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!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this Homemade Taco Meat with Taco Seasoning:
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.
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!!
Step 2: Add homemade taco seasoning mix, beef broth, and tomato paste.
Step 3: Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Use meat right away or see below for storing and freezing!
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!
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
Add the homemade taco seasoning mix to your taco meat AFTER you have cooked (and drained, if necessary) your 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!
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:
- Refried beans
- Rice: Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice
- Tortilla chips
- Homemade Pico de Gallo
11 WAYS TO USE THIS AMAZING HOMEMADE TACO MEAT
- Hard and Soft Shell Tacos
- Taco lettuce wraps
- Taco Salads like this amazing Dorito Taco Salad
- Nachos, like these Ultimate Nachos!!
- Taco Casserole like this Turkey Taco Casserole (you can use beef, too!)
- Walking Tacos--great for camping or on the go!
- Pasta dishes like this Mexican Spaghetti recipe
- Taco Soup
- Over baked potatoes with all the fixins…cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc!
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TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
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How to Cook Taco Meat (Perfect Taco Meat Recipe)
- 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!
- 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.