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Easy Keto Tacos Recipe

Taco Tuesday just got even better with these amazing Keto Tacos. These crispy cheese shells combined with deliciously seasoned beef make the perfect low carb tacos that your family will be asking for every week.

delicious and crispy low carb cheese taco

Most of us have grown up eating beef tacos in either a soft flour tortilla or in a crispy shell. If you were like me, it was always ground beef mixed with a packet of store-bought taco seasoning. But as my brother and I got older my mom really stepped it up. She no longer used ground beef but used steak instead, and she fried the corn shells. They were amazing. 

That being said, since we’ve been eating low carb lately and those delicious tacos haven’t been something that we could enjoy, until now that is. 

We made our own low carb cheese taco shells out of cheddar cheese, they give you that perfect crunch that you have missed with tortilla shells, plus our homemade keto taco seasoning really brings this whole recipe together. 

Oh and I upgraded to steak instead of traditional ground beef. You can use either one you want, but in my opinion, it’s so much better. I mean, who says no to steak?! Certainly not anyone in my household. 

This recipe will give you the base you need to make any kind of tacos you want and keep them Keto-friendly.

What are Tacos?

Low Carb Tacos recipe

A lot of people think that they have had traditional Mexican tacos, but most likely they were Tex-Mex tacos. You can find authentic Mexican tacos in the U.S. but that will depend on where you live so they may be harder to find. 

Authentic Mexican tacos are made using soft corn tortillas, not flour tortillas. The meat is usually grilled or fried, and they are topped with fresh cilantro and diced white onion. 

Are you asking yourself “where is the cheese, lettuce, tomato, and salsa??” Those are all ingredients found in American tacos. True authentic Mexican tacos are much simpler. 

No matter how you look at it, any type of tacos are just plain yummy and pretty much anyone I have ever met loves some type of taco!

What Makes a Good Taco?

In my opinion, a good taco is made with 3 key factors:

  1. Good crunchy taco shell
  2. Well seasoned meat – preferable steak, but ground beef is good too
  3. Toppings – cheese, onions, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole….etc

Are Tacos Low Carb/Keto-Friendly?

Can I eat tacos while on a keto diet? That’s a tricky question…the answer depends on what kind of tacos we are talking about. 

If you are talking about normal tacos that you have been used to then I’d recommend not eating them while on a keto or low carb diet. 1 hard shell or soft shell beef taco can range anywhere from 12-20 net carbs. That’s pretty high, especially since we all know none of us are going to eat just one taco. 

That being said, this keto taco recipe is such a great replacement to regular tacos. Using our keto cheese taco shells makes it so you won’t miss corn or flour shells anymore. 

For one of our keto tacos, they are under 2 NET Carbs each1.6 NET Carbs to be exact! That means you can have way more than just 1 taco!

What Ingredients are in Low Carb Tacos?

Keto Taco Ingredients on table meat lettuce and tomatoes

Cheese Taco Shell  – 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese makes 8 taco shells. Cheddar cheese works the best here but a combo of Mexican cheese also works.

Steak Or Ground Beef – 1lb of cubed steak fills about 8 taco shells. If you prefer ground beef you can use that instead. If you choose to use ground beef 1lb should be plenty.  

Taco Seasoning – Homemade low carb taco seasoning is the best. It has fewer carbs than in the store-bought packets and doesn’t contain the added fillers.

What is Taco Meat Made out of?

Taco meat is going to be your choice of protein. Most commonly used proteins are ground beef, steak, chicken, shredded pork, shrimp, and even fish. The world is your oyster when it comes to choosing your tacos. 

We prefer steak the most, but ground beef is also great and none of them are bad options.

Best Keto Taco Seasoning

Low Carb Taco Seasoning Recipe

What is the best taco seasoning to use?? It’s definitely going to be our homemade Keto taco seasoning. 

Why is homemade taco seasoning better than a store-bought packet? There are many different reasons and benefits to making your own taco seasoning. 

The first reason is that you know exactly what is in it. Store-bought packets contain so many different fillers and unhealthy ingredients. A lot of people don’t know that pre-packaged spices aren’t just spices but have other things in them including gluten in some. 

Another reason to stick with homemade keto taco seasoning is that one packet of store-bought has 12 NET Carbs…that’s just so crazy. 

