Crispy Beef Tacos

5 from 4 votes
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Crispy beef tacos will transform your next taco night. Gooey cheese, spicy beef and crunch in every bite.

These are by far our newest favorite taco in the household. The beef is spiced and flavorful, it will blow you away. The melty cheddar cheese and hot sauce just add even more “oomph” to the flavor. You will love this change up and will want the beef filling on all your future tacos. Enjoy!

crispy beef tacos on a grey plate with a towel.
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Why Make These Crispy Beef Tacos

These tacos are addictive, beware! The gooey crispy cheese, the crunchy shell and the spiced, sauced beef in the center all work so well together. You will love this change up, inspired by my Crispy Chicken Tacos, but a totally different flavor. This recipe comes together so quickly. The big flavor component is the spices for the beef and the hot sauce. You can use any hot sauce of choice, I choose Cholula for this.

If you are looking for more delicious beef recipes, try my EASY protein loaded Burger Bowls.

Ingredients Needed For This Recipe

ingredients for tacos on a grey counter in clear and wooden bowls.
  • Ground Beef. I choose lean ground beef, like 90/10 the onions will keep the beef moist so you don’t need it to be too fatty. If you need a vegetarian version of these tacos, try Crispy Black Bean Tacos, they are tasty!
  • Olive Oil. This is for the tortillas to help them crisp up a bit on the outside
  • Red Onion. This adds color and aromatics to the beef. It also keeps the beef a little more moist. You can use any color onion of choice but I love the red onion with beef.
  • Seasoning. Lots of seasoning makes this beef so flavorful. Garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, salt, cumin.
  • Hot Sauce. I use Cholula. This is sold at all grocery stores in the hot sauce/international aisle. It’s not overly spicy, it has a light vinegar flavor to it and it my favorite for this recipe. You can use ANY hot sauce you love, feel free to chose your favorite.
  • Tomato Paste. This is to thicken the beef mixture and add some acidic flavor.
  • Corn Tortillas. Use white or yellow corn tortillas for this recipe. I suggest corn because it crisps up nicely but flour will also work.
  • Shredded Cheese. I love cheddar for this recipe, use any shredded cheese of choice.
  • Optional Toppings. Sour cream chopped fresh cilantro.

How To Make This Recipe

Steps to make crispy beef tacos in a grey skillet with ground beef in it.

Step One. Preheat the oven to 400º Heat a skillet on medium high heat, add the ground beef to the skillet. once the meat is browned, about 5 minutes, add in tomato paste, all seasonings, and onion. Sauté for another 5 minutes.

Step Two. Add in the hot sauce and mix meat well. Wrap about 6-8 tortillas in damp paper towels and set on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Steps to make the tacos on a cooking sheet with tortillas stuffed and folded.

Step Three. Working quickly with the warmed tortillas, brush the tortilla with oil and lay oiled side down on baking sheet. Add about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and 1-2 tbsp of shredded cheese to the tortilla. Next, fold over and press the tortilla down.

Step Four. Bake the tacos for about 10-15 minutes in the oven or until the cheese is crispy and the shell is lightly browned.

Step Five. Use a spatula to lift tacos to a plate, add garnish and toppings of choice and enjoy immediately or if you need to make two batches, place finished tacos in the microwave on a plate to keep warm (don’t cook more) while you cook the next batch. Enjoy! 

Tacos on a plate with crispy cheese and toppings.

Recipe FAQ’s

How do I keep my tortillas from cracking?

Keep your tortillas from cracking by buying fresh corn tortillas, don’t use stale ones and wrap 6 at a time in damp paper towels, microwave them on a plate wrapped for about 45 seconds – 1 minute and work quickly tp stuff and fold them. Dip the tortilla in oil before stuffing.

Are these crispy tacos dairy free?

Yes, this recipe is easily dairy free, just don’t use sour cream for a topping or choose a plant based alternative.

Can I use hard shell tacos?

Yes, use hard shell tacos in place of the soft corn tortillas. Just keep a close eye on them in the oven! The hard shell will brown quickly.

Recipe Pairings

This recipe is pretty filling on it’s own but I love to have Avocado Corn Salad as a side. Kale Salad With Roasted Red Pepper Dressing is also a wonderful pairing for this recipe.

Recipe Variations

Meat. Use lean ground beef, turkey or ground elk for this recipe. All three will go well with the flavors.

Hot Sauce. Other hot sauces that would work with this recipe are Tapatio, Tabasco or any peppery hot sauce. Choose your favorite flavor so you enjoy the tacos.

Veggie Add ins. If you want to add some more veggies to this recipe, sauté finaly chopped zucchinis or mushrooms to add in with the beef.

Tomato Paste. You can sub diced tomatoes for tomato paste but you will want to double the measurements. I do strongly suggest the tomato paste.

Other Taco Inspired Recipes To Try

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

crispy tacos on a grey plate with guacamole.
5 from 4 votes

Crispy Beef Tacos

Crispy beef tacos will transform your next taco night. Gooey cheese, spicy beef and crunch in every bite. 
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • 1 large skillet
  • Cooking Sheet

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb lean ground meat, *see notes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup hot sauce , like Cholula
  • cup red onion, chopped
  • 10-12 corn tortillas
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½-1 cup shredded cheese
  • 4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 2-4 tbsp sour cream, *optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400º Heat a skillet on medium high heat, add the ground beef to the skillet. once the meat is browned, about 5 minutes, add in tomato paste, all seasoning, and onion. Sauté for another 5 minutes.
  • Add in the hot sauce and mix meat well. Wrap about 6-8 tortillas in damp paper towels and set on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Working quickly with the warmed tortillas, brush the tortilla with oil and lay oiled side down on baking sheet. Add about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and 1-2 tbsp of shredded cheese to the tortilla. Next, fold over and press the tortilla down.
  •  Bake the tacos for about 10-15 minutes in the oven or until the cheese is crispy and the shell is lightly browned.
  • Use a spatula to lift tacos to a plate, add garnish and toppings of choice and enjoy immediately or if you need to make two batches, place finished tacos in the microwave on a plate to keep warm (don't cook more) while you cook the next batch. Enjoy! 

Notes

*ground turkey or ground elk will also work. 
*any hot sauce of choice will work, I prefer Cholula or Tapatio. Taco sauce will also work!  
*to make dairy free, skip the sour cream or use a plant based alternative 

Nutrition

Serving: 2 tacos | Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 975mg | Potassium: 686mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 399
Keyword: 30 minute, Mexican, Tacos
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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these today and boy do they have a little bit of spice to them! They were really good. I’ll use a little less hot sauce next time but YUM.

  2. 5 stars
    These were great! I modified by doing just a little hot sauce drizzled on top bc I didn’t want them to be super hot. I also added bell peppers to my tacos. I had a little trouble getting my tacos to stay folded over, but probably bc I used a flour tortilla. They were delicious! I will make them again.

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent! Spices were great mixed with the ground beef and made it very flavorful. Not a hot sauce/cilantro person so opted to leave out; also substituted some low carb flour tortillas for the corn tortillas as had on hand. Will make again.