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Beef Tacos

Our favorite Beef Tacos bring together crispy taco shells, robustly seasoned taco meat, melty Cheddar, and your favorite taco toppings! Kid-friendly and easy to customize.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword beef tacos
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 259kcal
Cost $7.80


  • 1 package (with 12 total) crispy taco shells (or soft flour or corn tortillas instead!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon EACH paprika and cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional, omit if sensitive to spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH oregano, roasted garlic powder, salt, and pepper
  • Toppings: freshly grated cheese (I like using equal parts of both Monterey jack and extra-sharp Cheddar), shredded iceberg lettuce, sour cream (fat- free or low-fat works great), salsa/chopped cherry tomatoes/pico de gallo, avocado or guac, chopped cilantro, taco sauce, chopped onions, lime wedges


  • PREP: Prepare everything for cooking the beef filling, because the process goes quickly! Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and stir together all of the seasonings. Place taco shells in a 9x13-inch baking pan (all 12 should fit) and set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • BEEF: Heat oil in a large skillet (cast iron if possible) over high heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until light golden. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • BEEF CONT.: Add ground beef and cook for 2-4 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces as you go, until meat is no longer pink. Avoid stirring/breaking beef up too much-- allow it to brown too. If there is a lot of extra grease (from higher-fat beef), drain off. Add in all the seasonings: chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir for another 1-2 minutes or until beef is completely cooked through. Add in the tomato sauce and stir until thickened, another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to slightly cool.
  • STUFF SHELLS: Divide the beef evenly between the 12 shells. Add cheese on top of each ( I add about 2-3 tablespoons of a Monterey jack and extra-sharp Cheddar blend per taco ). Bake for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is melty.
  • SERVE: While tacos are cooking, set out the toppings in individual bowls or on a large platter. Our favorites: chopped cherry tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and a scoop of sour cream. Other ideas: guacamole, taco sauce, salsa, pico de gallo, chopped onions, etc. Serve tacos hot out of the oven and let everyone add whatever toppings they like best. Enjoy with a squeeze of fresh lime!


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 511mg | Potassium: 556mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 793IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 4mg