Mexican spices - cumin, cocoa, ancho, cinnamon - complement flavorful ground lamb in these Easy Lamb Tacos. With your favorite taco toppings, you've got a delicious meal on the table in minutes! #TacoTuesday
Love ground lamb? Find more great ground lamb recipes.
“Ways to My Heart: Buy Me Tacos, Make Me Tacos, Be Tacos.”~~ Unattributed.
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Tacos
WE. LOVE. TACOS. All the tacos. Of course all the "borderlands" are taco heaven, but none of our previous locales offered the variety of tacos and taco ingredients that we enjoy in McAllen...
Since moving to McAllen in 2015, my blog has featured Fried Oyster Tacos with Citrus Salsa, and Lengua Tacos with Salsa Verde and Caramelized Onions. Of course the seafood here is fantastic, and lengua (beef tongue) is available in every market. I love the vast array of fresh produce (especially the avocados!), and the tortillas are so fresh.
I have played with global tacos as well: Indian Street Tacos with Grilled Shrimp and Korean Street Tacos with Green Onion Kimchi. All of these recipes offer a unique and flavorful spin on tacos, and require a bit of planning and time.
My Spicy Lamb Tacos definitely qualify as "unique" and "flavorful," but they are so quick and easy... A simple combination of spices - cumin, cocoa, ancho, and cinnamon - provides a mole-style kick to earthy ground lamb. They're a bold addition to your #TacoTuesday repertoire!
On to the recipe...
As I suggest ad nauseum, gather your ingredients. Prep all of your taco toppings (see Taco Toppings Ideas section below). Only then then will you start cooking the spiced ground lamb!
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- ground lamb - If you don't care for lamb, substitute your favorite ground meat. I have often used ground bison.
- spices - ground cumin, ancho (chipotle, NM red) chile powder
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- soft corn tortillas
- taco toppings (see post and recipe card for ideas!)
Once you've assembled the ingredients and prepped your taco toppings, proceed to cooking steps...
- Prepare the ground lamb mixture - Measure spices, weigh ground lamb (if necessary), mince garlic.
- Add ground lamb to a skillet, along with spices and garlic. Break up the ground lamb as it browns.
- Cook until browned but don't dry it out by overcooking!
🌮 Toppings Ideas That Work Well with Lamb Tacos
On photo day, we had a quick homemade pico de gallo, crumbled cotija, sliced avocado, cilantro sprigs, and lime wedges. This is a fantastic combination, but it certainly isn't the only combination!
When planning tacos for #TacoTuesday - or any other night of the week - I have a protein, a salsa, and a fresh ingredient or two (avocado, shredded cabbage), and usually - but not always - a strong-flavored cheese.
I trust you'll do your best to pick healthy or healthyish options!
- Pico de Gallo
- Roasted Tomatillo and Hatch Green Chile Salsa
- Easy Mango Salsa
- Red Chile and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salsa
- Chipotle Pepita Salsa
- Fresh Corn Salsa with Avocado
No time for homemade salsa? Use your favorite brand!
- shredded cabbage
- shredded lettuce
- lime wedges
- fresh cilantro
- thin-sliced radishes
- spicy no mayo coleslaw
- crumbled cotija
- diced queso fresco
- grated Mexican blend cheese
I don't have ancho, but I do have chipotle (or NM red chile) powder. Will that work? ABSOLUTELY! I use them interchangeably. "Chili powder" is not a good substitute, however, as it is a spice blend rather than ground red chile powder!
Spices? This recipe was an offshoot of my Mexican Mole Spice Blend. If you choose to make this fantastic spice blend, you'll use 3 teaspoons. You can also use it in Instant Pot Lamb Butternut Squash Stew, Mexican Roasted Chicken and Vegetables, and Instant Pot Ground Lamb Chili.
Double the recipe and freeze some for later!
Use a potato masher to break up the ground meat.
By all means, YES! Substitute lean ground beef, bison, elk, pork, turkey, or chicken...
I love this salsa from Rick Bayless' Frontera Restaurant - Medium Tomatillo Salsa. He has many other varieties to choose from as well! There are many excellent prepared salsas that are widely available in your markets.
I don't remember the last time I bought/used flour tortillas. Corn tortillas have so much more flavor, and their earthy corn flavor pairs well with the ground lamb. I simply warm them in a tortilla warmer.
Preparing the spiced ground lamb mixture takes less than 10 minutes. Depending on what/how you do your toppings, this is easily a 30 minute meal perfect for weeknight dinners!
What are you waiting for? That's my question for you!
Easy Ground Lamb Tacos Recipe
- 12-16 ounces lean ground lamb see notes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon ancho powder see notes
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- several grinds pepper
- corn tortillas warmed
- toppings see post for ideas!
- To a skillet, add the ground lamb, spices, cocoa, and garlic.
- Fry until browned but not dried out - about 5 minutes.
- Warm the tortillas, then spoon the ground lamb mixture into them. Top as desired!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.