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Soft Shell Tacos {Homemade Beef Tacos featured image

Soft Shell Tacos {Homemade Beef Tacos}

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Making Soft Shell Tacos from Scratch is easier than you think! And you can tailor the seasonings in these homemade beef tacos to your liking!

I don’t think I’ve used a packet of taco seasoning since I was a newlywed. There was a bad stroganoff incident back in the day, too! Homemade really does taste better and this taco recipe is one delicious example of how it’s not much more work to make tacos from scratch.

Overhead view of Soft Shell Tacos {Homemade Beef Tacos} on a platter next to toppings

How to make Simple Soft Shell Tacos

Decades ago, I worked as a nurse on the oncology ward of our university hospital. One of my co-workers, of Mexican descent, brought in some taco meat for one of our pitch-ins. She simply seasoned it with chili powder, cumin, oregano and some salt.

It didn’t have that Day-Glo coloring, an overload of preservatives or the weird thick sauce. This is basically a no-brainer recipe for Soft Shell Tacos.

Tweak it to your liking, then provide an array of your favorite toppings. We usually have tomatoes, lettuce and cheddar cheese. For company, I’d add avocados or guacamole, sour cream, diced onions and salsa. Cut back on the red pepper flakes if you’re feeding my husband. And provide some hard corn taco shells if you’re cooking for my dad.

Soft Shell Tacos {Homemade Beef Tacos on a white ceramic platter garnishes with lime wedges and cilantro

EASY Homemade Beef Tacos

These homemade beef tacos are only slightly more difficult than dumping that taco seasoning packet into some ground beef. And it still comes together in just minutes!

You need to chop an onion and bell pepper, plus mince some garlic. Also, there are 5 seasonings you’ll need to measure and dump. I know you can all do this!! And you’ll feel better about controlling what actually goes into your family’s meal.

Soft Shell Tacos {Homemade Beef Tacos} text and photo collage

More Taco Recipes You’ll Love:

Cinco de Mayo 

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5 to commemorate the Mexican win over the French in an 1862 battle. In the US, though, it began from a beer campaign in the late 1980’s and has spiraled into a Mexican food and drink extravaganza.

These soft shell tacos are the perfect, easy entree recipe for Cinco de Mayo, the day of the year Americans get to drink margaritas (Fresh Peach Margaritas,  Beer Margaritas  or Blood Orange Margaritas) and eat guacamole by the bowlful!

This Fiesta Corn Dip is a fan favorite. For side dishes, I am a huge lover of this Spicy Mexican Corn Salad. If you’re looking for a seafood option, how about these Spicy Shrimp Fajitas? And a Margarita Cheesecake or Flan is perfect for dessert!


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Soft Shell Beef Tacos | Easy as can be plus you can tailor the spice to your liking!

Soft Shell Tacos

Easy taco filling made with ground beef, onion, garlic, spices and more. So much better than a store bought packet!

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Entree, Beef
  • Method: Sauteing
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, American


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Scant 2 tablespoons chili powder (or more to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano (try Mexican oregano if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or seasoning salt (more or less to taste)
  • Flour tortillas
  • Toppings of your choice (diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, grated cheddar cheese, diced onions, avocados, sour cream, etc)


  1. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Saute onion, garlic and pepper till soft. Add ground beef and break apart and cook till browned.
  3. Drain any excess grease and add seasonings. Cook, taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Serve in flour or corn tortillas with toppings of your choice.


  • Calories: 346kcal
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 355mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Cholesterol: 81mg


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64 comments on “Soft Shell Tacos {Homemade Beef Tacos}”

  1. Love this! Homemade spice blends beat store-bought, any day!

  2. Those look so very good. I agree about the packaged store bought taco seasoning!! I either make my own too or now that I am selling Epicure I love to use theirs, so much healthier!!

  3. Liz,
    I love these. . I also have not used a taco seasoning packet in a longgg time! This looks fabulous! yum!

  4. I used to use those premade seasoning pouches all the time, before I knew better. Now, there is no excuse – you can make super tasty and healthy Mexican with just a few spices and fresh ingredients. Your tacos look delicious, Liz.

  5. I’m right there with you on the seasoning packets! I love making my own and controlling what goes into what I make. These look delicious! Awesome job.

  6. Lizzy,
    Love these tacos. You make everything look so delicious.

  7. So perfect for next taco Tuesday! I can’t wait!

  8. That spice combo!!! Love it! 

  9. My son would eat these every night for dinner if I let him! Perfect quick meal for nights we have to get the the ball park.

  10. Taco Tuesday is ON with these delicious tacos. Can’t wait. 

  11. I could eat Mexican food every day – love these tacos

  12. They look so good….and I love how easy they are!!

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