These ground beef tacos have been our go-to Taco Tuesday recipe for. like. ever. And for good reason – they’re ready in 30 minutes, totally kid friendly, and make with real, whole food ingredients. I made my own homemade taco seasoning and you should too. It’s a simple, easy, and delicious way to level up your taco game!
It’s confession time. On days I’m not cooking meals to share with all of you, my family basically survives on tacos.
I’ve got an epic case of Mommy Brain these days, which is simultaneously awesome (hello, perfect excuse) and exhausting. It makes providing nutritious sustenance for all of these beating hearts a struggle. Enter ground beef tacos. Flexible…adaptable…and fit for
all most occasions. They’re the yoga pants of mom-cooking. They get the job done, again and again.
These classic ground beef tacos are on constant rotation ’round these parts. To keep the nutrition on point I use grass fed ground beef and cheese, veggie packed pico, and homemade taco seasoning.
If you’ve been using store-bought taco seasoning for like ever, stop right there and allow me to introduce you to this easy-peasy DIY version. It takes less than 3 minutes to prepare, is way cheaper than the store-bought stuff, and packed with tons of flavor. Best of all, it isn’t filled with all kinds of yucky additives and preservatives. You probably have everything you need in your pantry.
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Homemade Ground Beef Taco Mix
I use a pretty basic homemade taco seasoning mix, so go ahead and play with it to make the flavor just right for you. A little less cumin, a little (or a lot) more red pepper flakes or chili powder. It all works.
If you’d like to make the flavor a little smokier, try smoked paprika. I generally make at least 2, if not three, portions of seasoning mix at a time. I store the extras in single recipe portions in lidded glass jars and tuck them into the pantry.
I most frequently stir my homemade taco seasoning into ground beef, but I’ve also used it with black beans to make a vegetarian version. Sometimes I get really crazy and use half ground beef and half black beans. I tell ya, I’m livin’ on the edge.
How to Make Ground Beef Tacos
Ground beef tacos are insanely easy to make at home. These guys are so good you’ll never go out for tacos again.
I make these start to finish in my trusty 10″ cast iron skillet. The entire process takes 30 minutes give or take, and they’re worth every single minute. This recipe calls for tomato paste instead of tomato sauce or canned tomatoes and the resulting flavor is rich, with a slight hint of acid. Because the tomato paste is already condensed in flavor, these need just a quick, 5-minute simmer to get infused with tons of deep flavor.
If I can find a reasonable tomato at the farmer’s market, I’ll make some fresh pico with cilantro and onions. That’s hit or miss this time of year, but every once in awhile I’ll stumble across a vendor that has some greenhouse ‘maters in stock, which basically makes my entire week.
I finish these ground beef tacos off with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar jack, a fresh squeeze of lime, a bit of crunchy lettuce, and lots of sour cream.
Need more tacos in your life? Welcome to the club. I’ve got ya covered with these grilled chicken tacos or skirt steak tacos with cilantro lime crema. Both are weeknight delights you’ll turn to again and again!
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Classic American Ground Beef Tacos
Ground beef tacos are one of our favorite weeknight dinners. They're on the table in just about thirty minutes and a total crowd pleaser. I made my own homemade taco seasoning and you should too. The process is simple and easy, and you probably have everything you need already in your pantry.
DIY Homemade Taco Seasoning
Ground Beef Taco Filling
- 1 tbsp bacon fat
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 lb grass fed ground beef
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup beef broth
Pico de Gallo
- 2 roma tomatoes diced
- 1/2 small white onion diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- sea salt to taste
- cracked black pepper to taste
Ground Beef Taco Accompainments
- 12 soft corn or flour tortillas
- 4 oz. cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 head iceberg lettuce shredded
- 2 limes cut into 6ths
- Sour cream to taste
Heat the oven to 425. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and set aside. Combine all taco seasoning ingredients in a small jar with a lid and shake vigorously until combined.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add bacon fat. Once the fat is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 minutes. Add the ground beef to the onions and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the beef, until the meat is browned and the onions are translucent and starting to caramelize, 10 minutes.
- While the meat and onions are cooking, prepare the pico. Dice the tomatoes and onions and chop the cilantro. Toss into a small bowl and top with fresh lime juice, salt, and pepper.
- Put the tortillas in the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.
Once the meat and onions are cooked through, add the entire portion of taco seasoning to the skillet and stir to combine; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Then add the tomato paste and beef broth and mix well. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
- While the filling is simmering, shred the cheese and lettuce and slice up the limes.
- Remove the filling from heat and serve immediately with pico and toppings.