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13 Best Leftover Taco Meat Recipes

hard shell tacos

Got a lot of leftover taco meat, but not in the mood for more tacos? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

From burritos and quesadillas to spaghetti and sloppy joe’s, we have 13 different ways to transform your leftover taco meat into tasty new meals.

Pretty sure after reading this article, you’ll want to cook a big batch of taco meat just so you can make all these tasty variations.

And you definitely should! It will make your life so much easier. Simply cook up a big batch of ground beef (or turkey) at the beginning of the week, and you can whip together quick and easy meals all week long.

The idea is simple, TBH. You just use taco meat in place of any recipe that calls for ground beef. It’s a lot simpler and quicker too because the meat is already cooked. Plus, since the meat has that wonderful taco flavor, your dishes will taste even more phenomenal!

Forget Taco Tuesdays – with these recipes, you might just end up eating taco (meat) every day.


1. Burritos

A burrito is a flavorful and filling cousin of the taco. It’s got similar makings, so you can definitely use your taco meat for a burrito instead. Just spread some taco meat, beans, rice, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese on a flour tortilla and roll it up! 

If you want a lighter version, just skip the flour tortilla and make a burrito bowl instead. Add your favorite burrito fillings sans the rice and Voila – a healthy burrito! 

Enchilada Casserole

2. Enchilada Casserole

Enchiladas are another Mexican dish that has similar ingredients to a taco, so why not use your leftover meat to make one? Not only is it so tasty, but it’s also super easy to make. Just toss in your favorite enchilada makings (taco meat included) in a crockpot, and that’s it! It’s so simple, anybody can make it.


3. Nachos

Not in the mood for tacos? Well, how about a nacho party, instead? Just lay out various nacho toppings, top withleftover taco meat, and you’ve got yourself a fun nacho bar!

And, aside from nachos, here’s something else you can use: tater tots! Top those crispy spuds with your favorite nacho ingredients – it’s so good, it’s like a party in your mouth!  

Taco Spaghetti

4. Taco Spaghetti

If you’re looking for something the kids and kids-at-heart will enjoy, this entry is spot on. Leftover meat taco is bursting with so much flavor, it will turn your ordinary spaghetti into an extraordinary dinner. 

And, if you want to make things even more interesting, why not turn your spaghetti into a casserole? Place your spaghetti in a baking dish. Load it with shredded cheddar cheese, and pop it in the oven! Fabulous.

Meaty Mac and Cheese

5. Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

Oh, speaking of spaghetti, here’s another pasta transformation: beef up your mac and cheese by adding taco meat. Beef and cheese always taste great together, so why not?

Taco Lasagna

6. Taco Lasagna

Give your lasagna a Mexican spin by using taco meat for the beef layer! And, while you’re at it, add some beans to the casserole as well for an even more Mexican feel.

Oh, and here’s another interesting idea: why not use flour tortillas instead of the usual flat pasta? 

Shepherd's Pie

7. Shepherd’s Pie

Give your leftover taco meat a comforting blanket of creamy mashed potatoes! To make shepherd’s pie, season your taco meat with Worcestershire sauce, and add corn, carrots, and peas. Spread on a baking dish, top with mashed potatoes, and bake until the potatoes turn brown. 

Homemade Pizza

8. Homemade Pizza

Instead of regular ground beef, top your pizza dough with taco meat instead! Stick to the theme and add other Mexican toppings as well, such as beans, salsa, sour cream, and boatloads of cheese. A fantastic fusion of Mexican and Italian cuisines! 

Loaded Baked Potatoes

9. Taco-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Baked potatoes already taste good even with just a dab of butter, but you can definitely make things even more interesting. Why not go crazy on the toppings for a more irresistible and heartier dish? Top your baked potatoes with taco meat, shredded cheese, sour cream, and scallions. Yum!

Homemade Sloppy Joe

10. Homemade Sloppy Joe’s

Add tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and green chilis to your leftover taco meat, and you know what you’ve got? A scrumptious Sloppy Joe!

A simple yet drool-worthy transformation indeed. Oh, and if you don’t have Worcestershire sauce on hand? That’s okay, just use soy sauce instead. 

bowl of chili

11. Chili

Speaking of Sloppy Joe’s, here’s a similar dish you can make with taco meat: chili! Leftover taco meat cuts down a lot of cooking time since the meat is already cooked. Simply add the rest of your ingredients to the mix and your set. Can be cooked in a crockpot or on the stove.

Here’s how to make chili using taco meat: Combine taco meat with canned baked beans, green chilies, canned sweet tomatoes, and your other favorite chili ingredients.

I like to add elbow macaroni to mine for an even more filling chili, but that’s your call. Cook that bad boy for 10 minutes over medium-low heat and enjoy!


12. Quesadillas

Quesadillas may sound like a complicated dish, but they’re definitely not. All it takes is 3 ingredients – flour tortillas, cheese, and taco meat.

Cook the quesadilla in a pan until the cheese melts, and you’re all set. Such a delicious Mexican dish that won’t even take 15 minutes to make!

Taco Crescents

13. Taco Crescent Rolls

Last on our list is a delectable appetizer that will be a huge hit at tailgate parties. The recipe is simple – just wrap taco meat and cheese in puff pastry and fry them. What an easy way to transform leftover taco, right?

Serve and eat as is or with a creamy ranch dressing. Yum!

13 Best Ways to Use Leftover Taco Meat


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What To Do With Leftover Taco Meat

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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