The Best Taco Meat Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

With less than 10 ingredients and just one skillet, you can make delicious taco meat in about 15 minutes using homemade taco seasoning! It's quick, easy, and best of all - DELICIOUS!


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  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add onion along with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add ground beef, and cook, crumbling with a spatula until browned and cooked through.
  4. Add taco seasoning, tomato paste, and water. Stir until well combined.
  5. Turn heat to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring occaisonally. 
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!



  • Customize the seasoning to suit your family's taste! If you prefer your taco meat a little spicier, add in a pinch of cayenne pepper or some red pepper flakes. If you like a more earthy flavor, add a few extra pinches of cumin. If you like it smoky, try adding ancho chili powder or smoked paprika.
  • I don't drain the grease from my ground beef. Remember that fat equals flavor and fat doesn't make you fat! I like to use an 85/15 ground beef and it comes out delicious and not greasy at all! If you're using meat with a higher fat content, you may need to drain the grease off at some point just to make sure the meat is actually browning and not just boiling.
  • Add more water as needed. Depending on the fat content of your ground beef and what kind of pan you're using, you may need to add a bit more water to keep the meat from drying out, burning, or sticking to the pan.
  • Although the meat may look like it's done after you've stirred in the taco seasoning, tomato paste, and water it's important to simmer the meat for 3-5 more minutes so that the tomato paste has time to cook through. Tomato paste has a bit of a raw flavor before it's cooked and it will develop a very deep flavor as it cooks. So don't hurry the meat and give it plenty of time to simmer with the tomato paste and spices.