So much better than the takeaway version, these crispy ground beef tacos make a delicious dinner recipe that the whole family will love! Made with an easy homemade taco meat (Instant Pot or stove top) and filled with crunchy iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, this easy dinner can be on the table in 15 minutes!
If you are looking for a fast and easy dinner that even the fussiest eaters will love, homemade tacos are always the answer! With warm tortillas or crispy shells and all of your favourite fillings, these seasoned beef tacos are a winner with all ages.
Along with these barbeque pork tacos and crispy chicken tacos, these easy old-school beef tacos make a regular appearance in our family’s dinner rotation because they are simple, delicious and always snapped up fast, even by my fussy eaters!
Using a homemade taco spice mix that tastes better than store bought and a bright and punchy salsa recipe, you can learn how to make taco meat like Mexican restaurants. It tastes so good that you’ll never buy store bought taco packs again! I’m sure you will love them just as much as we do.
How do you make taco meat
Ground beef is not an ingredient in an authentic beef taco recipe. But it’s such a popular way to serve tacos in Australia. It’s a childhood favourite and it makes such an easy, cheap and super tasty dinner option that I’m sharing it here anyway!
To make this taco meat, you will need ground beef, taco seasoning, onion, garlic and tomato paste. The garlic and onion are browned with the meat and then seasoned with the homemade taco seasoning and tomato paste.
This recipe can either be made on the stove top, or try the taco meat Instant Pot/pressure cooker method for extra tender meat.
Ground beef can be used on its own, or you can make the meat go further by adding a can of lentils or black beans to bulk it out. This option adds extra protein and nutrients and is a cheap and filling option. For an extra veggie hit, add shredded carrot, capsicum, mushrooms, broccoli or zucchini or your favourite vegetables.
Tip; make a double batch and store half in an airtight container in the freezer. Then, simply re-heat on a busy weeknight for a speedy dinner option!
Homemade taco seasoning for ground beef
Ditch the packet seasoning! It is easier, cheaper, healthier and so much tastier to make your own version at home. You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is. Simply mix together cumin, paprika, chilli, oregano, salt and garlic and onion powders and pepper.
Making your own taco seasoning allows you to control the ingredients that you eat and skip the nasty MSG, fillers, starches, additives and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients that can be found in packet mixes.
I use homemade taco seasoning for this recipe. It takes 2 minutes to make and is a much healthier version of store bought taco seasoning. And the best part? You can make it in bulk and store it in your pantry for speedy tacos, any time! It can also be used to sprinkle over meats, veggies, soups and more.
Depending on my mood and the time I have available, sometimes I will bake my taco shells with the meat and cheese in them! This process melts the cheese and crisps the taco shells at the same time. It is optional, but highly recommended!
To do this, simply add the seasoned meat and cheese and bake at 180 C for 10 minutes.
What to put in tacos
Assemble your tacos with your favourite salads and add-ins! I’ve included some popular serving suggestions below. Mix and match to suit your tastes.
This recipe makes 10 tacos, but the quantities can easily be multiplied to feed a hungry crowd.
For a fun and easy dinner, simply spread the chopped salads and fillings on a large platter. Let everyone build their own with their favourite toppings. Serving them taco-bar style is perfect for those who have fussy eaters!
Try these beef tacos with the following add-ins;
- Chopped iceberg lettuce
- Tasty cheese
- Chopped onions
- Grilled corn
- Grilled capsicum
- Sour cream
- Diced avocado
If you love these homemade beef tacos, try these other easy “takeaway” dinners that you can make at home! Feel free to leave a comment or review below, or send me a message. For more food inspiration, tips and to share your own recipes and creations, head over to my Facebook Recipe Group.
Crispy Beef Tacos (Taco Meat Instant Pot or Stove Top)
- 10 crispy taco shells or soft tortillas
For the taco meat
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500 grams beef mince
- 1 onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
For the homemade taco seasoning
- 3 tbsp homemade taco seasoning find the recipe instructions here, or mix together 2 tbsp ground cumin, 2 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 1/2 tbsp onion powder, 2 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
- 2 cups tasty cheese shredded
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 1/2 iceberg lettuce shredded
- pickled jalapenos
- tomato salsa try this healthy homemade recipe here, or use store bought salsa.
- Mix the taco seasoning ingredients together (this seasoning can be made in bulk and the extra stored in a jar or airtight container for up to a year). You will need 3 tablespoons for this recipe.
Taco meat stove top
- In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir until soft. Add the beef mince and stir until browned.
- Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste and stir until combined. You can also add a teaspoon of cornflour to thicken, if desired. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Taco meat Instant Pot
- Select the saute setting on your Instant Pot or pressure cooker and heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and stir until soft. Add the beef mince and stir until browned.
- Add the taco seasoning and tomato paste and stir. Secure the lid, and cook for 15 minutes at high pressure. Allow 15 minutes for the pressure to build before the cooking process starts. I don't add any water, as the meat will release liquid while cooking.
- Release the pressure and stir the meat. If the meat has released liquid, saute until it has reduced. You can also add a teaspoon of cornflour to thicken, if desired.
To bake the taco shells
- Add the meat and cheese to the taco shells and bake at 180 °C for 10 minutes, or until the shells are crispy and the cheese has melted.
- Alternatively, bake the taco shells in the oven according to their packet instructions and then remove from the oven.
- Add the seasoned beef, cheese and your toppings of choice to the crispy taco shells and serve immediately. Top with salsa, guacamole or sour cream. Enjoy!