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Beef and Bean Taco Meat

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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.

Beef and Bean Taco Meat in skillet with spoon

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!

beef and bean tacos

Let’s make some Beef and Bean Taco meat!

Beef and Bean Taco Meat spices gathered into a bowl

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.

beef and black beans in a pan being broken up with a spatula

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!

seasoning being sprinkled over the beef and beans

When the meat is cooked add the spice mixture to the meat and stir to combine. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes.

tomato sauce and water being added to the beef and bean taco meat

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.

beef and bean taco mix in skillet

And here we are! All done and ready to eat.

beef and bean taco meat inside taco shells with lettuce and cheese

Tacos are number one in my heart so grab a shell (flour or corn!) pile in some of the meat and bean mixture.

beef and bean taco meat in shells with lettuce and cheese

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.

with love from my kitchen to yours, Star
tortillas with beef and bean mixture and lettuce and cheese
4.98 from 41 votes

Beef and Bean Taco Meat

Classic ground beef taco meat bulked up with black beans and seasoned with a homemade taco spice blend creating a delicious and healthy filling for tacos, burritos, nachos, and salads!
Prep Time1 minute
Active Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Tex Mex
Keyword: taco meat
Yield: 5
Author: Star @ the skinny-ish dish


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.


Makes 3 and 1/2 cups. Serving 1/2 cup. 
160 calories | 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 311g sodium, 11g carbohydrates, 3.5g dietary fiber, 7g net carbs, 1g sugar, 0g added sugar, 0g added sugar, 0g sugar alcohols, 17g protein 
Weight Watchers Points: 3 Points 
Chili powder: Chili powder comes in a number of different brands and varieties and it can be spicy! I have multiple ones on hand, but when I’m using it for a recipe that I know my daughter will eat I stick to McCormick because 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.

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  1. I love this! It’s even BETTER the next day!!!! Next time, I’m going to make it ahead. The flavors just really meld when it’s been refrigerated!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious! I made tonight for dinner, easy and economical. Used it in tacos and tomorrow I plan to make burritos with leftovers. My husband keep saying yum while he was eating! Thanks

  3. 5 stars
    This is great and in my menu rotation. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope you can get a cookbook out soon.

  4. 5 stars
    Don’t sleep on this recipe. It is SO good and so versatile. It reheats well, so I have prepped it for lunches and changed up what I’m having everyday. Tacos, burrito, loaded nachos, taquitos. You won’t be disappointed if you make this.

  5. 5 stars
    Crazy easy & delicious! My family absolutely LOVES this taco filling & its quickly become a staple in our home!

  6. 4 stars
    Made it tonight using your taco seasoning and I loved it! I used 96% lean gr beef as my college kid doesn’t like gr turkey and it was good, but if it’s just for me, I’ll use 99% lean gr turkey for 0 points of ww blue!

  7. 5 stars
    This is my new go to way for tacos. I’ve made it with pinto beans a few times now. Super good! My 5 year old and husband don’t mind the change either. Today I realized I didn’t have tomato sauce and happened to have diced tomatoes- half a can of diced tomatoes turned out perfectly in this too!

  8. This recipe didn’t look like much but it was SO good. My two picky toddlers loved it as well. Also, your taco seasoning blend was perfect.

  9. Dumb question but do you rinse and drain the beans? Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Star! I made this for the first time last night and girl – you knocked it out of the park again! The flavor was great, it really stretched the meat out a bit, and my husband never even noticed the beans. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Not sure I’ll ever need to use a seasoning packet again!

    1. I use either a 8 oz can of tomato sauce or about a half cup out of a 15 ounce can depending on what I have on hand. It doesn’t change it either way. It’s a very flexible recipe.

  11. Made this tonight… definitely found my new go to taco filling. The whole family loved it.❤️

  12. Hi! Do you drain the beans or leave the liquid. It didn’t say to drain them but wanted to double check. Thanks!

    1. Hi Vickie! They’re should be pinterest buttons available at the top and side of the screen on mobile and desk top. Let me know if you still don’t see them. I checked and everything looks okay on my end.

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