What Beef For Tacos

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Grill up some tacos with our What Beef for Tacos. Made with pasture-raised beef and molasses, this taco meat is sweet, smoky, and delicious. The perfect taco meat for your next fiesta! What Beef is the perfect all-natural, great tasting grassfed ground beef. It’s preservative free, minimally processed and has no MSG added. This perfectly spiced ground beef is perfect in tacos, enchiladas or chili.

Steak Tacos

Steak Tacos made with plenty of lime juice and a quick homemade spice rub can be grilled, broiled, or cooked in a skillet for an easy and healthy meal that is ready in less than thirty minutes.JUMP TO RECIPE AND VIDEO

325 CALORIES29g CARBS7g FAT37g PROTEIN

Steak tacos on flour tortillas with cilantro, onion, salsa, and lime.

Steak Tacos Recipe

These healthy Steak Tacos taste better than your local taco shop but are made with good for you ingredients that most people already have in their pantry. By using a chili and cumin spice rub along with plenty of lime juice, the steak comes out tender and packed with flavor.

Steak tacos are always the answer. Whenever I am staring at the fridge at 5 PM and don’t know what to make for dinner or planning for a last-minute get-together, tacos are my number one option.

They cook quickly, are almost universally loved, and are affordable to cook for big crowds. Plus if you take the time to put together a wide array of toppings, it feels like something you spent lots of time planning.

I always put out two to three different kinds of salsa – pico de gallo, corn salsa, or avocado salsa are all delicious. Then add chopped cilantro, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, shredded cheese, sour cream, and plenty of avocados. It makes for an impressive presentation without hardly any work.

Beef tacos with tender steak, pico de gallo, avocado, and lime wedges in flour tortillas on a cutting board.

How to Cook Steak for Tacos

For this steak taco recipe, there are three options when it comes to cooking methods. You can grill, broil, or cook them stove-top. 

  • Grilled Steak Tacos: In warmer months, I am always cooking these on the grill. The grill adds a nice smoky flavor to the beef and to me it feels the most authentic since it is comparable to a taco al carbon you would find in Mexico. To maintain an authentic street taco al carbon, you’ll want to be minimalist when it comes to toppings. Lime juice, cilantro, onion, and some spicy red or green salsa is it. But no one would blame you for adding avocado. 
  • Broiled Steak Tacos: During colder months or lazy nights I don’t feel like firing up the grill, the broiler is your best friend. Broiling steak is a great way to quickly cook the steak and get it browned on the outside from the high heat. When broiling steak, make sure to keep a close eye on it since it can overcook quickly. And always let it rest before slicing it. 
  • Carne Asada Style Skillet Steak Tacos: If you are looking for a carne asada steak taco, you have two options. One is to cut the meat before cooking into small pieces. Then quickly cook it in a skillet or griddle until it is just cooked through. If you want to grill or broil the tacos, you can still do that and then chop them into small pieces after. Just make sure to let the meat rest so you don’t end up losing all the juices. 

Steak Taco Seasoning Recipe

This recipe uses a quick and easy homemade spice blend to season up the meat. You can use it for these healthy beef tacos and on all kinds of beef, chicken, and pork dishes. It is awesome for anything on the grill, even veggies.  The recipe below will make a large batch you can store with your other spices. It can be used on its own or combined with lime juice like is done in the recipe.

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp paprika 
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Optional: Add some cayenne powder for extra heat. 

What kind of steak to use for tacos?

You can use virtually any kind of steak for tacos but certain cuts are better for certain types of tacos. For carne asada or grilled steak tacos, it is best to use flank steak, skirt steak, or sirloin steak. Flap meat also works and can be very affordable.

In Mexican markets, you will usually see steak labeled carne asada or palomilla. The carne asada may come pre-marinated.

For slow cooker-style beef tacos, you can use round roast, brisket, eye round, or chuck steak. 

Tender steak tacos with salsa, avocado, cilantro, onion, and tomatoes in a tortilla with limes.

Creating the Perfect Taco Toppings Bar

Like I mentioned earlier, when you make tacos for a crowd, the taco bar is what will take it to the next level. It also gives you the allusion of having spent hours planning when you can actually pick up virtually everything from the grocery store and just put it into pretty bowls and dishes. If you want to add some homemade touches, I recommend making the guacamole and homemade salsa. This creamy avocado salsa is amazing and always gets rave reviews.

  • Tortillas: Grab a few packs of corn and flour tortillas. If you can take the extra step of heating them up on the grill or over a gas burner on the stove, it adds tons of flavor. Store them wrapped in a towel in a basket or tortilla warmer.  You can also provide lettuce wraps for a lighter option or make your own crispy taco shells.
  • Chips: It’s not really a taco party without some chips. Provide a fried and baked version so people have a lighter option as well. For even more flavor, make your own baked tortilla chips. 
  • Salsa: Salsa is one of the most important parts of any good taco party. I like to provide mild, medium, and spicy options. Usually, I grab pico de gallo for the mild option, green salsa for the medium, and spicy red salsa for the hot. If you live near a Mexican supermarket or restaurant, consider buying their homemade salsas since they are almost always better than store-bought. You will also definitely want some guacamole.
  • Cheese: Usually I provide two cheese options. One traditional shredded cheese, usually a sharp cheddar or jack cheese, alongside a crumbly Mexican cheese like cotija or queso fresco.
  • Veggies: You will have all the basics – onions, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, and lots of lime. You can also add lettuce or cabbage, radishes, and pickled onions or carrots. 
  • Sour cream: Use traditional sour cream, light sour cream, or Greek yogurt. You can also buy the thinner Mexican crema.
  • Sides: Refried beans and rice are the traditional options but you can switch it up with corn salad, a big green salad, fresh fruit, or quinoa salad with mango. 

