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If you love juicy, flavorful lamb but have never had Lamb Tacos, you should remedy that ASAP.

Lamb Tacos served on a steel platter.

Tacos are amazing, aren’t they? More than a dish, they’re a blank canvas for creativity. Fill up a warm corn tortilla with everything from sliced avocado to scrambled eggs, and you’ve got yourself a tasty meal. But these tacos are something else entirely.

Inspired by the famous slow-cooked Mexican barbacoa, this greatly simplified version is made in just 30 minutes with ground lamb; simple, but spectacular. Lively spices and the right toppings enhance the lamb’s distinctly delicious flavors for a hand-cradled piece of heaven.

Ingredients You Need to Make Lamb Tacos

Lamb Tacos Ingredients on a white marble board
  • Corn Tortillas: White or yellow.
  • Ground Lamb: Not too lean.
  • Dried Oregano: Ideally Mexican.
  • Ground Cumin:
  • Chipotle Chile Powder: Not chili powder which is a blend of spices. Chipotle chile powder is made only with dried and smoked chipotle peppers.
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper:
  • Mexican Crema: Or sour cream.
  • Lime: Look for firm, large fruits that are heavy for their size.
  • Cabbage: Red or green.
  • Radishes: If radishes are large, you may want to cut slices in half.
  • White Onion: If you prefer less raw onion sting, finely dice and then soak in cold water for a 15-30 minutes and drain before serving.
  • Queso Fresco: Or Cotija cheese.
  • Cilantro: Fresh leaves.
  • Fresh or Pickled Jalapeño: optional
Lamb Tacos served on a steel platter and photographed from the top.

How to Make Lamb Tacos

Here’s how to make Lamb Tacos. Start with a warm corn tortilla, lightly fried or warmed in the oven. Fill it with a thick layer of hot, tender lamb spiced with cumin and smoky chipotle chile powder. Then, when you pile on the toppings, the magic happens.

The flavor of finely diced onions merges with creamy queso fresco. Crunchy shredded cabbage and snappy sliced radishes add freshness. A generous drizzle of Chipotle Lime Crema (or Cilantro Lime Crema), a scatter of fresh cilantro leaves, squeeze of lime, and a jalapeño slice or two and your tacos are ready to devour.

More Delicious Taco Recipes to Try

If you love lamb…

Lamb Tacos

5 from 8 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Calories: 246
Servings: 8 tacos
Juicy, flavorful lamb cradled in warm corn tortillas and piled high with your choice of delicious toppings.

Ingredients  

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or 1/2 teaspoon for milder meat (recipe note #1)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chipotle Lime Crema

  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice about 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste

Toppings

  • thinly sliced cabbage red or green
  • thinly sliced radishes
  • finely diced white onion
  • queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese) or cotija
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • thinly sliced fresh or pickled jalapeño optional
  • lime wedges for serving

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. (recipe note #2)
  • Wrap 2 stacks of 4 tortillas separately in foil. Heat in oven 10 to 15 minutes until soft and warm.
  • While tortillas warm, add lamb and oregano to a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir, breaking up the lamb with a wooden spoon until browned and nearly cooked through. Drain excess fat. Stir in cumin and 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (use 1/2 teaspoon if you prefer milder meat), cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes more until meat is cooked through. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, make Chipotle Lime Crema by stirring ingredients together until smooth: Mexican crema (or sour cream), lime juice and zest, chipotle chile powder, and kosher salt. Set aside (refrigerate if making well ahead of time).
  • To assemble tacos: top each warm tortilla with 1/8 of lamb, desired amount of toppings, finishing with Chipotle Lime Crema, cilantro leaves and fresh or pickled jalapeño slices if desired. Serve with fresh lime wedges.

Notes

  • Chipotle chile powder is a smoky spice made with only smoked and dried chipotle peppers, not a standard chili powder that is a blend of spices. 
  • Warming tortillas in the oven is easy and great for feeding several people at once, but you can also lightly fry tortillas in oil if you prefer a crunchy taco. (Tacos pictured have lightly fried tortillas.)
  • Note that topping amounts are ‘to taste’ and are not included in nutrition information.

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 184mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 168IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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29 Comments

  1. Chicago Knitter says:

    5 stars
    The lamb tacos were delicious. I had everything on hand so that was a plus. At first I thought it was going to be too spicy, but once all the accoutrements were added it was perfect. I used sour cream for the sauce. Served the tacos with refried black beans and Mexican beer. I will definitely make these again.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I love to hear this! So glad you’re enjoying the recipe and appreciate you coming back to let me know.

  2. Dianne says:

    Made for dinner last night – it was delicious! I loved the lime chipotle crema – so good! And the topping ideas are perfect!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Dianne! Thank you for coming back to tell me!

  3. Deanne says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic recipe plus fast and easy! What more can you ask for? We love both Mexican and Mediterranean flavors, this is the best of both worlds. Don’t skip the lime and sour cream topping, it adds so much flavor.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Deanne! Thank you for coming back to let me know.

  4. C says:

    Going to make these tonight! Lamb is a favorite in our kitchen, and we’re using lamb steaks, marinating using the spices, then roasting before slicing. Thank you for the spice combination, sounds great, esp with the crema. I’m partial to Peruvian green sauce, but will start to add the crema into rotation.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      My pleasure, C! Hope you love them.

  5. Andrea says:

    5 stars
    Love love love! Quick to make and delicious 😊

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      That’s wonderful to hear, Andrea! Thank you for coming back to let me know.