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Left Over Taco Meat -- What to Make

  • p

Made some mean tacos last night, but have about two cups of seasoned hamburger leftover. Other than tacos, what am I eating tonight?

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  1. It depends on what the meat has in it in the way of seasonings. What are they?

    1 Reply
    1. re: niki rothman

      Let's see...
      1 small onion , chopped small (about 2/3 cup)
      3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
      2 tablespoons chili powder
      1 teaspoon ground cumin
      1 teaspoon ground coriander
      1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
      1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      table salt
      1/2 cup tomato sauce
      1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
      1 teaspoon brown sugar
      2 teaspoons vinegar (preferably cider vinegar)
      Ground black pepper

    2. melt some cheese and the taco meat between a couple of flour torillas - quesadillas; spread between a bun with a little cheese and shredded lettuce - taco burger; fry up a flour tortilla shell add lettuce, tomatos, meat, etc - taco salad; add to some scrabled eggs, sauted onions and/or picante for tasty migas.

      1. Chili. Happens to me all the time.

        1. Use it to make empanada's. Fun to make, great to eat and you could also add some of the great fresh corn that is out there at this time of year. They freeze well too so leftovers are always a plus!

          1. You can used the seasoned meat to create an awesome meat sauce to serve with pasta (I did almost the same thing last night, a spicy bolognese! :))


            1. What hit me first off is chili mac. Boil elbow mac. until al dete, mix in what you've got with a can of chopped tomats in puree, a small can sliced olives - black or green - either would work, grated monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese to taste. Place in a casserole and bake at 350 - 375 until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

              Sort of on the empanada theme - take your mixture and either a bisquick or frozen biscuit dough and make turnovers - savory pastries - bake on a cookie sheet according to package directions. You could add to the meat mixture some cooked minced carrots and peas too.

              3 Replies
                1. re: LoDega

                  Have mercy - I'm fighting a bad cold here. What was I thinking? - kalamatas do look reddish to me, but actually sliced black or pimento stuffed green would be best for this...

                  1. re: niki rothman

                    I wasn't being snarky, just curious!! Feel better!

                1. Taco Salad! Easiest non-Mexican entree on the planet. Taco meat, a can of kidney beans, shredded cheddar (or cotija) cheese, a bag of lettuce, diced avocado and tomatoes, sliced black olives and homemade tortilla strips (or store-bought chips).

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                    Taco salad actually gets my vote too - esp. for the summer!

                    1. re: niki rothman

                      Third on the taco salad. (Also my favorite Bud Light radio spot.)

                      Or-- stir it into scrambled eggs for breakfast, and top with salsa and cheese and whatever else floats your boat.

                  2. Is that taco recipe from Cooks Illustrated? It looks just like the one I use from there and I absolutely love that recipe!!! It's a huge hit with everyone I've ever made it for. I've never made my own shells though--still stick with the store bought. Are they worth the effort?

                    I vote for taco salad too--the taco meat has such a nice flavor and would be perfect with salad.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mish

                      It must be from Cooks, because I got it off America's Test Kitchen. I LOVED the tacos. I think making the shells is the best part of it. Just be careful not to overcook, because you need them somewhat malleable to get all the tasty business in there.

                    2. For future reference - get some phyllo cups. Mix in a little salsa or tomatoes with the ground beef, throw it in some pyllo cups with a little shredded cheddar on top and heat up, you have a great appetizer/snack anytime.

                      1. I like the empanadas idea, and have done so myself many times. I'll also suggest chimichangas if you want something greasy and satisfying: layer the meat with refried beans, onions, cheese and chiles for the filling.

                        1. stuff some roasted green ancho chilis or some pasta tubes, and use an enchilada sauce instead of a marinara base. Top with pepper jack or casera or cotija cheese.

                          1. was at a great little restaurant last night and well they simply used something similar, ie. ground beef seasoned and cooked through mixed in with some tomato paste over.... fried plantains!

                            super simple but a fantastic dish. the sweet starch matches well with the savoury and mildly spiced meat.

