Beef/ Spice/ Summer Lovin'/ Tex Mex

Ground Beef Tacos

March 20, 2019 (Last Updated: January 20, 2020) by Chris Collins

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.

Overhead shot of ground beef tacos on chopping board with garnish and sour cream

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.

BUT –

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!

Holding a Spicy Ground Beef Tacos with several other blurred in the background

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 😁

Tomato Puree/Paste

A good dollop of tomato puree in with the mince adds a good amount of flavour!

Cornstarch/Cornflour

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)

  1. Brown off mince, then add your taco seasoning.
  2. Add tomato puree and fry for a minute or so.
  3. Pour in liquid and add cornstarch/cornflour.
  4. Allow to thicken, then place to one side.

How to make Taco Mince - 4 step by step photos

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!

Top Tip – Microwave your tortilla wraps before you start baking them. This way they’ll fold over the wires more efficiently.

How to Bake Taco Shells (quick summary)

  1. Brush both sides of the tortilla with oil.
  2. Fold over an oven wire rack. 
  3. Repeat with all your wraps.
  4. Bake until golden and crispy.
  5. Allow to rest for a few minutes (they will crisp up further as they cool).

How to Bake Taco Shells - 5 step by step photos

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

  • Cheese
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Jalapeno
  • 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

Okay, to the full ground beef taco recipe we go!!

Beef tacos on a wooden board covered in garnishes such as lime, coriander and tomatoes

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How to make Ground Beef Tacos (Full Recipe & Video)

Beef tacos on a wooden board covered in garnishes such as lime, coriander and tomatoes

Ground Beef Tacos

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!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican / Tex Mex
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 10 tacos
Calories: 193kcal
Cost per serving: £1.50 / 2

Equipment:

  • Oven Wire Rack
  • Brush
  • 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

Taco Mince

  • 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

Toppings

  • Cheese
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Tomatoes, finely diced
  • Jalapeños, sliced
  • Sour Cream
  • Lime Juice + Coriander/Cilantro, to serve

Instructions:

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.

Taco Mince

  • 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. 

Stacking

  • 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!

Notes:

a) Homemade Taco Seasoning - Be sure to check out my Homemade Taco Seasoning for Ground Beef
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 liquid as needed. A couple of tbsp should be sufficient.
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.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Ground Beef Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 193 Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.94g14%
Saturated Fat 2.671g13%
Trans Fat 0.188g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.826g
Monounsaturated Fat 4.473g
Cholesterol 44mg15%
Sodium 227mg9%
Potassium 237mg7%
Carbohydrates 12.63g4%
Fiber 1.9g8%
Sugar 0.68g1%
Protein 14.86g30%
Vitamin A 250IU5%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Ola
    June 27, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    I’d like to make it today, what I can cook and serve beside it?

  • Reply
    Veena Azmanov
    March 25, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    5 stars
    Super yummy, delicious and a filler too. Best Dinner option with friends and family too.

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 25, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Oh yes! Definitely family approved 🙂

  • Reply
    Dannii
    March 25, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    5 stars
    I love how loaded these tacos are. So colourful and lots of flavours.

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 25, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks Dannii! 🙂

  • Reply
    rebecca
    March 25, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    5 stars
    these look delicious! I’ve got a TON of ground beef that needs to be used up. Also, what a great hack on making your own hard taco shells

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 25, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Oh perfect! These will be awesome for the beef you’ve got!!

  • Reply
    Toni
    March 25, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    5 stars
    My kids loved it! It was so good!

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 25, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Oh fab! Great to hear 🙂

  • Reply
    Jessica Formicola
    March 25, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    5 stars
    I made these tacos for dinner last night, and everyone loved them! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris
      March 25, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      That’s awesome to hear! So glad you all enjoyed 🙂

    Leave a Reply

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