Quick Beef Tacos

Quick Beef Tacos

Quick Beef Tacos

Tacos are such a brilliant quick family meal.

Cook some fish, beans, chicken or meat. Warm up some tortillas. Pile everything in the middle of the table and let everyone choose their own adventure.

I also love them for entertaining as well for the same reason.

This is my go-to for Friday night dinner because Fridays are a work day for me and so I don’t have much time to cook. Plus my Irishman is usually home late and the boys are tired from a big day at preschool / family daycare.

Yay for tacos!

enough for 2-3
takes: 20 minutes

500g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
6-8 tortillas
sour cream or smashed avocado, to serve
baby cos lettuce (romaine) leaves or coriander (cilantro), to serve

1. Heat a large frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a good glug of oil and cook beef, stirring to break it up until well browned.

2. Add tomato paste, smoked paprika and 4 tablespoons water. Simmer for a few minutes to bring all the flavours together. Taste and season generously with salt.

3. Warm tortillas according to the packet directions. I generally splash them with a little water and warm in a dry frying pan on a medium high heat for a minute or so on each side and then wrap them in foil and a clean tea towel to keep them warm.

4. Serve warm tortillas and cooked beef in the middle of the table with the lettuce and sour cream or avocado for everyone to help themselves.

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WINE MATCH: A cold Dos Eqquis beer or a glass of spicy Shiraz.

Variations & Substitutions

low carb – use these zucchini tortillas or cabbage leaves or lettuce leaves.

more flavour – soften an onion before adding the beef or add a few cloves of crushed garlic with the beef. And think about trying the smoky and hot option! And serve with lime wedges.

no smoked paprika – use ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper instead. Or your favourite taco seasoning spice blend.

smoky & hot! – replace paprika with 100g (3.5oz) chipotle chillies in adobo sauce. Or serve with your favourte smoky hot sauce.

different tomato – use a can of tomatoes or 1.5cups tomato passata and skip the water. You’ll need to simmer a little longer to reduce the sauce.

vegetarian – replace beef with cooked lentils, chickpeas or beans (I love black beans). Or use roast veggies instead like sweet potato or cauliflower.

more substantial (carb lovers) – more tortillas!

more substantial (low carb) – use more zucchini tortillas or live dangerously avocado AND the sour cream. Roast cashews or peanuts are good too.

gluten-free – use corn tortillas or my zucchini tortillas or cabbage leaves or lettuce leaves.

Low FODMAP – use corn tortillas and sour cream instead of the avocado.

different meat – fab with pork, chicken, turkey. For fish tacos I like this recipe better.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

minced (ground) beef – freeze it.

tomato paste / smoked paprika – keep them in the pantry.

tortillas – freeze them.

sour cream – keeps for weeks in the fridge.

avocado – use for another meal. Doesn’t freeze well.

baby cos lettuce (romaine) leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they won’t go slimy.

coriander – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook the beef as per the recipe but keep it separate from the tortillas / salad / sour cream / avocado. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. To serve, warm beef in a pan with a little oil. Then warm the tortillas and continue as per the recipe.

Quick Beef Tacos-2

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