Ground Beef Tacos

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These Ground Beef Tacos are a quick, easy, and delicious take on this beloved classic, sure to satisfy your taco cravings. Start by cooking your choice of ground meat, whether it’s hearty beef or a leaner option like turkey🦃.

Seasoned to perfection with spices and sautéed onions and garlic, this filling is so tasty. Then, it’s time to char your tortillas for that perfect, slightly smoky touch. Assemble the tacos with your preferred toppings—be it sour cream, cheese, corn, or cilantro. This is a taco experience you won’t want to miss.

Why You’ll Love Ground Beef Tacos

What makes these tacos truly special is their perfect blend of convenience and flavor. In just 30 minutes, you can whip up a meal that’s both satisfying and customizable. Whether you’re a fan of classic beef or prefer the lighter taste of turkey, the choice is yours.

The blend of spices, sautéed onions🧅, and garlic adds depth and richness to every bite. And when you take that extra step to char your tortillas, you’ll experience a lovely smokiness with your meal. Top your tacos with your favorite ingredients, from sour cream to your cheese of choice, sweet corn, fresh cilantro or parsley.

How to Prepare Ground Beef Tacos

Creating these delicious tacos 🌮is a breeze. Begin by heating a pan with a touch of olive oil, then add your choice of ground meat (I use beef, but turkey or other ground meat would be fine).

Break up the meat and let it sizzle on medium-high heat until it’s browned and the moisture has evaporated, typically around 10 minutes. Next, toss in a diced onion and minced garlic, sautéing until the onions turn soft and translucent.

Add an array of spices, including salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and chipotle chili powder, along with some tomato paste. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

If the meat appears a tad dry, don’t hesitate to introduce a splash of water or broth to keep it juicy. Remove the meat from the heat and set it aside while you char the tortillas. If you don’t have a gas stove, a hot pan on the stovetop works perfectly for achieving that char.

Nonna’s Tip

Break up the meat and let it sizzle on medium-high heat until it’s browned and the moisture has evaporated, typically around 10 minutes.

Variations and Substitutions

Get creative and make these tacos your own by trying out some variations and substitutions. Here are a few ideas to inspire your taco adventure:

  • Substitute ground beef (or turkey) for other proteins such as ground chicken, pork, or even plant-based alternatives like “beyond meat” for a vegetarian twist.
  • Customize the spice level to your taste by adjusting the amount of chipotle chili powder or adding your favorite hot sauce. For a milder option, omit the spicy ingredients altogether and adjust the seasonings.
  • Other toppings to consider: avocado, guacamole, salsa, pickled red onions, shredded lettuce, corn or diced tomatoes are to name a few.
  • While grated cheese is a classic taco topping, you could substitute for crumbled queso fresco, creamy goat cheese, or tangy feta for a unique twist.
  • Feel free to use this ground meat as a topping for salads or even added extra protein alongside eggs in the morning. I love topping it on top of my Creamy Bulgarian Salad.

Best Served With

  • Try the tacos with my Cowboy Caviar, which is hands down one of the best salsa recipes out there. 
  • Creamy, flavorful Guacamole made from ripe avocados, onions, tomatoes, and lime juice is an excellent side.
  • Once you try my Homemade Roasted Salsa, you will never buy store-bought.

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Common Questions

What kind of broth do you use?

I love any broths by Kettle and Fire. Click HERE and use code THEMODERNNONNA for 20% OFF!

What type of ground meat should I use for tacos?

You can use various types of ground meat, including beef, turkey, chicken, pork, or even meat substitutes for a vegetarian option.

How do I prevent the ground meat from becoming dry while cooking?

To keep the meat juicy, avoid overcooking it. After it has browned, add a small amount of water or broth to maintain moisture. This step helps prevent dryness and enhances the flavor.

Can I use pre-made taco seasoning instead of individual spices?

Yes, you can use pre-made taco seasoning for convenience. However, adjusting the seasoning to your taste may be limited with pre-made blends. Experiment with your preferred level of spiciness and flavor by making your spice mix.

Are flour or corn tortillas better for tacos?

The choice between flour and corn tortillas is a matter of personal preference. Flour tortillas are softer and more pliable, while corn tortillas have a distinct flavor and a firmer texture when heated. Both work well, so use your favorite or try both to see which you prefer.

How can I char tortillas if I don’t have a gas stove?

If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char tortillas in a hot, dry pan on the stovetop. Place the tortilla directly on the pan, flipping it occasionally until it develops a slight char or blistering.

Can I make these tacos with seafood?

Yes! You can make seafood tacos using ingredients like grilled shrimp, fish, or even scallops. Adjust the seasoning and toppings to complement the seafood of your choice.

Are there any variations for a healthier taco option?

For a healthier twist, use lean ground meat or meat substitutes, whole wheat or low-carb tortillas, and load up on fresh vegetable toppings. You can also reduce cheese and sour cream or opt for lower-fat alternatives.

How can I prep these for work?

I let the meat mixture and tortillas cool down, I then add the ground meat on top of the tortillas and add my toppings in a separate container(s) on the side. You can heat them at work and quickly assemble.

Plate with tacos on it topped with corn

Ground Beef Tacos

What makes these tacos truly special is their perfect blend of convenience and flavor. In just 30 minutes, you can whip up a meal that's both satisfying and customizable.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 8 Tacos
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


Ground Meat:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400 grams ground beef, any ground meat will work
  • 1 yellow onion , finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste (I used Redmond Real Salt)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, measure with your heart
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder , measure with your heart
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, measure with your heart
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • cup water, or unsalted broth

Additional Toppings:

  • 4 6-inch tortillas, flour or corn
  • sour cream, to preference
  • grated cheese , any
  • diced cherry tomatoes, or corn
  • parsley , or cilantro


Taco Meat

  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
  • Add the ground meat, using a wooden spoon, break it into small chunks as it browns. Cook the meat for about 10 minutes, or until all the liquid has fully evaporated.
  • NOTE: when you brown ground meat you will notice a lot of water release, you want to cook it way past this point until the water has FULLY evaporated and the meat begins to brown and caramelize. You will hear the meat "pop" as it browns. If you use meat like ground turkey, it won't have any fat so you won’t see much browning.
  • When the meat has browned, reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Add the onions, garlic and stir. Add the seasoning and tomato paste. Sauté for a few minutes to cook off the spices and the raw tomato paste flavor.
  • Add in the water (or broth) and stir. Cook for another 1-2 minutes and take it off the heat.

To Assemble

  • Heat up a separate pan on the stove. Add one tortilla at a time and heat it up on each side until it has golden bubbles on it.
  • NOTE: if you have a gas stove, you can char the tortillas directly on it and use tongs to flip over.
  • When the tortillas have been charred on each side, you are ready to assemble with any toppings of choice.
  • I added the taco meat to mine with lettuce, sour cream, parsley (or cilantro), and diced cherry tomatoes.
  • On my second tortilla, I added those same toppings but used grilled (or boiled) corn instead. Enjoy!



Calories: 239kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 206mg, Potassium: 239mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 153IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

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