These Easy Ground Beef Tacos are the perfect choice for a casual, no fuss taco night at home. Fast, simple, and satisfying!
There is one thing I know I will always be able to depend on. My family loves tacos. I’ve done them countless ways, from complex to simple, depending on the day and my energy level. These Easy Ground Beef Tacos are a regular on my menu plan when I know I’ve got a busy day ahead.
This simple recipe turns ground beef into saucy, seasoned taco filling that cooks up in nothing flat. Pile it on lightly fried tortillas and load them up with classic taco toppings for an easy, satisfying meal.
For the Ground Beef Taco Filling
- Ground beef – I use 90% lean ground beef and drain off as much of the excess grease as possible after cooking.
- Onion – The only prep involved before starting the filling is dicing 1 cup of yellow onion. Easy!
- Taco seasoning – I highly recommend stocking Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix in your pantry at all times. It is far tastier than store bought varieties and you can control the amount of sodium when you mix it up.
- Tomato sauce – Adds flavor and a saucy base for the seasonings.
- Water – I add a little water to taco filling to thin and loosen it up a bit.
For the Tortillas
- Oil – Canola oil is a neutral, high smoke point oil that is the good choice for lightly frying tortillas.
- Tortillas – I love using corn tortillas for that classic taco flavor but you can absolutely go with whatever you love. Flour, corn/wheat, or corn/flour blend tortillas are also a great choice.
Classic Ground Beef Taco Toppings
- Cheese – We love sharp cheddar.
- Sour cream – Light or regular.
- Diced red onion
- Chopped avocado
- Diced tomato
- Shredded iceberg lettuce – It’s got to be iceberg, baby!
- Hot sauce – Like Cholula or your favorite brand.
To save time, prep the toppings in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve, or enlist the help of a family member to be the prep cook!
How to Make Easy Ground Beef Tacos
- Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place it over medium heat. When hot, add the ground beef and onion and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until browned and crumbled.
- Drain any excess grease and return the skillet to the heat. Add the Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix and cook, stirring for a minute or two, or until the meat is well coated with the spices.
- Add the tomato sauce and water. Heat mixture until bubbling then reduce heat under skillet to medium-low.
- Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced. Remove from the heat.
While the filling is simmering and resting off the heat, you can prepare the toppings and tortillas. See the recipe card below for the easy instructions for lightly frying your tortillas.
How to Keep Tortillas Warm
An inexpensive cloth tortilla warmer does an amazing job of insulating cooked tortillas and keeping them warm until you are ready to serve. Since I have a good sized group here, I can’t tell you how handy this thing is! It works beautifully to keep tortillas warm for up to an hour.
Transfer leftover Ground Beef Taco Filling to an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within 3 to 4 days or freeze it for longer storage.
Allow the Ground Beef Taco filling to cool and then transfer it to a freezer safe plastic storage bag or other freezer safe container. Label the container and freeze. Use the frozen ground beef filling within 3 to 4 months for the best quality. Safely thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
More Taco Night Favorites
- Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
- Carnitas (Oven or Slow Cooker)
- Shredded Mexican Beef
- Grilled Chimichurri Chicken Tacos
- Shredded Chipotle Pork
Easy Ground Beef Tacos
- 1½ pounds 90% lean ground beef
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning mix
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- ½ cup water
For the Tortillas
- 2 tablespoons canola oil divided, plus additional as needed (optional)
- 12 5-inch corn tortillas
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ¾ cup sour cream, light or regular
- diced red onion, chopped tomato, chopped avocado, shredded iceberg lettuce, cilantro, hot sauce
- Place a nonstick skillet over MEDIUM heat and coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
- When hot, add the ground beef and onion and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until browned and crumbled, about 5 minutes. Drain any excess grease and return the skillet to the heat.
- Add the taco seasoning and cook, stirring for a minute or two, or until the meat is well coated with the spices. Add the tomato sauce and water. Heat mixture until bubbling then reduce heat under skillet to MEDIUM-LOW. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced. Remove from the heat.
Prepare the Tortillas
- Add just enough oil to a 10- to 12-inch skillet to lightly coat the bottom and place it over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking) add a tortilla and cook it for about 30 to 60 seconds, or until golden brown and toasted. Flip and cook for another 30 to 60 seconds to toast the other side. Transfer the tortilla to a double layer of paper towels and blot any excess oil with additional paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding additional oil as needed.
- Alternately, skip the oil and toast your tortillas in a dry skillet over MEDIUM-HIGH heat for about 30 to 60 seconds per side, or until nicely toasted.
Storage InstructionsRefrigerator Transfer leftover taco filling to an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within 3 to 4 days or freeze it for longer storage. Freezer Allow the taco filling to cool and then transfer it to a freezer safe plastic storage bag or other freezer safe container. Label the container and freeze. Use the frozen ground beef filling within 3 to 4 months for the best quality. Safely thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.