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Under 30 Minutes

Lighter Beef Tacos

These soft tacos use lean ground sirloin and low-fat corn tortillas as sensible substitutions. Skip the sour cream and guacamole -- opt for a fiery salsa instead.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Lighter Beef Tacos

Source: Everyday Food, 2008


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • Store-bought salsa and shredded iceberg lettuce, for serving


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion and bell peppers; cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water; cook until water has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add garlic, tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef. Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season taco filling with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon filling onto tortillas, top with salsa and lettuce, and fold to enclose.

Cook's Note

For the best flavor, warm the tortillas briefly in the microwave before serving.

Reviews (18)

  • naomialice 8 Oct, 2011

    Need the nutrition infomation to aid me in my special diet ordered by doctors. Sounds good but not sure if its good for me.

  • vandygirlcr 25 Aug, 2011

    Considering the only thing with calories listed would be the oil, tomato paste, tortillas and beef, the number of total calories are dependent on what brand and cut you buy at the store. Just count up the calories! You could probably make these will less than 150 calories per taco depending on which leanness of sirloin you get. Read your labels and you'll know exactly what you're eating.

  • banders5 25 Aug, 2011

    I too am disappointed that nutrition info in not given. That is also the problem with your
    Every Day Food Mag and I am thinking of not renewing for that reason and I have every issue since # 1. Many of us need this information for various health reasons.

  • lscott 25 Aug, 2011

    Yes, left me thinking same. How light? What is nutritional analysis? How many calories can I save by using low fat tortillas and light sour cream. I LOVE my MS website but I probably won't try this because I don't have all the facts. How long will we have to ask for nutritional analysis before we get it?

  • cookinggirlvaper 23 Dec, 2010

    Would love to know the calories

  • samanthabrown73 23 Oct, 2010

    This worked out great! I used 90/10 ground beef so there was not much fat and grease. Took no time at all and had way more flavor than I expected.

  • mandcmom 13 Aug, 2010

    "Lighter Beef Tacos"? lighter than what? with a recipe that is billed as a healthier alternative, it would seem reasonable to expect nutrition information to be included, no?

  • akissel 12 Aug, 2010

    Can't live without the sour cream? Try 2% Greek yogurt instead. You won't know the difference. Way better than low/non-fat sour creams.

  • kbottani 1 Jun, 2010

    So much better than packaged taco seasoning! I didn't mind the little bit of extra work... especially because I felt so great after eating them. I made mine with ground turkey but that's just a personal preference for me. I also heated my tortillas on the burner.

  • m1981b 7 Mar, 2010

    These were very easy and very delicious. I didn't feel at all that I was eating "diet" food and it was great to satisfy my taco craving while trying to lose weight. I'd definitely make this again. It had great flavor.

  • m1981b 7 Mar, 2010

    These were very easy and very delicious. I didn't feel at all that I was eating "diet" food and it was great to satisfy my taco craving while trying to lose weight. I'd definitely make this again. It had great flavor.

  • 3busyboys 10 Oct, 2009

    When I was out of packaged taco seasoning, I turned to this recipe and used ground chicken and hard shells. They are delicious!

  • juleshow 10 Nov, 2008

    I made these with a few tweaks and the kids loved them! I finely chopped the veggies; I used 1/2 cup of water; I used a full pound of meat (lean ground); and I used 4 tablespoons of tomato paste. The whole thing was ready in 20 minutes (perfect for a quick and easy dinner after work/school). We used a chunky salsa, and the kids preferred taco shells instead of the tortillas. Delish!

  • tjander 17 Oct, 2008

    I made these tonight, before reading the recipe! To Marie Ross: I use pico de gallo instead of salsa. Very fresh! Quarter some cherry tomatoes, minced jalapeno, minced onion, minced cilantro

  • janfre 14 Oct, 2008

    It would be very helpful if the Nutritional Values were added to the recipes.

  • marie_ross 29 Sep, 2008

    i want to make the salsa myself too, can you give me a recipe for it? thanks

  • Finkster 23 Sep, 2008

    I was very impressed with these tacos. I followed the recipe exactly (and drained the meat) and I felt they came out very good. I used a medium salsa as a topping and it added just enough kick in flavor. I will make these again.

  • tifscatku 18 Sep, 2008

    I reduced the cup of water to a half cup, and increased the temperature. To get the water to be almost evaporated, took almost 10 minutes. Once completed, I didn't think the tacos had much flavor. I wouldn't make this again. Don't forget to drain the fat from the hamburger meat, it will make your stuffing to soggy.

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