Crispy & crunchy beef tacos, filled with plenty of cheese & topped with cool crisp lettuce. Served with a tangy & spicy crema!
Crispy beef and cheese tacos have become a weekly staple in our lunch routine because they are so quick to throw together, and so satisfying. I like to make a big batch of taco meat at the beginning of the week for meal prep. Then I can just quickly assemble a few tacos when the craving hits!
What you need to make Crispy Beef and Cheese tacos:
- sour cream
- hot sauce (my favorite for this recipe is Cholula)
- olive oil
- ground beef
- taco seasoning (store bought or homemade)
- corn tortillas
- jack cheese
How to make Crispy Beef and Cheese Tacos:
There are a few steps to these tacos, but they are all very simple!
The meat mixture-
The first step is to make the meat mixture. This is simply done by browning some ground beef mixed with taco seasoning. You can add more or less season to adjust for you spice preference. The taco seasoning I use (Trader Joe’s) is fairly spicy, so I don’t use as much as I would if it were a less spicy brand. The recipe makes 6 tacos, but the meat mixture is enough to make a large batch of tacos! I like to use the leftover meat mixture in taco bowls or quesadillas throughout the week. This recipe is also super quick to throw together if you already have taco meat in your fridge!
Prep the tortilla-
To prep the tortillas, heat them gently in a dry pan until warmed though and soft. Then top with a small handful of cheese and let it melt.
Add the meat and fold-
Once the cheese has melted, add some of the meat mixture to half of the tortilla and fold in half to create a taco. The melted cheese will help to seal the taco shut.
Once I have all of my tacos prepped, I lay them on a sheet pan & add a little oil to my frying pan. Then I add the tacos back (a few at a time so they have room) to the pan. I let them fry on each side for a few minutes, until they are crispy & crunchy.
Time to serve-
Once all the tacos have been fried, I stuff them with shredded lettuce and top with the lime crema. You want to serve these piping hot so the cheese is extra melty and the tacos are extra crunchy. Enjoy!
Serving a Crowd:
These tacos are great for serving up as an appetizer, at a party, or on game day. The ground beef mixture is enough to make a big batch of tacos! You can read down below for how to prep these tacos ahead of time! I also love to make a toppings bar with extra goodies so my friends can dress up their tacos exactly how they like. It’s a fun and easy way to entertain, deliciously.
FAQs about Crispy Beef and Cheese Tacos
To make these tacos ahead of time you have two options. The first is to assemble the tacos & refrigerate them before the second frying. Then fry them right before serving. The second option is to fry the tacos and then keep them warm in a 250° oven until serving. Wait to add the lettuce and crema until just before serving. I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in the oven longer than 45 minutes-1 hour.
Absolutely! Replace the ground beef with refried beans seasoned with taco seasoning. They will be just as delicious!
Crispy Beef and Cheese Tacos
- ⅓ cup Sour Cream
- 2 tablespoons Hot Sauce
- ½ Lime juiced
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil + 1 tablespoon
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 6 tablespoons Taco Seasoning season to your desired spice level
- 6 Corn Tortillas
- ¾ cup Jack Cheese shredded
- 2 cups Romain Lettuce thinly sliced
- Cilantro for serving
- In a small bowl combine sour cream, hot sauce & lime juice. Stir until fully combined & set in the fridge to chill while you make the tacos.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef in 2 teaspoons olive oil, breaking it up as it cooks. When the beef is almost cooked through, add taco seasoning & stir to combine.
- Set the cooked ground beef aside in a bowl & wipe out the pan.
- Return the pan to the heat & begin toasting the tortillas on the first side. The larger the pan, the more tortillas you can do at once. I can usually only fit 2 at a time. Heat the tortilla on the first side for 1-2 minutes, until it just barely begins to brown.
- Flip the tortilla & cover with cheese. Top half of the tortilla with ground beef & let it cook for a minute until the cheese begins to melt.
- Once the cheese has begun melting, flip the side of the tortilla with no beef, over the side with the beef. Forming a taco.
- Remove the taco from the pan & continue with remaining tortillas.
- Once all tacos are formed, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat & fry the tacos on both sides, until they are crispy, about 4 minutes.
- Once tacos are fried, fill them with lettuce & serve with crema.