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Crispy Ground Beef Taco

October 20, 2022

Ground beef tacos are as quick and easy as can be. Plus, they’re easy for each person at the table to customize to their own tastes and so they’re always, always a crowd-favorite.


crispy beef tacos with cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and lime

Taco Night Is Always Easy, but Ground Beef Taco Night Is the Easiest of All!

Who doesn’t like to get a little fancy, a little creative or even (gasp) little healthy with our taco recipes now and then, but after a few taco nights spent indulging our whims, the family usually circles back around to demanding the familiar. The classic. The good old comfort of these crispy ground beef tacos! Beefy taco filling, hot and crispy from the pan and spiced just-so, loaded into a fried flour tortilla and topped to your heart's content—plenty of sour cream and pico on ours, please!—it’s one of the speediest, easiest weeknight dinners out there, and it never fails to please the hoards. Our beef taco recipe is truly as simple as can be—read on to get all of our tips and tricks for making the best ever tacos!

ground beef, grated Mexican cheese, salsa, limes, taco seasoning, tortillas, sour cream and cilantro

Homemade Ground Beef Taco Seasoning Can’t Be Beat

While store-bought is OK, we really encourage you to use homemade taco seasoning for ground beef tacos! We know—we talk about our homemade taco seasoning obsession a lot, but it really is SO easy to make taco seasoning yourself. It’s economical and you can make a huge batch and have it around for months as the very easiest, best way to add a sprinkle of deliciousness to everything from grilled fish to roasted veggies. For these beef tacos (and for so many other delicious things), whip up a batch of taco seasoning by combining a little black pepper with equal parts:

  • Chili powder

  • Sea salt

  • Smoked paprika

  • Cumin

  • Onion powder

  • Garlic powder

  • Oregano

Here's the full Taco Seasoning Recipe!

ground beef in a skillet with taco seasoning
ground beef taco meat in a skillet
flour tortillas in a skillet fried in vegetable oil
ground taco beef, fried tortillas, shredded lettuce, limes, salsa, Mexican cheese and sour cream

Nothing But The Basics: 3 Main Ground Beef Taco Ingredients

All you really need are three key ingredients to make these ultra-easy beef tacos. You probably can guess what they are but just in case, to make our beef taco recipe, you’ll at least need:

  • Beef. Look for an 80/20 (meaning 80% lean, 20% fat) ground beef mixture—you don’t want the beef to be too lean or it won’t crisp up.

  • Flour tortillas. We really love flour tortillas for beef tacos. Beef tacos are sort of a nostalgic food—they really take us back to the taco nights of our childhood, and the tortillas were always flour tortillas.

  • Taco seasoning. Of course! The key.

But tacos—and ground beef tacos especially—are all about the taco toppings, right?! Half the fun of taco night is laying out a million little bowls of toppings and letting everyone DIY their taco. Not only is it hands-on fun, it means fewer complaints since everyone can literally make their dinner exactly how they want it. So here are the toppings we always serve with ground beef tacos:

  • Sour cream

  • Shredded cheese

  • Shredded lettuce

  • Pico de gallo

  • Cilantro

ground taco beef, fried tortillas, shredded lettuce, limes, salsa, Mexican cheese and sour cream

How to Cook Ground Beef for Tacos

Some people add tomatoes or tomato sauce to their ground beef taco filling, but for our beef taco recipe, we’ve opted to let the beef itself be the dominant flavor here. And how do we do that? The key to cooking ground beef for tacos is pretty simple:

  1. Use 80/20 ground beef. That 20% beef fat means tons and tons of flavor, because fat is where a lot of flavor lives. It also means...

  2. Moist ground beef! Even as you fry up the beef in a pan, and get those lovely crispy edges that add such nice texture to your beef tacos, using 80/20 beef means that the ground beef doesn’t dry out as it cooks.

ground beef tacos with shredded lettuce, limes, salsa, Mexican cheese and sour cream

Tools You’ll Need:

More Taco Recipes to Try

ground beef tacos with shredded lettuce, limes, salsa, Mexican cheese and sour cream
crispy beef tacos with cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and lime

Round Up the Neighborhood—It’s Taco Night!

This beef taco recipe is so easy to scale up, it’s a great one to keep around for the next time you’re hosting a big crowd of people! Whenever you try it, and wherever you serve it, we’d love to hear how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Crispy Ground Beef Taco

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 493


  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 tbsp homemade taco seasoning
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 6 inch flour tortillas
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • shredded cheese
  • shredded lettuce
  • pico de gallo
  • salsa


In a large skillet over medium high heat, add ground beef. Cook until browned, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add in taco seasoning along with 1 tbsp water and cook, stirring often, until fully combined. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized skillet add vegetable oil until ¼ inch deep. Once glistening, add tortillas one at a time and cook until golden and crips, about 1 minute. Flip and repeat on the other side. Transfer tortilla to a paper towel lined plate. Continue with remaining tortillas.

Serve prepared beef with crispy tortillas, sour cream, fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo or salsa.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories493
  • Protein22 g
  • Carbohydrates27 g
  • Total Fat39 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium555 mg
  • Total Sugars22 g

Crispy Ground Beef Taco

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Stephany

    Can you do this same recipe in a crock pot?

    We have a Crock-Pot Taco Meat recipe if you search "Crock-Pot Taco Meat" on our site! Only difference in ingredients is to add salsa because you need liquid in the crock pot.

  • Jennifer

    Hi- It does not say to drain the beef in the recipe- do we keep the fat in?

    There isn't a need to drain the beef but if you feel like your pan has an excessive amount of fat in it feel free to drain it.

  • Dave

    Super tasty and super easy!

    We added beans to the mince and didn't have all the ingredients for the taco seasoning but it still worked great!

    Thanks Dave, glad it worked out with what you had on hand!

  • Carissa

    Delicious! I’ve never cooked our flour tortillas this way and I loved it!

    It's our fave! Glad you loved them!