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Super easy and only takes 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to make! The sky is the limit with this taco meat…it’s so versatile and tastes delicious in all types of Mexican dishes!

Taco meat in a bowl.
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Best Ground Beef

We make taco meat all the time at our house. It’s super simple and can be used so many ways! I especially love to make a big taco salad with all the fix-in’s like pico de gallo, black beans, corn, guacamoletortilla strips…you name it. Oh, and you can’t forget the cilantro lime dressing. SO yummy!

It’s good to go back to the basics every once in awhile. Taco meat is one of those things that is so easy to make and my whole family loves. I’ll often whip some up and then set it next to a big bowl of lettuce, tortillas and all the fix-in’s so everyone can make whatever they want.

The best thing about taco meat is that the sky is the limit! It’s perfect for making beef tacos, enchiladas, navajo tacos, taco salads and more. Plus it’s super easy and takes only 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to make. You can’t beat that!

Mixing salsa into a pan of taco meat.


  • Ground beef: I like to use 80-90% lean ground beef, however you could use ground turkey if preferred.
  • Onions: Onions add another layer of freshness. They cook with the beef while it browns and add great flavor.
  • Taco seasoning: I love to make my own homemade taco seasoning. It’s so easy, cost effective and is great to have on hand. Feel free to use store-bought seasoning if desired.
  • Salsa: Not only does mixing in fresh salsa give the meat extra flavor, it also helps to thicken it up as well. If you don’t have salsa on hand, you can use tomato sauce and water instead.
Taco meat in pan with wooden spoon.

How to Make Taco Meat

This taco meat is so easy and comes together in just 15 minutes. Just follow the simple steps below to get started. Scroll down for the printable recipe.

  1. Brown beef in skillet. Cook ground beef and onions in a large skillet over medium heat until browned. Stir occasionally to break up any large pieces.
  2. Add seasonings and simmer. Drain any excess grease from the meat, then add taco seasoning and salsa (or tomato sauce and water). Bring to a light simmer. Add more water if desired.
  3. Serve and enjoy! Serve in tacos, taco salads or burritos.

Can it be Frozen?

Yes! Sometimes I’ll double the batch so that I can stick half in the freezer. It’s great to have on hand for an easy weeknight dinner. To freeze, simply place in a freezer bag (make sure to remove all of the air) and store in freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, stick in the fridge overnight and then reheat on the skillet (or in the microwave) until warm.

Corn tacos with taco meat and topping.

Favorite Ways to use Taco Meat

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taco meat recipe

Taco Meat Recipe

5 from 10 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Super easy and only takes 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to make! The sky is the limit with this taco meat…it's so versatile and tastes delicious in all types of Mexican dishes!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 6


  • 1 pound ground beef , 80-90% lean
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-2 Tablespoons taco seasoning , more to taste
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ¼ cup water , more as needed

S&P to taste


    • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and onion and cook until browned, stirring occasionally breaking up any large pieces. 
    • Once browned, drain off any extra grease. Then add in the taco seasoning, salsa or tomato sauce and water. Bring to a light simmer. Add more water as desired. 
    • Serve in tacos, taco salads or burritos. 


    Freezer instructions: Place in a freezer bag and seal out any air. Store in freezer for up to 3 months. Place in the fridge overnight to thaw, then reheat in skillet or microwave until warm. 


    Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 285mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 180IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1.6mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Main Dish
    Cuisine: Mexican

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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