This simple yet flavorful recipe for Mexican-style Ground Beef Taco Meat is spiced with a mixture of seasonings and can be used in numerous dishes.
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Why you'll love this recipe
Simple and easy to make: with only a few ingredients and pantry staples, you can get dinner ready within minutes.
Delicious: the variety of seasonings and spices added to the taco beef makes it taste flavorful.
Versatile: use the taco meat in a variety of applications, such as burritos or quesadillas.
This version does not contain tomato sauce, or tomato paste.
What is taco meat?
Mexican-spiced ground beef is generally known as taco meat.
Taco meat is usually cooked with aromatics (garlic and onion) and spices such as chili powder, ground cumin, cayenne powder, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and oregano.
What can you use taco beef in?
Taco meat is a very versatile filling and can be used in tacos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, flautas/taquitos, or nachos.
Or it can be used in burrito bowls, rice bowls, or sprinkled on taco salads.
If you have leftover taco meat, add them to a layer of tortilla chips, sprinkle some cheese over top and bake in the oven to make nachos.
Ingredients you'll need
- lean ground beef: you can use regular or lean ground beef
- white onion: diced
- garlic: minced
- sea salt & black pepper: for seasoning the meat
- taco seasoning: a combination of ground spices including chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano; you can use a homemade taco seasoning or use store-bought taco seasoning for convenience
You can find all these ingredients at your local grocery store.
How to make Mexican ground beef
In a small bowl, mix and combine the taco seasoning ingredients and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan or skillet over high heat.
Add in the ground beef, break it up and sauté until browned and the fat renders out.
Drain or blot out any excess grease with a paper towel, but leave a little fat to sauté the onions.
Season beef with salt and pepper.
Push the meat to the side in the pan and add in the white onions and garlic.
Sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant and becomes translucent.
And add in the taco seasoning.
Stir the onion mixture with the ground beef to combine.
Pour in water to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits, and simmer until the meat mixture slightly thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the cooked meat to a platter and serve in between warmed flour or corn tortillas.
How to serve
Serve the ground beef taco meat in between flour tortillas, corn tortillas or taco shells along with shredded cheese, salsa or pico de gallo, guacamole, fresh lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro and freshly squeezed lime.
How to store
Store cooked ground beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The flavor of the meat will deepen, when stored overnight.
You can freeze the Mexican ground beef in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
How to reheat
Stovetop: Reheat the ground beef taco meat in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, until warmed through.
Microwave: Add the ground beef to a microwave-safe container and cover, heat on high power for a few minutes, until heated through.
You can use ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken to change up the protein from ground beef.
Add veggies such as diced bell peppers, or black beans and corn to the taco meat to bulk it up and make it more healthier and flavorful.
Instead of water, you can substitute with beef broth or chicken broth to add even more flavor.
Other Mexican-inspired recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Pulled Pork Quesadillas
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Ground Beef Taco Meat
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder optional -if you don't like spicy, omit
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 ½ lbs lean ground beef
- 1 large white onion diced
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- ¼ C water
- In a small bowl, mix and combine the taco seasoning ingredients and set aside.
- Heat a large frying pan or skillet over high heat.
- Add in the ground beef, break it up and sauté until browned and the fat renders out.
- Drain or blot out any excess grease with a paper towel, but leave a little fat to sauté the onions.
- Season beef with salt and pepper.
- Push the meat to the side in the pan and add in the white onions and garlic.
- Sauté the onions and garlic until fragrant and becomes translucent.
- And add in the taco seasoning.
- Stir the onion mixture with the ground beef to combine.
- Pour in water to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits, and simmer until the meat mixture slightly thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked meat to a platter and serve in between warmed flour or corn tortillas.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.