World’s Best Taco Meat Recipe

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The World’s Best Taco Meat Recipe is packed with flavorful seasonings, ground beef, peppers, onions, and Rotel, then simmered to perfection. Far from ordinary and anything but dry, it’s the best homemade taco meat recipe you’ll ever put in your mouth.

eays keto taco meat in a skillet

This delicious taco meat recipe is a staple at our house. From tasty tacos, taco salads, casseroles, and lettuce wraps, to Mexican casseroles, it’s incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes. I often make a large batch of taco meat at once when I meal prep so I can have it ready for quick weeknight dinners.

I love that this recipe uses healthy ingredients. With my homemade taco seasoning, I know I am feeding my family healthy taco meat without all the additives of packaged taco seasoning.

As written for those with dietary restrictions, it is gluten-free and keto-friendly for those following a low-carb diet. However, please make sure to check the ingredients you use in your kitchen for gluten, as there is always a possibility ingredients will vary from brand to brand.

Taco meat ingredients:

  • Ground beef: This is the most flavorful. I try to get an 80/20, which makes this taco meat super juicy. You can use ground turkey or chicken if you prefer.
  • Peppers, onions, and garlic: For added flavor, texture, and an opportunity to get my kids to eat veggies,  
  • Rotel – a flavorful combination of tomatoes, green chilies, and other spices, adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick to the taco meat.
  • Beef broth – the perfect addition to making our taco meat juicy and flavorful! It also provides some additional savory taste
  • Taco seasoning: Taco seasoning makes your meat perfect for Mexican meals. The homemade taco seasoning or store-bought packet adds a mix of spices, including chili powder, cumin, paprika, and more. These spices not only enhance the flavor. Y

**My homemade keto taco seasoning contains no additives, preservatives, sugar, or MSG.

onions, peppers and garlic in a skillet

How to make this ground beef taco meat recipe:

Step 1: Heat butter in a skillet and saute your green peppers, onions, and garlic until soft. Remove from pan.

Tip: If you don’t have fresh garlic or onions on hand, garlic powder and onion powder also work.

keto taco meat in a skillet with taco seasoning and ground beef

Step 2: Add your ground beef to the same skillet and brown. Drain excess grease. Add the Rotel, beef broth, and taco seasonings, and simmer for 15 minutes until the taco meat thickens.

I suggest using my homemade taco seasoning recipe that I’ve linked in the recipe card at the bottom of this post; however, a store-bought seasoning packet will work.

ground taco meat in a skillet with ro-tel tomatoes, taco seasoning and veggies

Step 3: Once your taco meat is thick, it’s ready! Add salt and pepper if needed.

Tips & FAQ

Searing Adds Flavor: When sautéing the green peppers and onions, let them get a little bit of color or “sear” on their edges. This can enhance their natural sweetness and add more flavor to your taco meat.
Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Make sure not to overcrowd the pan when cooking the peppers and onions. They might steam if you add too many at once instead of getting that nice sautéed texture.
Adjust Spice Level: If you like your tacos spicier, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or some hot sauce to the mix. Just be cautious – a little goes a long way!
Let It Rest: After simmering, let the ground beef taco meat mixture rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the mixture to settle, resulting in a tastier filling.
Garnish with Freshness: Adding a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro or a squeeze of lime juice just before serving can bring fresh flavor to your tacos.

What seasonings are in Taco Meat?

Taco seasoning typically includes a blend of spices like cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, dried minced onion, coriander, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, which come together to give your dishes that classic savory and slightly spicy taco flavor.

What type of ground meat should be used for the taco meat?

I prefer to use 80/20 ground beef. The higher fat content is much more flavorful and helps prevent it from being dry; however, you can use lean ground beef if you prefer.

Should the onion be finely chopped or diced for the taco meat?

It’s best to chop the onion into small pieces for the taco meat. This will ensure an even flavor distribution and add a nice crunch to each bite.

How should the green pepper be sliced for the taco meat?

Slice the green pepper into thin strips for the taco meat. This will add a slight sweetness and a pop of color to your taco filling.

Is the beef broth necessary for the taco meat recipe?

Yes, the ¼ cup of beef broth adds moisture and helps infuse the flavors into the meat. It also creates a delicious base for the taco meat sauce.

What can be used instead of Rotel in the taco meat recipe?

