Taco meat is one of those things I make sure to always have on hand, because it’s so versatile and easy to turn into an awesome dinner.
But if you’re stuck in a rut and not sure what to do with all that perfectly seasoned taco meat, hopefully this post will help with some ideas.
While I love good ol’ ground sirloin, I also like to eat a little healthier, so I often use one pound of 99% fat free ground turkey and a pound of lean ground beef. For two pounds of meat I’ll mix in 4 Tablespoons of my taco seasoning, and BAM—taco meat perfection.
I also almost always throw in a packet of kale and fiber to enrich the meat with some veggies. It does tint it slightly green, but so far the kids haven’t said a single thing about it looking strange or tasting any different.
Pro tip: Wanna stretch your taco meat? Add any of the following to your meat to make that pound of meat go a little bit longer.
Diced mushrooms | dice them and sautè before adding meat
Onions | mince and sautè before adding meat
Potatoes | dice ’em and sautè before adding meat
Do you add anything to your taco meat?
Seventeen Things to Make with Taco Meat
Okay, you can’t see what the shirt I’m wearing says, but it declares, “More Love. More Peace. More Tacos.” And this was right before I enjoyed that michelada and some yummy street tacos in San Diego. But to get on with the post, here are 17 different things to make with taco meat. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
1. Tacos, obviously
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Tacos will forever be my favorite way to eat taco meat, but the real question is: hard or soft?
My family actually don’t care for tacos (GASP), which I’m still coming to terms with. However, they all like taco’s cousin: the Tostada.
It’s flat (like a pizza), and it doesn’t break as easily, which is a win in their book.
Pro tip: don’t want your toppings to fall off? Spread something as a base layer first: refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, etc. Now, your taco meat and yummy extras have something to stick to!
Love doing taco night? You need this!
Okay, if you love doing family taco nights, then you need this in your life. We fill it up with our favorite toppings, put it on the table, and then we build it taco-bar style. You’re welcome!
These are slightly more complicated tacos in the grand scheme of things, mostly because you need to make sure your tortilla is big enough to hold everything you’re planning on stuffing it with. But then everything is warm and gooey and amazing. Everything is better in a burrito.
More often than not, if I’m making my kids a quesadilla, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be sprinkling in taco meat to mingle next to the cheese. There’s something about that soft tortilla getting slightly crunchy and then munching down on the flavored meat and melted cheese. YUM.
Our favorite version of taco meat quesadillas include adding red chile, caramelized onions, and taco meat.
I loooooove me some beef enchiladas. These take a little more time to prepare, but they’re still considered “easy” in my book, and so, so, so delicious.
6. Taco Salad
Ditching carbs and jumping on the healthy train? Add some lean taco meat to your pile of lettuce, and sprinkle in other tasty flavors like corn, jalapenos, salsa, and some avocado for a delicious meal.
Come to mama. I love nachos so much because they satisfy all of my senses, and they’re so customizable that our whole family can dig in. Make a “nacho bar” with all the toppings, and everyone can go to down building their pile of nachos. Pop each plate into the microwave for about a minute to melt the cheese, and BOOM. Nacho night is a hit!
8. Baked potato
Step one: bake that potato. Step two: top it with cheese, salsa taco meat (and whatever else you want). Step three: EAT!
9. Taco Dip
Is there anything more delicious than dips that double as dinner? Add a layer of taco meat to this Taco Dip, and dig in with your favorite chips!
10. Taco Pie
This family favorite is great for one of those nights that you want Mexican food, but you’re also kinda tired of making the same thing all the time. Don’t be fooled by the “pie” part in this (like my son is every time I make it); it’s more of a casserole, but it’s made in a pie dish. Get the recipe here.
11. Loaded “Taco” Tots
Basically, this is like nachos…only extra special. Tots or tater gems (whatever you want to call ’em), make an excellent base for all things taco. Bake the tots in a single layer on a pan, and once they’re nice and GBD (golden brown and delicious), take them out and layer your cooked taco meat, onions, and cheese. Bake until the cheese is ooey-gooey, then take it out and add your cold toppings: lettuce, tomato, guac, sour cream, etc.
12. Taco Pizza
Not to be confused with a tostada, because this one is actually made on real pizza crust. For the base, spread on some refried beans (thin it out with a little water to make it spreadable), then add your taco meat and other favorite favorite taco toppings, finishing it off with some Mexican cheese or sharp cheddar.
Pro tip: save the lettuce, tomato, guac and sour cream for after the pizza comes out of the oven.
13. Taco Soup
Make this on a chilly day, or on a warm day when you don’t want to turn on your oven. The flavors all party together while they cook, and it leaves you with a tasty soup. Get the recipe here.
14. Deconstructed Chile Rellenos
This one only works if you have whole roasted green chile near you, but oh my word is is good. Get your chile, place it on a plate, and slice the top of it in half lengthwise (hot dog style), but do not cut through the bottom (you should have two “flaps.” Then, add your taco meat and some cheese, and fold the chile over the filling. Repeat with additional chilies, sprinkle with cheese, heat for a couple minutes and enjoy.
15. Zucchini Taco Boat
Going low carb, but still wanna enjoy taco night? Slice that zucchini in half hot dog style, scoop out its insides and fill ‘er up with your taco meat and fixin’s.
16. Taco Ring
This classic may have been around when your mom had her last Pampered Chef party, but I’m here to tell you that it’s still DELICIOUS, even today. My kids, in particular, love eating this! Get the recipe here.
17. Mexican Bowl
This is one of my favorite ways to eat taco meat: I dump leftover Spanish rice and leftover taco meat into a bowl and I mix it all up with my favorite extra fillers: salsa/chile, onions, and a little cheese. Zap it in the microwave for a bit, then I add tomatoes and lettuce to it.
What are your taco meat faves?
These are some of the favorites we keep on rotation, but I’d love to hear what you like eating with taco meat! Share it in the comments below.