The Best Taco Meat

19 Comments 5

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Jump to Recipe

Ground beef seasoned generously with Mexican spices is tossed with black beans and corn to create what we consider the best taco meat recipe – it is perfect for tacos, salads, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos.

This taco meat is also my saving grace every year as we get back in the routine of school and other activities. This is likely to be our lunch and/or our dinner at least once a week.

There are so many ways to serve it that my family never gets bored of having the same dish over and over again. It’s an easy recipe that you can enjoy in tons of different ways making.

Ground beef loaded with flavors from Mexican spices, plus sweet corn, and black beans makes for fantastic tacos! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Taco Meat

This recipe is so simple that I almost didn’t post it. Then I realized that simple recipes are what most of us need as we try to balance all of our responsibilities while feeding our families. What better to share than the easy recipes I make from day to day?

Taco Meat isn’t just a simple meal starter; it’s also delicious! I’ve had several friends ask for the taco meat recipe after sharing a taco salad with them. So, I’m sharing it here today for easy reference.

How to Make Taco Meat

I’ve been making tacos, salads, and burritos with this combination of ingredients for so long, it’s my go-to dinner when I’m short on time.

Once you learn how to make taco meat, you’ll find yourself relying on it too.

My recipe for the BEST taco meat starts with crumbled ground beef or turkey. Beef is the traditional meat of choice for tacos but ground turkey is just as delicious. I often alternate between the two.

You can use whichever ground meat is available and convenient or try it both ways to find out which one you prefer in this recipe.

After starting to brown the meat in a skillet, sprinkle in your favorite taco seasoning or Mexican spice blend. I use my Homemade Taco Seasoning which includes chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and a dash of cayenne pepper.

To make this recipe even easier, you can mix together a big batch of taco seasoning in advance. Keep it in a mason jar in your spice cabinet so you’re ready to make tasty tacos at a moment’s notice. 

This taco meat is so easy to make and it can be used in tacos, burritos, over rice, on salads - it's the perfect make-ahead meal prep to keep in the freezer too!

Once the meat is nice and browned, add a can of black beans and a can of corn and cook everything together until it’s all warmed up. Then you’re ready to scoop the meat into tacos, layer it on taco salad, stuff it into burritos or roll it in enchiladas.

There’s no limit to the number of delicious ways to enjoy this taco meat!

Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a couple of days and this meat freezes beautifully too.

I keep this taco meat in the freezer pretty much all the time, portioned into 1/2 cup servings. I can have lunch or dinner on the table with only a few minute’s time to warm the taco meat from the freezer.

The kids often use the pre-cooked taco meat to make Nachos for lunch.

This recipe is a basic foundation that’s delicious just as written or with whatever variations, add-ins or modifications you like. Feel free to play around with adding different veggies or spices.

I sometimes toss chopped onions in with the ground beef while it’s browning. Chopped roasted green chiles are another great add-in, especially if you like spice. Simply add them along with the beans and corn.

A handful of spinach tossed into the meat at the end of cooking is a fantastic way to get some more greens into your meal. This Beef, Black Bean, and Spinach Taco Meat is kid-approved as well!

Beef, Black Bean and Spinach Tacos are kid-approved!

Best Taco Recipe

This Taco Meat Recipe is really the only one you need to cook some of the best tacos you’ve ever had. It tastes great in flour tortillas, corn tortillas, and crispy taco shells.

You can top this meat with whatever taco toppings and fillings your family enjoys. You can’t go wrong with a little shredded cheese, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and salsa. Pico de Gallo, a simple homemade Mexican salsa, is another must-try topping for this taco meat.

Sour cream, Spicy Guacamole and some finely chopped cilantro are also delicious toppings.

Have you ever had tacos the way they’re served in many parts of Mexico? Spiced meat is placed on an open face corn tortilla and served with an array of garnishes on the side, including chopped raw onion, fresh lime wedges, cilantro and plenty of varieties of salsa so that you can customize each taco to your liking.

One of my favorite taco meat meals is a big bowl of Taco Salad. (This Bacon and Egg Taco Salad is pretty amazing, but for a lightning fast dinner, nothing beats swapping those two ingredients for a pan of this easy taco meat!)

It’s so satisfying to dig into a gigantic salad of spiced meat, veggies, cheese, and tortilla chips and a super fast and easy meal, especially if the meat is already made.

Taco Meat is such a versatile main dish. There are endless ways to use it to create meals your family will enjoy all year round!

This Carnitas Salad is another awesome salad where you can simply swap in this spicy ground beef mixture for a FAST dinner that everyone will love.

My friend Rebecca takes her taco salad game seriously and makes this beautiful Layered Chopped Taco Salad. This meat is perfect to layer with chopped vegetables and corn chips.

This meat would be excellent scooped on top of this Crock-Pot Mac and Cheese that my friend Amanda makes. And so much tastier than your average chili mac!

A Taco Bowl is another fun idea for a quick dinner. It’s just like what it sounds: all the fillings of a taco served in a big bowl instead of inside shells or tortillas.

This taco meat is incredible in a bowl on top of Spanish Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice. I recommend skipping the fork altogether and scooping up the contents with tortilla chips!

