Ground Beef Taco Meat

Our homemade Ground Beef Taco Meat is a must-have recipe for any taco lover. These tacos start off with a base of lean ground beef that’s seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and oregano. The best part about this recipe is that it’s ready in just 15 minutes.

If you love tacos as much as we do, try our Pan Fried Beef Tacos or even these fun Taco Egg Rolls for appetizers!

ground beef tacos with toppings on board

Why You’ll Love This Ground Beef Taco Meat Recipe

Just a few simple ingredients and 15 minutes is all you need to get this homemade ground beef taco meat ready to serve!

  • Easy To Make: Not a ton of seasonings and only 15 minutes and this taco meat is ready to serve.
  • Multiple Uses: You can use this taco meat for tacos, of course, but also in many other ways. See the post below for more ideas.
  • Freezer Ready: This taco meat freezes perfectly so you can make a double or triple batch and freeze for later meals.
  • Mild Flavor: We like to keep this recipe mild so that it’s kid friendly, or for those that don’t like a lot of spice. However, you can spice up your own portion easily.
ground beef taco meat in bowl with cilantro

Ingredients You’ll Need

Scroll to the recipe card at the end of the post for a complete list of ingredients with amounts needed.

  • Olive oil: You can use avocado or canola oil or non-stick cooking spray as well.
  • Lean ground beef: We using an 85% – 90% lean ground beef.
  • Chili powder: Mild, medium or spicy.
  • Garlic powder: Can also use 1 tablespoon of fresh garlic if desired.
  • Kosher salt
  • Cumin: Cumin adds a smokey flavor that’s familiar in a lot of Tex-Mex recipes.
  • Dried oregano
  • Onion powder
  • Tomato sauce: Just a small can to give the taco meat some sauce and flavor.

How To Make Homemade Taco Meat

This easy 2-step process is done in less than 15 minutes. Please scroll to the recipe card for complete instructions.

  • Brown The Ground Beef: Brown the ground beef, breaking up into crumbles until no pink remains. Drain the grease from the skillet and then add tomato sauce, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and salt.
  • Stir and Simmer: Stir to combine and then simmer the taco meat over low heat for 5-10 minutes. Add a 1/4 cup of water to thin out the sauce if needed.
ground beef tacos with toppings on a board

Other Ways To Use This Taco Meat

Now, of course you can use this ground beef to make tacos, but you can also use it to make many different recipes.

  • Make a taco bowl with rice, beans and toppings
  • Fill a soft shell tortilla for enchiladas or a quick snack
  • Use taco meat to make beef nachos
  • Use homemade taco meat to make a “taco” sloppy joe sandwich
  • Make a low carb dinner with taco meat, shredded lettuce, avocado and cheese
  • If there’s taco meat in our refrigerator it usually doesn’t last long. Our boys will scoop it up with tortilla chips or eat it right out of the bowl.

Toppings To Try

  • Avocados or guacamole
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cheese: Cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack or Colby jack for a mild flavor.
  • Beans: Black beans or Pinto beans are common.
  • Diced tomatoes or pico de gallo
  • Sour Cream
  • Pickled jalapeños
taco being lifted with tacos in the background


Instead of using ground beef, you can swap out ground turkey or ground chicken. Sometimes we even use a mixture of ground pork if we have it on hand.

As far as seasonings, you can really use anything that you like. If you like your taco meat spicy, try using sriracha, cayenne pepper or hot sauce. For a creamy consistency, try stirring in sour cream and salsa.

Looking For More Ground Beef Recipes?

ground beef taco meat in bowl with cilantro

Ground Beef Taco Meat

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Our Ground Beef Taco Meat recipe eliminates those dry seasoning packets from the store! Done in less than 15 minutes, this taco meat is sure to become a family favorite recipe!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (can also use avocado or canola oil or non-stick cooking spray)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (we like using 85% – 90% lean, can also swap ground turkey)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (can also use 1/3 cup of diced onion)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce


  1. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, breaking up into crumbles as it cooks. Brown the beef until no pink remains and then drain the grease from the pan.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, tomato sauce to the beef and stir to combine.
  3. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. If you like your taco meat to have a little more sauce you can add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes about 4 cups of taco meat. We find that about 1/4 cup of meat is good per taco so this recipe will make about 16 tacos!

8 – 1/2 cup servings, or 16 – 1/4 cup servings

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

You Might Also Like:

2 Responses
  1. Yovany Ciaramella

    OMG just made this tonight and my husband and I DESTROYED the tacos!!! I didn’t change anything and it was PERFECT. Making this again. Thanks!

    1. Dan

      I’m so glad you guys liked it! We use that taco meat on so many things…and with 2 teenage boys we keep it in our refrigerator most of the time!

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Cocktails and Drinks

Side “Bar”

Try some of the cocktails and drinks we’re mixing up this week!