Tacos with Ground Beef

Old school tacos have a big place of love in our hearts.  Hard shell tacos, warmed in the oven until fragrant and crispy, ground beef well seasoned with a simple homemade taco blend (that can be doubled or tripled, so you always have some on hand!), and all of the toppings your hearts desire.  

Ground Beef Tacos

We love our pulled pork tacos, our fish tacos, our soft tortilla tacos…but we always come back to the classic ground beef in the hard shell.  It’s out family’s comfort food, and the most requested dinner of all time.  My son Jack has never chosen anything over tacos on a birthday or homecoming from camp or college, and I think that’s probably a lifelong commitment.

How to Make Ground Beef Tacos

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a small bowl or plastic container mix together the spices and seasonings for the taco blend.

To cook ground beef for tacos, spray a large skillet with nonstick spray, and place over medium high heat. Add the beef, and cook, stirring and making sure to really break it up into small crumbles, until it is browned throughout, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a colander and drain off any liquid.

Ground Beef Tacos

Return the beef to the pan over medium high heat and add the spice mixture. Stir for a minute or two until you can smell all of the spices. Add 3/4 cup of water, and stir until the water is mostly evaporated and the meat is evenly coated with the spices, and there is a still a little bit of saucy liquid in the pan.

Ground Beef Tacos

Meanwhile, heat the taco shells on a baking sheet (or right on the rack, whichever you prefer) in the oven for 5 minutes until warm and toasty. Place any desired toppings into small individual bowls.  

Ground Beef Tacos

Transfer the meat to a serving bowl, place the shells on a plate covered with a napkin or clean dishtowel to keep them warm, and set out with the bowls of toppings.  Let everyone serve themselves. 

Ground Beef Tacos: Old school crispy hard shell tacos filled with seasoned ground beef, and all of the toppings your hearts desire. 

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Ground Beef Taco Seasoning

Making your own homemade taco seasoning for ground beef is so easy, and takes less than 5 minutes. Plus you can make it in bigger batches, and just scoop it out as you need it, thinking about 1 generous tablespoon per pound of meat.

My taco seasoning blend contains, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cornstarch, optional red pepper flakes or cayenne, salt and pepper. Definitely feel free to play around with the proportions, and add more cayenne or red pepper flakes if you want spicier tacos.

What to Serve with Ground Beef Tacos:

Ground Beef Tacos

Other Taco Recipes:

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Ground Beef Tacos

Old school crispy hard shell tacos filled with seasoned ground beef, and all of the toppings your hearts desire.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the Taco Spice Mixture:

  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

For the Tacos:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 12 Taco shells approximately

To Serve (Choose Your Family's Favorites):

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Salsa or taco sauce
  • Shredded cheese such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend
  • Sour cream (low fat or regular)
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced avocados

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • In a small bowl or plastic container mix together the onion powder, salt, chili powder, cornstarch, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne or red pepper flakes, if using. Blend well.
  • Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray, and place over medium high heat. Add the beef, and cook, stirring and making sure to really break it up into small crumbles, until it is browned throughout, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a colander and drain off any liquid.
  • Return the beef to the pan over medium high heat and add the spice mixture. Stir for a minute or two until you can smell all of the spices. Add 3/4 cup of water, and stir until the water is mostly evaporated and the meat is evenly coated with the spices, and there is a still a little bit of saucy liquid in the pan.
  • Meanwhile, heat the taco shells on a baking sheet (or right on the rack, whichever you prefer) in the oven for 5 minutes until warm and toasty. Place any desired toppings into small individual bowls.
  • Transfer the meat to a serving bowl, place the shells on a plate covered with a napkin or clean dish towel to keep them warm, and set out with the bowls of toppings. Let everyone serve themselves.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 523mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 494IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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