Classic Ground Beef Tacos

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.As I’ve said a number of times before, a sandwich is only as good as the bread it’s made on.  Assuming that’s true, then we can extrapolate and say that a taco is only as good as the tortilla it’s made on.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Taco meat is delicious.  I’ll eat that straight from the pan!  But a good tortilla is still a worthwhile investment of 30 seconds.

Do you prefer flour or corn tortillas for tacos?  We go back and forth here in our house.  Sometimes it’s a flour tortilla night, sometimes it’s a corn tortilla night.  I do enjoy the doughy goodness of a flour tortilla, but what corn tortillas lack in doughy goodness, they make up for in toasty flavor.  The key is cooking that corn tortilla in a dry cast iron skillet for 20-30 seconds per side, or until the tortilla is lightly charred.

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.You do have to keep a close eye on the tortillas when cooking them, though.  When I was making these tacos, I put a corn tortilla in the skillet and then I turned to open that day’s mail.  I must’ve gotten distracted because all of a sudden I could smell the tortilla – and it wasn’t a good smell.  Sure enough, I burnt it.  Ugh.  No biggie in the grand scheme, but the point remains that you have to keep a close eye on them.

Classic Ground Beef Tacos

Several months back, I stumbled across a taco holder on clearance at the store.  Now why would a taco holder be on clearance?  It’s not like tacos ever go out of season!  Maybe it was a Wednesday, and the store was dumping taco holders following Taco Tuesday.  I have no idea.  No matter.  That taco holder ended up in my cart, and I went about my merry way.  (Normally I don’t go for unitasker kitchen items like a taco holder – but in this case I just felt like I needed a taco holder.  I’m sure you can identify with that feeling!)

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.Well that taco holder got pushed to the back of the cabinet where I forgot about it for a couple of months.  But then this past week I noticed it hiding back there…and all of a sudden I started craving tacos!  I figured what better way to put that taco holder into action than with a batch of Classic Ground Beef Tacos.  Seasoned beef.  Shredded lettuce.  Cheese.  Tomatoes.  Sour Cream.  Talk about a favorite comfort food!

The key to these Classic Ground Beef Tacos (aside from the tortilla discussion above) is how you cook the ground beef.  Sure, you can open one of those taco seasoning packets and dump it into the pan with some water.  Nice and easy.  We’ve done that (and still do that) on occasion.  But I have to say that taking the extra few minutes to make your own seasoned ground beef is well worth the time!

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.In this case, the seasoned ground beef for these Classic Ground Beef Tacos started with some onions + garlic and then a handful of various spices.  Ok, so far so good.  But the unusual piece is the tomato sauce.  We’re not making spaghetti sauce here – we’re making seasoned beef.  So what’s up with the tomato sauce?  That’s the thing – the ½ cup of tomato sauce adds a tangy depth of flavor without turning the beef into a sauce.  I also like to add ¼ cup of water or (if I have it around) chicken stock.  All together, you’ll end up with a seasoned ground beef that is perfect – and I mean perfect – for tacos!

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.So why not make it a taco night sometime this week?  This recipe is classic in the best way possible.  It reminds me of childhood.  It reminds me of being a bachelor.  It reminds me of when Laura and I first moved in together.  And it reminds me of, well, now.  (Clearly we just love tacos around here.)  I hope you enjoy these Classic Ground Beef Tacos as much as we do!

Did you make a batch of these Classic Ground Beef Tacos?  Leave a comment or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version – corn tortilla or flour?

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.

Classic Ground Beef Tacos

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 512kcal

Ingredients

For the Ground Beef

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced red onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 16 oz. lean ground beef
  • tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken or beef broth

For the Tacos

  • 12 6” corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • sour cream
  • diced red onions
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions

For the Ground Beef

  • Using a large nonstick skillet, add olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onions and saute, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic, stir and continue sautéing for 1-2 more minutes.
  • Add ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, onion powder and black pepper; stir until well combined. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 more minutes, or until beef is mostly cooked through.
  • Add tomato sauce and broth; stir until well combined. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened noticeably.

For the Tacos

  • Meanwhile, place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tortillas (one at a time) and cook for about 15-30 seconds per side, or until lightly charred.
  • Spoon beef filling into each tortilla and top with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, diced red onions and/or chopped cilantro.

