Once you know how to freeze taco meat, it’s a super simple way to save money on your grocery budget! Just buy meat when it’s on sale and freeze for later!
Looking for more items you can freeze? Check out this list of 10 things you didn’t know you could freeze!
How to Make Taco Meat
To make the taco meat, brown the ground beef on the stovetop along with any filler items to it that you would like (see below) until fully cooked. Add taco seasoning or homemade taco seasoning to taste. Let cool. It’s as simple as that!
Save Money By Adding Filler Items to Your Taco Meat
Want to save money on meat? Add in some extra filler items for more flavor and to make the meat serve more people! Here are some filler ideas:
- Lentils — You can cook lentils according to the package directions and then brown them with the ground beef. They are much cheaper than beef and no one will be the wiser.
- Ground Turkey — We like to add some ground turkey in when we cook ground beef. It’s less expensive, but you still get the taste of ground beef (which we prefer over ground turkey).
Tomatoes — I like to add in a can of tomatoes per pound of ground beef. It adds a fresh flavor and it saves money!
- Onions — We LOVE onions at our house — especially when you saute them in taco meat! I typically add one onion per pound of meat. (I used red onions in the meat pictured because that’s what we had on hand!)
- Beans — You can add any canned beans or cooked beans to taco meat. I typically add 1-2 cups or cans per pound of ground beef.
How to Freeze Taco Meat
To freeze the taco meat, cool completely and then measure into ziptop freezer bags. Be sure to remove all of the air from the bag before sealing. Label the bag and the amount of Taco Meat you put into the bag.
To thaw it, just pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. Or, you can run the bag under cold water until it is loosened up enough to dump out of the bag. Heat on the stovetop or in the microwave and use!
Our Favorite Ways to Use Taco Meat
Taco Meat is so versatile and can be used in many more recipes than just plain old tacos! Some of our favorite recipes are: Crockpot Taco Soup, Build-Your-Own Haystacks, Taco Potatoes, Taco Lettuce Wraps. You can also serve it over rice with cheese on top or spread some on a tortilla, sprinkle some cheese, roll it up and heat!
Watch me make the Taco Meat LIVE below — and be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.
What are YOUR favorite ways to use Taco Meat? I’d love to hear!
I love this idea! I want to be more intentional about having things already made in my freezer. For some reason, I was thinking that onions didn’t freeze well. Obviously, I was thinking wrong about that!
How long can you safely keep taco meat in the freezer?
Ground beef is on sale this week and I plan on picking up a bulk order to use for my daughter’s Open House next month. We are doing tacos so I was already planning on cooking it and freezing it that week, but if it’s safe to freeze a month in advance – that would be even better. It would be one less thing I’d have to do that week.
When hamburger goes on sale, I buy the family packs. I form some into patties for grilling (stack between waxed paper and freeze in zipper bags) and some I cook up and make into taco meat (for tacos, burritos or nachos) or just plain for spaghetti/lasagna/pasta bake, sloppy joes, goulash, tater tot casserole, hamburger gravy etc. Makes supper a little quicker.
Jennifer B. says
This is likely similar to your suggestion of serving taco meat over rice, but we make “Mexican Spaghetti” with taco meat. Use your regular pasta, but top with taco meat and extra salsa. Then add shredded cheese, sour cream, scallions — whatever you like!
When we have leftover taco meat (not enough for any of the “regular” uses), we make what I’ve always called “Mexican Top Hats” (or “Sombreros” would be an appropriate name). Using unbaked refrigerated biscuits (I’m sure you could make your own, but we don’t and this way is quick and easy), split each in half (top and bottom, “hamburger style”) and place one half in a greased muffin tin (so you’ll get two from each biscuit — tops or bottoms go underneath the meat.) Top with taco meat and shredded cheese. Bake following the biscuit directions and then add shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc.
Kerry Hunt says
We now use ground turkey since my daughter stopped eating red meat. But even my husband loves it! I like to add a can of beans or refried beans, but now need to try lentil too. My favorite, healthy meal with taco meat is a taco salad. I shred lots of romaine, add chopped tomatoes, low fat cheese and pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Then I add the hot meat and a huge dollop of plain fat-free greek yogurt plus some taco sauce or salsa depending on my mood.
We keep taco meat in the freezer as well as other cooked meat for fast meals. We use it for various things such as tacos, burritos, nachos, salads, etc. One of our favorites is to top rice, baked potatoes or tater tots with it and whatever else we want. We love peppers and onions so I saute them to add as well.
We also use taco meat for taco casserole and nachos. We sprinkle some meat and cheese on top of a plate of tortilla chips and microwave to melt the cheese/heat the meat. Then you can add veggies and sauces to make your own custom nachos.
For both Taco and Spaghetti I use TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) as a “filler” It comes dry in the health food section of most grocery stores from Bob’s Mill brand or cheaper store brand from specialty health food markets.
I’ve done taste tests with my very meat loving husband and he actually prefers the outcome with approx 30% TVP to meat vs. the 100% all meat.
It’s much cheaper than hamburger and can help bring the cooked per pound price down without compromising on taste
How long is it good for in freezer?
Joanne Peterson says
We like all the ways to use taco meat you mentioned, and also like it as a base for chili, and taco salad. I also add in to the taco meat chopped bell peppers because our family likes them.