We’ve all been there, thinking what to do with leftover taco meat, allow me to propose 5 simple and delicious recipe ideas. After your Taco Tuesday night, I think everyone has been left with a bowl of leftover meat and while we loved making tacos with them, we are now craving something a bit different. Whether it’s ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken flavored taco meat, these 5 simple recipe ideas will surely fit the bill to reinvent a family staple.
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Taco meat is one of those easy recipes that is always a family favorite. It’s quick, easy and generally a dish that is a staple in most family’s weekly meal plan. However some people have a hard time imagining (or reimagining) what else to do with extra taco meat other than to make tacos. That’s where I come in to help you think a bit outside of the box. Given I crave variety in my weekly meals, I’ve developed this super power to reinvent meals so that they seem fresh and new.
EASY LEFTOVER TACO MEAT RECIPES
The recipes featured below share many common ingredients, making them an excellent way to reduce food waste. Most of these dishes can be enhanced with classic taco toppings or Tex-Mex inspired additions, adding a delicious twist to your meal.
Taco Salad Bowl
I feel like this is an easy reinvention of using leftover taco meat. You can add all of your traditional Mexican staples and mix it up in easy bowl. Bonus is that it is still extremely nutritious and you can still customize it to your liking.
For this Mexican dish, I used the following ingredients:
- 4oz. ground turkey (leftover)
- 1/4 cup black beans
- 1/2 cup cilantro brown rice
- 1/3 cup lettuce
- 2 tbsp pico de gallo
- 2 tbsp shredded cheese
- 4 slices of avocado
Once you add all of your ingredients to the bowl, mix it all together for a nice light taco salad. For some extra flavor you can add a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt which adds extra protein. You can also drizzle some taco sauce, fresh salsa or hot sauce over the bowl for some extra zing and to amp up the heat. Top with some crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips to add some additional crunch.
This next recipe is one of my husband’s favorite. He loves a good fajita quesadilla so that was the inspiration for this delicious meal and it’s another great way to use the leftover taco meat. The base of this yummy quesadilla is a whole wheat tortilla that’s filled with fajita peppers, beans and cheese. My favorite brand of flour burritos to use are Xtreme Wellness flour tortillas as they have a variety of flavors and types. These have been the best I’ve found that not only taste great, but are low in carbs and calories.
For this delicious recipe I used:
- 5 oz. ground turkey
- 1 large flour tortilla
- 1/3 cup sautéed mixed peppers
- 1/4 cup of black beans
- 3 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
For this easy recipe you can keep the black beans whole or do a quick smash to make them more like refried beans that will spread easily onto the flour tortillas. If you don’t have black beans, kidney beans are a good substitute to use. Another great hack is to use frozen mixed peppers from your local grocery store as it cuts down on cooking. Just give them a quick pan fry on the stove until they are soft and slightly browned.
Loaded Sweet Potato Fries
Take your favorite store bought sweet potato fries and put a mexican spin on them. Load them up with your favorite toppings and you have a hearty snack or meal that’s the perfect way to use that leftover taco meat. Make a quick chili by using the leftover meat, add some tomato sauce (or sub for enchilada sauce), add some black beans and you have another delicious way to serve this protein in a way the entire family can enjoy. If you don’t have sweet potato fries, you can easily substitute for tater tots as well.
Here is what you’ll need for this easy chili:
- 16 oz. Leftover taco meat
- 1 can Black beans 15oz can drained
- 1 can Tomato sauce 8oz can (or enchilada sauce)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup Onions chopped
- 1/2 Jalapeño seeded and deveined
Once you’re ready to build your loaded fries, add your fries at the bottom, top with chili sauce, cheddar cheese and the additional additional toppings of your choice. Get the full recipe and details via my blog post: loaded sweet potato fries.
Breakfast Burrito (or Tacos)
Why not infuse those same Tex-Mex flavors into the first meal of the day? This is truly one of my favorite ways to use up a lot of leftover taco meat. Simply add your taco meat into your flour tortilla, fluffy scrambled eggs, some crispy oven baked potatoes, and over course your favorite taco toppings and this will be the heartiest high protein breakfast burrito you will ever have.
This recipe is modified from my ultimate chorizo and egg breakfast burrito:
- 5 oz taco meat
- 1 Flour Tortilla Whole wheat or low carb
- 2 tbsp Shredded cheese
- 2 whole Eggs
- 1/4 cup Diced potatoes
- 2 tbsp Pico De gallo store bought or homemade
- 2 slices Avocado
Assembling this breakfast burrito is pretty simple. First, slightly toast your tortilla in a skillet over medium-low heat. Once toasted lay on a large cutting board or parchment paper.
Next, on the bottom of the tortilla, sprinkle the shredded cheese as the base layer and next top with the warm cooked eggs. Add the taco meat mixture and the cooked potatoes. Lastly top with pico e gallo and sliced avocado. Once you have all of the toppings in the tortilla wraps, roll them tightly and slice in half.
Taco Casserole (or Enchilada Casserole)
This original 5 ingredient enchilada casserole was actually born from leftover ingredients. It’s so versatile that using leftover taco meat in this recipe will work really well too! It’s one of those delicious recipes that you will make again and again since it’s such an easy weeknight dinner.
Here is how you can make this healthy recipe:
- 3 cups cooked leftover taco meat
- 1 cup Baby spinach
- 1.5 cups Mexican cheese shredded
- 4 Corn tortillas
- 1 can Red enchilada sauce
In a casserole dish, put 1 tbsp of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish next place 1 of the corn tortillas. Sprinkle with a bit of cheese and top with the chicken mixture. Place the other corn tortilla on top and pour 1/4 cup of sauce on top. Top with rest of the shredded cheese. Repeat this process to make two individual casseroles. Get the full recipe details and step by step instructions on my original blog post linked above.
All of these great recipes would pair well with an easy guacamole like this 4 ingredient guacamole recipe. Super simple and easy and of course only 4 ingredients.
If you make any of these delicious leftover taco meat recipes, feel free to leave me a comment down below. Let’s stay in touch! Feel free to follow me on my social media as I share more healthy recipes, fitness workouts and motherhood. Give a follow at: Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest!