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This Beef and Bean Taco Meat is a healthy and frugal way to stretch a pound of ground beef. I use a homemade blend of taco spices, but a packet of taco seasoning works! This Beef and Bean Taco Meat is super delicious, picky kid approved, and freezer friendly so double the batch and save half in the freezer for a extra quick and easy meal on a busy night.
I love bulking up a pound of ground beef for Taco Night with black beans or pinto beans. Beans are such a healthy and filling protein. The flavor of this meat mixture also happens to be out of this world yummy and you can find me eating it warmed up in a bowl with a little cheese on top all by itself for leftovers. It’s a delicious filling for tacos, burritos, taquitos, enchiladas, or plop it on top of a bed of lettuce for the best taco salad ever! Having it ready to go in the freezer for my favorite Taco Bell Crunchwraps or Homemade Taco Pizza is a lifesaver too!
Let’s make some Beef and Bean Taco meat!
First off, you’re gonna grab some spices. It might seem like a lot, but more than likely you’ll have these all on hand. 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on spice preference). Stir them all together and set aside. If you’d rather use a good ol’ packet of taco seasoning or your own blend of taco spices that will work too!
Tip for chili powder: Chili powder comes in a number of different brands and varieties and it may be spicy! I have multiple ones on hand, but when I’m using it for a recipe that I know my four year old daughter will eat I stick to McCormick. It’s mild in spice, but still full of flavor. If you’re unsure about the one you have, give it a taste! If you think it’s spicy add it into the taco and bean mixture separately just a little at a time.
In a large skillet over medium heat add ground beef and beans. Sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt. While they’re cooking break up with a spatula. You can also use one of these super handy dandy “meat choppers“. (pictured above)
Continue to cook until the meat is browned and beans are smooshed down a bit.
You can totally use ground turkey or chicken in this too. I also switch up between using black beans, pinto beans, and even canned refried beans. This recipe is very easy to make substitutions with!
When the meat is cooked add the spice mixture to the meat and stir to combine. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
Now, add about 1/2 cup tomato sauce along with 1/2 cup water (or an 8 oz can) If you don’t have tomato sauce on hand. That’s fine! Use diced tomatoes if you’d like and break them down with a spatula. No tomatoes at all? Just add a lil extra water. Cook it all together and simmer for about 10-15 minutes occasionally stirring.
And here we are! All done and ready to eat.
Tacos are number one in my heart so grab a shell (flour or corn!) pile in some of the meat and bean mixture.
Dress’m up or down however you like. My favorite beef taco is just with a little lettuce, cheese, and taco sauce. Kind of boring, but it’s how I’ve eaten them since I was a kid so I enjoy’m that way. There’s no rules with a taco though pile on the chopped tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and/or avocado because there’s no wrong way in my world.
I hope you enjoy this Beef and Bean Taco meat as much as my family does. Happy Cooking! Remember to let me know how it goes if you give’m a try.
Beef and Bean Taco Meat
Beef and Bean Taco Meat
- 1 lb lean ground beef (I use 93/7) ground turkey or chicken will work too
- 1 15 oz can black or pinto beans about 1-1½ cups total if using homemade beans
- homemade taco seasoning (ingredients below) OR a packet of taco seasoning will work
- 8 oz can tomato sauce or about ½ cup
- ½ cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- 2 tsp chili powder *see notes
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt reduce by half if using regular table salt or fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper more or less depending on spice level preference (optional)
- In a large pan over medium-high heat add ground beef and black beans and sprinkle with some salt. Break up the meat and beans while cooking.
- When the meat has browned add in the taco seasnoing and stir to coat. Let it cook for a couple minutes then add in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil while stirring and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes to let the flavors really get to know each other.
- When the meat is done then add it as a delicious filling to tacos, burritos, taquitos, enchiladas or throw it on top of some nachos or a salad! Enjoy.