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Easy beef taco recipe made with ground beef and ready in minutes. This quick taco recipe makes a couple of tacos, perfect for those cooking for one.

Two beef tacos topped with salsa, lettuce, and shredded cheese on a plate next to sliced lime wheels and tomatoes.

When my kids were small, taco night was probably their favorite night of the week. Back then, I would purchase the boxes of taco shells that included everything but the meat. Dinner was a breeze to make and my kids enjoyed building their own beef tacos.

Now that the kids aren’t living at home any longer, I find those all-in-one kits to be unnecessary. Tacos are really easy to make. Plus, I’ve got an easy spice mix that adds so much flavor to the ground beef.

Why This Recipe Works

With this quick taco recipe, it’s just a matter of cooking the ground beef, adding in the homemade taco seasoning, spooning the filling into the taco shells, and adding the toppings.

This ground beef taco recipe will yield 2 beef tacos or maybe even 3 tacos, depending on how much you fill each taco shell.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Olive oil: I use extra virgin olive oil in this ground beef taco recipe as well as in every other recipe on One Dish Kitchen that calls for olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed form of olive oil. It is an unrefined oil and the highest-quality olive oil you can buy. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is made, it retains more true olive taste. It also contains more of the vitamins and minerals found in olives. It’s my favorite type of olive oil to use but you may use a lighter olive oil instead.
  • Chopped onions and garlic: Chopped onions and garlic add quite a lot of flavor to the beef filling, definitely don’t leave them out. If you don’t have fresh garlic, use 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder instead.
  • Ground beef: I use 80-90% lean ground beef. You can even use ground turkey instead.
  • Seasonings: For wonderful flavor use chili powder, ground cumin, and salt.
  • Taco shells: If you want to use tortillas instead of taco shells, use our small batch flour tortilla recipe.

See below for ways to use leftover ingredients.

A closeup of a small bowl of ground beef and cooked onions with half of an avocado in the background

How To Cook Ground Beef For Tacos

The star of this beef taco recipe is the seasoned ground beef. For these tacos, you’ll start by browning the ground beef and seasoning it with the salt, chili powder and ground cumin. This taco recipe calls for using 5 ounces of ground beef. For best results, use an 8- to 10-inch skillet for browning the beef.

  1. Begin by heating the pan and the oil.
  2. Add the meat to the pan and break it into small pieces with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Let it brown for several minutes.
  3. As the beef begins to brown, continue to break the meat into smaller pieces and add in the spices.
  4. Cook until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
Two taco shells on a plate filled with ground beef and onions with lime halves on both sides of the tacos and a small salad on a metal tray with small plate of half of an avocado and half of a lemon in the background

How To Assemble Tacos

Making ground beef tacos is super simple.

  • After the ground beef is cooked, heat the hard taco shells in the oven to make them crisp and warm.
  • Fill the taco shells with the meat and add your favorite taco toppings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Taco Seasoning Made Of?

You can use the seasonings recommended in this recipe or you can make a small batch of taco seasoning. In most taco seasoning recipes you will find: chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes and dried oregano.
You can use our small batch taco seasoning recipe and season the ground beef with a teaspoon (or more to suit your tastes) instead.

Are There Other Ways To Use Seasoned Ground Beef?

Absolutely! You can use the beef taco filling over lettuce and make a taco salad.

What Are Traditional Taco Toppings?

My personal preference is to add lettuce, chopped tomatoes, a spoonful or two of salsa, sour cream, and shredded cheese to my beef tacos.
You might like to add any or all of these small batch and single serving taco toppings to yours:
* Guacamole
* Queso
* Corn Salsa

Expert Tips

  • The meat can be made in advance. Consider cooking the ground beef the day before you want to make tacos and just assemble the tacos when you are ready to eat them.
  • You might also like to consider using flour tortillas instead of corn shells.
A beef taco topped with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, avocado slices and salsa with a side salad and half of a lime on a plate and half of an avocado in the background

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients left over from this ground beef tacos recipe, you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

Serving Suggestions

If you would like information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this beef taco recipe or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Your Cooking For One Source
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Ground Beef Tacos For One

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 tacos
Easy beef taco recipe made with ground beef and ready in minutes. This quick taco recipe makes a couple of tacos, perfect for those cooking for one.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 ounces ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 taco shells

Optional Toppings

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • avocado slices
  • salsa


  • In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, heat oil 30 seconds. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook an additional minute.
  • Add ground beef to skillet and break up with a spatula. Add salt, chili powder, and cumin and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Transfer the ground beef to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Cover and set aside.
  • Heat oven to 350°F (177°C). Place taco shells on a baking sheet and bake 5 minutes or until heated.
  • Fill taco shells with meat and desired toppings.


Expert Tips
  • The meat can be made in advance. Consider cooking the ground beef the day before you want to make tacos and just assemble the tacos when you are ready to eat them.
  • You might also like to consider using flour tortillas instead of corn shells.


Serving: 2tacos, Calories: 240kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 44mg, Sodium: 664mg, Potassium: 332mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 74IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi,
    You know how you have a Small Batch Taco Seasoning, that makes 2 tablespoons.
    Could I use the 2 tablespoons in this taco Recipe?

  2. I will make these since my son has gastritis and can’t eat spicy food. Have you ever tried adding grated carrot on top of the beef? Delicious and adds an extra veggie!