Easy Ground Beef Tacos

Soft beef tacos with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese
Lauri Patterson / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 8 servings

Beef tacos easily can be made with ingredients you probably already have on hand: ground beef, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and taco shells. An added plus, you really do not need to go to the expense of buying premade taco seasoning; this recipe calls for spices you likely have in your spice rack to make the homemade seasoning and sauce. And one of the biggest benefits of making your own taco seasoning is that you know exactly what is in it—there are no hard-to-pronounce chemicals or preservatives.

For an interactive dining experience at home, serve these ground beef tacos as a taco bar. Kids really enjoy making their own tacos all by themselves. You might even want to make taco night a regular weekly occurrence in your home. For example, you and your family can look forward to your very own Taco Tuesday taco bar.

Taco Tuesday is a custom in many U.S. cities of individuals who go out to eat tacos on Tuesday nights, which is sometimes a slow restaurant night. Additionally, it's an alliterative mnemonic for marketing—easy to say and easy to remember. Restaurants will often offer special prices, for example, $2 tacos or twofer Taco Tuesdays. Taco Tuesday is similar to a happy hour in that restaurants vary in their participation, hours, and specials offered. These designated taco nights are popular in many big cities across the nation and are especially popular in the beach cities of Southern California.

Legally, "Taco Tuesday" is a trademark of Taco John’s and restaurants are prohibited from using that term. Nontheless, many still use it. The good news is the trademark does not extend to families who want to enjoy Taco Tuesday in the privacy of their own home.


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 taco shells
  • Taco Fillings:
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 to 2 diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (cheddar and Monterey Jack)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup guacamole

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes or until onion is softened.

  3. Add ground beef, breaking up with a spoon to brown on all sides.

  4. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and water. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

  5. Place taco shells on a baking sheet in the center of a preheated oven. Heat 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted.

  6. Place taco shells, taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, and guacamole in separate serving dishes. Let everyone build their own tacos, starting with a little lettuce in the bottom of a taco shell. Top with the ground beef, cheese, salsa, and guacamole.

Other Mexican Recipes

There are plenty of amazing Mexican recipes to share with your family. For a kid favorite and easy-to-make meal, take a look at how to make a quesadilla. A heartier dish that is great for the summer is grilled Mexican rib eye steaks. Spicy guacamole is a delicious dip, perfect for a snack or for a party. For dessert, try one-pot Mexican hot chocolate brownies.