19 Best Mexican Ground Beef Recipes to Spice Up Dinner Tonight

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Chelsea's Messy Apron

When I embarked on a healthier eating plan last year, many of my go-to dishes made use of Mexican ground beef. To be honest, I had veered away from beef for a while since my Italian mother used to make our tacos with marinara sauce when we were little (I kid you not. I still love you, Mom). Thankfully, I gave Mexican ground beef another try and learned I really liked it when the meat was prepared the traditional way.

The beef (if it’s lean), veggies, and spices are actually pretty good for you, and I’ve found my favorite extras to include are onions and orange bell peppers, which tend to be just a little bit sweeter than the regular green variety. What’s more, Mexican ground beef is such a versatile dish—you can eat it in lettuce wraps (my “better-for-me” go-to), puffy corn taco shells, burrito style, on top of a salad, or atop nachos on a splurge night.

Below, find 19 of our favorite Mexican ground beef-centric recipes for extra busy weeknights—or any day, really.

01 of 19

Puffy Tacos

Mexican Ground Beef Puffy Tacos

How Sweet Eats

This puffy taco recipe from How Sweet Eats calls for beef, sauteed onions and garlic, and a seasoning of chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and cayenne (for a kick). After taking a dip in hot oil, flour tortillas serve as the crunchy vehicle for the beef mixture, which is complemented by shredded cheese and pico de gallo.

Pro Tip: If, while sauteing, your beef looks a little too liquid-y, add some flour to thicken up the mixture.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes

02 of 19

Beef and Bean Burritos

Beef and Bean Burritos

Hola Jalapeño

So maybe my mother wasn’t so wrong when it came to using tomato sauce on her tacos. This beef and bean burrito recipe from Hola Jalapeño calls for adding tomato paste to the beef. Start by sauteing some onions for about five minutes, and then add the meat. Before you put it in the pan, sprinkle it with a bevy of spices including cumin, oregano, and chili powder to bring on the flavor.

Pro Tip: "The most essential step to a good burrito comes at the end, " says Kate Ramos, the recipe's author. "After you have rolled it up, the burrito goes back in the hot, dry frying pan to get a nice, crispy crust."

Total Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

03 of 19

Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos

Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos

Crunchy Ground Beef and Cheesy Tacos 

What we love about each of these recipes is that the spices are just a little bit different, but it changes up the ground beef's flavor so much. This crunchy ground beef and cheesy taco recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon incorporates tomato paste, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper into the ground beef. Once nestled in the fried taco shell, the beef is topped with a made-from-scratch cheddar cheese sauce.

Pro Tip: The seasoned beef should be cooked through and then kept simmering for about five minutes for maximum yumminess.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes

04 of 19

Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet

Mexican Beef and Rice Skillet

Creme de la Crumb

Keep Creme de la Crumb's Mexican beef and rice skillet recipe handy for those busy weeknights when you're short on time (and energy). This low-effort, one-pot meal combines ground beef, cooked white rice, beans, corn, salsa, and spices in a skillet, then everything is topped with a generous handful (or two) of shredded cheese. After baking in the oven for 15 minutes, the beef-and-rice meal can be served straight from the skillet.

Pro Tip: The finished product also tastes delicious in burritos.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

05 of 19

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican lasagna

Boulder Locavore

A tasty twist on the Italian favorite, this Mexican lasagna recipe by Boulder Locavore calls for alternating layers of lasagna noodles and ground beef that's been cooked in tomato sauce with black beans, Hatch chiles, and spices. Of course, cheese comes into play here, too—the recipe gets its creaminess from ricotta and a Mexican shredded cheese blend.

Pro Tip: Canned green chiles can be used if the Hatch variety isn't available.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

06 of 19

Taco Meatloaf

Mexican ground beef taco meatloaf

Boulder Locavores

Not only does Boulder Locavore's Mexican meatloaf recipe reinvent an old-school dinnertime staple, it comes with the added perk of yielding two loaves, so you can stick one in the freezer for a later date—assuming your crew won't gobble up both loaves, of course. After all, who can resist Mexican-spiced ground beef that's been baked with peppers, tomatoes, and chorizo and blanketed by melted cheddar cheese?

