Ground Beef Tacos
The absolute best seasoned ground beef for your taco fix!
I have been infatuated with tacos since I was a little kid. I’m not sure when I started loving them so much, but they were always my food of choice if we were at the mall and eating at the food court, or if I got to pick what we had for dinner on any given night. Tacos. Always tacos.
The weekend after Christmas, I had a feeling that everyone was pretty much over big, heavy holiday meals, so when I planned Sunday dinner, I spied ground beef that needed to be used up and thought a simple taco bar would be perfect. I keep a jar of homemade taco seasoning in my pantry for quick taco nights, but I had just gone through some recipe binders and saw this recipe for ground beef tacos, so I decided to give it a try.
Everyone said that they were the best tacos they’d ever had, so the recipe was a total win!
This recipe takes a little bit more time than just throwing some taco seasoning mix into the pan with ground beef, but not all that much more, and for the crazy amount of flavor that you get, it’s totally worth it! I love the addition of coriander, which isn’t something I normally include in my seasoning mix, but it really adds to the characteristic Mexican flavor.
Many of you have asked for some Whole30 recipes since I’m doing it again this month. We loved this taco meat so much that last week I made a double batch (minus the vinegar and brown sugar) to keep in the refrigerator. My husband loved it in his scrambled eggs in the morning and with roasted vegetables, and I ate it with a sweet potato for my lunches (I’d cut the potato in half, mash it up and add the meat for a “stuffed” potato). Delicious and so easy to make.
Whether you’re looking to make traditional tacos or would like a spiced up beef option for other meals, this taco meat is the absolute best recipe!
One year ago: Banana Muffins
Four years ago: New England Clam Chowder
Five years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Six years ago: Maple-Oatmeal Scones
Ground Beef Tacos
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- 1 pound (453.59 g) ground beef
- ½ cup (122.5 g) tomato sauce
- ½ cup (117.5 ml) chicken broth or stock
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
- Black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne and salt; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, vinegar and brown sugar, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the liquid has reduced and thickened (the mixture should not be completely dry), about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble hard or soft tacos as you'd like, with toppings such as shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, etc. Leftover taco meat can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This has been my go-to taco recipe for years. Love it!!
I was wondering if this spice mixture would work for chicken tacos also?
Very rich in flavor!! Delicious and I’m a big taco fan always want to stay away from that prepackaged stuff!! Thanks for a great recipe!
Awesome!! I’ve made this three times. I made two minor modifications; using 2 tablespoons of tomato paste for the tomato sauce and using beef stock instead of chicken. Tomato paste because I like the depth over tomato sauce and beef stock , well, because we’re using beef. Chicken stock will work fine in a pinch. Really like it.
How can I reduce the sodium?
Yes, if you prefer/need to.
Wow! It was so yummy! I just discovered your website and I plan to try more recipes like this! :)
Hi Audrey, I’m so glad you enjoyed the tacos, and welcome! :)
You call for 2T Chili Powder. I have been learning about the difference between Chile Powder and Chili Powder and have found have found the latter has many of the ingredients that you also call for in the recipe including cumin. So do you mean chili or chile powder?
I am not a fan of cumin and most beef taco recipes I see call for a ton of cumin. Yours does not which is why it caught my eye. So if you intended to use Chile Powder (pure ground chiles) then the only cumin is the 1 teaspoon. Which I could adjust if required. Just hoping to get your thoughts on this related topic. Thanks.
Hi Brent, I use chili powder in this recipe.
I have 2.25 lbs meat, should I double all the other ingredients?
Hi Nikki, Yes I would!
Just made it. It is way better than store bought or any other taco recipe I ever made. Thanks!
This was a GREAT ground beef taco seasoning recipe!
I added a fresh jalapeno in with the garlic and seasoning.
Kids and I devoured them!
Nothing left to take a picture of, sorry!
Only regret is, the money and time I blew trying to find a decent seasoning packet at the store.
WOW! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this was so good- everything I’ve made from this site has been good. But who knew you could take tacos to a whole other level!?!? These are, hands down, the best tacos I’ve ever had. Not difficult and the flavor is amazing.
Another great recipe we really liked, thank you! I am thinking about trying with chicken, as we don’t eat much ground beef.
Would it be okay to let it cook for an hour or so with everything in it to get the flavors all together?
Hi Alexis, You do want to go through browning the ground beef with the spices, but once you add the liquid you could put it on the lowest possible simmer and let it go. Just don’t let it keep cooking once most of liquid has evaporated, or the meat will dry out.
How do you get the packaged corn tacos crunchy and bent into the perfect eating shape?
Hi Renate, They are just taco shells – they come shaped like that, I didn’t do anything to them!