If you don’t have Rotel, you can substitute it with diced tomatoes and a small amount of diced green chilies. It will still give your taco meat a flavorful and slightly spicy kick.

Can ground chicken or turkey be used instead of ground beef in the taco meat recipe?

Absolutely! Ground chicken or turkey can be great alternatives to ground beef. They are leaner options and will still provide a tasty base for your taco filling.

Can additional vegetables be added to the taco meat recipe?

Of course! Taco meat is a great opportunity to sneak in some extra veggies. You can add diced tomatoes, corn, or shredded carrots to enhance the nutritional value and taste.

How long should the taco meat simmer with all the ingredients?

Let the taco meat simmer for 10-15 minutes after adding all the ingredients. This will give enough time for the flavors to meld together and the meat to become tender.

Can the taco meat recipe be made ahead of time and reheated?

Absolutely! This taco meat recipe can be made and reheated when needed. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Can this recipe be made in the slow cooker?

Sure! In the last hour of cooking, remove the lid so that the taco meat can cook down. It may not reduce as much in a slow cooker, so you might need to serve with a slotted spoon.

What are some common toppings to serve with taco meat?

Some common toppings for taco meat include shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. Feel free to get creative and add your favorite toppings!

How to serve your keto taco meat

There are SO MANY different ways you can serve your taco meat, and the toppings are seemingly endless! Taco Tuesday doesn’t have to be the same ol’ same ol’ anymore. I’ve included a list below of ideas, and there are also keto and low-carb options.

  • Classic Tacos: Load up taco shells with seasoned taco meat and top with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream. Serve with pinto beans and Mexican Rice for a delicious dinner.
  • Taco Salad: Make a taco salad by layering your taco meat over a bed of lettuce adding toppings like diced avocado, salsa, and crushed tortilla chips.
  • Taco Bowls: Serve your taco meat in edible tortilla bowls or baked tortilla cups, along with your favorite toppings.
  • Taco Wraps: Wrap your taco meat in soft flour tortillas with shredded cheese, lettuce, and a drizzle of your favorite sauce.
  • Loaded Nachos: Pile tortilla chips with your taco meat and smother them with melted cheese, jalapeños, black olives, and more. Pop them in the oven until the cheese is gooey and bubbly.
  • Taco Pizza: Spread your taco meat over pizza dough, sprinkle with cheese, and bake. After it’s done, add lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers: Fill halved bell peppers with your taco meat mixture, top with cheese, and bake until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted.
  • Quesadillas: Create cheesy quesadillas by sandwiching your taco meat and cheese between two tortillas. Cook until crispy and golden.
  • Taco-Stuffed Potatoes: Pile your taco meat on top of baked potatoes and add toppings like cheese, salsa, and green onions.
  • Taco Pasta: Toss your taco meat with cooked pasta, cheese, and some taco sauce for a Mexican-inspired pasta dish.

However, if you ARE following a low-carb diet, here are a few ways you can serve your taco meat and more Mexican Keto recipe ideas. You can still eat low-carb and enjoy Taco Tuesday!

  • On a chaffle! I bet you won’t miss taco shells if you serve your taco meat on these crispy Taco Chaffles! A cheese taco shell is an excellent alternative if you don’t have a waffle maker. Both make a delicious keto-friendly taco. 
  • Over a bed of lettuce! A super low-carb option is to make a Keto Taco Salad. It is served with a deliciously creamy dressing!
  • As a taco lettuce wrap! I suggest using Romaine or Bibb lettuce as your wraps. A burrito bowl is always a win, too. 
  • Use the taco meat in a keto taco casserole. This is very hearty but is more ‘dirty keto,’ with layers of low-carb soft tortillas between the layers of taco meat.
  • In a soup! This Queso Keto Taco Soup is creamy is full of taco flavor!
  • In these Low Carb Taco Cups with your meat served in fun low-carb taco cups!
  • On a pizza! This Low Carb Taco Keto Pizza recipe is delicious!
  • Mexican Style Keto Stuffed Peppers are a fantastic change of pace.

How many net carbs?

Based on six equal-sized servings using the homemade taco seasoning, this taco meat is only 3g net carbs and has incredible flavor.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Fridge: Once your taco meat is cooked and cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, it can last for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer: Use a freezer-safe container or zippered freezer bag. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months.

