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How to Make Taco Meat

Want to learn how to make taco meat? It’s easier than you would expect. With a few spices and seasonings you can have a flavorful dish on the table.

cast iron skillet full of homemade taco meat with a wooden spoon

Wondering how to make taco meat without that standard grocery store “packet mix?” I’m here to tell you it can be done!

The taco mix from the grocery store often is packed full of sodium, artificial preservatives, and anti-caking agents – none of which are things you want to put in your body. 

The one you’re most familiar with is probably the Old El Paso packet seen here.

The ingredient list includes:

Chili Pepper, Maltodextrin, Salt, Onion Powder, Spice, Corn Starch, Sea Salt (Potassium Magnesium Chloride, Salt). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Vegetable Oil (Canola, High Oleic Soybean And/Or Sunflower Oil), Corn Flour, Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking Agent), Citric Acid, Sugar, Natural Flavor.

Of those, the only ones you actually need are the chili pepper, the salt, the onion powder, and probably the “spice,” although we have no idea what “spice” that is actually referring to.

Let’s skip the preservatives, unhealthy oils, and sugar, and make our own. With just a few spices that you probably already have in your spice drawer, you can make your own homemade taco seasoning, and thus, your own taco meat! 

My taco meat seasoning includes a couple of wet ingredients: apple cider vinegar and tomato paste. These help with the moisture in the final product. If you want to make a big batch of the seasoning to have on hand, you can do that. 

Take the original recipe amounts, and multiply by how much you want to have on hand (4x = 4# taco meat.) 

Combine everything EXCEPT the tomato paste and the apple cider vinegar (ACV). Then, when you’re ready to make a batch of taco meat, measure out 4 Tablespoons of the dry mix. Add it to a pound of meat with the paste and the ACV, and cook it up. 

You just made your own taco meat! 

Easy Taco Meat Recipe |

How To Make Taco Meat

Yield: 1 pound
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

It's super easy to make your own taco meat. No pre-packaged mix necessary!



  1. Referring to the "quick and easy taco meat" recipe, make your taco meat seasoning.
  2. Add the seasoning to the meat, mixing well to incorporate.
  3. Cook the meat in the skillet over medium high heat, or freeze the taco meat for later use.


If you want to make your seasoning ahead of time, or make a big batch to have on hand, combine everything EXCEPT the apple cider vinegar and the tomato paste. By leaving these ingredients out, you can store a jar of the dry mix.

Then, when you're ready to make more taco meat, measure out about 4 Tablespoons of mix. Add the ACV and tomato paste, and you're ready to go!

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