Now compare that to our keto taco seasoning which has only 3.6 net carbs for the same amount. Quite a difference right?   

For more detailed information please check out our recipe for Homemade Keto Taco Seasoning.

Ground Beef vs Beef Taco Meat

I feel like most people are just used to using ground beef for their tacos. Ground beef is cheaper which is nice when you are feeding a large family, especially when your kids eat 4 or more tacos in one sitting. 

But if you haven’t tried using cubed steak in your tacos then I highly suggest it. The steak gets so tender and flavorful, and just all-around delicious.

Best Steak for Taco Meat

preparing Keto Taco meat in a pan

There isn’t a need to buy expensive cuts of steak for your tacos, save your money and buy a good filet mignon for your date night at home. 

Something to keep in mind when using steak is to try and wait until it is on sale, you’ll get more bang for your buck. Here are a few cuts of steak that I found worked well both taste and price:

  • Chuck Eye – Also known as the “poor man’s rib-eye,” this cut of steak comes from the upper shoulder of the cow. It’s not quite as tender as a rib-eye but it will still give you some fat which makes the meat flavorful and tender. This is also a pretty inexpensive steak choice.
  • Hanger Steak – Also known as the butcher’s steak, and is prized for its flavor. This cut is taken from the upper belly of the cow. Hanger steak is best marinated or grilled, it’s perfect for steak tacos. 
  • Sirloin – This can be a bit tougher cut of meat depending on which cut of sirloin you get. This is run pricey, so make sure to get it on sale. 

Best Ground Beef for Taco Meat

So normally I will use 80% lean ground beef for any recipe requiring ground beef. As you grow up you notice that there are things you do because that’s the way your mom has done it. This is one of those cases. She always bought 80% lean beef because it’s more tender and flavorful. 

The leaner you go the dryer your meat will be. When making hamburgers that’s definitely something you don’t want dry. 

But with these tacos, I have used 85% lean ground beef and 90% lean ground beef when that’s all the grocery store has. In those cases, both of these options worked just fine. When you add taco seasoning to the meat and fully cook it, it still tastes delicious. 

At the end of the day, I will still always look for 80% lean ground beef, but 85% and 90% will work just fine as well.

How Much Taco Meat Per Person?

It takes about 2 ounces of taco meat to fill each taco shell, so for 1 pound of taco meat that will give you enough meat for 8 tacos. 

Here is a little chart to help you based on each person eating 2 tacos: 

  • 3-4 people: 1 lb steak or ground beef
  • 6-8 people: 2 lb steak or ground beef 

In my house it’s safer to make 2 lbs out of meat cause my husband alone can eat at least 4 tacos in one sitting.

How to Make Keto Tacos from Scratch

Easy Keto Taco recipe

Ok so now that you have your low carb taco shells made, let’s move on to the rest of the instructions for this low carb taco recipe.

It takes 3 easy steps to make low carb tacos:

  1. Make your keto-friendly taco shell.
  2. Pick your protein – Some good options are steak, ground beef, chicken, shrimp, shredded pork, and fish. Cook your protein with some homemade taco seasoning. 
  3. Fill up on your toppings! 

Cheese Taco Shell

Cheddar Cheese Taco Shells

Obviously, in order to make tacos, we need the taco shells.  And on a low carb diet, these cheddar cheese shells are perfect.

They are great because they are Keto-friendly with only 0.9 NET Carbs per shell!

They are also incredibly easy with cheddar cheese being the only ingredient.  If you cook them right, they come out nice and crispy too!

For detailed instructions check out our Keto Cheese Taco Shell Recipe.  Once you have your shells you can move on to the meat preparation.

How to Make Taco Meat

Taco Meat with Keto Taco Seasoning
  1. Making your taco meat is pretty easy. Place the steak on a cutting board and cut into small bite-sized pieces using your favorite knife. I like to use a large chef’s knife or another one with a smooth blade. 
  2. Add the steak to a frying pan or cast iron pan and turn onto medium-high heat.
  3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the steak and then add 2 tablespoons of low carb taco seasoning. Stir well. 
  4. Cook for 5-10 minutes, while continuing to stir the meat so it doesn’t burn.

Do You Add Water to Taco Meat?

