The Best Basic Beef Taco Recipe

Super simple crispy beef tacos with homemade shells, topped with the best Tex-Mex fixings! From Minneapolis Food Blogger A Simple Pantry, get ready for a flavorful 30-minute meal perfect for any weeknight dinner adventure!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword beef tacos recipe, crispy beef tacos, tex mex recipes, tex mex tacos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 576kcal
Author Karly


  • 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
  • 1/4 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.


*nutrition info includes up to 1/4 cup of absorbed canola oil for 12 fried shells. actual rates may vary.