Everyone loves taco night, right? It’s a delicious meal that’s easy enough to make, so everyone goes away happy! This taco meat recipe is a great start for that!
Ground beef browned in a skillet, with taco seasonings, water and salsa added. Cook it down until thick and use it in all your taco night favorites!
Taco seasoning for ground beef
For a long time, I made my taco meat using those pre-measured packets of seasoning, but I really needed something more flexible. The packets are made for a pound of meat. What if you want to make 1 ½ pounds? Awkward, right?
For me, the best solution is to buy taco seasoning in bulk. Every grocery store has some in their spice section and having a jar of it means you can measure out more or less according to the amount of meat you need to spice.
With seasoning always available, the only other ingredients needed are ground beef and salsa. Which of course you’ll want to have on hand for taco night anyway. 😀
I have purchased various store brands, and even giant Costco sized containers. But my current favorite comes from Penzey’s. They have both “regular” and “bold” taco seasoning. I buy the bold, for maximum flavor.
If you want to make your own seasoning, here is a simple recipe. Mix these together and store in an airtight container:
- 1 TB chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon oregano (dried)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
How to make the taco meat
First, of course, we must brown the ground beef. Be aggressive about breaking up the meat as it starts to cook. Big chunks don’t always work the best for tacos or quesadillas.
Once the meat is brown, it’s ready to season. In addition to the dry taco seasoning, I add some salsa to mine. It gives another layer of flavor and texture to the meat, rather than relying on just the dry seasoning. You probably already have a favorite salsa in the house. That’s the best one to use. 😀
Simply add the taco seasoning, salsa and a little water to the skillet and mix very well. Cook the mixture until the liquid has evaporated enough to leave behind a thick sauce.
Use this taco meat for all your favorite Tex-Mex delights: Burrito pie, taco salads, ground beef quesadillas, tacos, even a crunch wrap. Use any leftover taco meat for a taco omelet in the morning.
Taco meat is one of the most versatile things you can make!
- 1 pound ground beef
- ¾ cup salsa
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning more as needed for personal taste
- ¼ cup water
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat as it browns.
- When meat is fully brown, add the taco seasoning, salsa and water. Stir well to combine. Simmer about 5 minutes, until liquid has evaporated and sauce is thick.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
I've been making taco meat for years and never thought to add salsa!! Great recipe, so easy and versatile...and delicious!
I'm glad you liked it. I really do like the addition of salsa - it gives it an extra touch.