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Ground Beef Tacos

  • Author:
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x


Units Scale

Beef Filling:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil or corn oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how much kick you want)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar

Shells & Toppings

  • 8 taco shells
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • Avocado, diced
  • Sour cream
  • hot pepper sauce to taste


Beef Filling:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until simmering.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened about 4 minutes.  Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon and scraping pan bottom, until beef is no longer pink,  about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar, bring to simmer.  Reduce heat to medium -low and simmer, uncovered stirring frequently. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon the meat mixture into warm taco shells and top with cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, lettuce, onion, sour cream and hot  sauce.

Home fried shells:

  1. Heat oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat to 350 degrees, about 5 minutes (oil should bubble when a small piece of tortilla is dropped in).  Meanwhile, line rimmed baking sheet with double layer of paper towels.
  2. Using tongs to hold tortilla, slip half of tortilla into hot oil.  With a long metal knife spatula in other hand, keep half of tortilla submerged in oil.  Fry until just set, but not brown, about 30 seconds.
  3. Flip tortilla; hold tortilla open about 2 inches while keeping bottom submerged in oil.  Fry until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Flip again and fry other side until golden brown, about 30 seconds.
  4. Transfer shell upside down to prepared baking sheet to drain.  Repeat with remaining tortillas, adjusting heat as necessary to keep oil between 350 and 375 degrees.


  • These directions for frying the shells might seem confusing without the illustrations I have in the book.  If you have a simpler way to fry the shells, just do it. You basically just want to fry half at a time, while the other part is out of the oil, but you are holding on to it with tongs the whole time, keeping in bent so it forms a shell.  There is a video on YouTube which is basically how the directions tell you to do it.  If you need to check it out here is the link: How to fry taco shells.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Main Dishes