Cooked up a huge batch for taco night yesterday and not sure what to do with leftover taco meat? Not to worry, there are at least 20 recipes here that will solve your problem.
Cooked, seasoned ground beef is such a flexible item, and with these leftover taco meat recipes, you will find something that sparks your interest. And if you are concerned about shelf life, the beef should last in your fridge for a few days after cooked.
Whether it is breakfast, a side dish, or another weeknight dinner, these recipes for leftover taco meat will satisfy.
1. Easy Taco Soup
Moisten up your taco meat with this juicy taco soup recipe.
The addition of water or broth, along with canned tomatoes and beans, will bring tons of moisture to the cooked meat.
This recipe is so forgiving because it has so many added ingredients, and you can season it even more to your liking.
This taco soup recipe freezes well and will also last in the fridge for a few days. Save it for a cold day when you want something comforting and warm.
2. Easy Taco Pasta
Want to shake things and wonder what to do with leftover taco meat? Try this refreshing and simple taco pasta recipe.
This taco pasta can be served cold or warmed and works great as a pasta salad for a party.
Garnish your taco pasta with avocado, tomato, and jalapenos for an elegant look and to add some crisp texture and bright flavours.
You can use any short pasta that you have on hand. Macaroni, shells, or penne are all great options.
3. Taco Casserole
Trying to feed a lot of people and want to keep things simple? Pile your ingredients into this super simple taco casserole and call it a day!
If you know you are going to be busy later in the week, taco casserole is a great make-ahead dish that you can prep days in advance before baking.
Top your taco casserole with a layer of cheese, like mozzarella or a Mexican cheese blend, to get a nice golden crust on the top. Add bread crumbs for even more of a crunch.
4. Taco Omelette
We have lunch and dinner covered, but wondering what to do with leftover taco meat for breakfast?
This taco omelette is a great way to make use of that taco meat and add some variety to your normal breakfast options.
The eggs absorb the rich flavor of the seasoned taco meat making for a flavorful experience in each bite.
This recipe is so flexible and you can substitute ingredients for any veggies you have on hand. A handful of spinach is a great addition, for example.
5. Beef Nachos Supreme
Need a quick snack in a few minutes and wondering what to make with leftover taco meat? Try these super simple beef nachos supreme.
This dish will make you feel like you are dining out at your favorite sports bar but for much cheaper.
You can top these nachos with canned or fresh jalapeños depending on your spice preferences.
If you are feeding a group, be sure to save yourself a portion before serving because these nachos will be gobbled up quickly.
6. Taco Quesadillas
This recipe for taco quesadillas comes together super quickly and makes a perfect weeknight meal, especially if you have been working late.
You can cook this quesadilla in the pan to add a nice crunch to the outside of your tortilla, or if you are in a pinch you can also microwave them.
Fresh cilantro is the secret ingredient that adds a nice, peppery flavor to the quesadillas.
Of course, if you are not a fan of cilantro you can drop it or substitute ingredients like parsley.
7. Taco Lasagna
It might seem strange, but taco lasagna is a super fun dinner dish and is so easy to make with leftover taco meat.
Rather than the traditional Italian flavors, this taco lasagna tastes more like a Mexican casserole or quesadillas.
But with its layers of cheesy goodness and rich, meaty sauce layers, this taco lasagna still is as comforting as traditional lasagna.
Make this dish ahead of time and freeze it in an airtight container for a simple, reliable dinner you can pop in the oven at any time.
8. Taco Grilled Cheese
There are few things as satisfying as homemade grilled cheese. Make your taco grilled cheese with real buttery for a savory comfort meal sure to please.
You can serve your taco grilled cheese on its own or pair it with a soup or a side dish like coleslaw or salad.
Taco grilled cheese will be your favorite go-to lunch recipe and is a clever way to use leftover taco meat without getting sick of the same old flavors.
9. Taco Stuffed Peppers
Need to prep a veggie-filled dinner and wondering what to make with taco meat? Try these taco-style stuffed peppers which are hearty and nutritious.
Picky eaters will be sure to eat their veggies with this one.
This recipe does not vary too much from the traditional stuffed pepper recipe you might be familiar with, but the seasoned taco meat adds a nice variety of flavour.
Pair your taco stuffed peppers with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with a green herb like cilantro or parsley for a lovely presentation.
10. Weeknight Leftover Taco Salad
You do not need to go out to a restaurant to enjoy a restaurant-style taco salad. Make use of your leftovers and make a delicious, greens-filled dinner.
This recipe even shows you how to make your own tortilla bowl with pre-made packaged tortillas.
Your family won’t believe you made this yourself!
The secret ingredient in this recipe is to top it off with ranch dressing, and if you want to be extra fancy, add a dollop of salsa and some chipotle hot sauce to your dressing to make a spicy ranch that is out of this world.
11. Ground Beef Enchiladas
Enchiladas are a delicious and comforting option for any meal and are a great way to make use of leftovers, like the other night’s taco meat.
With a rich enchilada sauce, this recipe will add moisture and flavor to your leftovers and will mask any imperfections quite easily.
