Taco meat is a staple at our house.  We consume (alot of) it in the form of either tacos or taco soup almost weekly.

One of the things I’ve learned as a mom is that when supper is calling and we are home, I’d better have something in the fridge to make for my family to eat.  Otherwise, I will have comments of “What is there to eat?” or “Where do I find (it)?” and etc. There are days when I’m just not on top of my game, so I have a stash of meals that I rely heavily on to make something delicious quickly.  Thus, enters the humble and versatile taco meat.  It’s not fancy; but it’s wholesome, filling and customizable to each family member’s palate.

The Humble and Versatile Taco Meat

The Humble and Versatile Taco Meat


  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or ground meat of choice)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced onion
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of garlic (used sparingly at our house because of food sensitivities)
  • 2 T. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. water


In a large skillet, place ground turkey over medium-low heat. Cover the skillet with a lid. Periodically, stir the meat and break it up into crumble size pieces. After the ground turkey is browned, remove the lid and add the seasonings. Stir.

Add the ketchup and water. Let simmer on the stove while the minced onion softens and the seasonings warm up to enhance the flavor of the taco meat. Serve hot.

Serve with:

Warmed soft tortillas

Toasted corn taco shells

Warmed refried beans




Or condiments of your choice


I will make 4-6 batches of taco meat at one time to have prepped ahead and stored in my freezer. You can adjust the recipe to your needs.

To make a larger batch, the process to prepare the meat is the same way as listed above except in a bigger pot. Then, write on the freezer bag the date and name of food. When done and cooled for 5 minutes, scoop the meat into a freezer bag.

Cooked taco meat can be hot and when placed hot in the fridge can throw off the temperature in the refrigerator. To help maintain the refrigerators temperature, find a bowl big enough to hold the freezer bag of meat and some ice. Add a layer of ice to the bottom of the bowl, place the freezer bag of meat in the bowl, and a layer of ice on top. Place the taco meat in the fridge to chill.

When it is cooled and ready to be frozen, pull out the bowl (of water) from the fridge. Remove the gallon freezer bag of taco meat. Lay the bag of taco meat flat on the counter, open the zip top and squish out as much air as you can from the bag. Zip up the bag. The less air in the bag, the better the flavor retains in the meat.

Place freezer gallon bag of taco meat on a flat sheet pan and freeze.

When ready to serve, pull the meat out of the freezer and let thaw in the fridge or defrost in the microwave just enough to be able to chunk the meat up into serving size pieces. Place frozen meat into a microwave safe bowl (or skillet). In the microwave, cover bowl with another microwave safe plate. In the skillet, add some water and cover with a lid. Keep warming meat until hot enough to serve.

Taco meat will last in the freezer for two to three months.

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