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Taco Tuesday has been and gone and like most weeks, you’ve ended up with heaps of leftover taco meat. Now, you could just have tacos again for the next day or two. Or get creative and try one of these leftover taco meat recipes instead and enjoy these simple meal ideas your whole family will love!
Don’t let those leftovers go to waste when you can easily get two or more easy dinner recipe ideas out of your seasoned taco meat by turning it into a whole different meal. This recipe list includes ideas the whole family will love, from healthy taco alternatives to hearty casseroles.
What To Do With Leftover Taco Meat
There are plenty of delicious variations of tacos that aren’t limited to ground beef or pulled pork. In our household, we have tacos at least once every week or two and love to mix it up with different flavours and styles, such as one of our favourites – Chicken Teriyaki tacos.
And sometimes we add some yummy side dishes with our tacos to change it up a bit.
But if your household is anything like ours, you will often find yourself with leftovers.
While I’m all for a taco re-run for lunch the next day, if there’s a lot of leftover taco meat, sometimes this is the perfect opportunity to repurpose your leftovers into a whole new dish, creating two meals out of one!
Freezing Taco Meat
One of the best things about using ground meat, such as ground beef, turkey, shredded pork or chicken is the fact that in most cases, these meats freeze really well!
Making up a double batch of your taco meat of choice can be an easy way to save time in the kitchen by serving half and saving the other half for a future meal.
Add your favourite taco seasoning and once cooled, add the leftovers to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container to save for later. Freezer cooking is a huge time saver and you can defrost your frozen taco meat ready for any of the delicious recipes below.
Tip: When freezing in a bag, roll your meat flat using a rolling pin to take up less room in the freezer.
Leftover Taco Meat Recipes & Ideas
These leftover taco meat ideas and recipes are a great way to repurpose your extra meat in ways other than tacos.
1. Taco Salad
One of the easiest ways to take your leftovers from dinner through to lunch the next day is to make a taco salad. Add fresh lettuce, black beans, tomato, guacamole and sour cream with your seasoned meat sprinkled on top for a healthier alternative to tacos. You can heat the meat before adding it to your salad or leave it chilled.
2. Mexican Taco Casserole
If your family love potato bake, add some extra flavour by repurposing your leftover taco meat into a cheesy Mexican taco casserole-style potato bake.
3. Loaded Nachos
While keeping with the Mexican theme, you can’t get much easier than nachos. Add your corn tortilla chips to a baking tray, sprinkle with your ground meat, cheese and bake until melted. Then serve with dollops of sour cream, salsa and guacamole for a laid-back dinner or movie-night treat.
Make your own tortilla chips using leftover flour tortillas from your taco night in the air fryer.
4. Cheesy Taco Pasta
Turn your favourite pasta recipe into a cheesy taco pasta by adding your leftover taco meat into the mix. This is a simple way to add meat to the baked feta pasta recipe or try it with any other pasta dish of your choice.
5. Taco Avocado Boats
Ditch the flour tortillas and load up avocado boats instead with this healthier taco meat meal idea that is perfect for next-day lunches. This recipe is keto-friendly and low carb.
6. Taco Omelette
One of the best things about omelettes is that you can add pretty much anything you want to the mixture or on top afterwards. Switch out your usual bacon or ham with your leftover ground meat for a Mexican inspired taco omelette.
To make a basic egg omelette, combine 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk, a tablespoon of flour and seasoning, then add in your fillings – cheese, tomato, herbs and of course, your taco meat.
7. Homemade Crunchwrap Copycat Recipe
Recreate a homemade variation on the Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme with this delicious copycat recipe, loaded with layers of flavour.
8. Ground Beef Taquitos
These crunchy classic Beef Taquitos are the perfect Mexican appetiser to use up leftover taco meat. Serve with your favourite salsa or guacamole, or turn into a main dish with a side salad.
17. Easy Taco Soup
During winter, there is little better than a hearty soup to warm you from the inside. This easy taco soup recipe is loaded with beans, tomato and of course, your leftover taco meat, already seasoned and ready!
10. Loaded Sweet Potato
Add your leftover ground beef or other taco meats to stuffed baked sweet potatoes. You can do this in the oven or try my air fryer sweet potato recipe variation instead. Top with a dollop of sour cream and guacamole. Or level up your loaded potatoes with homemade pico de gallo on top.
11. Cheesy Quesadillas
If you want a quick and easy dinner idea, you really can’t go wrong with quesadillas. This is a favourite time-saving dinner recipe in our household, adding in anything you like, such as leftover meat, cheese, tomato, etc and toasting until melted and crispy on the outside.
12. Birria Ramen
Turn your leftover seasoned beef into a flavoursome birria ramen dish. This is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a whole different flavour while still repurposing those Taco Tuesday dinner leftovers. Plus who doesn’t love noodles!
