Inauthentic (But Still Delicious) Beef Street Tacos

Tortilla with meat and various toppings
It may not be an authentic street taco, but boy is it delicious!
Tortilla with meat and various toppings

Inauthentic Beef Street Tacos

These street tacos may lack authenticity but they definitely have great flavor! Perfect for when you don't have time for a marinade.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican


  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or ¾ teaspoon table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound beef (I used carne picada, you can also use ground beef or round steak cut into small pieces)
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil or olive oil (for frying the beef)
  • Flour tortillas, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, sour cream, lime wedges (for serving)


  • Mix together all spices in a small bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet (cast iron would be great if you have it) over medium high heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add the beef and sprinkle the spice mix evenly over the meat. Sauté until cooked through.
  • Serve over tortillas with whatever toppings you like – I highly recommend a good squeeze of lime juice!


Carne picada is roughly chopped beef, which works very well for this recipe. If you can’t find it, you can substitute ground beef, or roughly chop your own – I would recommend round steak or sirloin steak if you decide to go that route.
Keyword easy beef recipe, taco tuesday, weeknight dinner

Obligatory Fictional Backstory

Back in the ’90s I was working as a chef at a resort in Cabo. The guests kept asking for “authentic” street tacos, and the owner of the resort, being the cheapskate he was, did not want to pay the locals for the rights to their recipes so he tasked me with coming up with a recipe of my own.

Well, I had eaten many a street taco, but truth be told I have a hard time picking out individual flavors in a finished dish. After some experimentation, I came up with a recipe that was pretty darn tasty but not quite the “authentic” street taco flavor.

Luckily, the guests seemed to like my beef street tacos, so my boss was happy. Didn’t give me a raise, of course….as I mentioned, he was a cheapskate.

The resort in question has since closed so I am now able to share my inauthentic beef street tacos recipe with you all! I hope you enjoy!

Real Talk

Well, we’re moved! I made sure the kitchen got unpacked first so I could get right back to cooking. There was a bit of a panic moment where I couldn’t find my gigantic Costco-container of garlic powder, and this recipe went missing, but thankfully I found them both!!!

I am back to an electric stove after using gas for a while so that will be an adjustment…though the electric oven tends to cook more evenly, so it evens out.

The new place has a slightly smaller kitchen but we picked up a sweet little island from IKEA to stash all of my pots and pans, plus get a bit more prep area. I’m kind of in love with it – I’ve never had a kitchen island before!

island Inauthentic (But Still Delicious) Beef Street Tacos

Do you have an island? What would be in your dream kitchen?

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