Ditch Those Sodium-Laden Flavor Packets for This Easy Taco Recipe

I’m all for taking the easy route, but if your shortcut is a sodium-laden flavor packet, stop right now! You already have the ingredients in your cabinet to make Mexican restaurant-worthy tacos. Mix your spices ahead of time and store them in a spice shaker for instant seasoning any time you want to rev up a meal. Then pair your tacos with my Mango Margarita and some Cinco de Mayo decorations for a truly festive treat.

Clinton Kelly No Packet Tacos

No-Packet Tacos

  • Serves 4-6
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cayenne (optional)

To serve:

  • taco shells
  • sour cream
  • shredded jack cheese
  • diced fresh tomatoes
  • salsa
  • lettuce


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until shimmering. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up as it cooks. Once the meat is brown, drain and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Once it’s shimmering, add the onion and garlic and a pinch of salt.
  • Cook until the onion and garlic are golden brown and then add all of the spices. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add 2/3 cup water to the pan and scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the meat back to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Assemble tacos and enjoy.
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