Today I’m going to show you how to cook ground beef for tacos. If you’ve never made it before, you’ll be thrilled with how incredibly easy it is. It only takes about ten minutes to whip up a batch of ground beef taco meat. Then it’s ready to serve in tacos, taco salads, on tostadas or nachos – however you want to enjoy it. You can even freeze it to use later on!
Reasons you’ll love this recipe:
Everyone needs a good recipe for quick classic taco meat.
It’s incredibly versatile. You can use it in tacos, taco salad, taco pie, wrap it up in flour tortillas to make burritos, or even just eat it straight!
Cook now and enjoy later. Make a batch now and you can enjoy it throughout the week, or freeze to enjoy it later. It’s great to have on hand for super fast dinners.
Seasonings just the way you want them. Some like it hot, some do not. When you make your own taco meat, it’s easy to adjust it to be just the way you want it.
This is a very flexible recipe. You can swap the beef for turkey, leave out the corn, add in black beans – it’s very easy to get creative with this recipe.
How To Cook Ground Beef For Tacos
This is such a quick and easy recipe, that we will keep this post short and simple. One of the greatest things about this recipe, aside from the fantastic taste, and the fact it’s super easy to make, is that the ingredients are really flexible. Think of this recipe for ground beef for tacos as a starting point, one that you can make your own.
Ground Beef Taco Ingredients
This is an overview of the ingredients you will need to make this easy ground beef for tacos recipe. Important notes and substitutions for certain ingredients are discussed. The full printable recipe, with amounts and specific details, can be found at the bottom of the page.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Ground Beef – When it comes to ground beef for tacos, I like to use 80-85% lean beef. That little bit of fat goes a long way with the flavor in tacos. That said you could also use ground turkey or even ground chicken in this recipe. When I’ve made it with ground turkey, I usually increase the seasoning a bit as the turkey simply doesn’t have as much flavor as beef does.
- Corn – We are a bit of a family divided when it comes to having corn in taco meat. If you like it, like I do, add it in. Sometimes you can even find fire roasted corn which is perfect. I like that corn is a great way to make the taco meat go a bit further. That said, if you aren’t a fan of corn in your tacos, then simply leave it out. If using frozen corn, bring it to room temperature by placing it in a strainer and running it under hot water.
- Salsa – Use whichever salsa your family enjoys – ready made or a favorite recipe. The type of salsa you use can really influence the level of heat in the tacos.
- Taco Seasoning – if you don’t have taco seasoning, you can make your own. A quick recipe is to use a tablespoon of chili powder (this is my favorite) and then add in 1/4 teaspoon of each of the following: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, salt and ground cumin.
Steps To Cook Ground Beef For Tacos
Let’s discuss the steps you’ll take to whip up beef taco meat at home. If you want to skip my discussion, tips, information and answers to frequently asked questions, just scroll to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe.
1. Fry the ground beef with onion in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
2. Cook until there is no pink left in the meat then drain the excess fat.
3. Add the garlic powder, taco seasoning, water, corn, and salsa. Cook for another 5 minutes.
That’s all there is to it. At this point you can use it in so many ways!
- Spoon it into taco shells.
- Stuff it into taco pie.
- Sprinkle it over nachos.
- Use it to top tostadas.
- Stir some into Velveeta Rotel Dip.
- Scoop it over a taco salad.
Tips and Advice
Store tightly covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Make sure to fully reheat it prior to eating.
Creative Add Ins
Feel free to get creative with this recipe. You can add a can of rinsed and drained black beans or pinto beans in with the beef. Toss in chopped chilies or tomatoes. Some people even like to add black olives, chopped peppers, fresh garlic – you can really have fun with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
I recommend using 80-85% lean. It’s not overly fatty, yet lends a great amount of flavor.
I like using a meat masher to help break up the meat.
Lettuce, salsa, taco sauce, guacamole, pico de gallo, tomatoes, cheese, olives and sour cream are just a few of the items you can use to top your tacos with.
Ground Beef For Tacos
- 2 pounds ground beef 80-85% lean
- 1 onion chopped
- 1/2 teaspooon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning You can use less or more to taste.
- 1/4 cup water
- 12 ounces can corn
- 1 1/2 cups salsa
- Fry ground beef with onion in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Cook until there is no pink left in the meat, then drain the excess fat. Add garlic powder, taco seasoning, water, corn, and salsa.
- Cook for five minutes.