One of our favorite versions of tacos – ground beef tacos!! They’re filled with meat and cheese, fried until golden and topped with lettuce and tomatoes.
Tacos with Ground Beef – A Family Fav!
Tacos have always been a family favorite!! AND, we’ve been making them for as long as we can remember.
Our go-to may be chicken, but we’ve had beef tacos for as long as I can remember. In fact, my mom grew up with these kinds of tacos and my Grandma Bean Burro would even add diced potatoes to the mix!
Potatoes in Tacos? My grandma would add diced cooked potatoes to their beef tacos to help stretch it and feed more mouths. My mom became accustomed to the taste and would often include diced potatoes to the tacos I ate growing up. Now my sisters and I add them too.
Be sure to use cooked finely-diced potatoes. Add ½ -1 cup of potatoes to the meat/cheese mixture, then spoon the mixture onto the tortilla to be fried.
How to Make Ground Beef TACOS
Which beef is best for tacos? I normally use ground beef for my tacos, but you can also use shredded beef or thinly sliced cooked steak. Toss the beef of choice with the cheese and fry according to the directions. For the ground beef: If you use a fattier blend, be sure to drain the oil after you have browned the meat.
Once your beef is cooked, season with salt and pepper. Drain, if needed.
Add meat and shredded cheese to a bowl and mix (this is where you’d add the optional potatoes).
In a large frying pan heat up .5 – 1 inches of vegetable oil.
Add about ⅓ cup of the meat mixture to the center of one tortilla. Fold the tortilla and clasp the top edges with tongs to keep it closed. While holding the top of the tortilla place the bottom in the oil. Rock the tortilla from side to side a few times and then lie the tortilla on its side to fry.
Fry each side until golden brown and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Fill each taco with lettuce and tomatoes before serving.
Toppings + Storing Tips
Toppings: We stick to a simple shredded lettuce and diced tomato topping. However, you can use any of your favorite taco toppings.
Leftovers: To prep the leftover tacos for storage remove any of the lettuce/tomato filling and place them in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat the tacos in the oven to help get them crisp again. If you’re in a hurry you can reheat them in the microwave.
Make ahead of time: I have never tried to freeze a fried taco, but I have prepared the taco meat in advance to store in the freezer. Simply brown your taco meat and let it cool. Mix it with the cheese and cooked potatoes, if you desire, and store it in a freezer safe container. It will keep for up to 4 months. Thaw the meat mixture overnight in the fridge and fry the tacos up according to the recipe directions.
Taco Tips + FAQ
Tacos for a crowd: When my mom makes beef tacos for large family gatherings she always plans for two tacos per child and 3-4 tacos per adult. I have 5 married siblings and there are 22 grandkids. This always seems to be just the right amount. Also, we leave about ⅓ of the tacos unfilled, as most of the grandkids don’t like the lettuce and tomato topping.
Oven/Air fry: If you want a healthier cooking method you can certainly bake these in the oven or air fry them. The tortilla will cook up a little differently with each method, but
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with oil. Add the beef mixture to each tortilla, fold and place the tacos onto the baking sheet. Spray the exposed tortilla with cooking spray. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Air fryer: Set the airfryer to 380°F Lightly spray one side of the tortilla with cooking spray. On the opposite side add the meat mixture. Fold and place the tacos in a single layer in the airfryer basket. Fry fro 4-6 minutes or until the edges and crispy. Repeat until all the tacos have been fried.
Can you roll tacos? If you prefer to roll these instead of folding them you certainly can. When they are rolled they are referred to as flautas or more commonly taquitos.
How to to keep the corn tortillas from breaking? Corn tortillas can be a little finicky. Hey are fragile and can easily break. To help keep this from happening you’ll want to warm them up a but before filling and folding them. There are a few ways to warm them:
- Wrap a stack of tortillas in a damp paper towel and place in a Ziploc bag. Do not close the bag. Leave it open and place it in the microwave. Heat for 30-60 seconds, or until warm and flexible.
- wrap a stack or tortillas in foil and place in 325 oven until warm and flexible
- You can throw your tortillas in a cast iron skillet, warmed over medium-high heat, for about 15 to 20 seconds on each side.
More delicious Mexican Food:
Ground Beef Tacos Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded mexican cheese
- 1-2 cups vegetable oil
- 12 yellow corn tortillas
- lettuce and tomato
- cooked cubed potatoes optional
- Cook the ground beef until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Drain, if needed.
- Add meat and shredded cheese to a bowl and mix. (add the optional potatoes)
- In a large frying pan heat up 1-1.5 inches of vegetable oil.
- Add about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture to the center of one tortilla. Fold the tortilla and clasp the top edges with tongs to keep it closed.
- While holding the top of the tortilla place the bottom in the oil. Rock the tortilla from side to side a few times and then lie the tortilla on its side to fry.
- Fry each side until golden brown and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Fill each taco with lettuce and tomatoes before serving.