I don’t find it necessary to add water to my taco meat, especially when using steak. 

When using ground beef some people add a little bit of water to the meat, but I don’t like it watery. 

How Long Should I Cook Taco Meat?

The great thing about using steak or any beef for that matter is that it can be pink and it’s still cooked. I found that cooking my cubed steak takes about 5-10 minutes to reach medium to medium-well temperature.

How Do You Put Together a Taco?

Keto Tacos on a plate with other ingredients

Now it’s time to assemble your taco.

Take your keto taco shell and put about 2 oz of taco meat inside the shell. You don’t really have to measure it, you can eyeball it. You’ll see that you can’t really fit a ton of meat, especially if you want to add your toppings. 

Speaking of toppings…this is now where you add all your yummy toppings. My go-to’s are more shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onion, and fresh cilantro. But feel free to add your favorites. Avocado is a great one if you are on a Keto diet because it adds lots of healthy fats.

Best Tips for Low Carb Tacos 

Here are some tips for making these low carb tacos even better: 

  • Use homemade low carb taco seasoning, it makes a world of difference in flavor and in carbs.
  • Doubling the steak recipe is always a good idea, having leftovers makes a good lunch the next day. 
  • Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the steak.
  • Chuck eye steak, or hanger steak are my two favorite cuts of beef for these tacos. Both for taste and price.
  • Try to buy your steak when it goes on sale, and freeze it until ready to cook. 
  • Your meat can be cooked in either a crockpot or even an Instant pot but is easier cooking it in a pan on the stove. 

Making this Recipe Easier

If you are in a hurry and need to save some time here are a few ways that can help: 

  • Use store-bought pre-shredded cheese for the taco shells.
  • Use store-bought bags of shredded lettuce
  • Rather than making your own homemade salsa, you can buy fresh or jarred salsa from the grocery store.
  • Instead of making cheese taco shells, you can use large-leafed lettuce instead. 

Adding More Flavor

If you want to add in some more flavor to your tacos then:

  • Saute ½-¾ cup chopped onion to the beef mixture.
  • To make it spicier add chipotle pepper powder, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Fresh garlic can add some nice flavor as well.

Favorite Taco Toppings

Easy Low Carb Tacos

Ooooh…..Toppings!!! This is where you can get creative based on your own taste buds. That’s why tacos are so versatile and pretty much everyone loves them cause you can put whatever you like on them. Here are some ideas for you: 

  • Shredded Cheese – Cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, Mexican
  • Tomatoes – Chopped or diced works well
  • Onion – I prefer red onion, but white onions are good too
  • Fresh Cilantro – One of my absolute favorites
  • Sour Cream – A dollop of Daisy goes perfect with tacos, and pretty much all Mexican food 
  • Salsa – Homemade is always the best 
  • Guacamole – This is a go-to for many of you
  • Avocado – Slice or chop fresh chunks of avocado
  • Lettuce – Shredded or finely chopped works the best 
  • Mango Salsa – This gives a nice little sweetness to your tacos…it’s delicious, trust me

Can I Make Taco Meat in a Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, etc?

Making taco meat in a slow cooker or instant pot is an option. But to be completely honest, cooking your meat in a cast iron pot or frying pan is way faster and just super easy. But if you want to try these alternative ways of cooking then here is how you do it:

Crockpot – Place the ground beef or cubed steak into the slow cooker. Add the taco seasoning and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or cook on high for 3 hours. To prevent your meat from drying out you can add a few tablespoons of water, or about 1 cup of fresh salsa while it cooks.

Instant Pot – Add the ground beef or cubed steak to the instant pot. Press “saute” and cook until mostly browned up. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure. Do a quick pressure release, but use a towel or oven mitt otherwise you will get burned. Open the lid, and if there is any liquid then press the “saute” button to boil if off. 

Different Variations of Tacos

Keto Tacos with cheese shell on a plate

The nice thing about tacos is that they can be altered based on what you like or dislike. I’m gonna choose steak tacos every single time, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Below are a few ideas for some variations for your tacos.

