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A Classic Beef Taco Recipe

Blend up some margaritas, because it's time to make some classic beef tacos!

While there are many different types of taco combinations to make (like shrimp or pork carnitas), nothing can truly beat the classic combination of a beef taco. This beef taco recipe is the exact type of thing you would imagine when planning for Taco Tuesday, or better yet when you make a quick order over at Taco Bell.

Making the classic beef taco at home is much easier than you think. The trick is to use a good amount of seasoning, mixed with water, in order to make a taco sauce. That sauce is what makes the meat taste delectable and will have you eating taco after taco after taco.

To make the sauce, you simply mix in 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning or buy a taco seasoning packet at the store. You mix it in after draining the fat from the beef, as well as adding the water. A sauce will form as you continue to mix it into the meat.

Now for some homemade seasonings, creating a thick sauce can be a bit more difficult than using a seasoning packet. That's because the homemade seasoning doesn't have a thickener in it (like the packet does). You can add in a cornstarch slurry by mixing a 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch with the water before pouring it into the skillet.

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Here's how to make that classic beef taco right at home!

classic beef taco recipe
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Beef Taco Recipe

Makes 4 servings


1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
hard taco shells
taco cheese
pico de gallo
shredded lettuce

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven for taco shells, based on packaging instructions.
  2. Cook the ground beef in a skillet, draining the excess fat into a can. Do not pour the fat down the drain, it is bad for your sink.
  3. Sprinkle on two tablespoons of taco seasoning with the water. Cook until the sauce has thickened and mixed through the meat.
  4. Warm up the hard shell tortillas in the oven.
  5. Serve the taco meat on warmed shells with taco cheese, shredded lettuce, and pico de gallo.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in recipe development, food, and diet coverage. Read more