Ground Beef Taco Dip Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
Rich, savory ground beef taco dip is easy to make from scratch. Our recipe with meat includes plenty of ideas for variation, from lower-fat options to extra heat. Game on!

Updated: May 10, 2024

Few foods say “party” as much as a good dip. It’s always the first thing emptied from a holiday potluck table, and it’s the centerpiece of any self-respecting spread of game-day food. This taco dip with meat is one of our most popular (and addictive) dip recipes for good reason.

Ground beef taco dip is packed with flavor yet super simple to make, thanks to a few handy ingredients. Packets of store-bought taco seasoning add spice. A mix of sour cream and cream cheese (low-fat if you like) builds a super-smooth base. And a top layer of fresh vegetables creates a dash of crunch.

Ground beef recipes like this one come in handy when you have little time but a lot of mouths to feed. In less than 30 minutes, everyone can dunk tortilla chips, veggies or crackers into this delightful dip. Just watch how fast it disappears!

Ingredients for Ground Beef Taco Dip

  • Ground beef: Savory ground beef makes a flavorful, hearty base for this rich beef taco dip. If you prefer, use lean ground beef, such as 80% lean, which is lower in calories and saturated fat.
  • Taco seasoning: Any of the best taco seasoning brands will give this dip plenty of flavor with little effort. You can also use homemade taco seasoning, which allows you to adjust the level of spiciness.
  • Sour cream: Sour cream serves several functions in this dip. Its tanginess brightens the heavier ingredients, while its thin, creamy texture lightens the thicker cream cheese base. This recipe uses nonfat sour cream since the added fat isn’t essential to the flavor or texture. Use whatever kind you like.
  • Cream cheese: As with many cream cheese dip recipes, cream cheese adds flavor and a smooth texture to this dip. Go ahead and use low-fat or even nonfat cream cheese if you prefer.
  • Cheddar: Shredded cheddar cheese makes a colorful and tasty addition to this dip. For more flavor, try sharp cheddar cheese, pepper jack or our Test Kitchen’s pick for the best shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Toppings: An assortment of fresh toppings adds texture and color to the dip dish. We suggest lettuce, tomatoes, green bell peppers and olives, but you can use (or omit) any topping that suits your taste (find more specific suggestions below).


Step 1: Cook and season the beef

In a large skillet, cook and crumble the beef over medium heat until no longer pink, four to six minutes. Drain any excess fat. Add the water and 1 envelope taco seasoning. Cook until the mixture is thickened and the spices evenly coat the meat. Allow it to cool slightly.

Step 2: Create the creamy layer

In a bowl, beat the sour cream, cream cheese and the remaining taco seasoning until well blended. Spread the mixture across the bottom of a 3-quart dish.

Step 3: Add the beef and toppings

Sprinkle the ground beef over the creamy layer. Top with lettuce, cheddar, tomatoes, peppers and olives.

wide shot of ground beef taco dip in a large serving dishTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Use different meats: While ground beef taco dip is classic, try using ground turkey or chicken instead. Thanks to the creamy layer and seasonings, the dip will be leaner but still full of flavor.
  • Change up the toppings: Feel free to vary the toppings—so many veggies taste delicious with this dip. Use peppers of various colors, shredded carrot or cabbage, or cooked corn kernels. Or, go rogue and add crunchy Fritos!
  • Mix in salsa: For extra flavor, add your favorite salsa to the taco dip. We suggest adding the salsa to the skillet a few moments after adding the taco seasoning in Step 1. Heat and stir until the salsa is mixed in. Our Test Kitchen sampled several to find the best salsa brands.
  • Add beans: Spread a layer of refried beans (pinto or black) on the bottom of the dip dish for an extra southwestern-inspired kick.

How to Store Ground Beef Taco Dip

Leftover taco dip with meat can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you’d like to warm it up before serving, just pop it in the microwave for a minute or two. (Note that repeatedly reheating taco dip may make the dairy grainy.)

Ground Beef Taco Dip Tips

close shot of ground beef taco dipTMB Studio

How long can taco dip sit out?

Taco dip with meat can sit out at room temperature for about two hours. The dairy in the dip will begin to sour after much longer than that—especially if it’s left out in a hot place (like at a picnic). After two hours, cover the dip and put it back in the refrigerator.

What can you serve with ground beef taco dip?

Tortilla chips are a natural pairing for taco dip with meat, whether you go for store-bought or splurge on homemade tortilla chips. You can’t go wrong with sliced vegetables, such as carrots, peppers and celery. Crackers are an extra crunchy pairing too.

How can you use leftover taco dip?

Use the leftover dip as a delicious taco filling, a hearty topping for salad greens, a rich addition to an omelet and even an unconventional pizza topping. Or, you know, just eat it as a dip. We doubt you’ll have leftovers if you serve this at a potluck. But if you do, hooray!

Watch how to Make Ground Beef Taco Dip

Ground Beef Taco Dip

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 24 servings.


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 envelopes taco seasoning, divided
  • 2 cups fat-free sour cream
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained


  1. In a large skillet, cook and crumble beef over medium heat until no longer pink, 4-6 minutes; drain. Add water and 1 envelope taco seasoning; cook until thickened. Cool slightly.
  2. Beat sour cream, cream cheese and remaining taco seasoning until blended. Spread in a 3-qt. dish; add ground beef. Top with lettuce, cheddar, tomatoes, pepper and olives.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 116 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 378mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 7g protein.

What's a football party without taco dip? This version made with spicy ground beef and fresh toppings does not disappoint the die-hards. It is full of classic flavors and is a little extra filling for game day appetites. —Errika Perry, Green Bay, WI