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Ground Beef Tacos

Ground beef tacos are easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd. While we prefer authenticity around here, this recipe strays from traditional tacos to reflect the American taco nights of my childhood.

A single serving of ground beef taco topped with sour cream, cabbage, and lime.
A serving tray of ground beef taco with a complete taco bar.

Ground Beef Tacos

Tressa Jamil
Ground beef, onions, and tomatoes combine with homemade taco seasoning to make the perfect weeknight ground beef tacos.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 tacos
Calories 234 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For the Tacos:

  • corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 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:

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the corn tortillas in advance and set them aside.
  • Warm oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent and soften.
  • Next, add the 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.
  • To serve, spoon the beef onto corn tortillas and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 TacosCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 13gFat: 17gSodium: 321mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
Keyword ground beef tacos
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!

Check out our web story for ground beef tacos!

RECIPE STORY

To keep groceries affordable, my family rotated a few recipes growing up – and not much else. A dish I always looked forward to my mom making was ground beef tacos. They are simple, tasty, and not at all authentic. I must have passed this joy onto my son because this is his most requested meal. He is actually the reason I decided to post it. “Mama, people need to know how to make this meal so they can feed it to their kids,” he said to me while stuffing his mouth with another taco. You got it, kid, you got it!

A serving tray of ground beef taco with a complete taco bar.
It’s always taco night at the Jamil Ghar.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Warmed Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are the key to a great taco. Check out my tips for How to Prepare 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 our homemade taco seasoning to flavor the tacos, 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 bran I reach for when I’m in a hurry. There’s something special about a meal from childhood, even if it’s simple.
  • 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 in the 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 GROUND BEEF TACOS

STEP 1

Prepare the corn tortillas in advance and set them aside.

Cooked onions are the base for ground beef tacos.

STEP 2

Warm oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they become translucent and soften.

STEP 3

Next, add the ground beef and break it up with a meat chopper; cook until brown and heated through for about 10 minutes.

STEP 4

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.

A single serving of ground beef taco topped with sour cream, cabbage, and lime.

STEP 5

To serve, spoon the beef onto corn tortillas and garnish with your favorite toppings.

Did you enjoy this recipe for ground beef tacos?

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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!


Can I freeze cooked ground beef?

Yes, you can. First, allow the meat to cool completely, then add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. To prevent freezer burn, layer plastic wrap over the container before securing the lid. The ground beef will freeze for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight. To serve, warm it on the stove and prepare your tortillas and toppings.

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