Mexican Ground Beef Taco Meat (One Pot)
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The best quick and easy ground beef taco meat recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot over stovetop in 30 minutes. Packed with taco seasoning, onions, tomatoes.
This is the most flavorful and classic filling choice for for tacos. Use this next Taco Tuesday at home or set up a taco bar at your next party and people would be drooling over it! Add these other recipes to the menu too: Shredded Turkey Tacos (With Thanksgiving Leftovers) and Shredded Chicken Tacos Meat (One Pot).
How to make taco meat?
- Brown meat- Brown ground beef until no longer pink. Drain fat.
- Add remaining ingredients– This includes onions, tomato paste, taco seasoning, salt, pepper, water. Mix until combined.
- Cook– Until beef is tender and excess liquid is reduced.
- Assemble- Spoon mixture in taco shells. Add toppings of your choice.
- Enjoy! Serve immediately and dig in!
What to serve with ground beef taco meat recipe?
This is typically served in corn or flour tortillas or even taco shells as the filling. You could also fill it in burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, quesadillas, or on even mix it in nachos for game day.
What to do with leftover taco meat (recipes)?
Taco dip with meat– Use it as a layer in your 7 layer dip, which includes sour cream, cheese, refried beans, lettuce, and olives.
Sandwiches– Use is as a filling for a sandwiches like this Avocado Toast (One Pan).
Pastas– It can be used in this One Pot Chicken Pasta (Chicken Fajita Pasta) in place of the chicken.
Quesadillas- Use this meat in place of chicken in this Chicken Quesadilla (One Pan).
Nachos– Top your favorite nacho dish with this ground beef.
Mac n Cheese– Mix it in this Slow Cooker Mac And Cheese to take it up to a whole new level of deliciousness!
Mexican Taco Meat Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Onion powder
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Red chili flakes
You can adjust the quantities of individual spices, based on your personal preference. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and store in a sealed container or use immediately.
Use ground turkey or ground chicken– These would be healthier alternative with a lower fat content.
Use ground pork– Swap the beef for ground pork or do a combination of the 2 meats.
Make it spicier– Add Serrano or ancho chiles or even jalapenos for more heat and flavor.
Add vegetables– Such as corn, potatoes, or red, yellow, orange, or green peppers.
Add beans- Add black beans, pinto beans, or even refried beans.
Adjust spices– Add more or less seasoning, based on your personal preference.
Taco toppings and garnishes- There are so many options to choose from to make something truly unique. Try sour cream, lettuce, guacamole, sliced avocados, tomatoes, onions, salsa (such as Corn Salsa (One Bowl) or Mango Salsa (One Bowl) or Pineapple Salsa (One Bowl) or even Strawberry Salsa (One Bowl), jalapenos, shredded cheese, rice, vegetables (Such as Vegetable Fajitas (One Pot), finely chopped cilantro, lemon wedges/ lemon juice or even beans.
Tips and Techniques
What is the best best meat for tacos? What kind of ground beef do you use for tacos? A 70-80% lean ground beef works best. The higher the percentage of fat, the more flavor there will be in the final dish, plus the meat won’t dry easily either.
What is taco meat made of? It’s made of ground beef, taco seasoning (salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, oregano, red chili flakes), tomato paste, onions, water or broth.
How long should you cook this meat? It should be cooked until meat is tender and no longer pink and liquid is reduced. This takes about 10- 15 minutes.
How to season Mexican ground beef? You can marinade it in a mole sauce or even in a liquid taco sauce, or you can just sprinkle the dry taco seasoning, while cooking, like I did.
Do you need to drain the fat? Yes. Draining is important because it prevents this dish from being too oily and greasy.
Homemade taco seasoning vs. Store-bought taco seasoning– Either can be used. I prefer a homemade version because I know it is made with quality ingredients. However, for the sake of time and convenience, you can always use store bought version too.
How to store leftovers? They can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze this meat? Yes, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 1 month and reheat in the microwave or stovetop.
Make ahead instructions- Make the Mexican meat and prepare all the toppings a day in advance. Store them in sealed container in the fridge until you are ready to assemble these street tacos and enjoy them for dinner.
Use nonstick pot– Because that prevents the beef from burning and sticking to the pan.
Broth vs. Water- Either can be used. Broth obviously has more flavor and would be a better choice. Make sure it’s low sodium to prevent this meal from becoming too salty.
How much taco meat per person? The typical ratio is 2 tacos per person with about 3 tbsp filling per taco.
More Ground Beef Recipes
- Cheesy Taco Pasta (One Pot)
- Chili Mac Recipe (One Pot)
- Easy Chili Recipe (One Pot)
- Vegetable Beef Soup (One Pot)
- Easy American Goulash (One Pot)
- Loose Meat Sandwich (Tavern Sandwich)
- Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
- One Pot Lasagna Soup
One Pot Ground Beef Taco Meat
- 1 pound Ground beef
- 1/4 cup Onions, Finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Tomato paste
- 3 tbsp Taco seasoning
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 2/3 cup Water, Or low sodium beef broth
- Brown ground beef over medium-high heat in a nonstick pot or pan until no longer pink.
- Drain fat.
- Add onions, tomato paste, taco seasoning, salt, pepper, water and mix until combined.
- Reduce heat to Low and cook uncovered until beef is tender and excess liquid is reduced and meat mixture is thickened to your desired consistency.
- Spoon mixture in taco shells and add toppings of your choice.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Happy cooking everyone!