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
- Corn Tortillas: Warm corn tortillas are a the best way to serve tacos; read my article 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 – measure with your heart.
- Cilantro: Cilantro brightens the beef mixture.
- Taco Seasoning: 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. If you’re concerned about adding too much salt to your meal, try my low sodium taco seasoning.
- 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.
Prepare corn tortillas and set them aside; follow my guide for how to heat corn tortillas.
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.
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WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS
- Refrigerate – Store the leftovers in an airtight container; the ground beef will keep for 3-5 days.
- Freeze – Let the beef cool, and transfer 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 – Defrost the ground beef mixture in the refrigerator overnight.
- Reheat – Warm the 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. Or let it fry over medium-high heat until the ground beef reabsorbs the fat.
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. The tool breaks down the ground beef easily. Plus – it is fun to use!
MORE MEXICAN-INSPIRED RECIPES:
Homemade Tacos with Ground Beef
- 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
- Prepare corn tortillas and set them aside; follow my guide for How to Heat Corn Tortillas.
- 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.