Classic Tex-Mex tacos are a favorite among most households, but a lot of us grab the ready-made kits for convenience. One taste of this homemade version and you’ll never buy a seasoning packet again!
It’s the first day of Spring. And we have a nor’easter coming. ? I’m desperate for some warm weather and sunshine, but it’s looking like we have to wait.
Luckily, tacos are something that are good anytime of the year. It’s snowing? Make tacos. A hot summer day? Make tacos. Have something to celebrate? Make tacos.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you know how much I love tacos. I’ve shared a lot of tacos on this blog. Everything from easy chicken tacos, to summery flank steak tacos, and my personal favorite, chorizo tacos. I’ve also got a tasty vegetarian taco if meat isn’t your thing.
All of those fun taco recipes are delicious, but sometimes you just want a classic.
Best Tex-Mex Tacos
Ground beef tacos are what most of us think of when we hear the word taco. They are a classic in American households and usually made with one of those ready-made taco kits. Sure those kits are convenient, but making your own taco seasoning is insanely simple… and tastes way better!
A handful of spices is all it takes to make your own. What you end up with is something more flavorful without any additives. Plus, you can make a big batch of the spice mixture to keep on hand and speed up the process.
The process of making tacos is really simple: sauté onions and garlic, add ground beef, and then toss in the spice mixture. It really is that easy!
Once you have your seasoned beef, you’ll just need some crispy tortillas and toppings. I highly recommend frying or baking corn tortillas to make your own taco shells. Yes, I know that may make these tacos a little less convenient, but they make all the difference.
I recently picked up a taco press, which helps give you the perfect taco shape! You deep fry the shells right in the taco press for about 30 seconds and then as they cool they get nice and crispy.
If you’re not into deep frying, you can brush the tortillas with some oil and pan fry them until lightly golden, but still pliable. Then, you can let each one cool for about 30 seconds in the taco press. This helps give them a nice shape, but obviously they won’t be crispy like if you deep fry. Baking is also an option. You can lay the tortillas directly over the oven rack (basically an upside down taco) and bake until they dry out and get a little crisp. Again, they won’t give you the same crunch as deep frying will.
Since the rest of the recipe is so simple, I find making the taco shells not to be too time consuming. Plus, they are so darn tasty that the extra bit of effort is worth it!
As far as toppings go, I like to keep things simple. Cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, salsa, and quite a few dashes of hot sauce… because hot sauce makes everything better. Am I right?!
I promise, one bite of these Tex-Mex tacos and you’ll never buy a taco kit again. Now, go make some tacos. It is Taco Tuesday, after all! ?
- Oil for Frying, canola or vegetable
- 10-12 Corn Tortillas
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
- 2 Teaspoons Paprika
- 2 Teaspoons Oregano (Mexican if you can find it!)
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Ground Cumin
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Garlic Powder
- ¾ Teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¾ Teaspoon Salt
- ¾ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper, optional
- 1 Tablespoon Extra-Light Olive Oil
- 1 Small Onion, very finely chopped
- 4 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- 1 ½ lbs. Ground Beef
- Shredded Cheese
- Shredded Lettuce
- Diced Tomatoes
- Hot Sauce
- If frying your taco shells, heat the oil in a large pot or preheat a deep fryer. One the oil is to 375º, fry each tortilla using a taco press for about 30 seconds. Transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle lightly with salt and let cool. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- In a small bowl, combine all of the spices for the taco seasoning.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and add in the onion. Saute the onion for 30 seconds and then add in the garlic and ground beef, breaking up the beef with a spatula or wooden spoon. Once the beef is about halfway cooked, sprinkle in the spice mixture. Stir well and continue cooking the beef for about 2-3 minutes until fully cooked through.
- Build your tacos however you like and enjoy!