Pro Tip: Be sure to drain the crushed tomatoes before adding them into the mix; otherwise, you might end up with liquid-y loaves.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

07 of 19

Beef Enchilada Soup

Mexican Ground Beef Enchilada Soup

Lisa's Dinnertime Dish

Presented by Lisa's Dinnertime Dish, this beef enchilada soup recipe has all the flavor of enchiladas, without the time-consuming prepwork. In a single saucepan, ground beef and black beans commingle with tomato sauce, cilantro, chicken stock, peppers, and a medley of Mexican spices. After simmering for 15 minutes, the soup is ready to serve—but not before being crowned with creamy shredded cheese and crunchy Fritos.

Pro Tip: This soup only gets better with more cargo, so don't hesitate to top your bowls with sour cream and avocados, too.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes

08 of 19

Ground Beef Enchiladas With Lime Jicama Slaw

Ground Beef Enchiladas With Lime Jicama Slaw

Isabel Eats

The not-so-secret ingredient in Isabel Eats's beef enchiladas? Jimaca. Cut into matchstick-like slices, the root vegetable is combined with shredded cabbage, toasted pepitas, cilantro, and a zesty lime dressing, then spooned over top of cheesy beef enchiladas. The crunchy slaw is a delicious contrast to the soft bite of the enchiladas.

Pro Tip: "To make this recipe gluten free, use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas," suggests Isabel, the recipe's author.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 60 minutes

09 of 19

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

Chelsea's Messy Apron

In this recipe for stuffed bell peppers by Chelsea's Messy Apron, roasted bell peppers serve as edible bowls holding a hunger-satiating mixture of ground beef, rice, and spices. The peppers are joined by seasoned, sliced sweet potatoes on a baking sheet to maximize your time and effort—and minimize the time that would otherwise be spent cleaning multiple pans and dishes.

Pro Tip: Don't overcrowd the baking sheet with peppers and sweet potatoes, and make sure they don't overlap. Doing so will cause the ingredients to be roasted, not steamed.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes

10 of 19

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Cooking for Kiwi & Bean

 

Chili powder, cumin, cilantro, and black olives impart a south-of-the-border flair to Kiwi and Bean's recipe for Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie. The aforementioned ingredients join savory ground beef and a medley of veggies underneath a layer of mashed sweet potatoes that's been sprinkled with grated cheese and broiled until golden brown.

Pro Tip: The shepherd's pie can be made ahead, but note that you'll need to increase the cooking time if you'll be baking it from a chilled state.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 1 hour

11 of 19

Mexican Pizza

Mexican Ground Beef Pizza

Tastes Better From Scratch

Offered by Tastes Better From Scratch, this copycat recipe for Taco Bell Mexican pizzas promises to be a healthier alternative to the drive-thru favorite. Corn tortillas alternate with layers of refried beans, seasoned ground beef, enchilada sauce, and cheese to create a personal-sized pizza that just begs to be topped with chopped tomatoes, black olives, sour cream, guacamole, or any combo of the above.

Pro Tip: "You can reheat [the pizzas] in the oven, in a skillet on the stove, or in the microwave," notes Lauren Allen, the recipe's author.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 40 minutes

12 of 19

Mexican Cornbread Casserole Taco Pie

Mexican Cornbread Casserole Taco Pie

Low Carb Maven

Only 45 minutes of prep and cook time stand between you and Low Carb Maven's Mexican cornbread casserole taco pie. Cooked and served straight from the skillet, the quick and easy recipe starts by spreading cornbread batter on the bottom and sides of a cast-iron pan. A mixture of seasoned ground beef and cheddar cheese is layered over top of the batter before the skillet is baked for 35–40 minutes.

