Ground Beef Soft Tacos

5 from 7 votes
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This Beef Soft Taco Recipe is always a go-to easy meal. Tender, seasoned beef with delicious toppings nestled in a soft flour tortilla taco shell. A taco night dinner ready in 30 minutes and full of flavor.

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Why Make This Soft Taco Recipe

  • Classic Favorite: Among all the various taco variations, soft tacos are always a favorite for many!
  • Better Than Takeout: These ground beef tacos will have you saying “Taco Bell Who?!”  Don’t forget to add my Black Bean Crunchwrap to your list if you love the popular fast food chain!
  • Customizable Recipe: The possibilities are endless for creating tacos you like. You can add fresh veggies to the beef mixture and the choices for taco toppings are endless.
  • Great Flavor: The enchilada sauce and simple taco seasoning cook into the tender ground beef giving these tacos a great addictive flavor.
  • Perfect to Make Ahead: This meal is great for meal prep and ready in a pinch (30 minutes!). Also, give my Ground Beef Fajitas or Ground Beef Burrito Bowls a try if you want to try a different preparation of ground beef,

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients needed to make beef soft tacos on a counter with text labels.
  • Ground Beef. I prefer using lean ground beef (90/10) to make soft beef tacos but you can use less lean ground beef as long as you drain it well after it’s cooked. You can also make this soft taco recipe using ground turkey or chicken if you’d like. These ground beef tacos are quick to make but if you have more time, try my Shredded Beef Tacos if you want a restaurant worthy meal!
  • Tortillas. For soft tacos, flour tortillas work best because the meat in this recipe is a bit saucy and the flour tortillas hold up better. Make sure you get tortillas that are taco-sized! If you prefer you can use crispy or use soft corn tortillas. When using soft corn tortillas it’s helpful to double up and use two tortillas for each taco because they tear more easily.
  • Red Enchilada Sauce. This really kicks the ground beef up a notch and makes them taste similar to the popular fast food chain. If you do not have enchilada sauce, use any hot sauce of choice. Add 1/4 cup and taste as you go if using a hot sauce. 
  • Tomato Paste. Adds intense tomato flavor that blends perfectly with the enchilada sauce and taco seasoning in my taco meat recipe! It makes a great-tasting beef taco filling.
  • Ground Beef Taco Seasoning. We’re using a blend of cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, salt, and oregano.
  • Toppings. Avocado, salsa, chopped zucchini, roasted corn, and more all make great taco toppings.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

How to Cook Ground Beef for Tacos

Skillet with ground beef mixture in it.

Step One. Cook the ground beef in a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. As the beef cooks, chop it up with a spatula. Once it’s starting to brown (about 4-5 minutes), soak up any excess grease with paper towels. Add in the chopped onion and garlic followed by the seasonings and tomato paste and sauté for another 3 minutes.

Step Two. Add the enchilada sauce to the ground beef. Let it simmer on low for about 4-5 minutes more. While it cooks, chop the romaine and gather the toppings. I like to warm my flour tortillas a bit in the microwave or on the stovetop (this is optional).

Step Three. Once the beef has soaked up the enchilada sauce a bit and it’s mixed well, turn off the heat and begin to build the tacos. I layer the ground beef first, cheese, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, and then add sour cream and jalapeños on the top.

Three beef soft tacos on a plate topped with lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and jalapenos.

Recipe Tips

  • Drain Excess Fat: After browning the beef, be sure to soak up or drain any excess fat. This will prevent your tacos from becoming too greasy. If you are using ground meat with more fat you may actually need to let drain in a colander for a few minutes.
  • Customize Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings for tacos so your guests have options. You can include diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, guacamole, and hot sauces to cater to different tastes.
  • Make Ahead: You can prepare the beef filling and toppings in advance, storing them separately. This can save time when you’re ready to assemble the tacos.
  • Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze these for up to 2 months.   

Taco Night Ideas

This ground beef taco recipe is great on its own and very filling. They are perfect for Taco Tuesday or Cinco de Mayo, but can really be enjoyed anytime you have a taco craving.

