Ground Beef Tacos

4.97 from 28 votes
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These easy ground beef tacos will make any day of the week a fiesta! Lean ground beef is seasoned with fragrant dried Mexican spices like chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano for maximum flavor.

Ground Beef Tacos

These ground beef tacos definitely deserve a spot in the dinnertime rotation. The savory ground beef is seasoned with robust Mexican spices that add an instant blast of flavor. The best part is that it only takes 15 minutes to make the flavorful filling.

Making your own seasoning mix gives you the advantage of creating a healthier blend that you can easily customize to your taste buds. Using lean ground beef is the perfect base for infusing herbs and spices. The hardest part will be choosing which toppings to add to your warm flour tortillas or crunchy taco shells.

taco seasoning added to ground beef cooking in a skillet

How to make ground beef tacos

  • Combine paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, oregano, garlic, onions, and chili powder.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with oil.
  • Add the ground beef to a hot skillet and break it into smaller pieces, cooking until no longer pink.
  • Add the taco seasoning blend, stir, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Taste the meat and season as desired.
  • Serve taco filling warm with tortilla and toppings.

What ground beef is best for tacos?

There are different types of ground beef available at the grocery store. First, select a grind with between 80 to 90% lean meat, either ground chuck, round, or sirloin. This type also works well for beef enchiladas too. The higher the percentage of fat, the more flavor, and the meat won’t taste as dry. However, select the ratio based on your taste and nutrition preference.

ground beef cooking in a cast iron skillet

How do you brown taco meat?

The key to browning taco meat is to add the beef into a hot oiled skillet and then break it into smaller-sized pieces. Don’t move it around too much to ensure maximum contact time with the surface of the pan.

The browning adds an extra layer of flavor to the beef right before the seasonings go in. I like to use a cast iron skillet because it retains heat really well, but a stainless steel pan or nonstick skillet will work too.

How much ground beef is in a taco?

It’s about a ¼ cup (2 ounces) of meat for smaller tacos, 4 to 5-inch tortillas. If you’re using larger 6 to 8-inch size tortillas, or filling hard shell tacos, plan for a ½ cup (4 ounces) of meat. For 1-pound of 80 to 90% lean ground beef, cooking will yield about 13 to 15 ounces of meat, or 8 small or 4 large tacos.

ingredients for beef tacos

Can other types of meat or vegetables be used?

Yes! You can substitute ground turkey, chicken, or pork for beef. Firm tofu, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or zucchini are tasty vegetarian fillings. Cut into smaller ¼-inch to ½-inch sized pieces and saute before adding the seasoning.

What seasonings do you use?

This homemade taco seasoning combines ground cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and chili powder. Kosher salt and black pepper add a standard savory base to the seasoning. This blend is mild in spice level, so other types of dried chilis like cayenne, chipotle, or crushed red pepper can be added to kick it up!

Other toppings you can add

More Mexican recipes

three ground beef tacos served with lime wedges

Recipe Science

Is there a taste difference between ground round, chuck, or sirloin?

Yes! Because they come from different primal cuts of the cow, the flavor and texture vary. Chuck is from the shoulder with a rich flavor, highest fat, most tender, and moist. Sirloin comes from the midsection and has less fat, with a tender texture. Round is from the rump and upper leg and tends to have a chewy texture with a moderate amount of fat.

Ground Beef Tacos

Easy ground beef tacos seasoned with fragrant dried Mexican spices like chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano for maximum flavor.
4.97 from 28 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican


  • 1 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef, 80 to 90% lean beef
  • 8 tortillas flour or corn, 4 ½ to 6-inch in size


  • In a small bowl combine paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, coriander, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high oil. Add vegetable oil, once hot add the ground beef.
  • Saute the beef, breaking up with a spoon into smaller pieces. Cook until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the taco seasoning mixture, stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
  • Taste the beef and add more seasoning as desired.
  • Serve tacos with warmed tortillas and desired toppings.


  • Topping Suggestions: Shredded lettuce, guacamole, Pico de Gallo, shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream.
  • Serving Size: 8 small tacos or 4 large tacos.
  • For a thicker taco seasoning sauce: Add 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder to the taco seasoning blend. Once the meat is browned, add the seasoning and ¾ cups of water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 218kcal (11%)Carbohydrates 12g (4%)Protein 11g (22%)Fat 13g (20%)Saturated Fat 5g (25%)Cholesterol 40mg (13%)Sodium 269mg (11%)Potassium 207mg (6%)Fiber 1g (4%)Vitamin A 140IU (3%)Calcium 33mg (3%)Iron 1.6mg (9%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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14 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Arlene Ritley says

    I appreciate all the recipes you publish. However, using 80% 20% ground meat is unhealthy unless you drain the fat. But that is never written in your recipes that I am aware of. What is the best way to drain ground meat? Thanks

    • Jessica Gavin says

      The easiest way is the pour the ground beef into a bowl with a strainer to drain off the excess fat.

  2. Bruce Smith says

    I grew up in a Southern California Latino neighborhood and the first thing I learned to cook was tacos from a recipe very close to this one. That was in the mid 1960s and I still love these tacos!

  3. Gail says

    Could you tell me what brand of kosher salt is used in your home made taco spice? I know there are differences in the ratios.


    I didn’t even see the “Thicker Taco Seasoning Sauce” option until scrolled down and read the comments. So, I thought I would make a Creamy Style Taco I usually make a crumblier style. The “thicker” saucier taco was absolutely wonderful. I can also use it for a Nacho base!!

  5. Cari says

    Hi Jessica — do you think this recipe could be doubled? And if I wanted to make it with the thicker seasoning sauce, should I also double the amount of flour/cornstarch/arrowroot powder and the amount of water (1 1/2 cups instead of 3/4 cups)? I think this looks like a great dinner — I was just hoping to get more servings from the recipe. Thank you so much!