13. Taco Lasagne
Add some rich Mexican flavours to your favourite lasagne recipe by turning it into taco lasagne. Layers of pasta sheets, creamy sauce and cheese make this a family favourite that also freezes well for a later day too.
14. Creamy Mexican Dip
If you are entertaining guests or just want a delicious snack to share with the family, a creamy Mexican dip is a great way to repurpose those taco meat leftovers. Serve with nachos or homemade corn tortilla chips.
15. Classic Shepherd’s Pie
A classic Shepherd’s pie recipe is always a popular choice when looking for ground beef recipes, so why not turn it into a leftover taco meat recipe for some added flavour. This is an easy dinner idea the whole family will love, especially during the colder months of the year.
16. Taco Pizza
You can easily throw together a delicious loaded taco pizza using your leftovers, along with your favourite pizza toppings. Use a store-made pizza base if you want to save time or make your own homemade pizza dough for the ultimate family pizza night.
17. Taco Stuffed Peppers
For another delicious veggie-loaded recipe, try these taco stuffed peppers with rice and shredded cheese. Or you can leave out the rice if you want a low carb stuffed capsicum dish instead.
18. Zucchini Taco Boats
For a low carb leftovers idea, these zucchini taco boats are so easy to make. The recipe uses leftover ground turkey, however, you can easily use whichever taco meat you made the night before.
19. Southwest Baked Egg Rolls
These Southwest baked egg rolls are a great option for an appetiser while entertaining or as part of a meal! This easy and healthy appetiser is full of ground turkey, baked, and served with guacamole.
20. Mexican Beef & Rice Casserole
Turn your leftovers into a Mexican rice casserole with this simple recipe that incorporates a little salsa, tomato paste, lots of cheese and of course, rice, for an easy iron skillet meal idea.
21. Taco Chilli
Add a Mexican spin to your favourite chilli dish with this taco chilli recipe. A hearty winter warmer that you can make in a large batch, topped with sour cream or cream cheese. This recipe is great when you have a lot of leftover taco meat.
22. Lunchbox Scrolls
Use this basic 2 ingredient dough recipe, using greek yogurt and flour and add your leftover taco meat to your other favourite toppings for a flavour loaded lunch box filler that kids will love. The best thing about this recipe is you can fill it with anything you like, such as these bacon and cheese scrolls, by switching out your usual meat filling with the seasoned meat.
23. Taco Pasta Salad
Why not combine two favourites into this taco pasta salad – pasta night with a salad, perfect for the warmer weather or as a meaty side dish with Mexican flavours. This is a great option if you have leftover black beans from taco night too.
24. Taco Pie
Taco pie is your favourite pie, only better, with fresh salsa and ground beef (or maybe even ground chicken, turkey or pork) inside your pie pastry. This recipe is a simple skillet recipe, before adding your taco pie to the oven to bake until golden brown.
25. Mexican Beef Cobbler
Mexican Beef Cobbler is made with ground beef (such as your leftover taco meat), beans, spices, biscuit mix, and melted cheese. And as a bonus, it’s all prepared in a single skillet!
26. Slow Cooker Beef Goulash
One of our family favourite recipes is beef goulash in the slower cooker and you can easily reuse your leftover ground beef in this recipe. This is an easy recipe to get on the dinner table with minimal prep required since you can put it on in the morning and have it ready for dinner.
27. Healthy Beef Burrito Bowls
While ground beef recipes don’t usually appear on the healthy salads and meals list, these whole 30 beef burrito bowls are a great option if you want a lighter meal that is just as filling. The recipe uses cauliflower rice, with no grains or dairy included.
28. Taco Stuffed Bread
If you love garlic bread, why not add a new twist by trying this stuffed taco bread instead. Just like your favourite garlic bread, with seasoned taco meat added in and loaded with shredded cheddar cheese. This is the perfect idea for a winter snack on cold nights or as a side dish with your dinner. Or make it the main event, by adding a side salad to go with your taco meat stuffed bread.
29. Hearty Southwestern Frittata with Potato and Beef
This southwestern frittata is made faster using your leftover taco meat. This is a great option if you want to enjoy your leftovers as part of a breakfast dish the next day, or for any time of day.
30. Mexican Beef Sausage Rolls
Make the kids happy with this yummy Mexican beef sausage rolls variation. These rolls are perfect for lunch boxes or for an after school snack, served with tomato sauce or their favourite dipping sauce.
With so many delicious and easy leftover taco meat recipes, you will wish you had even more leftovers to use up! No worrying about what to do with the extra taco meat when you make a big batch since you can easily repurpose your seasoned meat into any of these recipe ideas, or freeze for a later day when you want a last-minute dinner idea that is already half prepped.
Now you can turn taco night into an extra night of dinners on your family meal plan!
Do you have a favourite way to use up taco meat leftovers? Share it below!