This really is THE BEST Taco Meat recipe. It’s packed with rich flavour, crumbly in texture and moist without being oily. It’s a simple recipe you can throw together in less than 30 minutes when you are in need of a quick and easy family friendly meal that everyone will love. Serve it as taco filling, salads, taco bowls or nachos, it’s so versatile!


Why This Really Is The Best Taco Meat Recipe

  • It takes less than 30-minutes to make and you can even use frozen ground meat if you don’t have time (or forgot!) to thaw it. It’s such an easy recipe!
  • Whether it’s taco tuesday, or a busy weeknight, this is the perfect thing to throw together when you are short on time and ingredients. 
  • Taco night is the biggest night of the week in our house and this taco meat is a family favorite! The meat only has a touch of spice so even my kids will love it in ground beef tacos. 
  • It really is the best taco meat! It’s loaded with flavour and perfectly moist, plus the meat has a super crumbly texture thanks to a secret (unconventional!) trick I use. 
  • This Ground Beef Taco Meat is Paleo, Whole30, Keto, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal. 



Ingredients You Need To Make This Taco Meat Recipe

  • Onion: This homemade taco meat has a decent amount of onion in it, which softens and blends in with the ground beef. Try to get the onion as finely diced as possible, or if you aren’t a fan of dicing onion, I like to cut the onions into quarters and then place them into my food processor and pulse for a few seconds until they are blended into a finely diced size. 
  • Garlic: 6 cloves of fresh garlic adds a major punch of flavour to this delicious meat. If you do not like garlic you can use garlic powder for a much more mild flavor. 
  • Ground Beef: I prefer using medium or lean ground beef for this recipe, I find that extra lean ground beef can get quite dry and regular ground beef has quite a bit of oil. 
  • The Homemade Taco Seasoning: a blend of cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander and chili powder.
  • Tomato Paste: Creates a thick and rich tomato flavoured sauce. I do not recommend using tomato sauce in its place as it will be too liquidy. 
  • Beef Stock: I prefer using beef broth which adds a rich taste, but chicken broth or vegetable broth can also be used. 

(You can find all of the ingredient amounts in the recipe card below)



How To Make This Ground Beef Taco Meat

  1. In a large skillet or pot on medium-high heat, sauté onions and garlic until soft and then add in the ground beef and cook until it’s no longer pink.
  2. Add in the blend of spices, tomato paste and beef broth and leave to simmer on medium heat for approximately 12 minutes until all of the liquid has evaporated. 




Ways To Use This Taco Meat: 

This taco meat is incredibly versatile.

  • You can enjoy it as a taco in corn tortillas or flour tortillas (or hard taco shells) with any of your favorite toppings such as salsa or pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and lettuce, or in celery root tortillas or lettuce cups if you are doing Whole30 or on the specific carbohydrate diet.
  • For a low carb option serve it as a taco salad on a bed of shredded lettuce with all of the taco toppings plus pinto beans or refried beans, or on a bed of cauliflower rice (or regular rice) as a loaded taco bowl.
  • Stuff bell peppers with the ground beef and bake them in the oven until they have softened, then top with salsa, cheese and guacamole
  • For game day you can make nachos by spreading the taco meat over tortilla chips, sprinkling with cheese and cooking in the oven, or you can serve a big bowl of the taco meat with tortilla chips on the side to scoop it up.


Is This Taco Meat Spicy? 

This taco meat has a slight kick to it but isn’t so hot your mouth stings. I would rate it a 5/10 on the spicy scale. If you like your taco meat to have more of a kick to it I would recommend adding in another 1-2 tablespoons of chili powder or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, or alternatively finely dice a jalapeno and add it in with the onion and garlic. My two year old toddler loves this taco meat recipe and doesn’t have an issue with the level of spice, but if your kids like zero spice than I would recommend reducing the amount of chili powder to 1 or 2 tablespoons. You can also use cayenne pepper in place of chili powder. 


Can I Use A Different Type Of Meat?

I prefer using lean ground beef, but if you do not eat beef or prefer a healthier option, ground turkey is a great substitution. Ground chicken or ground pork would also work in this recipe although I find that the texture and flavour changes quite significantly. 



Can I Add Anything Else In With The Taco Meat?

If you would like to sneak in some hidden veggies, stir in 1 1/2 cups of very finely ground cauliflower rice. As it cooks it adds volume to the ground meat while its taste and texture is completely undetectable. A handful or two of spinach added into the ground meat just a few minutes before it’s finished cooking is another great way to add in vegetables. If you are not on the Paleo or Whole30 diet you can also add in 1 cup of corn kernels or 1 can of black beans.


Can I Use Frozen Ground Beef?

Don’t stress! You don’t need to worry about thawing the ground beef before adding it to the pot. Flip the block of ground beef over as it cooks in the pot and try to break it up with a wooden spoon to decrease the cooking time. There will likely be excess liquid in the pot from the frozen beef which may take a few extra minutes of cooking to evaporate. 



Beef Taco Meat

Can I Make This In An Instant Pot? 

If you prefer to make this ground beef taco meat recipe in the instant pot you definitely can. Start by switching the instant pot to saute for steps 1-2 in the instructions. Add in the ground beef, switch the instant pot to manual settings and high pressure for 20 minutes to cook the beef. After 20 minutes, quick release and if there is quite a bit of liquid in the pot, switch to saute and leave the beef to cook for a few more minutes uncovered until all of the liquid has evaporated. 



Can I Make This In A Slow Cooker?

If you are into a low maintenance way of cooking, the slow cooker method is the way to go.This method skips the sauteing step, simply put all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and leave it to cook on high heat for 3 hours or low heat for 6 hours. 

How To Store Leftovers 

Leftover taco meat can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. You can freeze the taco meat in zip loc bags or an airtight container for up to 4 months and pull it out for nights when you have no time to cook and are in need of a family favourite meal. 



Here are a few more recipes that use ground beef:

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Beef Taco Meat Recipe

Every Last Bite
This really is THE BEST Taco Meat. It's packed with rich flavour, crumbly in texture and moist without being oily. It's a great recipe to throw together in less than 30 minutes when you are in need of a quick and easy family friendly meal that everyone will love.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal, Whole30
Servings 4
Calories 586 kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion (2 yellow onions)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup beef stock


  • To a large skillet or pot on medium high heat add the olive oil, onion, garlic and salt and saute for 4 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  • Add in the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break the beef up into smaller pieces. Cook the beef for approximately 6 minutes until it has browned and is no longer pink in colour.
  • Add in the cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, chili powder, tomato paste and beef stock and stir. Leave the meat to simmer for 10-12 minutes until all of the liquid has evaporated. Use a potato masher to break the meat up into a crumbly texture. Taste the meat and add more chili powder, salt or cumin as needed. Serve warm.
Calories: 586kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 78gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gSodium: 1369mgPotassium: 1974mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gCalcium: 132mgIron: 14mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!