Tips for the Best Steak Tacos

  • Always slice the steak against the grain for the most tender slices. Slicing with the grain results in chewy steak.
  • For extra flavor and tenderness, marinate the steak in a bit of citrus juice and olive oil for 30-60 minutes before grilling. 
  • Always rest the steak after it cooks so the juices can redistribute throughout the steak. This step is so important and often skipped. 
  • Think about the size of the slices or chunks. Tacos are eaten with your hands, so make the steak bite-sized

GROUND BEEF TACOS

These crispy ground beef tacos are filled with seasoned meat, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. An easy dinner recipe that the whole family will enjoy, even your pickiest eaters! Includes a recipe for ground beef taco seasoning.

My beef tacos are so much better than the fast food version, especially when you use homemade taco seasoning instead of the store bought kind. Best of all, this dinner can be on the table in 20 minutes.

When I’m looking for an easy dinner that I know my kids will happily eat, I often turn to tacos. I make these ground beef tacos almost every week, they’re so fast to make! I put out a condiments bar and let everyone assemble their perfect taco, this is a great recipe for entertaining too.

HOW DO YOU MAKE TACO MEAT?

To make taco meat, you’ll need ground beef, taco seasoning, an onion and canned tomatoes. The onion and beef are cooked until browned, then are seasoned with homemade taco spice and tomatoes.

I use petite diced tomatoes which I drain before adding to the meat. I like the flavor and texture that the tomatoes add, but if you’re not a big fan of tomatoes they can easily be omitted.

HOW DO YOU MAKE TACO SEASONING?

I use homemade taco seasoning for this recipe, it only takes 5 minutes to make and tastes so much better than the store bought taco seasoning packets. For homemade taco seasoning, simply mix together chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano and red pepper flakes.

WHAT IS THE BEST GROUND BEEF FOR TACOS?

I like to use 90% lean ground beef for tacos. The meat is flavorful and tender, yet not overly greasy. You can also use an 80% lean ground beef, but you’ll have a lot more fat to drain off at the end of the cooking process.

After your meat is cooked, it’s time to start filling your tacos! I use the traditional hard shells here, but soft flour tortillas will also work great.

WHAT ARE THE BEST TOPPINGS FOR TACOS?

I typically put out a toppings bar and include some or all of the following taco toppings

  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Minced red onion
  • Jalapenos
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Olives
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Diced avocado

After your tacos are assembled, it’s time to eat! Sometimes I make a double batch of the ground beef taco filling and freeze half for another night for an even speedier dinner option.

Best Ground Beef Tacos

TACOS

Prep:10 mins

Cook:10 mins

Total:20 mins

Servings:4 to 5 servings

Yield:8 to 10 tacos

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
402Calories
20gFat
27gCarbs
28gProtein

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)SAVE RECIPE

These classic beef tacos are super easy to prepare, and they’re ready in a remarkable 20 minutes, from start to finish. You won’t have to run to the store to buy a packet of taco seasoning because these tacos are made with a simple homemade spice mixture. This is a fabulous kid and family-friendly recipe that you can make for lunch or dinner any day of the week.

Tacos hail from Mexico, and they’ve become a popular dinner option in America. There’s even a day of the week set aside for tacos in the U.S., “taco Tuesday.” This version is distinctly American with Southwestern influence. And while they aren’t what you’d find at an authentic taqueria, they are easy, quick, affordable, and delicious. Serve your tacos in soft flour or corn tortillas, or hard taco shells.

The taco recipe is easily scaled up, making them an excellent choice for a game day crowd or party. Make a “taco bar” with warm taco meat and tortillas along with bowls of various toppings and Mexican sauces. Supply the plates, utensils, and napkins, and let your guests serve themselves.

When it comes to side dishes to serve with tacos, there are many possibilities. Serve tacos with a tossed salad with ranch dressing, hot cooked rice, Mexican street corn, grilled vegetables, avocado slices, black beans, raw vegetables, or refried beans.

Recipe Variations

  • Counting carbs? Turn the taco mixture into a salad. Toss the seasoned meat with lettuce, halved grape tomatoes, and other vegetables, and top the salad with some quick pickled onions, shredded cheese, and sour cream or guacamole. Or swap out the standard tortillas with homemade keto tortillas or cauliflower tortillas.
  • If you are short on time, skip the chopping and mincing and add about 2 teaspoons each of garlic powder and onion powder along with the chili powder.
  • Replace the ground beef with ground turkey or ground chicken, preferable dark meat or a mixture of dark and white meat.
  • Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans or pinto beans to the meat mixture along with the tomato paste and water.
  • For a spicier meat mixture, add a dash of cayenne pepper or about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

What ground beef lean-to-fat ratio is best for tacos?

For tastier tacos, use a ratio between 80/20 and 90/10. A higher percentage of fat produces more moist and flavorful meat.

How do you keep ground beef moist for tacos?

To keep the meat mixture moist, use ground beef with a higher fat percentage and avoid draining it.

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