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Homemade Ground Beef Taco Meat

April 4, 2024
homemade ground beef taco meat in a serving bowl, topped with cilantro microgreens and fresh lime

Tacos regularly feature in our weekly meals, and making ground beef taco meat has become a simple routine. This recipe is quick and easy, flavorful, and versatile. The meat turns out juicy without being too saucy, making it a great addition not just to tacos, but to a variety of meals.

We often use the leftovers for breakfast, add them to diversity bowls for a simple yet nutritious lunch, serve them with baked sweet potato, or pair them with non-starchy vegetables for a low-carb dinner option.

Build a Nutritious Dinner with This Ground Beef Taco Meat

Incorporating this ground beef taco meat into a taco dinner allows for a variety of nutritious and tasty options. Here’s how we usually serve it:

  • Tortillas: We opt for gluten-free and lectin-free choices. Sometimes, my husband goes for corn tortillas (which are not lectin-free), while I always prefer cassava tortillas or coconut flour tortillas as a low-carb alternative. Sometimes, I just use salad leaves for an even lighter option.

  • Homemade Guacamole: A blend of ripe avocado, a touch of finely chopped onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro for a fresh kick.
  • Shredded Cabbage: Alternating between white or red cabbage, with the occasional choice of finely shredded iceberg lettuce for its crunch.
  • Fresh Toppings: Chopped red onion and cilantro or cilantro microgreens for freshness, sometimes adding broccoli microgreens for an extra nutritional boost.
  • A Spicy Finish: For a bit of heat, a few drops of red Tabasco sauce are perfect.
  • Creamy Touch: Finish it with a drizzle of organic sour cream made from A2 casein milk for a creamy, tangy addition.
Ground beef taco meat served with tortillas, guacamole, and red cabbage

Ingredients to Make Ground Beef Taco Meat

The distinct flavors and textures of this ground beef taco meat come from a carefully chosen blend of spices and the cooking method.

My journey with homemade tacos began when I moved to Dallas, Texas, in 2015. Initially unsure of what gave tacos their irresistible taste, I turned to a premade Taco Spice Mix from Whole Foods.

This was a starting point that introduced me to the essential spices for taco meat and inspired me to create my own mix, avoiding the unnecessary additives, preservatives, and emulsifiers found in store-bought mixes.

After years of refining, I’ve developed a go-to formula that consistently yields excellent results. A key to the unique texture is adding one teaspoon of tapioca starch, which makes the ground beef incredibly creamy and moist, while keeping it gluten-free and lectin-free.

We commit to using 100% grass-fed ground beef, ensuring this dish is not only delicious but also a nutritious and sustainable choice for your meals.

For the Taco Spice Mix:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (adjust according to spice preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch

For the Meat:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 400-500 grams (approximately 1 pound) 100% grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Fresh cilantro or cilantro microgreens, for garnish
homemade ground beef taco meat ingredients on a platter

Instructions:

Prepare the Taco Spice Mix: In a small bowl, combine the sweet paprika, ground coriander, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, ground pepper, Cayenne pepper, salt, and tapioca starch. Set aside.

Cook the Onions: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion. Sauté for about one minute, or until the onion begins to soften.

Brown and Flavor the Beef: Add the ground beef to the skillet. Using a wooden spatula, break the beef into small pieces, mixing it well with the onions. Cook for about one minute, then sprinkle the taco spice mix over the beef. Continue to stir and chop the beef with the spatula, ensuring the spices are evenly distributed and the beef browns uniformly. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the meat starts to brown and slightly stick to the pan.

ground beef in a skillet

Simmer: Add the water to the skillet, stirring well to combine and deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beef is thoroughly cooked.

Garnish and Serve: If desired, stir in freshly chopped cilantro just before serving. I love to use cilantro microgreens.

ground beef taco meat in a serving bowl topped with cilantro microgreens, avocados, tortillas, and lime

Serve and Enjoy!

This versatile taco meat can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving or enjoyed immediately. It is perfect for tacos, burritos, salads, or as a protein-packed addition to your favorite dishes.

tortillas on a wooden board topped with guacamole, taco meat, red cabbage, and onion

We hope you love our ground beef taco meat recipe as much as we do!

For a vegan taco recipe, check out our Cauliflower Tacos with Jicama-Cabbage Slaw.

For a different way of enjoying taco flavors, check out our Instant Pot Beef Taco Bowl with Tostones.

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Homemade Ground Beef Taco Meat

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By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Tacos regularly feature in our weekly meals, and making ground beef taco meat has become a simple routine. This recipe is quick and easy, flavorful, and versatile. The meat turns out juicy without being too saucy, making it a great addition not just to tacos, but to a variety of meals. We often use the leftovers for breakfast, add them to diversity bowls for a simple yet nutritious lunch, serve them with baked sweet potato, or pair them with non-starchy vegetables for a low-carb dinner option.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE TACO SPICE MIX:
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (adjust according to spice preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
  • FOR THE MEAT:
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 400-500 grams (approximately 1 pound) 100% grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Fresh cilantro or cilantro microgreens, for garnish

Instructions

1

Prepare the Taco Spice Mix: In a small bowl, combine the sweet paprika, ground coriander, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, ground pepper, Cayenne pepper, salt, and tapioca starch. Set aside.

2

Cook the Onions: Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion. Sauté for about one minute, or until the onion begins to soften.

3

Brown the Beef: Add the ground beef to the skillet. Using a wooden spatula, break the beef into small pieces, mixing it well with the onions. Cook for about one minute, then sprinkle the taco spice mix over the beef. Continue to stir and chop the beef with the spatula, ensuring the spices are evenly distributed and the beef browns uniformly. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the meat starts to brown and slightly stick to the pan.

4

Simmer: Add the water to the skillet, stirring well to combine and deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beef is thoroughly cooked.

5

Garnish and Serve: If desired, stir in freshly chopped cilantro just before serving.

6

This versatile taco meat can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving, or enjoyed immediately. Perfect for tacos, burritos, salads, or as a protein-packed addition to your favorite dishes.

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