Reheating Instructions:

  • Stovetop Reheating: Place the leftover taco meat in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of water or broth to prevent it from drying out. Stir occasionally until heated through.
  • Microwave Reheating: Put the taco meat in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or a damp paper towel—heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until thoroughly heated.

Variations

  • Cheesy Taco Meat Skillet: Mix in a cup of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese after browning the ground beef. Let the cheese melt into the meat, creating a gooey and flavorful filling. Serve the cheesy taco meat in tortillas and top with your favorite toppings.
  • Fiesta Taco Meat with Corn and Black Beans: Add half a cup of drained canned corn and half a cup of drained and rinsed black beans to the sautéed peppers and onions. Stir them into the meat mixture along with the other ingredients. This variation adds a delightful burst of color and texture to your tacos.
  • Smokey Chipotle Taco Meat: Add a teaspoon of chipotle chili powder or minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce while browning the ground beef. This variation will infuse a rich smoky, and spicy flavor into your taco meat.
  • Zesty Lime Cilantro Taco Meat: Squeeze the juice of one lime over the cooked meat before adding the peppers and onions. Mix in a handful of chopped fresh cilantro along with the other ingredients. The lime and cilantro combo will give your taco meat a bright and refreshing taste.
  • Chicken Taco Meat: Instead of hamburger meat, use shredded chicken breasts and chicken broth for a fun change.

More ground beef recipes:

ground beef in a skillet with taco seasoning and ro-tel
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4.65 from 17 votes

World's Best Taco Meat Recipe

The World's Best Taco Meat Recipe is packed with flavorful seasonings, ground beef, peppers, onions, and Rotel, then simmered to perfection. 
Prep Time6 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time21 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: casual, Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 173kcal
Author: Kasey Trenum

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat butter in a skillet and saute green peppers for 3 minutes then add onions. Saute until they reach desired tenderness then remove from pan.
  • Brown the ground beef in the skillet. Once it's brown, drain the extra grease.
  • Put the peppers and onions back in the skillet. Add the garlic, taco seasoning, beef broth, and Rotel. Mix everything up.
  • Turn up the heat a bit until things start bubbling. Then, lower the heat and cover the skillet. Let it all simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and give it a good stir. If it hasn't thickened, turn up the heat to medium-high and simmer with the lid off so the liquid can reduce. Watch carefully, as you don't want it to dry out.

Video

Notes

Storing & Reheating Instructions:
It can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
This taco meat can be made in bulk and stored in plastic freezer bags in your freezer for up to 3 months for quick, last minute meals!
To rewarm, pop it in the microwave or heat on the stove in a skillet. 
Tips
Searing Adds Flavor: When sautéing the green peppers and onions, let them get a little bit of color or "sear" on their edges. This can enhance their natural sweetness and add more flavor to your taco meat.
Don't Overcrowd the Pan: When cooking the peppers and onions, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. If you add too many at once, they might steam instead of getting that nice sautéed texture.
Adjust Spice Level: If you like your tacos spicier, consider adding a pinch of red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or some hot sauce to the mix. Just be cautious – a little goes a long way!
Let It Rest: After simmering, let the ground beef taco meat mixture rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and the mixture to settle, resulting in a tastier filling.
Garnish with Freshness: Adding a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro or a squeeze of lime juice just before serving can bring a burst of fresh flavor to your tacos.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 290mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 223IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @kaseytrenumblogger or tag #kaseytrenumblogger!

easy and quick keto taco meat in a skillet with taco seasoning

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14 Comments

  1. Hi. I’m 64 and disabled. I want to do the keto diet. I like your tecipes. I seen your week 42 meal plan. Is there a way to start from week one? I’d appreciate any help. I believe if I get some weight off I’ll have less pain and move around easier. I have a7 year old that s mine and would love to be able to do more with him.

    1. In the week 42 meal plan if you scroll down under this weeks meal plan you will find a link to the master list of meal plans where you will find all previous weeks. Thanks! I’m glad you have enjoyed my recipes.

    1. You’re so welcome, Emmy! I’m glad you like it. This is my oldest daughter’s recipe. She’s a great little cook.

  2. 5 stars
    This was EXTREMELY good!! DEFINITELY the best taco meat I’ve ever made! And, with her taco seasoning recipe, WIN WIN!!! We LOVED it!!

    1. Rotel is canned tomatoes with green chilis. You can find it in the canned tomatoes in the grocery store.

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