Crunchy Ground Beef Tacos

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Taco Bell crunchy ground beef tacos! Just like the Taco Bell crunchwrap supreme, the fast-food cravings are real. When hunger strikes, don’t hop in your car. Stay at home. Assemble this easy recipe in just 20 minutes.

PIN GROUND BEEF TACO RECIPE

Five Crunchy Ground Beef Tacos on a serving plate. This is a DIY Taco Bell recipe.

About THESE Crunchy GROUND BEEF Tacos

Living in Mexico a few months a year, I really enjoy authentic Mexican tacos. But some days I hanker for a taste of Americana: the Taco Bell meat recipe for their signature tacos. It’s a hunger that must be satisfied!

Because we’re making these tacos at home, you can put a healthier spin on this popular recipe. Use lean meat. Choose a darker lettuce with less water content and more nutrients. Use low-fat sour cream rather than regular.

Cocoa powder is the secret ingredient for our Taco Bell taco seasoning recipe. It’s an authentic Mexican flavor that brings home the taste you’re looking for. It’s used in traditional Mexican recipes like mole sauce.

Ingredients

This Taco Bell meat recipe is easy to assemble at home. All you need are some basic refrigerator and pantry items.

  • Ground beef
  • Ground beef taco seasoning (recipe below )
  • Water
  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce, shredded
  • Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • Preformed taco shells, store-bought
  • OPTIONAL: hot sauce or salsa verde
Ingredients for making crunchy ground beef tacos.

TACO BELL TACO SEASONING RECIPE

If you don’t have some of the ingredients on hand, like beef bouillon or cocoa powder, use this homemade recipe for ground beef taco seasoning. Another option: a store-bought envelope of taco spice mix.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Granulated beef bouilion (Knorr Caldo con Sabor de Res)
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cumin
  • Granulated sugar
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa

PREP GROUND BEEF taco SEASONING

This homemade recipe is packed with flavor. It comes very close to the original taste of Taco Bell taco seasoning.

  1. Add dry ingredients and spices to a small bowl.
  2. With a spoon, mix well to combine.
Glass spice jar with homemade Taco Bell taco seasoning recipe for crunchy ground beef tacos.

KITCHEN SMARTS: The granulated beef bouillon contains all the salt you need. However, once the ground beef is prepared, do a taste test. If more salt is needed, stir in a little extra granulated bouillon.

TACO BELL MEAT RECIPE

Here’s how to cook ground beef for tacos.

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook and brown the ground beef until there’s no more pink. With a spatula, break up the beef into little pieces.
  2. Drain off the fat.
  3. Add taco seasoning mix and water to the pan. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Allow the meat to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cooking lean ground beef for Taco Bell crispy ground beef tacos.

RECIPE TIP: When using lean meat, make it more flavorful and juicy by adding 2 tablespoons corn oil to the pan before browning. If needed, drizzle a small amount of heart-healthy oil over the cooked ground beef.

ASSEMBLE Crunchy Ground Beef Tacos

RECIPE PREP: Shred the lettuce with a serrated knife. Dice the tomatoes. Shred the cheddar cheese. Pull out the tub of sour cream.

  • Fill a crunchy taco shell 1/3 full with cooked ground beef.
  • Add a thin layer of sour cream on top of the beef.
  • Add a thick layer of shredded lettuce.
  • Garnish with diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese.
Four ground beef tacos on a platter made with a DIY Taco Bell meat recipe.

MORE MEXICAN RECIPES TO TRY

If you love authentic Mexican food, or Tex-Mex cheese quesadillas, you’ll enjoy these easy recipes too! They’re perfect for lunch or dinner.

RECIPE FAQ

  • WHAT IS A CRUNCHY TACO? At Taco Bell this is their basic taco. The crispy shell is filled with just 3 ingredients: ground beef, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.
  • WHAT IS A TACO SUPREME? At Taco Bell these are their ground beef tacos that include both sour cream and tomatoes.
  • HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TACO SHELLS: You’ll need corn tortillas and vegetable oil. Add 1/4 inch oil to a small skillet. Heat oil over medium heat. When it shimmers, add a tortilla. After 5 to 10 seconds, flip the tortilla over with tongs and bend it in half. Keep frying with the tip of the tongs inside the fold to keep the shell wide open as it hardens.
  • HOW LONG WILL COOKED GROUND BEEF LAST? If refrigerated promptly, the meat can last 3 to 4 days. Or freeze up to 3 months. Learn more about safe food handling from the USDA: Ground Beef and Food Safety.
  • HOW TO FILL TACOS SHELLS WITHOUT TIPPING THEM OVER? Use a set of stainless steel taco holders. They’re ideal for assembling and serving. To purchase these taco stand favorites, click the affiliate link below.