Forget Taco Tuesday.  Make every night a taco night!  These Classic Ground Beef Tacos are easy to prepare and packed with flavor thanks to the seasoned ground beef.

Looking for more tasty taco recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too!

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These Crispy Baja Fish Tacos are not only quick and easy, but packed with delicious flavor, too!  They're the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of warmer days!Crispy Baja Fish Tacos

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24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We rarely eat tacos. And we almost never have tortillas in our house. Mostly, because we already have too many carbs throughout the week, so keeping tortillas would be quite dangerous 🙂 However, this beef filling looks so juicy and flavourful, that no tortillas needed anyway – it can be equally delicious as a topping for any other carbs like rice or flatbread, warm salad or even soup. Delicious!

    1. Haha – I know what you mean about carbs, Ben. Then again, tacos are one of our staple meals for when we don’t have anything else planned, so I always try to keep a pack of tortillas buried in the fridge somewhere. And you make a good point about this beef mixture being good in other ways, too…ooo, pizza!! Cheeseburger pizza! 🙂

    2. All my pandemic baking caught up with me and my A1C was on the high side —so my doctor said you must go low carb. I decided to visit a licensed dietitian and guess what? She said you need 30 carbs per meal to keep your glucose levels steady. And she meant the kind of carbs that come from whole grains, legumes, root vegetables, dairy—the above-ground/leafy vegetable carbs don’t count toward that limit. Music to my ears! That’s still not a lot of carbs, but it’s enough for me to eat a taco or 2! Now I’m craving tacos—sometimes ya just need classic food, It’s the most comforting kind! (And I love the looks of your homemade seasoning. Can’t wait to try!)

  2. Will be making this soon for the beef can i use mushrooms and vegetable broth and for the tacos can i use vegan cheese and coconut cream can i skip lettuce as am not a big fan of it i never had tacos before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    1. Hey Ramya! I think you could totally use finely chopped mushrooms here. They will have more liquid in them than the beef, so you might need to cook them a bit longer for the extra liquid to evaporate. And no worries on the lettuce – if it’s not your thing, then leave it out! 🙂

    1. I hear ya about the taco holder, Jeff – ridiculous…but actually really handy, too! Even though it qualifies as a unitasker, I’d still willing to find the cabinet space for it!

  3. 5 stars
    Well, it’s taco Friday here (don’t ask me why) and everyone (except a few) uses those fried and packaged gross crispy things. Not me. Now I enjoy a decent corn tortilla chip as much as the next guy but not mad as a taco. So, my mission with all the taco eaters I know is to introduce them to a true soft taco like you’ve just made us. Great post.
    BTY, in our house corn tortillas, is always for meat tacos and flour tortillas for fish and seafood tacos. Well, taco Friday is coming up and I’m off to convert another Swedish Friday taco eater to a proper taco.

    1. Seriously!? Taco Friday over there? That’s funny – I didn’t realize it wasn’t the same day. So the packaged things are fine. They aren’t necessarily good, but they get the job done. The funny thing is how darned easy it is to make taco shells at home using corn tortillas. Just make sure to cook ’em up – I was at a curling tournament once where they served the corn tortillas straight from the package. They were weird and kinda raw and not very good!

    1. I’m the same way! I loved taco night as a kid, and I still love taco night as an adult. There’s a reason why these are a classic! Heck, they have a whole day to themselves. 🙂 (Although Ron’s comment above surprised me – Taco Friday over there in Sweden!)

  4. 5 stars
    Such a classic, and for good reason! Nothing beats a well-seasoned beef taco, and it looks like you’ve hit the mark here!

    1. The tomato sauce is key here – I know it doesn’t seem like tomato sauce should go into a beef taco filling, but it’s perfect in this recipe! Thanks, Michelle!

  5. 5 stars
    love tacos. i am retired in mexico and NOBODY uses ground beef for tacos. nevertheless, i like the crunch so i usually fry my corn tortillas a bit. less mess when eating them i thunk. again nobody does this unless you ask they do make taquitos rolled and fried but they aee called tacos dorados and usually include chicken or shrimp

    1. Interesting – thanks for sharing, Tom! I agree that ground beef is more of an Americanized version of tacos…but it’s so good! These classic tacos are a staple around our house as we almost always have the ingredients on hand. I’ll have to check out the tacos dorados that you mentioned!

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