How To Cook Taco Meat With Taco Seasoning

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If you’re wondering how to cook taco meat–the BEST taco meat–look no further! Not only is this taco meat cooked with the best homemade taco seasoning, but it also has a couple of simple secret ingredients that take it over the top! Whether you are making traditional ground beef tacos, ground chicken tacos, taco salad, or taco casserole, this will be your go-to taco meat recipe! I’ll show you a trick to get your meat perfect, too!

Homemade taco meat cooked in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • EASY WEEKNIGHT DINNER – ready in about 15 minutes!!
  • Uses easy homemade taco seasoning-SO much more FLAVORFUL AND HEALTHY than the packets you buy at the grocery store!
  • Such an EASY RECIPE for Taco Tuesday!
  • Make a big batch of this taco meat and have it on hand for all kinds of recipes–IT FREEZES UP GREAT!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Homemade Taco Meat with Taco Seasoning:

Ingredients needed to show you how to make taco meat with taco seasoning.

INGREDIENT NOTES

Beef Broth: I always opt for low sodium beef stock or broth.

Lean Ground Meat: Turkey, beef, and chicken are great! Look for 90% lean or more.

Taco Seasoning: Make your own homemade taco seasoning one time and you will be hooked! It’s super easy and so much more healthy and lower in sodium than the taco seasoning packets.

HOW TO COOK TACO MEAT WITH TACO SEASONING: STEP BY STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

Step 1: Cook meat and drain grease, if necessary. Pro Tip: When meat is almost cooked through, switch out your wooden spoon for a potato masher! “Mashing” the meat gets it broken up nice and fine!!

Ground beef in a skillet being cooked with a potato masher to get the meat broken up.

Step 2: Add homemade taco seasoning mix, beef broth, and tomato paste.

Cooked meat in a skillet with homemade taco seasoning being added along with tomato paste.

Step 3: Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Use meat right away or see below for storing and freezing!

Homemade taco meat cooked in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

Confidence Tip

Using a potato masher to break up the meat gets it broken up nice and fine and looking pretty! No need for a fancy Pampered Chef “meat masher!” A potato masher works like a charm!

Homemade taco meat cooked in a skillet with a wooden spoon.

HOW TO FREEZE TACO MEAT

To freeze taco meat:

  • Cool meat mixture.
  • Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag. Spread the meat out so it lays flat in the bag.
  • Get out as much air as possible and seal the bag tightly.
  • Store FLAT in the freezer (saves space!) for 3-4 months. Don’t forget to label the bag and add the date!

To reheat taco meat:

  • Thaw meat overnight in the fridge.
  • Transfer thawed meat to a skillet. Add a splash of beef broth (or water).
  • Heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until meat is warmed through.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you cook taco meat before adding taco seasoning?

Add the homemade taco seasoning mix to your taco meat AFTER you have cooked (and drained, if necessary) your taco meat.

Do you add water to taco meat?

You can add water to your taco meat but I much prefer adding a 1/2 cup of low sodium beef broth (or stock) for maximum flavor!

What spices are in the homemade low sodium taco seasoning recipe?

My recipe includes a blend of smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, a little sea salt, and optional red pepper flakes if you want a little heat.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH GROUND BEEF TACOS

If you are making classic ground beef tacos, traditional sides are a necessity! Here are some of our family faves:

11 WAYS TO USE THIS AMAZING HOMEMADE TACO MEAT

  1. Hard and Soft Shell Tacos
  2. Taco lettuce wraps
  3. Taco Salads like this amazing Dorito Taco Salad
  4. Nachos, like these Ultimate Nachos!!
  5. Taco Casserole like this Turkey Taco Casserole (you can use beef, too!)
  6. Walking Tacos--great for camping or on the go!
  7. Pasta dishes like this Mexican Spaghetti recipe
  8. Burritos
  9. Enchiladas
  10. Taco Soup
  11. Over baked potatoes with all the fixins…cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc!

GET MY FREE 7-DAY MEAL PLAN

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Hard shell ground beef tacos lined up on a plate.

TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE

Check out all of my kitchen essentials in my Amazon store!

My favorite non-stick skillet: I use this almost every day!

Wooden Spoon: Used to break up the meat.

Potato Masher: The SECRET to getting the meat broken up nice and fine!

I hope you love this Taco Meat with Taco Seasoning. If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

How to Cook Taco Meat (Perfect Taco Meat Recipe)

Casey Rooney
If you're wondering how to cook taco meat–the BEST taco meat–look no further! Not only is this taco meat cooked with the best homemade taco seasoning, but it also has a couple of simple secret ingredients that take it over the top!
4.84 from 18 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings 4
Calories 253 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (90% lean or more) or ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef stock or broth water is OK, too
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp homemade low sodium taco seasoning taco seasoning recipe here or (1) 1 oz. packet of taco seasoning (low sodium)
  • Flour tortillas or hard taco shells + your favorite toppings: Lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, olives, sour cream, etc!

Instructions
 

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add ground beef and stir, breaking it up with a wooden spoon (about 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked through). Pro Tip: When meat is almost cooked through, switch out your wooden spoon for a potato masher! "Mashing" the meat gets it broken up nice and fine!!
  • Drain grease from skillet only if necessary. If you are using 90% ground beef/meat or leaner, you should not have to drain.
  • Turn heat to medium, then add tomato paste, taco seasoning and beef broth. Stir to combine and cook 2-3 minutes more until beef broth has reduced a bit.
  • Use meat mixture to make tacos, taco salads, tostadas, burritos, taco casserole, nachos…sky is the limit! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

Nutrition information is only an estimate. Info is based on the Very Well Fit Nutrition Calculator.
Nutrition info is for meat only.
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Nutrition

Calories: 253kcalCarbohydrates: 4.4gProtein: 35.7gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3.1gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 354mgPotassium: 615mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 1.6gCalcium: 20mgIron: 22mg
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Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Taco Tuesday is officially upgraded! I never realized how easy it was to make your own taco seasoning. I already had everything in my cabinet!!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you thank you for this information on how to make taco meat with taco seasoning. It was so yummy, I’m excited to make it for meal preps and use it for tacos, burritos, taco salad and all the things!