You can make your own enchilada sauce or if you are pressed for time, the jarred variety will work just as well.
Top your enchiladas with extra cheese for a delight in every bite. These enchiladas come out so tender and swim in the sauce.
12. Taco Sloppy Joes
Kids and adults alike will be happy with these spiced-up sloppy joes.
This recipe brings back comforting memories while adding something new to this traditional dish.
The secret ingredient in this recipe that you are probably not used to seeing on your sloppy joes is guacamole.
The guacamole adds a nice, creamy element to the sloppy joes that balances out the rich spiciness of the meat.
Make sure to get big, fluffy buns, like sesame seed or brioche buns, to absorb all of the delicious flavours in this recipe.
13. Taco Spaghetti
You may have balked at taco lasagna, but wait until you try out taco spaghetti!
This clever and delicious recipe is a great way to use leftover taco meat.
Kids may not even notice the difference that their spaghetti dinner has a slightly different flavor palette.
You can use jarred salsa or canned tomatoes to make the “sauce” for this spaghetti.
You almost can’t over sauce it as the spaghetti will absorb much of the moisture.
Bake the taco spaghetti in a casserole dish to bring the flavours together.
14. Cheesy Taco Rice Skillets
Tired of tortilla shells and wondering what to do with taco meat besides tacos? Try this incredible cheese taco rice skillet recipe.
The secret ingredients of lime juice and garlic salt add a bright flavor to this yummy meal.
You can use any rice that you have on hand and this recipe will still taste great. If you are trying to add fibre to your diet, try using brown rice.
This recipe cooks up quickly, and if you already have pre-cooked taco meat, it makes it even easier to bring this meal together in no time.
15. Mexican Skillet Potatoes
Another great breakfast dish for your leftover taco meat is this recipe for Mexican skillet potatoes.
You can use any potatoes for this recipe but a small potato, such as small red potatoes or fingerling potatoes, will work especially well.
Cooking this recipe in a skillet, like a cast iron pan, will give the potatoes a nice golden crust.
Serve this Mexican skillet potato alongside some scrambled eggs in the morning, or use it as a side dish for dinner.
16. Shepherd’s Pie
This traditional recipe gets an added kick when made with leftover taco meat or seasoned taco meat.
Shepherd’s pie has been an old-time favourite because it is so comforting and so easy to make.
A mashed potato crust makes this dish extra hearty and crisps up nicely in the oven to create a delicate crunch.
Shepherd’s pie is hard to mess up and is a very forgiving recipe. The other flavours in the dish will make up for each other and altogether this dish will always come out savoury and delicious.
17. Taco Bake Casserole
Refried beans are the secret ingredient that makes this dish extra flavorful and hearty.
Make sure to buy a can of refried beans with the spice and seasoning level you prefer.
You can also buy low-sodium refried beans if you are watching your sodium intake.
This recipe calls for taco shells but you can also use thick tortilla chips depending on what you have on hand.
You can also crisp up some soft tortillas in the oven or on the stovetop.
18. Taco Pizza
You can put just about anything on pizza these days, and this yummy taco pizza recipe is evidence of that fact.
You do not need to go out to a fast food joint to grab a Mexican pizza when you can enjoy the cheesy goodness of this dish from your own home.
No extra cooking is required if you already cooked your taco meat.
Just sprinkle it on top of your pizza and it will warm up in the oven along with the other ingredients.
19. Shortcut Taco Soup
If you do not have time to bring together a soup, try this shortcut taco soup that is such a simple use for your leftover taco meat.
If you need a quick, weeknight dinner, this soup is what you are looking for.
This soup is comforting and delicious while being a breeze to make.
Red pepper flake and cayenne pepper are the secret ingredients to add a warm kick to this recipe.
Season to your preferences, though, as you don’t want to over-spice!
20. Leftover Taco Meat Bowls
Still wondering, what can I make with leftover taco meat? Our final item on this list is a low-calorie option that will be sure to fill you up.
Deconstruct your taco in this leftover taco meat bowl.
This recipe is so flexible and you can add any ingredient that sounds appealing.
As this recipe does not require extra cooking other than boiling your rice or whatever you are using for your base, it is great as a meal prep meal.
20 Best Leftover Taco Meat Recipes
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning, mild or spicy
- 1 and 1/2 cups stock, such as chicken or veggie
- 1 can (14 oz.) chile beans (do not drain!)
- 1 can (16 oz.) pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
- 1 can (10 oz.) diced or stewed tomato with green chiles
- 1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles or jalapeño (optional)
- 1 packet ranch salad dressing mix
- Salt, to taste
- Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the beef. Cook until the outside is completely brown and no pink is showing, breaking up it into small crumbles as you work. Drain the leftover juices.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning over the meat and mix well.
Deglaze the pot with stock and bring it to a boil.
- Stir in the beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, and other seasonings.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until heated through.
- For even more developed flavor, cover and keep on low heat for 1-2 hours, adding water or stock if it dries out.
- Remove from heat and serve with fixings like a dollop of sour cream and crunched-up tortilla chips. Enjoy!