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Cooked Ground Beef for Tacos in a skillet surrounded by taco toppings

Easy Ground Beef for Tacos Recipe

This Easy Ground Beef for Tacos is flavorful and juicy! This versatile meat is perfect to fill tacos, burritos, or whatever your heart desires. No store-bought taco seasoning needed and it’s ready and just 20 minutes!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword ground beef, meatloaf, mexican, tacos
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 313kcal


  • 2 lb ground beef (900 g) (see notes)
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced (about 1 medium onion- 150 g approx.)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt to taste (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or black pepper if you don't like the heat)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth (240 ml) (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


  • Heat a skillet (preferably nonstick) over high heat. When hot, add the meat to the skillet and cook, using a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula to break up the ground beef into equal-size pieces as it cooks, until no longer pink.
  • Add onion and garlic and cook, occasionally stirring, until the onion is soft, about 2 -3 minutes. Lightly season with salt to taste; mix to combine. NOTE: I recommend not adding too much salt since the broth will add quite an amount of salt too.
  • Add paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, and beef broth. Mix until everything is well combined.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook for 8 - 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired, and use to fill tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tostadas, empanadas, etc.


MEAT: I like to use 90-10% lean ground beef, this way, I skip the step of draining the fat released from the meat. If you prefer, you can use a higher fat content ground beef but, in this case, I recommend draining the extra fat after the browning (step 1). You can also use ground turkey, chicken, or pork.
SALT: I generally don't add any more salt since the salt in the chicken broth is enough seasoning to our taste. I recommend tasting and adjusting salt to your taste in step 4. 
BEEF BROTH:  I like to dissolve 1 beef bouillon in 1 cup of hot water for extra flavor instead of using canned or boxed beef broth. However, you can use just store-bought beef broth. 
STORE: Place leftover ground beef into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
FREEZE: Let the meat cool completely. Then place leftover ground beef into an airtight container or a freezer Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Make sure is well sealed to avoid freezer burn.
  • If you don't have ground beef, you can also use ground pork, chicken, or turkey.
  • If you're using beef that needs to be drained, keep in mind that it cannot be poured directly down the drain!
  • If you want your onions chopped finely but don't want to chop them yourself, you can run them through a food processor.
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Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate and it can vary depending on the products used.


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 239mg | Potassium: 446mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1130IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3.3mg