Made this last night and my family was crazy for it. Best home made tacos I’ve had so far.
I need receipt for 14 lbs of lean ground beef for 50 women? Please help
Hi Mary, You’ll need to scale this recipe up by a factor of 14 to make that work.
This has become my family’s go to taco recipe! I use a teeny tiny bit of chili powder (mine is intense to begin with) instead of 2T and my 3 & 5 year old boys love it. We have made these at least once a month since you posted them. I’ve made a double batch a couple times – takes a little longer to cook down the tomato sauce & chicken stock, but otherwise I follow the recipe – and then frozen half of it for later, with no problems.
These were awesome! I love tacos but this was my first time making them. Following the instructions was easy, and the ground beef was delicious. My main modifications were that I just did 1 cup of chicken stock and nixed the tomatoes, but added about 1/2 tsp of corn starch to make sure it thickened. I might do a little more oil at the beginning next time (it was totally soaked up by onions by the time I added the spices), but it worked out well anyways. I balked at the amount of chili powder in the mix because it seemed like a ton, but I’m glad I trusted it. My boyfriend went back for seconds, which is the best compliment for any meal I make for us. Thank you!
These were fabulous. Husband devoured. Thanks!
So delicious! My family absolutely loved these!
This one was not a keeper. I much prefer the homemade taco seasoning mix and ground beef.
This has totally become one of my go-to recipes… Works great with ground turkey too, since the liquid at the end keeps it from drying out. I also love the leftovers on baked sweet potatoes!
Hey Michelle! This looks delicious! I think I could live on tacos. I’m considering browning the meat first and then dumping all the whole thing in the crockpot. Do you think that would work well? Do you recommend adjusting the amount of any ingredient? Thanks so much!
Hi Claire, I haven’t tried it in the crock pot, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work!
Can I use white wine vinegar?
Hi Marilyne, I would probably use a more neutral flavored vinegar, such as rice vinegar, if you need to substitute.
We just had these for dinner and they were DELICIOUS! Every recipe of yours that I try is a winner but this has taken center stage. I will be using this for taco night from now one! I love that my little one with multiple food allergies can eat this with no problem and no modifications. BRAVO!!!!
These were fantastic! Made them with ground turkey because we’re eating less beef now. So, so good! Thanks!
Tacos are a favorite for me as well; all Tex-Mex really. I made tacos yesterday for my birthday but unfortunately the shells were stale. I’ve had that issue the past few times. :(
I would like to save this to Pinterest but the link seems to be missing.
Hi Wendy, You can just click the pinterest button on the lefthand side of the screen!
I love having an option that doesn’t include pre-packaged seasoning. Another simple and tasty way I like to make tacos is to add a can of chopped green chiles, salt and pepper to taste your ground meat (we use venison, but you could use beef, turkey, chicken, etc), and continue cooking until your meat is browned. Add it to freshly cooked corn tortillas and it’s a non-spicy alternative to the traditional spice combo.
LOVE tacos and this is making my mouth water!! Would it taste the same by beginning with browning the ground meat with the onions and spices simultaneously? I usually do that with ground meat to avoid additional oil. No mention of draining the excess fat, so I’m assuming you don’t?? Thanks!
Hi Linda, I think the purpose of waiting to add the beef is so the seasoning can be cooked first, which helps the flavor to “bloom” and intensify. And no, you don’t drain out any fat.
Do you use lean ground beef? I don’t want it to be too greasy if I’m not draining off the fat.
Hi Bethany, I use 85/15 beef.
Thanks for this recipe, trying it for our dinners next week, although minus the sugar.
Would love more Whole30 recipes as well and a recap of what you’re eating while on it :)
These look so awesome! I love tacos, and sometimes I really crave just a normal old ground beef taco!
I have been on a taco kick too. I even make my own tortillas. My seasoning is a bit different, so I’m excited to try your blend for something a bit different.
Tacos are definitely very close to the top of my all-time fave foods list, too. And these look so simple and delicious!
My kids love taco’s and I figure I spend (i’m not kidding here over $200 a year on taco seasoning)!!!!! Need to save and make my own.
Looks tasty and the recipe is definitely different than what I normally do – lazy taco sauce addition…lol…thanks!
Would you need to do anything differently if the beef was substituted with chicken breast?
I don’t think so! I would just chop up the chicken pretty small so it doesn’t need to take long to cook.
I was wondering about making with chicken too; did you find it just as delicious as with ground beef?
Looks great!! Do you omit the sugar when you make it for whole 30? Just wondering if it still tastes good without the sugar.
Hi Audrey, I omit the sugar and the vinegar, since they sort of play off of each other – I didn’t want it too acidic.