These crispy Ground Beef Taco Recipe is loaded with juicy seasoned taco meat, melted cheese and all of your favorite toppings. If you like your tacos crispy, they make the perfect quick and easy, family-friendly dinner any night of the week.
Best Crispy Tacos with Ground Beef
With this Ground Beef Crunchy Tacos recipe, you can make any night taco night in less than 30 minutes. Ground beef is cooked in our smokey, spicy Homemade Taco Seasoning until it is nice and juicy. Then, we stuff the taco meat into crunchy hard taco shells, top it with shredded cheese, and bake it all together until the cheese melts into every little crevice.
Finish with all of your favorite toppings, and you’ve got yourself a taco masterpiece. It’s easy, delicious, and one of those easy dinners everyone loves. If crispy tacos or crunchy tacos aren’t your thing, you can fry either corn or flour tortillas in a little oil over medium heat, then fill and serve as desired. Either way, this makes juicy tacos; it's such an easy delicious family dinner idea.
Taco Meat Recipes
This recipe will show you how to cook ground beef for tacos and if you're looking for all things tacos, be sure to try our Chicken Tacos, Carnitas Tacos, Walking Tacos, Carne Asada Tacos, Taco Soup, and Taco Pizza.
Ingredients in Crispy Beef Tacos
- Ground Beef - when cooking ground beef for tacos, we recommend using either 80/20 or 85/15 ground sirloin, chuck or round. For a slightly healthier taco, you could also substitute ground turkey.
- Taco Seasoning - while you can use store bought seasoning packets, we suggest spending just 5 minutes and throwing together our easy Homemade Taco Seasoning. It’s made with chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and more.
- Water - this is to add to the beef as it cooks. You could also use tomato sauce if you’d prefer it a little juicier.
- Taco Shells - this recipe calls for hard corn taco shells. They stack up nicely in the oven and the crunch adds so much great texture. Corn tortillas or flour tortillas will work, too. Just fry each tortilla on both sides in a little olive oil before filling and serving.
- Cheddar Cheese - shredded cheddar cheese is very family-friendly, but just about any cheese would make an excellent substitute. We often will use pepper jack, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or Mexican queso.
Crunchy Taco Topping Ideas
Here comes the fun part - toppings! These are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Pico de Gallo (homemade or store bought)
- Salsa (homemade salsa or store bought)
- Sour cream
- Shredded lettuce
- Diced avocado or Guacamole
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced jalapenos or canned green chilis
- Refried beans
- Black beans (we love these Chipotle Black Beans)
How to Make Tacos with Ground Beef
- Cook the ground beef. In a large skillet, add the ground beef, taco seasoning, and water. Cook the ground beef over medium heat, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon or spatula, until there is only a little pink left.
- Fill and bake the tacos. Arrange hard taco shells in a 9" by 13" baking dish. Add about ¼ cup taco meat and 1-2 tablespoons of shredded cheese to each taco shell and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Serve. Remove from the oven and serve with shredded lettuce, pico, diced avocados or any of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
For the most tender, juicy and flavorful beef tacos, we suggest using either 80/20 or 85/15 ground beef. A fat content in this range will have plenty of flavor and won’t dry out as easily.
Aside from choosing a fat content that is between 80-85% lean meat, we add a little water to the pan while cooking our beef. You also want to be sure and cook your ground beef so that there is still a touch of pink left.
You don’t want to fill your taco shells until just before serving. However, you can cook the seasoned ground beef and prep all of your toppings the day before. That way, the day you plan to serve them you will just need to reheat and enjoy!
Storing and Reheating Taco Meat
- Refrigerator: store leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: you can freeze cooked, seasoned taco meat! Make sure it is completely cooled, then transfer to freezer bags and freeze flat. Store frozen for up to 3 months.
- To reheat: you can reheat in the microwave, or else transfer to a saucepan and add a touch of water or even tomato sauce or salsa. Heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
Tips on How to Make Ground Beef Tacos
- To make taco meat ahead of time, cook according to directions, let the meat cool to room temperature. Add taco meat to a freezer ziplock bag (store enough for your family for one meal to avoid leftovers)
- Plan on about ⅓ lb of uncooked meat per adult and about ¼ lb of meat for children or light eaters.
Ground Beef Taco Recipe
- 1 lb Ground Beef 80/20 or 85/15 fat content
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
- ¼ cup Water
- 8 medium Hard Corn Taco Shells
- 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
- ½ cup Pico de Gallo
- 1 cup Lettuce shredded
- 1 whole Avocado diced
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, add the ground beef, taco seasoning, and water. Cook the ground beef over medium heat, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon or spatula, until there is only a little pink left.
- Arrange hard taco shells in a 9" by 13" baking dish. Add about ¼ cup taco meat and 1-2 tablespoons of shredded cheese to each taco shell and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and serve with shredded lettuce, pico, diced avocados or any of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
More of Our Favorite Mexican-Inspired Dinner Ideas
- Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Red Chicken Enchiladas
- Easy Taco Salad
- Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Homemade Taco Pizza
- Green Chile Taquitoes
- 7 Layer Bean Dip
- Steak Fajitas
- Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
- More Dinner Recipes
- More Beef Recipes
This Crispy Beef Taco recipe is made with juicy, flavorful taco meat stuffed into crunchy hard taco shells, topped with melted cheddar cheese and all of your favorite fixings. It's a family favorite that can be ready in under 30 minutes.