight container; it will keep for 3-5 days.
- Freeze – Allow the meat to cool, then add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. To prevent freezer burn, layer plastic wrap over the container before securing the lid. Homemade tacos freeze for up to 2 months.
- Thaw – When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
- Reheat – Warm leftovers on the stovetop and prepare your sides.
- Repurpose – Don’t feel like making tacos for the second night in a row? No worries, use the leftover ground beef to make enchiladas, nachos, sliders, quesadillas, breakfast burritos, or Mexican pizza.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What kind of ground beef is best for tacos?
I prefer to use 80/20 or 70/30 lean ground beef if possible. You can choose ground beef with a high-fat content if you don’t mind draining it before adding the taco seasoning.
How do you break down the ground beef for tacos?
Break down the beef using a spatula if that is what you have on hand; otherwise, I suggest using a meat chopper. This tool breaks down the meat more easily, plus it is fun to use.
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Homemade Tacos with Ground Beef
- Small Bowl
For the Tacos:
- corn tortillas
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1½ pound ground beef, lean 80/20
- 1 Roma tomato, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning
For the Garnish:
- shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- tomatoes, chopped
- lettuce, shredded
- cilantro, chopped
- pico de gallo
- chunky salsa
- Warm oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent and soften.
- Next, add ground beef and break it up with a meat chopper; cook until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato, garlic, and cilantro, and season with 2-3 tablespoons of taco seasoning. Mix to combine. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Spoon beef into a corn tortillas and garnish with your favorite toppings.
- The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Wednesday 19th of October 2022
These were perfect for the whole family.
Wednesday 19th of October 2022
Our kids beg for these tacos; I'm happy you enjoyed them.