Delicious Sweet and Spicy Ground Beef Tacos with just a touch of sweet and a touch of heat! The best taco recipe that will please even the pickiest of eaters!
It’s Taco Tuesday! (Or not, depending on which day you are reading this recipe). But the fact that there is such a thing as “Taco Tuesday” proves how much this Mexican staple has worked its way into American cuisine. Tacos are easy to make, and almost everyone likes them.
But let’s face it. Tacos can be a little BORING. Unless you do something fancy to the meat. I’m all about fancying things up here, so let’s do it!
Which Ground Beef is Best for Tacos?
I’ve seen 70-80% lean ground beef recommended for tacos. You don’t need the meat to hold together (like you would for meatballs or a meatloaf), so a higher fat beef is fine.
How Do You Strain Fat From Ground Beef?
I just found this nifty silicone strainer from Amazon. You clip it onto your pan, and it fits almost any size! Super cool, right? (If you click on the picture, it will take you to Amazon where you can learn more about it and order it if you wish. This is an affiliate link).
When you strain grease from meat, strain it into a can or glass or metal cup or bowl. Don’t strain it into your sink, as it will coat your pipes, and nobody wants that! Allow the grease to harden in the cup or bowl you’ve strained it into. Then you can either throw away the can, or scoop out the grease with a spoon and throw it in the trash.
I don’t have one of those fancy strainers yet, so I use folded napkins to get out the grease. I tip the pan with the hamburger meat so that the grease pools on one side. Then I use a wooden spoon to press the folded napkin in the grease to soak it up. I repeat this as many times as necessary to get out the majority of the grease.
What is the Best Ground Beef Taco Seasoning?
Well, that is debatable, and open to opinion. However, I think the spices for these Sweet and Spicy Tacos are an amazing flavor combination! And they definitely push your tacos into the “fancy” zone. (Is that even a thing? Fancy zone? Anyhoo….)
Here are the seasonings for these tacos:
- stewed tomatoes
- Worcestershire sauce
- chili powder
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- brown sugar
How to Make Ground Beef Tacos
All you have to do is cook up your ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. This recipe uses about two pounds of ground beef. Strain the beef when it has been cooked through, and then transfer it to a bowl while you mix up all the spices.
In the same pan where you cooked the beef, add the onion and garlic clove. If there is enough grease left over from the meat, you won’t need to add any. If the pan seems too dry, you can add a splash of olive oil. Once the onions are almost brown, add the tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. Then add the rest of the ingredients, along with the ground beef, and simmer for about ten minutes to allow all the wonderful flavors to infuse the meat.
How do You Get Your Taco Shells Not to Break?
Tacos are great, but they are a bit frustrating to eat, right? I discovered that if you pre-fill the shells with taco meat and let them sit for a few minutes, the meat will soften the bottom of the shell, and it won’t crack when you bite into it. Pre-filling the shells also makes it easier for everyone to make their tacos and reduces the amount of meat that gets dropped on the table (by kids and adults alike!)
I hope you’ll try this recipe and let me know how you like it!
This recipe adapted from Amazing Spicy Sweet Tacos with Lime Sour Cream from Mama Gourmand.
Delicious tacos with just a touch of sweet and a touch of heat! The best taco recipe that will please even the pickiest of eaters!
- 2 pounds ground beef, 70-80% lean
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14. oz.) can diced or stewed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Cook beef in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat until brown. Drain oil and then transfer the beef to another container.
Return the pan to the stove and add the diced onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until onions begin to brown. Add a little olive oil if needed.
Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic and simmer until slightly thickened, 8-10 minutes, breaking up any large chunks of tomato.
Add the rest of the seasonings, along with the cooked ground beef to the pan and simmer for about ten minutes.
Serve in taco shells or soft tacos with all your favorite fixings, like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, etc.
Be sure to scroll up and read the helpful hints for this recipe in the post!
Julie Evink says
I love an easy and delicious taco recipe with great seasonings!
Danielle Green says
Love the sweet and heat combination!
Tacos are a staple at our house!! Can’t wait to try your version!
kathieanne13 . says
I have always cooked hamburger in the microwave in a plastic “strainer” over another flat bowl. The grease ends up in the flat bowl at the bottom, It takes less less time than the process you describe and I think more of the grease ends up in the bottom bowl by my method. I always put the plastic strainer in the dishwasher to clean, after I remove the little bits of stuck on meat and grease so it’s a cinch to clean.
Melissa Howell says
Kathie, these are great ideas! Thank you for sharing!