How to cook ground beef tacos

How to Cook Ground Beef Tacos

This is the absolute FASTEST, SIMPLE, BEST way of how to cook ground beef tacos homemade recipe to make.

How to Cook Ground Beef Tacos in under 20 minutes

Follow the recipe for understanding the entire recipe ingredients, amounts, and the cooking process. Read here further for some tips and questions answered. You’ll find all the steps to take for making this Speedy and Easy. Make your Taco Night more enjoyable.

This is an extremely easy and healthy way to have a Ground Beef Taco at home.
Tacos Recipe with Ground Beef Large
Tacos Recipe with Ground Beef Large

Tacos Recipe with Ground Beef

Jeff Baygents
This is an extremely easy and healthy way to have a Ground Beef Taco at home.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 tacos
Calories 221


  • 1 lb ground beef 80/20 recommended
  • 2⅓ tbsp taco seasoning
  • ¼ cup water
  • 8 each Taco Shells hard or soft
  • 3 leaves Romaine Lettuce shredded
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 8 tsp salsa optional
  • 3 ozs shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 tsp taco sauce

Sour Cream Mixture

  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 4 tbsp milk


  • While browning the ground beef in a frying pan or skillet (on medium high), stir in the taco seasoning and water.
    1 lb ground beef, 2⅓ tbsp taco seasoning, ¼ cup water
    brown the meat and add taco seasoning and water medium
  • While meat is browning, prep the vegetables. Combine the sour cream and milk to make a sour cream sauce.
    Prep the vegetables and sour cream sauce medium
  • Optionally, heat up the taco shells in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Add the cooked ground beef mixture into each taco shell.
    8 each Taco Shells
    Add taco meat medium
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese.
    3 ozs shredded cheddar cheese
    Add shredded cheese medium
  • Add the shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes (and optional salsa).
    3 leaves Romaine Lettuce, 1 large tomato, 8 tsp salsa
    Add lettuce and tomatoes medium
  • Add the taco sauce.
    8 tsp taco sauce
    Add taco sauce medium
  • Top off with any other toppings, conclude with the sour cream sauce, and serve.
    4 tbsp sour cream, 4 tbsp milk
    Top off with sour cream sauce medium
Tried this recipe?Let us all know how it was!

Make These SPEEDY, EASY Ground Beef Tacos

Quite simply, you follow these steps, which are super easy:

  1. Brown the ground beef mixture (includes spices and water) until it’s no longer pink.
  2. While the meat is simmering, you prep the toppings which you can also portion them out if you want, although it’s not necessary.
  3. You build each taco starting with the ground beef taco meat mixture. Then, you add the toppings for tacos and conclude with the sour cream sauce. You can actually just use sour cream but the sour cream sauce goes on much easier and is a good more traditional topping.

Here’s a visual on how to cook this simple, homemade tacos recipe with ground beef.

Taco Recipe Ingredients

What type of ground beef for tacos?

Recommended is a 80/20 mix, which is kind of lean but not 93/7. Anything with more fat, e.g., the cheaper 73% meat, will have more fat but, after you drain the fat liquids, it’s shrunk in content overall and you end up with less meat per serving. You can, of course, use the typical kind of ground beef mix you’re accustomed to using.

Can I use ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork?

Certainly, yes. It’s flavor will match what you’re accustomed to with these other non-beef ground meat products.

Can I boil the meat instead of frying it?

Yes! This is actually a far more healthier choice. It’s also another reason that we have adding water to this meat browning process, a cross mix between frying and boiling.

Can I make my own homemade taco seasoning?

We have you covered on this! We have zero seasoning packets for anything in our home. It took a number of years but we’re there. And we fully relate with busy lives and saving time and money because we’ve been through those decades and we agree with your need to buy the packets to get a quick dinner on the table.

So, when you’re ready, you can easily make your own taco seasoning from scratch and keep it in an old spice jar, plastic food bag, or whatever you got. Here’s our taco seasoning mix recipe that we’ve been using since 2016. It mainly involves some cumin and chili powder but there’s a bit more included in it.

Save money and time: Make your own taco seasoning mix

What are the right tortilla shells to use for these tacos?

You can use either the hard taco shells (made with corn) or the soft taco shells (made from flour) for any tacos. Either is perfect; we consistently use both for each taco meal.

Enjoy Soft Shell and Hard Shell Tacos - large
Enjoy Soft Shell and Hard Shell Tacos

Can I double, triple, or have this recipe amount just for me?

Most definitely, yes. Just use our Recipe <Resizer>. It’s on every recipe. You just tap the amount you want to adjust the recipe. And, if the fixed amounts aren’t good for your situation, just tap the <Resizer> button itself, and you’ll be prompted for an exact servings amount you want!

recipe resizer - small
recipe resizer

Can you refrigerate or freeze leftover taco meat?

Absolutely, yes! It can keep about 3 days in the fridge and will be still flavorful in the freezer after about 3 months. Then, when you’re ready for tacos, just reheat the leftover beef in the microwave. Or, optionally, you can reheat it in a pan after adding a small amount of water.

What kind of toppings can I use for this ground beef taco recipe?

Many options are shown in the recipe such as shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, diced onions, salsa, shredded cheese, and taco sauce. However, there are some other specialty ideas that some have used such as avocado, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and bacon bits.

Prep toppings while browning the meat - large
Prep toppings while browning the meat

What can be made in advance to save even more time for these ground beef tacos?

Here are some super tips, based on my experience in fast food restaurant management. Here are the absolute key, fastest ways:

  • Prepare all your produce ahead of time. For example, shred the lettuce, diced the tomatoes, onions, etc. You can put them in either food storage baggies, cups, bowls, storage containers, or other containers, and store them in the fridge, ready to quickly pull them all out when you’re ready to cook the meat later the next day.
  • Mix the ground beef with the seasonings and put it in plastic food storage bag, container, or wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. You can actually choose now to either store it in the fridge or to cook it and store it in the fridge. When preparing tacos, just heat it up in the microwave if you’ve pre-cooked it.

How much taco meat is used per person?

We base this recipe on a per taco amount for the ground beef and other ingredients. So, it actually is how many tacos per person question. In our experience, it depends if you’re serving other sides along with these tacos. So, if serving tortilla chips and salsa with these ground beef tacos, individuals will tend to eat one less taco. With that said, it’s often that adults will eat about 3-4 tacos, teenagers about 3-5 tacos, and small children about 1-3 tacos. Small children generally will eat less tortilla chips and salsa but, will be more agreeable to tortilla chips and cheese dip. LOL!

Tacos with Ground Beef Nutrition Information

The nutritional values are shown in the <Print Recipe> option, which includes all the toppings shown. Your nutritional values will, of course, improve if you use some substitutions of some toppings like using a low-fat sour cream or an alternate meat. Here’s what reports on ground beef tacos and cheese nutritional information.


Now that you have this fast taco recipe with ground beef, and these ideas for changing it to fit your personal preferences, plan your next Taco night.

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