Spicy Beef Tacos

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Spice up your taco night…

Sure you can reach for a packet of taco seasoning to prepare your ground beef for taco night, but why not dive into that spice rack and turn things up a notch instead? We amp up the spicy beef with cayenne pepper kick. That delicious taco earthiness is still there, too, with both chili powder and cumin delivering the flavors you expect. Your taco building station won’t know what hit it!

Note: If you want more heat….first, we’re with you. Second, increase the cayenne by 1/2 teaspoon increments, Don’t increase the amount of chili powder used (or reduce it proportionately). Chili powder contains many ingredients beyond chilies that add to the taco flavor, like garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. As a heat source, it’s diluted compared to cayenne and adding too much can over-spice the meat. 

Spicy Beef Tacos

4 from 7 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 to 10 tacos


For the spicy beef

For the taco assembly


Prepare the spicy beef

  • Cook the ground beef over medium heat. When nearing fully browned, add in the flour, garlic, chili powder, and cayenne pepper powder. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, until aromatic.
  • Add in the beef stock and increase the heat to bring the mix to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mix is thickened (approximately 20 minutes).
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the taco building station

  • Warm the tacos shells and place the Mexican style shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and sour cream out for self-service taco building.
  • Transfer the spicy beef into a serving bowl and place among the other ingredients.
  • Place additional chili powder in a small dish to allow for post-taco-build sprinkling for an extra burst of heat.
  • Build away!
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

See more of our spicy recipes…

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 20, 2021 to include new content.
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Tastes great, amazing recipe!