The BEST Taco Meat

The BEST Taco Meat recipe – our go-to recipe for taco night. Tastes as good as our favorite Mexican restaurant! Lean ground beef loaded with Mexican spices. Super easy to make and ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Ground beef, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, diced tomatoes and green chiles, red pepper flakes, and water. You will never use a packet of taco seasoning again! Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. A must for taco night!

taco meat in a skillet

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The BEST Taco Seasoning

I’ve been on the hunt for a really great taco filling recipe and I finally found it! This recipe makes the best tacos! It tastes just as good, if not better than the Mexican restaurants. Lean ground beef loaded with Mexican spices. This is definitely our go-to recipe for taco night! I always have the ingredients on hand to whip up a batch. This taco meat is great in tacos, taco salad, nachos, or any Tex-Mex recipe that called for seasoned ground beef. SO ditch the seasoning packet and give this recipe a try. It is sure to become a family favorite!

tacos on a plate

How to Make Easy Homemade Taco Meat

This recipe is super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. In a large skillet, cook ground meat over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain excess fat. Add chili powder, salt, garlic powder, cumin, minced onion, a can of Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies, red pepper flakes, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer until the liquid is reduced. That’s it. All that is left to do is dig in!

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can substitute ground turkey or ground chicken.
  • Feel free to use beef broth instead of water for extra flavor.
  • Can substitute a small onion for the dried onion flakes. Cook the chopped onion in the skillet when you brown the beef.
  • Is Taco Meat spicy? There is a small kick from the Rotel tomatoes. If you are worried about the heat in the taco meat, use a can of MILD Rotel tomatoes and omit the red pepper flakes.
  • For a spicier dish, add some pureed chipotle peppers or hot sauce.
  • Is Homemade Taco Meat low-carb? Yes! All of the ingredients in this easy taco recipe are low carb and great for a keto diet.
  • Can You Freeze Homemade Taco Ground Beef? Yes! Prepare the taco meat and cool completely. Place the meat in freezer bags and freeze. To reheat the leftovers, partially thaw and microwave until warm. Perfect for busy weeknights!
  • Store leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
taco meat in a skillet

What to Serve with Authentic Taco Meat

This recipe is a must for Taco Tuesday! You can use this in any Tex-Mex recipe that calls for taco meat. We love to make homemade tacos with flour tortillas or corn tortillas, hard taco shells, enchiladas, quesadillas, and taquitos with this meat. It is equally delicious on nachos and a baked potato. Top with your favorite taco toppings: sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, lime juice, pico de Gallo, and green onions. I am so excited to finally have a delicious taco recipe and not have to use the packets of taco seasoning.

Taco night isn’t complete without some sides. We usually whip up some black beans or refried beans, Mexican rice, tortilla chips, and salsa. Queso and guacamole are also a must!! Looking for more side dishes? Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that goes great with this easy recipe:

Easy Refried Beans

Easy Refried Beans – only 4 ingredients! Refried beans, pinto beans, salsa and Monterey Jack cheese. Seriously delicious! Ready in…

The ULTIMATE Queso

The ULTIMATE Queso – the BEST cheese dip EVER! Creamy Rotel Dip loaded with sausage and chili beans. Can make…

Chuy’s Jalapeno Dip

Chuy’s Jalapeno Dip – easy copycat recipe of Chuy’s famous dip. Tastes just like the real thing!! SO good! I…

skillet of taco meat

The BEST Taco Meat

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
The BEST Taco Meat – our go-to recipe for taco night. Tastes as good as our favorite Mexican restaurant! Super easy to make and ready to eat in about 15 minutes. Ground beef, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, cumin, diced tomatoes and green chiles, red pepper flakes, and water. You will never use a packet of taco seasoning again! Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. A must for taco night!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 10 tsp chili powder (3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 (10-oz) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ red pepper flakes, optional
  • ¾ tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp minced onion flakes

Instructions:

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain fat.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer until liquid is reduced, about 10 minutes.

Notes:

Can substitute ground turkey for ground beef.
Can use a can of plain diced tomatoes and a can of diced green chilies in place of the diced tomatoes and green chiles.
Can use a can of mild diced tomatoes and green chiles for reduced heat.

Steph

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plate of tacos with homemade taco meat
skillet of taco meat

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Comments

  1. What kind of chili powder do you use? I have a container of dark chili powder that I usually use a if a recipe calls for chili powder, or I use packages of Williams chili seasoning most often when I make chili, and it has more spices in it like cumin, etc.

    1. I find Gebharts chili powder to have the best flavor with no cumin flavor. I can’t stand cumin personally.

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