Lunch Lady Ground Beef Tacos

Lunch Lady Ground Beef Tacos recipe – a childhood lunchroom favorite! Lean ground beef loaded with Mexican spices. Super easy to make and ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Ground beef, onion, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin, tomato paste, and water. You will never use a packet of taco seasoning again! Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. A must for taco night!

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The BEST Ground Beef Tacos

Stop what you are doing and add these Lunch Lady Beef Tacos to your menu. I’ve been on the hunt for a really great taco meat recipe and I finally found it! The recipe is from my government school cafeteria cookbook. I am so glad we decided to give it a try. It has quickly become a family favorite! The tacos taste great and are super simple to make with NO taco seasoning packets!

Lean ground beef simmered in tomato paste, water, and homemade taco seasoning. This recipe is a must for Taco Tuesday! We love to make homemade tacos with flour tortillas or corn tortillas, hard taco shells, enchiladas, quesadillas, and taquitos with this meat. It is equally delicious on nachos, a taco salad,  and baked potatoes.

skillet of ground beef taco meat with taco toppings

How to Make Lunch Lady Beef Tacos

This recipe is super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. In a large skillet, cook ground meat over medium high heat until no longer pink. Drain excess grease. Add chili powder, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, ground cumin, minced onion, a can of tomato paste, and water. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer until the liquid is reduced. That’s it. All that is left to do is dig in!

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can substitute ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken.
  • Feel free to use beef broth or chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor.
  • Can substitute a small onion for the dried onion flakes. Cook the chopped onion in the skillet when you brown the beef.
  • For a spicier dish, add some pureed chipotle peppers or hot sauce.
  • Is Homemade Taco Meat low-carb? Yes! All of the ingredients in this easy taco recipe are low carb and great for a keto diet.
  • Can You Freeze Homemade Taco Ground Beef? Yes! Prepare the taco meat and cool completely. Place the meat in freezer bags and freeze. To reheat the leftovers, partially thaw and microwave until warm. Perfect for busy weeknights!
  • Serve the ground beef mixture in taco shells topped with your favorite taco toppings:
    • iceberg lettuce
    • cheddar cheese
    • sour cream
    • salsa
    • avocado
    • cilantro
    • pico de Gallo
    • green onions.
  • Store leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
plate of ground beef tacos

What to Serve with Easy Ground Beef Tacos

Taco night isn’t complete without some sides. We usually whip up some black beans or refried beansMexican rice, tortilla chips, and salsaQueso and guacamole are also a must!! Looking for more side dishes? Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that goes great with these tacos:

Superior Grill Salsa

Superior Grill Salsa – the salsa recipe from my favorite Mexican restaurant. So easy & tastes great. Tomatoes, pickled jalapenos,…

Jalapeno Ranch Dip

Jalapeno Ranch Dip – so simple and tastes better than Chuy’s! I made this for a party and it was…

plate of tacos with text overlay

Lunch Lady Beef Tacos

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Lunch Lady Ground Beef Taco recipe – a childhood lunchroom favorite! Lean ground beef loaded with Mexican spices. Super easy to make and ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Ground beef, onion, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin, tomato paste, and water. You will never use a packet of taco seasoning again! Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. A must for taco night!

Ingredients:

  • 1⅔ lb lean ground beef
  • 4 tsp dried minced onion flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 6 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder

Instructions:

  • In a large skillet, cook ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain excess grease.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve ground beef mixture in taco shells with your favorite taco toppings.

Notes:

  • You can substitute ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken.
  • Feel free to use beef broth or chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor.
  • Can substitute a small onion for the dried onion flakes. Cook the chopped onion in the skillet when you brown the beef.
  • For a spicier dish, add some pureed chipotle peppers or hot sauce.
  • Is Homemade Taco Meat low-carb? Yes! All of the ingredients in this easy taco recipe are low carb and great for a keto diet.
  • Can You Freeze Homemade Taco Ground Beef? Yes! Prepare the taco meat and cool completely. Place the meat in freezer bags and freeze. To reheat the leftovers, partially thaw and microwave until warm. Perfect for busy weeknights!
  • Serve the ground beef mixture in taco shells topped with your favorite taco toppings:
    • iceberg lettuce
    • cheddar cheese
    • sour cream
    • salsa
    • avocado
    • cilantro
    • pico de Gallo
    • green onions
  • Store leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Steph

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Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!

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skillet of taco meat with taco toppings

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