Shredded Beef Tacos: A Good Cheap Eat

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Shredded beef tacos are a deliciously simple way to make taco night terrific. The tender beef cooks in the slow cooker while you assemble fresh toppings.

If you’ve got a favorite Mexican food restaurant, chances are you’ve experienced great tacos. If your favorite Mexican food restaurant is one of the better ones, you know the delight that comes with biting into a taco made with tender shredded beef folded into a homemade corn tortilla. And you’ve probably paid a pretty penny for such deliciousness.

Believe it or not, you can make your own shredded beef tacos for a fraction of the price at home — and eat your fill.

Here’s what it costs me these days to make this recipe:

  • corn tortillas $.60/dozen, homemade
  • shredded beef $3.99/#
  • cheddar $1.50/8 oz.
  • lettuce $0.50
  • cilantro $0.25
  • tomatoes $0.25
  • salsa $0.50

TOTAL: $7.59 for one dozen hefty beef tacos; 63 cents each!

I’m pretty sure that a taco plate with beans and rice for ONE person costs about 7 or 8 bucks, so clearly making these babies at home is worth your while. Not only are they easy and cheap, but they are super duper delicious!

What ingredients do you need to make these shredded beef tacos?

  • Corn Tortillas – You can use storebought or go ahead and make your own corn tortillas
  • Shredded Beef Filling – This filling is made in your slow cooker so it’s easy to make!
  • Cheese – You can use cheddar, or jack cheese would also be great with these soft beef tacos. 
  • Toppings – For these tacos, we used lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and fresh salsa

Shredded Beef Tacos: ingredients

How to make these shredded beef tacos

If you are using homemade corn tortillas then you want to cook the tortillas close to serving time so that they are still warm.  If you are using commercial tortillas, wrap them in foil packets, about four per packet and heat in a warm oven.

And then assemble the shredded beef, cheese, and other ingredients in small bowls to allow your diners to assemble their own tacos.

Shredded Beef Tacos being assembled

What kind of meat is shredded beef?

For the shredded beef filling, you can use a chuck roast or chuck steak.

Can I freeze this filling?

Yes you absolutely can! Just make sure to allow it to cool completely before you place the filling in an airtight container or freezer plastic bag. And don’t forget to label it as well!

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Meal plan around what’s on sale. Don’t decide to make this when chuck roast is $7/pound  and you have none in the freezer. Wait until the price is right.
  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on chuck roast as I mentioned before, I buy a lot. 
  • Make it yourself. Not only are homemade corn tortillas tastier than commercial tortillas, they’re cheaper, too! Homemade salsa is better than the can and a better deal as well.
  • Price match. I track my prices so that I know the best prices on the items we use the most. That means I buy my cheese and lettuce at Costco because they’re super cheap there; my beef at Ralphs or ALDI on sale, etc.

Tools I use to make this recipe easy:

This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.

0 from 0 votes
Shredded Beef Tacos
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins
 
Shredded beef tacos are a deliciously simple way to make taco night terrific. The tender beef cooks in the slow cooker while you assemble fresh toppings.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beef tacos
Servings: 8 -12 servings
Calories: 408 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 12 to 24 corn tortillas preferably homemade
  • one batch Shredded Beef Filling
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar or jack cheese
  • 3 cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • fresh salsa for serving
Instructions
  1. If using homemade corn tortillas, cook the tortillas close to serving time so that they are still warm. If using commercial tortillas, wrap them in foil packets, about four per packet and heat in a warm oven.
  2. Assemble meat, cheese, and other ingredients in small bowls to allow diners to assemble their own tacos.
Recipe Notes

How To Make This Cheap:

  • Meal plan around what’s on sale. Don’t decide to make this when chuck roast is $7/pound  and you have none in the freezer. Wait until the price is right.
  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on chuck roast as I mentioned before, I buy a lot. 
  • Make it yourself. Not only are homemade corn tortillas tastier than commercial tortillas, they're cheaper, too! Homemade salsa is better than the can and a better deal as well.
  • Price match. I track my prices so that I know the best prices on the items we use the most. That means I buy my cheese and lettuce at Costco because they're super cheap there; my beef at Ralphs or ALDI on sale, etc.
Nutrition Facts
Shredded Beef Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 408 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 84mg28%
Sodium 364mg16%
Potassium 360mg10%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 595IU12%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 361mg36%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Shredded Beef Tacos: A Good Cheap Eat

Are you looking for more good cheap eats?

Originally posted June 15, 2009. Updated April 1, 2017.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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Comments

  1. Your shredded beef tacos look delicious. What a cool idea to put the cost of the items. I make carnitas tacos at home which are similar to yours.

  2. Jeannie says

    I love shredded beef tacos. I have to say though that I love the shredded beef along with the fried taco shell. Due to the fact that I loathe frying taco shells I have been guilty of buying the pre-fab ones which don satisfy the taco craving. I noticed you have he cool taco holder do you bake your shells to crisp them up?

    • These are soft tacos pictured. We make homemade corn tortillas and serve them warm. When we buy boxed shells, I warm them in the oven, but the holder is just for serving.

  3. Elise says

    Do you have a recipe for how to make the beef itself? I know you use a slow cooker but I’m wondering about times, etc.

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