The Best Ground Beef Tacos

Tacos are one of my favorite Mexican-style dishes. My kids also love them but we hardly ever eat them anymore because the pre-packaged taco seasoning is hard on their tummies – it makes them feel sick (and my husband, too, actually). So I decided to take matters into my own hands and I opened my copy of Joy of Cooking, knowing there was probably a solution inside. There was! And let me tell you, there is no going back to the store-bought taco seasoning after making your own. These tacos were terribly delicious and are now in my tried-and-true binder of go-to meals. I love success stories like this!

What To ServeFresh fruit, or this Honey Lime Fruit Salad
Hummus with fresh vegetables
Cottage Cheese

The Best Ground Beef Tacos

Yield: Serves 4-6

The Best Ground Beef Tacos


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 to 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced fine (alternately, you can add hot pepper sauce to taste or canned jalapenos OR just leave out the heat altogether, although I think the meat really needs a little kick and adding the jalapeno without seeds didn't make the dish overly spicy)
  • Taco shells
  • Additional taco garnishes


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and chopped onion. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat into smaller chunks, until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, drain the grease from the meat.
  2. Return the skillet to the heat and stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds and then add the tomato sauce and jalapeno. Turn the heat to low and simmer the meat mixture for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in taco shells with your choice of toppings.

Recipe Source: adapted from the Joy of Cooking

120 Responses to The Best Ground Beef Tacos

  1. Carol says:

    This “seasoned” beef recipe instead of a salty mess of a packet is just want I wanted due to low sodium restrictions. Thanks for the great recipe, Mel!

  2. Steven says:

    I just made this recipe for dinner last night. Best tacos to ever come out of my kitchen. Definitely my go-to taco recipe!

  3. Diane says:

    Excellent recipe. My husband and I really loved it. When I was making it, it seemed like a lot of seasoning and I was worried it would be too strong tasting, but it wasn’t at all. It’s a keeper. Thank you!

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