If you’re going to make ground beef tacos, you may as well make the best ground beef tacos possible. I’ve worked long and hard to perfect this recipe, and I think I’ve hit really close to perfection.
Before we get started, let me be clear. I’m not a huge fan of ground beef tacos. Of all of the tacos out there, I prefer more, shall we say, authentic taco recipes. I even am known to derisively call ground beef tacos “gringo tacos.” If you’re looking for some of my favorite taco recipes that are more true to traditional Mexican taco styles, you should definitely check out these delicious recipes:
Now that the discussion of my personal taco preferences are out of the way, let’s talk about the benefits of ground beef tacos.
- Kids love them! And really, everyone likes them, even me, though I prefer other styles of tacos more.
- They’re easy to make.
- You probably have ground beef at your house so if you need to use up ground beef, this is the recipe to use.
There are some clear benefits and reasons why you’d make ground beef tacos, so to get back to my original point, let’s get back to talking about why this recipe is the best ground beef tacos recipe you’ll ever try. When I set out to make this recipe, I wanted these tacos to have these qualities:
- The meat should be a filling, not just crumbled ground beef.
- It should use simple, common ingredients, and not take too many more steps than your traditional “dump the taco seasoning and let the meat simmer” version of ground beef tacos.
- This recipe needs to turn out a more flavorful version of taco meat than the above mentioned ground beef + taco seasoning, but not be too spicy so people who don’t like spicy food won’t enjoy these tacos.
I think the combination of starting with sautéed onions, then adding diced tomatoes instead of water really amps up the flavor of these ground beef tacos. To get that “filling” consistency, it’s important to not drain all of the grease that you get from cooking. Leaving some grease in the pan, then using bread crumbs to thicken up the mixture gives you that incredible texture that you’d expect from fast food restaurants. Except it’s much more delicious and you know what’s in the meat!
I tried a few different versions of this recipe, and I was very happy with how these turned out. My toddler devoured 2 whole tacos by herself, and my wife (who is an avowed ground beef tacos fan) gave the recipe her stamp of approval too. You can tweak the recipe yourself by adding more seasoning or using just plain diced tomatoes if you want more flavor. I think these are pretty middle of the road – flavorful with a bit of heat, but not overly spicy or seasoned.
If you’re interested in spicing up the tacos, you can make your own taco seasoning instead of using a prepared taco seasoning packet. I love the prepared packets because they’re easy and precise, but homemade ones allow you to design the tacos to your taste. I really like this Homemade Taco Seasoning recipe from Gimme Some Oven, and you can customize it to your own heat preference. Just remember it may not absorb liquid as much as the prepared packet, so you’ll need to add more bread crumbs.
I have been asked if ground turkey or ground chicken would work as a substitute for these tacos – and while I wouldn’t recommend ground chicken, ground turkey would work. Make sure you’re using 85% lean or less ground meat for this recipe because you do want some fat in these tacos. You know what they say – fat means flavor!
You can batch cook this recipe ahead of time, transfer the meat to freezer safe containers, and then freeze the meat to use for future meals. To reheat the meat, you can microwave it, bake it, or put it back in a skillet – whatever is easiest for you! It should last for 3 – 6 months in your freezer, depending on how cold your freezer is and how tightly you seal the meat in the container. Tighter is better!
Finally, and maybe most importantly, we need to serve these tacos with lots of toppings! That’s the best part of ground beef tacos! Shredded lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese were our choice of toppings, but you can add more toppings like additional raw onions, limes to squeeze on top, cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, rice, salsa, and beans. The possibilities are really endless. We also recommend enjoying these tacos with a tasty Mexican beer or a margarita!
What do you think of our ground beef tacos recipe? Did you try it yourself? Let us know if you think this recipe really does make the best ground beef tacos you’ve ever tried, or if you have other tips on how to make amazing ground beef tacos. Just leave us a comment and / or a rating below. We hope you enjoy these tacos, and we’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats!
- 1 White Onion (diced)
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1.5 lb(s) Ground Beef
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (10 oz – or sub plain diced tomatoes)
- 1 Taco Seasoning Packet (1.25 oz)
- .25 cup Beef Broth (or water)
- 2 Tbsp Bread Crumbs
Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat to medium high heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the onions are softened.
Add the ground beef to the skillet, and continue cooking over medium-high heat, crumbling the ground beef as you cook. Once it is browned, remove the skillet from heat, and drain half of the grease in the mixture.
Add the can of diced tomatoes with green chilies, taco seasoning packet, and beef broth. Mix together, then stir in the bread crumbs. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the mixture uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture is warmed through. Add more bread crumbs if the mixture is too watery for your taste.
Serve your ground beef tacos with your favorite toppings and enjoy!