Favorite Beef Tacos

These tacos are our family’s FAVORITE beef tacos. They’re made with a homemade blend of seasonings and spices along with a few secret ingredients.

One of my favorite go-to meals has to be these beef tacos. They’re easy, flavorful and ready to go in less than 30 minutes! Sound too good to be true? Think again!

Beef tacos topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese

Taco night!!

I haven’t always made my own taco seasoning, but as I’ve moved more towards scratch baking/cooking I’ve discovered how simple and flavorful it can be. Most of the spices are pantry staples, perhaps with the exception of coriander (a big favorite of mine, especially when used in Mexican dishes).

It takes just a few minutes of measuring and that’s it… you’ve got a bowl full of bold, fresh, preservative-free seasonings and spices.

What makes this taco meat so darn good (aside from the homemade seasoning blend) has got to be the use of two secret ingredients: brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. Just a teaspoon of brown sugar along with 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar give the meat a sweet and acidic flavor that can’t be beat! 

Another reason why this meat tastes 100x better than anything you could make with a packet is the fact that you toast the spices as the meat cooks. I’ve used this technique before with my citrus carnitas as well as my beef barbacoa. It definitely brings out the true flavor of the spices and adds a smokiness that I love.

Ground beef taco meet being cooked in a skillet

How to Make Beef Tacos

They’re easier than you think!

VEGGIES. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the onion, sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the pepper, garlic, and seasonings. Continue to sauté until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

BEEF. Add the ground beef and cook until no pink remains, breaking it apart into small chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon. When the meat is cooked throughout, pour in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Simmer until about half of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and serve hot.

Ground beef tacos in a hard shell

Tips + Storing Info

These tacos are so easy and delicious you’re sure to want to add them to your menu pretty often! Here are a few extra tips to get the fiesta started:

  • Double batch: Since this beef is so easy to store for later, why not make a double batch and use half of it for dinner and save the other half to use another night?  Your future self will thank you! 
  • The meat in this recipe isn’t limited to tacos – feel free to switch it up and use it to make loaded nachos, taco salad, or beef burritos.
  • Toppings Bar: It’s always fun to set out a toppings bar for your tacos. Some great toppings to include are: sliced olives, diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, guacamole, cilantro, diced green chilis, and more!
  • Guac: Homemade guacamole would be amazing with these tacos. I have an easy recipe to make your own here – Restaurant Style Guacamole

Prep your beef ahead of time.  STORE in the fridge for a few days.

To FREEZE, simply add cooked taco meat to a Ziploc freezer bag, label it with the date, and store it for up to 4 months. Make sure you get as much air as possible out of the freezer bag before you seal it.  When you are ready to use it you can thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating it. Or you could add it to the crock pot on low straight from the freezer to warm it up. You could also microwave it on the defrost setting if you’re in a hurry. 

Beef Tacos with toppings on a white plate

For more Mexican dishes:

Favorite Beef Tacos

Beef Tacos Recipe

These tacos are our family's FAVORITE beef tacos. They're made with a homemade blend of seasonings and spices along with a few secret ingredients.
4.92 from 12 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8
Calories: 153kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion - minced
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper or Hatch Chile - minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika - or regular
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1-1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar - packed

Instructions

  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the onion, sauté until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the pepper, garlic, and seasonings. Continue to sauté until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and cook until no pink remains, breaking it apart into small chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon. When the meat is cooked throughout, pour in the tomato sauce, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Simmer until about half of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve hot.

Video

Notes

Adding peppers is completely optional. If you don’t want any heat, try adding half of a New Mexico Chile (Hatch) chile. We like ours to have a little kick, so we usually add minced jalapeño or serrano to it. Recipe source: adapted from https://www.americastestkitchen.com  America’s Test 

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 426mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 732IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 3mg

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    We love tacos in our house! I’ve been making my own taco seasoning forever, and I’ve never thought of brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. It adds such a great flavor and combo of sweet and acid!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious taco meat! Love the way the brown sugar and apple cider vinegar give it a whole new flavor! Super easy. Great in tacos, burritos, salads…yum!

  3. 5 stars
    We LOVED these beef tacos. It was an easy recipe to make and my family ate the entire meal. No leftovers. So that means it was a winner!!