Tuesdays are for TACOS!

Meal planning tip: Serve tacos for dinner one night and plan to use the leftovers in taco salads or taco bowls for lunch the next day. 

Do you love tacos as much as my family? Be sure to also give Red Chile Chicken and and Black Bean Tacos and Pulled Pork Tacos a try for something a little different. My Carnitas Street Tacos recipe is another one that gets a lot of play in this house that I know you’ll enjoy.

Looking for more fast dinner ideas? Check out this {10-Minute} Pasta, or these Sweet Chipotle Chicken Bites, or this recipe for Sloppy Joe Baked Sweet Potatoes and this recipe for {20-Minute} Kielbasa Cabbage Skillet.

Kitchen Tip: I use this skillet and this spatula to cook this recipe.

Taco Meat Recipe

  1. In a large, deep-sided skillet, cook and crumble the ground beef, sprinkling with the spices as it begins to brown.
  2. Drain any excess grease and add the beans and corn. Stir to combine.
  3. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, just to warm everything.
  4. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
  5. Serve immediately or let cool and portion into freezer safe containers.

Get New Recipessent to your inbox!
We never share your information with third parties and will protect it in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Taco Meat is such a versatile main dish. There are endless ways to use it to create meals your family will enjoy all year round!

The Best Taco Meat

5 from 5 votes
Ground beef seasoned generously with Mexican spices is tossed with black beans and corn to create a versatile “taco meat” that is perfect for tacos, salads, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos.
Pin Print Review
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup Mexican Spice Mix or taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn drained
  • kosher salt only as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper only as needed
  • Optional add-ins:
  • 1/2 cup diced onion sauteed with the beef
  • 4-7 ounces chopped roasted green chile added with the beans and corn
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach tossed in at the end just to wilt

Instructions

  • Cook and crumble the ground beef, sprinkling with the spices as it begins to crumble, Drain any excess grease and add the beans and corn. Stir to combine. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, just to warm everything. Taste and adjust spices as needed. Serve immediately or let cool and portion into freezer safe containers. Enjoy!

Notes

Don’t hesitate to add more spices, if needed. The key to all the flavor in this taco meat is the generous amount of Mexican spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 213kcal · Carbohydrates: 5g · Protein: 13g · Fat: 15g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Cholesterol: 53mg · Sodium: 166mg · Potassium: 263mg · Fiber: 1g · Vitamin A: 325IU · Vitamin C: 3.4mg · Calcium: 34mg · Iron: 1.8mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

Pin this nowto remember it later
Pin this recipe0
The BEST Taco Meat is perfect for tacos, salads, nachos, burritos, and more! Get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Filed under: , , , ,

Related Posts

Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

Reader Interactions

19 Comments Leave a comment or review

    Rate & Comment

    Rating




    You can now include images of your recipes in your comments! You'll need to register or log in to upload images.

  1. Rita says

    I can’t wait to try this. We have used lots of different spices and additions, but this one sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas.

  2. Jeanie says

    Mary, when first saw this recipe you recommended a meat fork, but now I see it’s not there. Is it no longer available on Amazon?

    • Mary says

      I’m guessing that might have been on a different recipe. I don’t think I’ve ever used a meat fork for ground beef. That said, I have used and mentioned the “chop stir” for breaking up ground beef, if you aren’t a fan of doing it with a spatula. Here’s a link for one: http://amzn.to/2iGPHC2 I hope that helps!

  3. Lynne says

    I made this and it was fantastic! Made the seasoning in your Mexican Spice Mix link and it was far superior to taco seasoning you buy in a store. It was perfect. I didn’t have any spinach but otherwise made the recipe exactly as written and made burritos, adding just shredded cheese before rolling them up. This was so good I’m thinking of making a big batch of the spice mix and giving taco kits as gifts. Thanks for a really great recipe.

  4. Shea says

    I just made this including the Mexican spice mix.. huge hit with the family. I’ll never use a taco kit again. Love the beans and corn in it

  5. Jessica Evans says

    Looks exactly like what I make when I don’t want to make tacos except i put a can of rotel tomatoes and another can of rotel tomatoes with green Chile’s and use a can kidney beans and add the canned corn, taco seasoning, enchilada sauce. Sometimes I use either ground beef or ground turkey, With onion and garlic. I Call it my Mexicali dish and it’s delicious. Sometimes turn it into Mexican Cornbread pizza.5 stars

  6. Cindy says

    Than you for the great taco recipe Mary! I loved black beans and corn additions! I used a combination of ground caribou and ground beef for this recipe, otherwise followed it exactly …. including the homemade taco seasoning! My family loved it! 🙂5 stars

  7. Missy says

    I also added a can of kidney beans as well as a can of tomatoes (fire roasted/diced). Gorgeous color with the red kidney bean and I don’t often have fresh tomatoes on hand–especially in the winter months. I feel this hearty taco meat recipe makes it so I don’t miss the fresh tomatoes in my tacos or taco salads. With my random additions, I had to play with the spices, too. But it is delicious! Thanks for sharing!5 stars