These classic ground beef tacos are similar to taco dinners we all know and love, but with a homemade seasoning that packs a more well rounded flavour and is way better than store bought.
Homemade ground beef tacos - just like the box kit, but better! These classic tacos take less than 30 minutes from start to finish and you likely already have the spices in your pantry.
Growing up, my absolute favourite night was taco night. Who am I kidding, it still is!
If your household was like my household, tacos growing up were of the kit variety. Seasoning, shells, and taco sauce all in one box. Easy enough.
Now that I've grown, I prefer making my own tacos from scratch. It really is just as easy, more economical, you can control the amount of salt in them and you can make sure your tacos are filled with wholesome ingredients and not flavour enhancers.
An extra special ingredient
My taco mix is a little unconventional - it calls for turmeric. While it may not be a traditional beef taco ingredient, it's something that I add to a lot of dishes because I like the earthiness it adds to dishes. This is totally optional in the recipe - if you skip it, you wont really miss it. But be sure not to forget the cinnamon - it adds such a nice depth to the flavour. I'm pretty sure that's the secret ingredient that made James tell me these were the best tacos he had ever had.
How to make them
Gather up your spices. Your going to need chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion, powder, oregano, turmeric and cinnamon.
Heat a large skillet to medium low heat and add the ground beef. Use a spatula to break the beef up into small pieces and push it around the pan for a few minutes until it has mostly browned and crumbled.
When the beef is pretty much brown, and the spice mixture and long with the sea salt and pepper.
Add in the water and give everything a good stir.
Bring the heat to high and let the sauce bubble. Once it's bubbling, reduce the heat to low and let the meat simmer uncovered until the sauce has reduced and thickened - about 5-8 minutes.
Serve the meat along with tortillas and your favourite toppings.
Toppings for tacos
I served my tacos pretty classically with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, cheddar cheese, guacamole and my favourite jarred salsa to keep things easy and simple.
Some other great topping ideas are:
- pico do gallo
- pickled jalapenos
- diced red onion or pickled red onion
- avocado salsa verde
- roasted jalapeno salsa
Tips & Tricks
Want to switch it up? Try these tacos with ground chicken or turkey instead of the beef.
Cooking ahead? Try making a double batch and throwing half in a well sealed freezer bag for a later meal - it stays fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw and heat in a skillet with a bit of water to loosen things up.
Cutting back on the carbs?? Ditch the taco shells for lettuce wraps.
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More Taco Recipes You'll Love
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Classic Ground Beef Tacos
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- ¼ Tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ Tablespoon turmeric powder
- ½ Tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- sea salt (season to taste)
- 12 taco shells
- chopped tomato
- shredded cheddar cheese
- diced onion
- Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and add the ground beef. Using a spatula, break up the beef into cumbles as it cooks and browns.
- When the beef hs browned, add the chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, oregano, and cinnamon to the skillet along with the water.
- Stir to mix everything together, then turn up the heat to high.
- Let the sauce come to a boil, then reduce the heat down to low.
- Simmer the beef in the sauce until it reduces and thickens - about 5 minute. Season with sea salt to your taste.
- Serve with the tortillas shells and toppings like lettuce, tomato, cheese and guacamole.