You can pair them with some warm refried beans or black beans and a side of your favorite Mexican rice. They’d also be great with these Baked Jalapeno Poppers!

My Kale with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing or this Grilled Zucchini Salad make great side dishes.

Turn taco night into a real treat with this Smoked Queso with Real Cheese! You can also trade out your regular tomato salsa for this Mango Pico de Gallo as a taco topping.

Recipe FAQs

How do I warm soft taco shells?

Soft taco shells can be warmed in a dry skillet or on a griddle for a minute or so on each side. You can also heat them in the oven or microwave.

Can I make the beef filling in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the beef filling in advance and reheat it when you’re ready to assemble the tacos. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

How much taco meat per person do I need?

I usually allow about two ounces of ground beef per taco which makes about 8 tacos total. Since you often set out plenty of taco toppings that amount of beef is adequate. How many tacos everyone eats will depend on what else you’re serving as well as who you are serving. If you’re serving a couple of side dishes along with your tacos then about two tacos per person is a good base to use to feed the average person.

What goes on tacos?

Popular toppings for ground beef tacos include cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes or pico de gallo, sour cream, sliced avocado or guacamole, and shredded cabbage. I also like to have some jalapenos on the side in case someone wants to make their tacos spicy. Really the sky is the limit. I find it’s very helpful to set out all the toppings in bowls and let everyone make tacos the way they want.

More Beef recipes

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Beef soft tacos on a gray plate with cheese, lettuce, and jalapenos.
5 from 7 votes

Easy Beef Soft Taco Recipe

The best ground beef taco recipe goes together quickly and is always a go to easy meal. Tender, seasoned beef with delicious toppings nestled in a soft taco.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • large skillet
  • sharp knives

Ingredients 

Ground Beef Mixture

  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef, I use 90/10 or 93/7. you can also ise chicken or ground turkey.  
  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ cup red enchilada sauce , Add more if desired. If you do not have enchilada sauce, use any hot sauce of choice. Add 1/4 cup and taste as you go if using a hot sauce. 

Toppings

  • 8 flour tortillas, taco sized, Use flour or corn. I prefer flour for this recipe, it holds the saucy meat a bit better. 
  • 1 Jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 ½ cup romaine, shredded
  • ¾ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded cheese

Instructions 

  • In a large skillet add the oil and heat on medium/high heat. Add ground beef and chop it up with a spatula. Once it's starting to brown (about 4-5 minutes), soak up any excess grease with paper towels. Add in the chopped onion and garlic. Add in the seasonings and tomato paste and sauté for another 3 minutes. 
  • Add the enchilada sauce to the ground beef. Let it simmer on low for about 4-5 minutes more. meanwhile chop romaine and gather the toppings. I like to warm my flour tortillas a bit in the microwave or on the stovetop (this is optional).
  • Once the beef has soaked up the enchilada sauce a bit and it's mixed well, turn off the heat and begin to build the tacos. I layer the ground beef first, cheese, chopped tomatoes, lettuce and sour cream and jalapeños on the top.

Notes

  • Drain Excess Fat: After browning the beef, be sure to soak up or drain any excess fat. This will prevent your tacos from becoming too greasy. If you are using ground meat with more fat you may actually need to let drain in a colander for a few minutes.
  • Customize Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings for tacos so your guests have options. You can include diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, sour cream, guacamole, and hot sauces to cater to different tastes.
  • Make Ahead: You can prepare the beef filling and toppings in advance, storing them separately. This can save time when you’re ready to assemble the tacos.
  • Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can freeze these for up to 2 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos w/ toppings | Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1291mg | Potassium: 692mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 772IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 304mg | Iron: 6mg

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

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 460
Keyword: beef soft taco recipe, easy taco recipe, soft taco recipe
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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you! This recipe really hit the spot and is a keeper.

  2. 5 stars
    This was so delicious wish I could give it 10 stars.

    1. Hi there!
      You can skip the Chipotle powder if needed it adds a nice smoky flavor but still great without.

  3. What is the oregano measurement for the ground beef seasoning? It’s not on the recipe but in the notes above it says you add oregano