Ancho Chile Ground Beef Tacos

A kicked up ground beef taco recipe that will knock your socks off!. These ancho chili tacos will make you toss those premade seasoning packets for good! Jump to Recipe


I have a soft spot for a delicious ground beef taco. While they are not authentic and you would be hard pressed to find anything resembling this taco in Mexico, they can be so comforting and delicious. I like to pile mine high with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, cilantro, shredded cheese, and salsa. Served up with salad, soft taco shells, these crispy baked shells, or on baked nachos – it makes a satisfying and super quick meal. Tacos remind me of summer days as a child, this always seemed to be a go-to meal for my mom when we would have tons of friends over. Now I’m realizing that is probably because they are super affordable, quick, and tasty!

This ground beef taco recipe is made with a delicious blend of spices including ancho chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic and onion powder, coriander, salt, and pepper. When you are ready to make this super tasty beef taco recipe measure all the seasonings as listed in the ingredients section, brown the ground beef, or turkey if you are going light, drain the fat, add any other ingredients you would like such as peppers or onions, then mix the water and cornstarch together and add to your pan of meat, toss in the seasonings and allow to simmer until the sauce is thickened. You are now ready to enjoy your ancho chili tacos!

You may be asking; what are ancho chiles and what is ancho chile powder? Ancho chiles are dried ripe poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are harvested before they are ripe, but when allowed to ripen they produce a sweet taste that pairs well with their naturally mild heat. Ancho chiles are then processed in a spice grinder or food processor to create ancho chile powder. This process gives them the spice texture that blends well with other seasonings and in recipes like tacos! These peppers are used in many Mexican and Southeastern American dishes.

Authentic beef taco recipes generally include steak that has been cut up rather the tex-mex version with ground bee. While authentic is great there is something comforting about enjoying a good Tex Mex ground beef taco. Tacos are a simple way to get in great protein, grains, vegetables, and dairy. They provide a well rounded meal and won’t drain your budget or your time. Plan on making these ancho chile tacos on your next game night or gathering! You will impress everyone with your homemade spice blend. Be a great host and provide tons of topping options. Get creative and go beyond the traditional lettuce and sour cream. Some fun ideas are listed in the “change it up” section.

You are now ready to tackle a new taco recipe that will surely revolutionize “Taco-Tuesday” in your home. This is a meal that will disappear in five minutes after making it. You and your company will want to enjoy and savor every bite. Be sure to make plenty for everyone because you will be serving seconds. And if you have leftovers, the great thing about tacos is that they seem to taste even better reheated when the spices have had time to really soak in.

Make it Light:

Tacos are already a fairly light meal option, but you can always cut the calories or carbs to make them even better and not lose any of the flavors you love!

  • Exchange ground beef for ground turkey or chicken
  • Use lean ground beef, at least 95% lean
  • Eat as a topping on a salad rather than a taco or nachos

Change it Up:

  • Toss in extra veggies in the final stage of the process. Great additions include colorful peppers, onions, mushrooms, beans, zucchini, or tomatoes
  • Eat as a topping on salad or nachos
  • Serve as a dip at your next party by adding in some cream cheese
  • Serve with fun topping options like guacamole, green salsa, red cabbage, pickled onions, avocado, jalapenos, queso fresco, sautéed sweet potatoes, and whatever else you can think of!

Plan Ahead:

You know taco night is coming, probably on a Tuesday, because that’s when tacos should be eaten. So go ahead and get some things prepped so you can enjoy the dinner and your guests or family.

  • Pre-measure the spices. Consider doubling or tripling the spice recipe and storing it in convenient spice containers.
  • Go ahead and brown/drain the meat. When you are ready to make the whole meal and serve you can heat the meat back up on the eye and begin the recipe with adding the water and cornstarch.
  • Cut up and portion out any toppings you are planning to serve. You may not want to cut the avocado too early to prevent browning.
The Recipe
Ancho Chile Ground Beef Tacos

Ancho Chile Ground Beef Tacos

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  • 1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. 95% lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 8 U corn tortillas (soft or crispy)
  • 1 cup Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 U tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

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Mix together the ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, salt, and pepper. This makes a delicious homemade taco seasoning.


Brown the beef (or turkey) in a skillet until cooked through. Drain any excess fat. If you like you could add vegetables during this step you could – diced onions, red and yellow peppers, canned and drained diced tomatoes, or diced zucchini would be delicious. Beans are also a delicious addition.


Whisk together the water and cornstarch. Add to the pan along with the taco seasoning and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes until sauce thickens.


Serve in the corn tortillas with lettuce, tomato, and cheese.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2 tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 406
Calories from Fat 109
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 9g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 102mg
Sodium 644mg
Total Carbohydrate 28g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Sugars 2g
Protein 36g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


For lower carb use arrowroot in place of the cornstarch.
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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Ancho Chile Ground Beef Tacos
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Noreen rundle Rundle
May 6, 2020 - 04:37
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My husband and I enjoyed this taco so much!
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