Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe

This great weeknight dinner recipe for ground beef taco meat is a family favorite, thanks to its unique flavor combination. This is a MomAdvice Pinterest favorite and, after you try this, you will see why!

What is your favorite kind of taco? For me, a crunchy beef taco is the perfect taco. I promise to not complain if you serve me a fish or chicken taco, but beef tacos are always my heart’s desire.

A beef taco that incorporates a little tomato flavor too?

Now that’s taco perfection.

Since going gluten-free, tacos have become one of my most relied upon quick dishes. No one ever feels like they are sacrificing anything by eating them and they can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd.

When I stumbled upon this taco meat recipe, I was intrigued by the spice combination. Simmering this meat in chicken broth and tomato sauce was also so intriguing. What would these two simmering ingredients add to this traditional taco filling?

Here is what I have discovered…this taco meat is the best taco meat in the world- truly! I make this recipe a few times a month and we rarely have any leftovers.

The mixture of tomato sauce and chicken broth really do add just the right flavoring to this taco filling. The sweet and spicy combination of spices and brown sugar also elevate these flavors, while not relying on a prepackaged taco seasoning mix.

No recipe seems complete without that acidic component. Luckily, this one gets it from a bit of apple cider vinegar. The addition of this ingredient really cuts the sweet and adds a balanced flavor to the tomato sauce.

Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe from

My kids can’t handle very spicy dishes so I often modify the cayenne and chili powder. Making this recipe with a homemade taco seasoning spice mix allows you to have control over the heat and sodium.

The best part about having this easy taco filling on hand is that it can be used in so many different dishes.

In the summer, I love to make taco salads, topped with black beans, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.

For a fun weekend dish, we rely on this easy recipe to make taco bowls, filled with rice, cheese, and avocado.

You could top this meat on top of a big stack of tortilla chips for a nacho night at home. I like to spread out tortilla chips on a sheet pan, and load them up with my favorite nacho toppings. Bake these at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes and you have the perfect appetizer for a movie night at home.

This easy taco meat recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, “The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.” Pairing this taco meat with their homemade chicken enchiladas & homemade enchilada sauce would, certainly, take your Mexican fiesta to a whole new level.

Since we are always trying to save money, mastering a few good takeout recipes is always on my agenda. I am hoping that my new recipes, like this taco meat recipe, will replace my cravings for take-out.

Best Ground Beef Taco Recipe
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 tacos
This great recipe for ground beef taco meat is a family favorite, thanks to its unique flavor combination. This is a MomAdvice Pinterest favorite and, after you try this, you will see why!
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 diced onion (or 1 tablespoon onion powder)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced (I use a tablespoon of bottled minced garlic or you can substitute with 1 teaspoon of garlic powder)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (adjust to your personal taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or you can do a pinch of crushed red pepper or a dash of red pepper flakes)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound (90 percent lean) ground beef or a combo mixture of half ground turkey and half ground beef
  • ½ cup smooth canned tomato sauce
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 8 taco shells (or flour tortillas or corn tortillas)
  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add the onion and cook until softened, about five minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until fragrant about thirty seconds. Make sure both the onion and garlic are cooked through.
  4. Stir in the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about five minutes. Once it is cooked, drain the grease before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, and sugar until thickened, about ten minutes.
  6. Season with salt to taste.
  7. Divide the filling evenly among the taco shells and serve passing any desired accompaniments separately.
  8. Make-Ahead Version: The filling can be fully prepared, cooled, covered tightly and refrigerated for up to three days. Reheat over medium-low heat, adding additional water to adjust the consistency.


Looking for more fun MomAdvice dinner favorites? How about these!

slow cooker carnitas

Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans from MomAdvice.comslow cooker black beans

How to Make Perfect Brown Rice in Your Rice Cooker from MomAdvice.comhow to make brown rice in your slow cooker

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppersmexican quinoa stuffed peppers

Pressure Cooker Korean Tacospressure cooker korean street tacos

10 Minute Fish Tacos10-minute fish tacos (the same recipe can be applied to shrimp tacos too!)

Chicken Enchiladas With Homemade Enchilada Sauce

chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce


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Published September 15, 2018 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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