Take your Taco Tuesday to new heights with these easy Ground Beef Tacos. Served with homemade baked taco shells, you really can’t go wrong!
I mean it really doesn’t have to be a Tuesday to devour these beauties. Perfect for lunch or dinner, midweek or weekend. There’s a million and one way to enjoy tacos, but here’s exactly how I like mine. Follow me.
The BEST Ground Beef Tacos!
For me, ground beef tacos are an absolute classic. For so long my experience of minced beef tacos was a trip to the local supermarket, picking up a taco kit and off I went. I mean convenience wise yeah, those kits are great. Admittedly my version is a little more labour intensive.
You’re going to fall in love with these beef tacos. Here’s why:
- Hard Shell Option – I’ve got you sorted if you want to turn your soft tortilla wraps into hard taco shells!
- Flavour – A homemade spice mix which is sure to tickle your tastebuds.
- Quick & Easy – No fuss tacos!
Ground Beef Taco Meat
Before I actually properly got into food, tacos were my go-to. I think I lived off them at uni. But my culinary skills went as far as mixing a spice mix in with beef and that was that. If this sounds familiar to you, I’m telling you there’s a better way. It doesn’t have to be this way… 😂
Homemade Spice Mix
First things first, I highly recommend whipping up a batch of your own ground beef taco seasoning. I find store bought spice mixes differ a huge amount, so you never really get the same result twice (unless you use the same variety of course). But even with that, homemade is always better 😁
A good dollop of tomato puree in with the mince adds a good amount of flavour!
There’s honestly nothing worse than dry taco meat is there? As such I usually pour in some beef stock/water and a bit of cornstarch. This will lightly coat the beef and make it juicy!
What ground beef is best for tacos?
I usually get ground beef that is around 10% fat. I find that it has more flavour than extra lean beef (>5%), but also doesn’t turn the taco meat too fatty/oily. If you only have fatty beef (say 20%) just drain away excess fat after it’s fried.
How to make Taco Meat (quick summary)
- Brown off mince, then add your taco seasoning.
- Add tomato puree and fry for a minute or so.
- Pour in liquid and add cornstarch/cornflour.
- Allow to thicken, then place to one side.
Homemade Taco Shells
It truly couldn’t be easier to make taco shells. What’s best, there’s no need for oil or frying. Chuck ’em in the oven and they come out gorgeously crispy!
What is the best tortilla to make hard taco shells?
You’ll find ‘taco tortillas’ (i.e small and oval) in most supermarkets/grocery stores. They’re the perfect size to bake into hard shells. If you can’t find them just use the smallest wraps they offer.
Corn vs Flour Tortillas
I find corn tortillas come out slightly crispier, but you can use flour if that’s all you have. Flour works just fine!
How to Bake Taco Shells (quick summary)
- Brush both sides of the tortilla with oil.
- Fold over an oven wire rack.
- Repeat with all your wraps.
- Bake until golden and crispy.
- Allow to rest for a few minutes (they will crisp up further as they cool).
How to Serve Ground Beef Tacos
I recommend serving the tacos unbuilt, just so the shells don’t go soggy from the beef. Plus it’s more fun to have everyone stack their own tacos!
When it comes to taco toppings, you can really go wild with whatever you fancy! Here’s my favourite culprits on taco Tuesday:
Ground Beef Taco Toppings
- Shredded Lettuce
- Sour Cream
When it comes to what cheese to use, I usually go for a nice sharp cheddar. I’d stay away from mozzarella because it doesn’t pack enough flavour. Pepper Jack/Monterey Jack would also work nicely!
And there we have it! Ground beef tacos are yours for the taking! If you like the look of these tacos then be sure to check out my similar recipes:
Easy Tex Mex Recipes
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas
- Chicken Quesadillas
- BBQ Chicken Nachos
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Ground Beef Quesadillas
- Chicken Fajita Nachos
Okay, to the full ground beef taco recipe we go!!
How to make Ground Beef Tacos (Full Recipe & Video)
Ground Beef Tacos
Oven Wire Rack
Large, Deep Frying Pan
Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
Baked Taco Shells
- 10 Taco Tortilla Wraps, warmed in the microwave (see notes)
- Olive Oil, to brush
- 1lb / 500g Ground Beef (see notes)
- 3 tbsp Taco Seasoning
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Water or Beef Stock, or as needed (see notes)
- 1 heaped tbsp Tomato Puree/Paste
- 1/2 tsp Cornstarch/Cornflour, optional (see notes)
- Olive Oil, for frying
- Lettuce, shredded
- Tomatoes, finely diced
- Jalapeños, sliced
- Sour Cream
- Lime Juice + Coriander/Cilantro, to serve
Baked Taco Shells
Brush each side of your wraps with olive oil, fold over your wire rack (see video) and pop in the oven for 10-15mins at 170c/340f, or until golden and crispy. Take them out and allow to rest for 5 or so minutes, they will actually crisp up as they rest. As every oven/tortilla wrap will be different, timings do vary quite considerably, so just be vigilant past 10mins. These go from perfect to burnt VERY quickly so increase the temp only slightly (with caution) if they're struggling to crisp.
Fry 1lb/500g ground beef in a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat until it begins to brown. Stir in your spices and fry for a minute or so longer, then stir in 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste. Fry for a few mins then add your water/stock and cornstarch and allow to rapid simmer for a few minutes until it thickens, stirring occasionally.
It's best to serve them 'un-built', just so the taco shell doesn't go soggy. Plus it's more fun to have everyone build their own! Just for reference, I stack mine in the following order: beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, sour cream, then garnish with lime juice and coriander/cilantro. Of course you can use any toppings in any order, but I do recommend placing the cheese on top of the beef, just so it goes nice and gooey!
Quick 1 min demo!
b) Taco Tortilla Wraps – You’ll find these (i.e small and oval) in most supermarkets. If you can’t find them just use the smallest wraps they offer. In both cases, I find corn tortilla come out slightly more flavoursome and crispy, but flour tortilla wraps will work too.
c) Can I use soft tortillas? – Absolutely! Making the shells crispy is just optional 🙂
d) Ground Beef – I usually get beef with around 10% fat. This gives a bit more flavour than lean mince (say 5%) but doesn’t go oily like fattier beef. If you’ve only go non-lean beef (say 20%) consider pouring out some of the fat after the beef has fried BEFORE adding the spices.
e) Adding Water/Beef stock & Cornstarch – Firstly, beef stock will add more flavour to the mince, but if you only have water it’ll still be great. Secondly, if you’re using cornstarch (which will add a glossy kind of gravy to the mince) then use around 1/2 cup of liquid to 1/2 tsp cornstarch and allow to simmer until it thickens. If you’re not using cornstarch then just add 14 cup/60ml liquid and simmer until the water reduces and the beef is juicy.
f) Calories – just the tacos and mince (no toppings), using 2 tbsp olive oil (a drizzle for frying and the rest to brush the wraps) and 10% lean beef.
Calories from Fat 80
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