  • Ground Beef – Most common for tacos and super easy.
  • Fish Tacos – Mahi Mahi, Grouper, Flounder, Cod, and Halibut are all good choices for making fish tacos. Typically most people like to use a white mild fish like these. 
  • Pork – A lot of people love to use shredded pork, like what you would use in pork carnitas.
  • Chicken – Shredded or cubed chicken also make great tacos. Cook the meat in taco seasoning and fill the taco shell.
  • Taco Cups – Instead of making taco shells, you can make small taco cups or even large taco bowls. 

Other Diets This Recipe is Good For

These keto tacos are made with a cheddar cheese shell so, unfortunately, they are not dairy-free. But on the plus side, they are 100% gluten-free. The shells do not contain any gluten seeing that they are only made from cheese, and our homemade taco seasoning is also gluten-free, unlike most store-bought taco seasonings. 

What to Serve with Keto Tacos?

Dipping Keto Avocado Salsa

What are some things that I can serve with my keto tacos? Here are a few ideas: 

Can I Make Low Carb Tacos Ahead of Time?

5 Keto Tacos on a white plate with tomato and lettuce

Tacos really are the best when they are made fresh, but the prep work can be done ahead of time. That way you will have everything ready to go and you just need to assemble them. 

You can prep all of your toppings ahead of time and then cook your meat when you are ready to eat, or you can even cook the taco meat ahead of time and just reheat when you’re ready for dinner. 

You can make the shells earlier that same day, to cut down on time as well. Don’t make them the day before, otherwise they will lose their crispness and won’t be as fresh. 

Either way, doing at least some of your prep work ahead of time will make your life easier especially for weeknights or for your larger dinner parties. 

How to Store Tacos 

Assembled tacos aren’t the best reheated so we don’t recommend it. You can reassemble more tacos the next day with your leftovers. 

The meat, on the other hand, can be stored and used at a later time. Take any leftover taco meat and place it into a glass or plastic container with an airtight lid, and place in the fridge. The meat will last about 4 days or so. 

As for your toppings, what I usually do is place them all in separate little containers, or in Ziploc bags. Store them in the fridge to make more tacos the next day, or to throw them into a taco salad if you prefer. 

How to Reheat Taco Meat

There are 2 ways to reheat your taco meat:

  • Option 1: Place the meat in a microwave-safe bowl or container and heat for 60-90 seconds or until it’s fully heated through. 
  • Option 2: Put the meat in a frying pan and add just a splash of water to prevent your meat from frying out. Cook on medium heat until the desired temperature is reached. 

Can You Freeze Tacos?

Low Carb cheese Taco shell being held in the air

Freezing a whole put together taco isn’t the best idea. Our keto cheese taco shells do not freeze well at all. But that being said, you can freeze your taco meat.

After the meat is fully cooked, place it into an airtight container and place in the freezer. It should last 2-3 months. 

More Keto Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Mexican Recipes then try our:

They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next meal!

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Keto Tacos recipe

Easy Keto Tacos Recipe


  • Author: Stephanie Parlegreco
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes + 8 minutes for shells
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Tacos (1 Taco Per Serving) 1x
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Description

Taco Tuesday just got even better with these amazing Keto Tacos. These crispy cheese shells combined with deliciously seasoned beef make the perfect low carb tacos that your family will be asking for every week. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 keto cheese taco shells 
  • 1 lb steak
  • 2 tbsp keto taco seasoning

Instructions

Notes

1.6 NET CARBS PER TACO

THE NUTRITION FACTS DO NOT INCLUDE ANY TOPPINGS. 

Use homemade low carb taco seasoning, it makes a world of difference in flavor and in carbs.

Doubling the steak recipe is always a good idea, having leftovers makes a good lunch the next day. 

Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the steak.

Chuck eye steak, or hanger steak are my two favorite cuts of beef for these tacos. Both for taste and price.

Try to buy your steak when it goes on sale, and freeze it until ready to cook. 

Your meat can be cooked in either a crockpot or even an Instant pot but is easier cooking it in a pan on the stove. 

To save time, you can use store-bought shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, and even jarred salsa.

  • Category: Main Courses
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Keto Tacos, Low Carb Tacos, Keto Tacos Recipe, Low Carbs Tacos Recipe, How to make Keto Tacos, Best Keto Tacos, Easy Keto Tacos, Easy Low Carb Tacos, Best Low Carb Tacos, Keto Beef Tacos

Homemade Keto Taco Seasoning
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