September 18, 2018
Some things never go out of style, and these Classic All American Beef Tacos are on that list!
Perfectly seasoned taco meat, topped with shredded lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream, all in a crunchy tortilla shell… so good!
What is an American Style Taco?
American Style tacos are typically crispy taco shells filled with ground beef, cheese, lettuce, and salsa. Mexican and American cuisines have been connected for a long time, with tacos taking center stage.
American-style tacos result from this exchange, adapting ingredients to what was easier to find in the US and for American preferences: the crispy fried taco shell, also known as a “hard taco shell.”
What about hard taco shells? There are many versions and controversies around who created them, but one thing is certain: these crunchy taco shells are also a classic and delicious ingredient of American-style tacos!
While traditional Mexican tacos have marinated meat in soft tortillas, nowadays, we can take the best of both tacos styles and get as creative as we want to make a tasty dinner everyone loves!
Classic American Taco Ingredients
American tacos always come to the rescue on weeknight meals since they are made with basic staples and can always be adapted to what you have on hand.
Here’s what you need:
- Ground beef: I use beef to stick to the traditional recipe, but ground chicken or turkey also works!
- Taco Seasoning: adds a smoky, rich flavor that makes these tacos super tasty.
- Crunchy corn taco shells: my kids say they’re not authentic American-style tacos without hard shells!
- Shredded cheese: usually Cheddar or your favorite cheese.
- Shredded lettuce: adds freshness and crunchiness.
- Restaurant Style Salsa: you can also use regular salsa if that’s what you have on hand, or make your own with this easy recipe.
- Guacamole: a soft, creamy topping no one can resist!
- Sour cream: for serving, and totally optional.
You’ll find a printable recipe below with the ingredient measurements.
How to Make American Tacos
If you need a Taco Tuesday recipe that comes together fast, this American Style taco recipe is exactly what you need.
Make these tacos in three easy steps:
- Cook the meat
In a large skillet, cook meat with seasoning over medium heat, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon into small pieces as it cooks. Once cooked, drain off the fat.
- Warm up your taco shells
I like to warm up my taco shells in the toaster oven or my oven at 325F for about 6 minutes while the beef cooks to crisp them up.
- Assemble how you like them
Fill each coop beef inside each tortilla, and top with cheese, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
First time making these? Watch how easy they are to make:
Do you heat up hard taco shells?
Heating up your hard taco shells is an important step in making tacos if you want to bite into a crispy, crunchy, and delicious taco. All you have to do is preheat the oven to 325F, place the taco shells on a baking sheet, and bake them for about 6 minutes until crispy. You can also do this step in a toaster oven.
Related: DIY Crunchy Taco Shells
Classic American Taco Toppings
What do I love the most about eating tacos? Toppings! Everyone at home can top their tacos with their favorite ingredients and enjoy them exactly how they like them.
Love tacos? Grab a copy!
The Taco Tuesday Cookbook
These recipes will make every taco night the most exciting meal of your week! Eat great tacos, at home.
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All American Beef Tacos Worth Making!
- In a large skillet, cook the meat with seasoning over medium-high heat while breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon into small pieces as it cooks. Once cooked, drain off the fat and return the meat to the skillet.
- Meanwhile, heat your crunchy taco shells according to the package directions or in the oven preheated to 325F for approx. 6 minutes, or in a toaster oven until golden and crispy.
- Assemble the tacos by filling each taco shell with meat, and top it with cheese, lettuce, and any other toppings such as salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.