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How to Make Taco Meat Like Mexican Restaurants

three tacos with delicious meat like a Mexican restaurant

Tacos are loaded with flavors and amazing ingredients. The crispy shell, delicious filling, and fresh toppings make them stand out from the crowd. A traditional Mexican taco is meaty and yummy, and the highlight is always the cooked taco meat.

Different restaurants have secret recipes that make taco meat utterly delicious. Although you might think you can’t possibly get the secret recipe and cook taco meat just like Mexican restaurants, we have a perfect recipe that is just as delicious as any other. Keep reading to learn how to make taco meat like Mexican restaurants.

 

Ingredient breakdown

  • Meat: The best choice is lean ground beef meat that has very low to no fat. However, you can also use chicken, pork, or turkey meat.
  • Beef stock: Beef stock adds more flavor to the meat and also aids in cooking it. You can also add chicken stock or vegetable stock.
  • Tomato sauce: Tomato sauce not just adds tomatoey flavor but also makes the meat rich and hearty. You can use chopped tomatoes as well.
  • Olive oil: A dash of olive oil aids in cooking the meat. Olive oil is rich in healthy fats and therefore is a good choice; however, you can use avocado oil or canola oil as well.
  • Spices: Spices are responsible for adding flavors to the meat. I have used cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and salt to add flavor to this dish. However, if you want a quick substitute, use taco seasoning.

 

How to cook taco meat

tacos in taco holders

Cooking taco meat is very easy. It is a quick process, and you can make it in large batches as well. Here is how you can cook taco meat:

  • Pour olive oil into a skillet and place it on medium heat.
  • Once the oil heats up, add lean ground beef meat and, using a wooden spoon, break it into small pieces.
  • Cook the meat for about 7 to 10 minutes or until all the moisture evaporates and the meat turns brown.
  • Next, add tomato sauce, beef stock, and the rest of the spices. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about ten more minutes until the water evaporates completely and the meat is cooked.

 

What to serve Mexican-style taco meat with

fries with chili

If you think Mexican taco meat is restricted to taco filling, you are quite wrong. Taco meat is very versatile. You can eat it in whatever way you like. However, if you lack creativity, here are a few amazing ways to enjoy taco meat:

  • Pizza: Turn your taco into a pizza dream by using homemade dough, taco meat, chopped tomatoes, onions, and loads of cheese!
  • Nachos: Top taco meat on nachos and cheese and bake it in the oven. This is a perfect dish for game day!
  • Loaded fries: Loaded fries are always a favorite. Use taco meat in your loaded fries, and watch them disappear before your eyes.
  • Salad: How about celebrating Mexican flavors in a salad? Use fresh lettuce leaves, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, taco meat, and cheese.
  • Baked potatoes: Baked potatoes with cheese are everyone’s favorite. However, you can take this dish to the next level by adding taco meat to the baked potatoes as well.

 

Can you store taco meat?

Yes! What I really love about taco meat is that you can prepare it in large batches and store it for later use. Although it stays fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, I prefer freezing it.

All you have to do is wait for the meat to cool down completely. Once it cools down, place it in freezer-safe plastic zip lock bags. Portion the meat according to your need. Make sure you remove extra air from the bag. Place these portions in the freezer, and they will last for up to 3 months.

You can reheat the frozen meat by placing it in the microwave or by reheating it on the stove.

 

How to make taco meat like Mexican restaurants

avocado, and fresh salsa

  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (you can use chicken, pork, or turkey)
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, add olive oil and place it on medium heat.
  2. Once the oil heats up, add ground beef and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until it turns brown and the moisture evaporates.
  3. Add tomato sauce, beef stock, and the rest of the spices.
  4. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about ten more minutes until the water evaporates completely.
  6. Serve and enjoy.
taco-holder

How to make taco meat like Mexican restaurants

Preparation time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes; Total time: 25 minutes; Servings: 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef you can use chicken, pork, or turkey
  • ¼ cup beef stock
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tbsp chili powder
  • tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • In a skillet, add olive oil and place it on medium heat.
  • Once the oil heats up, add ground beef and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until it turns brown and the moisture evaporates.
  • Add tomato sauce, beef stock, and the rest of the spices.
  • Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about ten more minutes until the water evaporates completely.
  • Serve and enjoy.

FAQs

What to do with leftover taco meat

There are many delicious ways to use leftover taco meat. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Taco salad: Top a bed of lettuce with the leftover taco meat, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream.
  2. Quesadillas: Spread some taco meat on a tortilla, sprinkle with shredded cheese, and fold in half. Cook in a skillet until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.
  3. Nachos: Layer tortilla chips with leftover taco meat, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and jalapenos. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  4. Taco pizza: Spread pizza sauce on a pre-made crust, top with the leftover taco meat, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, and sliced black olives. Bake in the oven until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted.
  5. Stuffed peppers: Cut the tops off of bell peppers and remove the seeds. Fill the peppers with the leftover taco meat and top with shredded cheese. Bake in the oven until the peppers are tender, and the cheese is melted.

 

How long is taco meat good for?

Cooked taco meat can last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.  Frozen taco meat can last for 3-4 months.

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Author

  • Laurie Graves

    Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.

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