EXPERT TIPS

These crunchy tacos are perfect for Taco Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo! Here’s how to serve them.

  • Arrange taco shells in a basket or bowl lined with a kitchen towel.
  • Use a crockpot to keep the meat warm.
  • Place toppings in small bowls: sour cream, shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced tomatoes. Include a bottle of hot sauce.
  • Encourage guests to assemble their own crunchy tacos!

RATE THIS RECIPE > ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

During Cinco de Mayo, friends said this was the best ground beef taco recipe. If you agree, give these easy Taco Bell tacos a 5-star rating in the comments.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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Crunchy Ground Beef Tacos


Description

These are the best crunchy ground beef tacos. Our homemade Taco Bell taco seasoning recipe brings home the taste and flavors of Americana. The Taco Bell meat recipe is quick and easy to make!


Ingredients

Scale

TACO BELL TACO SEASONING

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated beef bouillon (Knorr Caldo con Sabor de Res)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder

CRUNCHY GROUND BEEF TACOS

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • Ground beef taco seasoning (see above)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • Preformed crunchy taco shells (from a box)
  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce (iceberg or Romaine), shredded
  • Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Medium cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Optional: taco sauce

Instructions

HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

  1. Add dry ingredients and spices to a small bowl.
  2. With a spoon, mix well to combine.

TACO BELL MEAT RECIPE

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook and brown the ground beef until there’s no more pink. With a spatula, break up the beef into little pieces. 
  2. Drain off the fat.
  3. Add taco seasoning mix and water to the pan. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Allow meat to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If more salt is needed, add a light sprinkling of granulated beef bouillon.

ASSEMBLE THE TACOS

  1. Fill a crunchy taco shell 1/3 full with cooked ground beef. 
  2. Add a thin layer of sour cream on top of the beef. 
  3. Add a thick layer of shredded lettuce. 
  4. Garnish with diced tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese.

Notes

RECIPE FAQ

  • HOW TO MAKE LEAN GROUND BEEF MORE JUICY? Brown the meat in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. If needed, drizzle a touch of heart-healthy oil over the cooked ground beef.
  • WHAT IS A CRUNCHY TACO? At Taco Bell this is their basic taco. The crispy shell is filled with just 3 ingredients: ground beef, shredded lettuce, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.
  • WHAT IS A TACO SUPREME? At Taco Bell these are their ground beef tacos that include both sour cream and tomatoes. 
  • HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TACO SHELLS? You’ll need corn tortillas and vegetable oil. Add 1/4 inch oil to a small skillet. Heat oil over medium heat. When it shimmers, add a tortilla. After 5 to 10 seconds, flip the tortilla over with tongs and bend it in half. Keep frying with the tip of the tongs inside the fold to keep the shell wide open as it hardens.

HOW TO SERVE TACOS

  • Arrange taco shells in a basket or bowl lined with a kitchen towel
  • Use a crockpot to keep the meat warm. 
  • Place toppings in small bowls: sour cream, shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and diced tomatoes. Include a bottle of hot sauce.
  • Encourage guests to assemble their own crispy ground beef tacos!
  • Category: Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Late Night, Taco Tuesday, Party
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican, American, Tex-Mex

Keywords: Ground Beef Tacos, Taco Bell meat recipe, Taco Bell taco seasoning recipe

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

NOTE: The images below were the original photos for this post. The post has been updated to make it more helpful to the reader. But the Taco Bell seasoning recipe and the Taco Bell meat recipe remain the same.

Taco Bell Copykat Recipes for ground beef tacos.
Taco Bell crunchy ground beef tacos assembled with homemade Taco Bell taco seasoning.

GROUND BEEF TACOS > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Do you love making and eating crunchy beef tacos? Did you try this Taco Bell meat recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

29 thoughts on “Crunchy Ground Beef Tacos”

  1. I used this recipe with chicken instead of ground beef and it was a HUGE hit!!! My family loved it. My oldest daughter said they were the best chicken tacos I ever made. This will definitely be a regular recipe in my household.

    Reply

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