Pro Tip: To serve, slice the pie into wedges and garnish with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, tomatoes, cilantro, black olives, or any combo of the above.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes

13 of 19

Tater Taco Casserole

Mexican Ground Beef Tater Taco Casserole

The Girl Who Ate Everything

 

Sure to be a hit with even the pickiest palates, this tater tot casserole by The Girl Who Ate Everything offers an irresistible array of flavors and textures—think crunchy tater tots, savory ground beef, creamy melted cheese, and spicy green chiles—all nestled together in a single baking dish. Dollops of sour cream and a sprinkling of diced tomatoes provide the finishing touch.

Pro Tip: For extra-crispy tater tots, bake them for 10 minutes before adding them to the casserole.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes

14 of 19

Beef Chimichangas

Mexican Ground Beef Chimichangas

Midwest Foodie

 

This beef chimichanga recipe by Midwest Foodie Blog skips the deep fryer in favor of the oven, thereby sparing you some calories (and time spent cleaning up oil splatters). Ground beef is sauteed with corn, beans, chiles, and spices, then is spooned onto the center of a flour tortilla. Shredded cheese joins the beef mixture before the tortilla is folded up, burrito style, and placed on a baking sheet. Repeat the process several more times, bake the chimichangas until crispy, then serve with your go-to Mexican accompaniments.

Pro Tip: Shredded chicken or ground turkey can be used in place of the beef.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 35 minutes

15 of 19

Healthy Burrito Bowls

Mexican Ground Beef Burrito Bowl

My Sugar Free Kitchen

The best part about this healthy burrito bowl recipe by My Sugar Free Kitchen? The dish is even better the next day (bye-bye, sad workweek lunches). What's more, the bowls are full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, so you'll feel fuller longer. The bowls taste great, too, thanks to the recipe's yummy combination of Taco sauce-spiked ground beef, brown rice, and burrito-style veggies.

Pro Tip: To make this dish vegetarian, use cauliflower florets in lieu of beef.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

16 of 19

Beefy Mexican Rice Soup

Beefy Mexican Rice Soup

Tastes of Lizzy T 

A quick and satisfying dish for game day, busy weeknights, and occasions in between, this recipe for beefy Mexican rice soup by Tastes of Lizzy T relies on homemade taco seasoning for a spicy kick. The seasoning is combined with browned ground beef, onion, and garlic in a Dutch oven, then beef stock, rice, corn, black beans, tomato puree, and a few other ingredients join the party to simmer for 30 minutes. Serve this soup with a flourish of sour cream and shredded cheese.

Pro Tip: The soup can be stored in the freezer for up to eight weeks.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 60 minutes

17 of 19

Mexican Burgers

Mexican Burgers

The Lean Green Bean

Your basic burger gets a major upgrade with The Lean Green Bean's recipe for Mexican burgers. Here, taco seasoning is incorporated into the ground beef, while freshly made guacamole and corn salsa stand in for the usual toppings. The patty is completed by a slice of spicy pepper jack cheese before being sandwiched between a sesame seed bun.

Pro Tip: Best prepared on the grill, these burgers are perfect for summer cookouts.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 20 minutes

18 of 19

Ground Beef Flautas

Mexican Ground Beef Flautas

Midwest Foodie

Midwest Foodie Blog's ground beef flautas recipe employs the technique of "shallow frying" to deliver a crispy, crunchy flauta that's packed full of melted cheese and spicy ground beef. Making a good thing even better, the flautas are finished by a creamy cilantro-avocado sauce and some crumbled queso fresco.

Pro Tip: To prevent the flautas from unraveling, secure them with toothpicks before frying.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

19 of 19

Mexican Picadillo

Mexican Ground Beef Picadillo

Isabel Eats

This versatile recipe for Mexican picadillo by Isabel Eats can serve as the basis for tacos, gorditas, deconstructed burritos, a rice bowl...The possibilities are endless. A medley of Mexican-spiced ground beef, potatoes, carrots, and peas is simmered in a jalapeno-studded tomato sauce until the veggies are soft and tender. Serve the picadillo with the starch of your choice, or keep things lower carb by spooning it atop a pile of cilantro-lime cauliflower rice.

Pro Tip: Because the spice level of jalapenos can vary from pepper to pepper, be sure to add the pepper in increments, taste-testing as you go.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes

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