                            1. what about nachos...if you're not feeling good, it's super easy and delicious.

                              1. thats so funny, i was talking to my bf today about how fried rice is leftovers for chinese people, and he was talking about how tacos are leftovers for the meat they used...

                                maybe you can make some sort of fried rice with it or even top a bowl of fresh rice with it.

                                ground beef stroganoff

                                stir fry with water chestnuts, shitake mushrooms, ginger, a little oyster sauce or even just soy sauce, a little rice wine if you have it, wrap in a lettuce leaf with or without plum sauce and you have lettuce wraps

                                1. How about a good tomato sauce. 4 small cans of tomato sauce (or 2 big cans), two small cans of tomato paste, basil, oregano, coriander, little sugar, and some garlic.

                                  If you got the other leftovers you can make fried rice. I don't know about the cheese but its your life.

                                  1. Nothing like a Taco Omelette and so easy. I loved the easy Empanata idea and the Mexican twist on Manicotti. Thanks!

                                    1. Make omlettes out of it. My wife and kids love them. Really easy and fast. Throw on some cheeze or whatever you have in the frig.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: risky

                                        I don't use ground beef for tacos but, yeah, omelette fillings. It's amazing how little is necessary. Meat never goes to waste in this house. A half cup of something can fill an omelette.

                                      2. Chiles rellenos? If you have anchos, they're the best, but it works with any chili large enough to get stuffing inside.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: salutlemonde

                                          how about chili dogs? :D

                                          I am trying the Cook's Illustrated taco recipe tonight which how I found this old thread...

                                          1. re: bloo

                                            I've got leftover taco meat, too, and some leftover Mexican rice - I was just going to put them together with some cheese and make some burritos, but now I'm not so sure. . .

                                        2. Taco burgers: taco meat, grated x-sharp cheddar, shredded iceberg, finely diced tomato and taco sauce on hamburger buns. Just about as good as tacos themselves.

                                            1. re: ZenSojourner

                                              Or in cheese quesadillas topped with a tomatillo or Hatch chile sauce.

                                              1. re: ZenSojourner

                                                more tacos! best answer here :D ty zen s

                                              2. TACO PIZZA
                                                -using a frozen cheese pizza or whatever kind you want...
                                                --get fancy and make your own pizza crust and etc...

                                                so yummy!

                                                1. Tortilla pie. I.E. Mexican lasagna.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: AdamD

                                                    This is a great idea. Deffinitely going to try it. Lately I've been doing enchiladas with teh left over taco meat. Soften the tortillas in warm butter, spread some taco meat, a bit of cheese, shallots and chopped black olives. Roll up and place in a baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce top with chees and bake at 375 for 45 mins. Absolutely a guilty pleasure and great as lunches the next day.


                                                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                                                      I do this with a flour tortilla, butter one side, soften on grill 15 secs, flip, then fill with taco meat and cheese. Roll up with all edges closed. Bake (sealed sides down) till tortilla is crisp (at about 350 for 25-30 mins.) I pass the onion, lettuce, avocado, salsa separately. We call it a chimichanga, but perhaps more accurately it's a burito?

                                                  2. Great baked potato topping!

                                                    1. i threw mine in a spaghetti sauce and cooked a few hours on low heat. tasted great

                                                        1. I have turned my left over beef taco meat into spaghetti, sloppy joes, chili, meat in my breakfast omelets, burritos, stir fry, and added to soups and beans. Oh, and topped on salads. Leftover chicken tacos I have done most of the same and turned into bbq chicken sandwiches.

                                                          1. Well, I know this is a very old thread but I'll toss in this idea in case anyone else runs into this problem. Which I did just this weekend.

                                                            I took a hot dog, butterflied it, fried it's inside cut, flipped, loaded with taco meat, topped with salsa and loads of cheddar cheese. Placed it in the oven (400°) for about 20 mins (until the cheese is melted and very gooey) then serve open faced on toasted buns (or Texas toast).