To me, there are few things quite as satisfying as a classic beef taco recipe. Crispy, crunchy fried corn tortillas stuffed with spicy marinated ground beef and topped with all the fixins you can get your hands on. Talk about delicious! Plus, these beef tacos are ready to eat in under 30 minutes, making them a perfect weeknight meal. Check out all the tips below for simple homemade taco shells, and gather around the table for some delightful Tex-Mex style classic crispy beef tacos you won’t soon forget. Who’s ready to eat?!
Taco Tuesday To The Rescue
When I don’t know what to make for dinner, I almost always turn to tacos. They never not hit the spot. The only trouble I have is choosing what type of taco to make:
The list goes on and on. Being an adult sucks when you have to choose between tacos. We should have a taco party sometime and just serve them all at once. Then you only have to decide when to stop eating tacos, ha ha ha!
Homemade Crispy Taco Shells
The thought of frying your own shells can seem super intimidating, I know, but I promise it’s far easier than you think!
- Fill a small frying pan with a solid 1 inch of oil. I prefer canola oil because of its neutral flavor, high monounsaturated fat content and lower saturated fat content.
- The most important thing when frying tortillas is to make sure the oil is not too hot. Medium heat is the highest you should go, otherwise you’ll end up with burnt outsides and chewy insides.
- Tongs are your best friend. Dip half the tortilla in the oil for a solid 5-10 seconds, then dip the rest of the tortilla into the oil and use the tongs to pull out the first section and fold it into a taco shape. Use the tongs to hold the shell open as it fries, flipping it occasionally to make sure if fries evenly. Each tortilla takes about 1 minute to complete!
If you have a broken tortilla, use that one first to test your oil before diving in with the rest, to ensure your oil is at the right temperature. I almost always end up overheating the oil when I start, so a test shell is imperative!
How To Prepare Beef Tacos
Beef tacos are so easy to make, seriously. All you need is one pan, and a big ol’ wooden spoon.
- Add the beef, half of the salsa, and a little salt and pepper to the pan.
- I like to use an 85/15 variety, because the fat content renders more flavorful meat. You can drain the excess after browning, or leave it. I usually leave it.
- Add the spices and garlic, stir until fragrant, then add remaining salsa and simmer.
When it comes to the salsa, you can:
- Use jarred. I like On The Border‘s variety, or Ortega
- Use homemade!
- If you want some extra spice in there, whip up my signature chile recipe and use that!
The Best Basic Beef Tacos Recipe
Get ready to whip up the most foolproof classic beef taco recipe around. Crispy, crunchy fried corn tortillas stuffed with spicy marinated ground beef and topped with all the fixins you can get your hands on, who could possibly resist?! Plus, these beef tacos are ready to eat in under 30 minutes, making them a perfect weeknight meal. Get your taco on tonight, or any night of the week!
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The Best Basic Beef Taco Recipe
- canola oil
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 cups salsa divided
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
- 1.5 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 oz colby jack cheese shredded
- 2 cups lettuce shredded
- 1 small avocado diced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- In a small frying pan, add canola oil to a depth of 1 inch. Heat to medium, then add one tortilla and fry into a shell-shape, using tongs to pull one end from the oil, turning the shell occasionally to fry evenly, around 1 minute per shell. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain of excess oil.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef, 1 cup of salsa, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until no longer pink, around 5 minutes. Drain excess fat if desired.
- Add the garlic and seasoning and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining salsa and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Spoon meat into taco shells, then top with cheese, lettuce, avocado and cilantro, or any other preferred toppings. Enjoy immediately.