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Taco Meat: 4 Secret Ingredients

Everyone loves a good taco meat recipe! Whether it’s Taco Tuesday or not, tacos are a quick, easy, and delicious dinner option that the entire family will love. The beauty of tacos is the simplicity of them, however, they still need to have a little bit of kick in there in order to really be enjoyed correctly. If you are really looking to take your taco meat recipe to the next level, here are four secret ingredients that you can add to your arsenal:

Ground Beef

So ground beef isn’t exactly a “secret” ingredient per se but it still is a very important ingredient for taco meat. What’s really the secret when it comes to ground beef is the type that you get. As you know, there are many different types of ground beef that range in terms of how lean it is. Some people like leaner meat than others, and that’s totally fine! However, we have found that the best ground beef to use in your taco meat recipe is 90% lean because it’s less greasy than lower percentages while still being tender and delicious. 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

This is where the secrets start to come out! While you might be tempted to just buy a packet of store-made taco seasoning, you really can’t go wrong with making your own taco seasoning at home. Odds are that you already have everything you need in your spice cabinet! You can even make a larger amount and bottle it yourself so that you always have it on-hand for whenever the taco cravings strike. Here are some of the basic ingredients you need for a delicious taco seasoning:

  • Paprika (1/4 teaspoon)

  • Dried cumin (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Crushed red pepper (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Chili powder (2 teaspoons)

  • Garlic powder (1/4 teaspoon)

  • Dried oregano (1/2 teaspoon)

  • Salt & pepper 

  • Cornstarch (1/4 teaspoon)

Tomato Sauce

Another secret ingredient to making the perfect taco meat is to add in tomato sauce to the recipe. Tomato sauce is actually a great thing to add to taco meat because odds are that you will be putting other tomato products onto your finished tacos as toppings. Things like salsa or even fresh diced tomatoes are essential taco toppings. So combined with a little bit of tomato sauce into the actual meat itself, you can really take your taco meat to the next recipe. 


The last secret ingredient you will need is onions. While adding onion to your taco meat might add an extra step in the cooking process, it’s well worth it. For the small amount of time and effort that it takes you to chop and cook the onion, you will get tons of added flavor and deliciousness back – it’s really a no-brainer! 

How to Cook Taco Meat

Even though the beauty of tacos is in their simplicity, how to cook them might not be overly obvious for those who have never made it before. 

  • The first thing you need to do is to cook your chopped onions in a pan with olive oil on medium-high heat. This should take about 5 minutes. 

  • Add in the ground beef and start breaking it apart with a spatula. Keep breaking it apart and moving it around until everything is completely brown and there are no pink spots left.

  • After cooking the meat, you will need to drain the fat and oil from the pan. Exactly how you do this is up to you, but I like to use a pasta strainer. 

  • Once the meat is drained, put it back into the warm pan and add in the taco seasoning and tomato sauce and mix it all up! Keep it on the stove for a few more minutes so that it comes to a simmer.

At this point, it’s time for the fun stuff! Add your favorite taco toppings like cheese, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, corn, or sour cream. Anything you add is bound to make your taco meat recipe even more delicious!


Written by wahab ch

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