Taco Tuesday is always a big hit in our house. If you ask my little guys what they want to eat nine times out of ten, they will say tacos. As much as I like variety, having tacos each week as an anchor meal makes my life so much easier. Everyone is happy with this simple dinner, and there’s one less meal to plan.
It doesn’t happen very often, but occasionally we have leftover taco meat. While everyone else in the family could happily eat tacos every night, I cannot.
Never one to throw out leftovers, it’s best to repurpose. But what can we make with leftover taco meat?
Want easy Leftover Taco Meat Recipes?
Let’s go to The Chalkboard.
How Long Is Leftover Taco Meat Good For?
According to the USDA, cooked ground beef should last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days but always trust your sense. If something doesn’t look or smell right, do not eat it!
Also, general food safety applies here. Don’t leave the cooked meat out on the counter for longer than 1-2 hours.
If you don’t intend to eat taco meat that week, freezing is a good option.
Can I Freeze Leftover Taco Meat? How To Freeze And Reheat Leftover Taco Meat
You may be wondering if you can freeze and reheat leftover taco meat? Yes, you can freeze cooked taco meat. It will last up to four months when properly stored in a storage or vacuum sealed bag.
To reheat the taco meat, leave it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost. Place in a large frying pan over medium heat to warm. If it looks dry, add water a tablespoon at a time. Please note that freezing cooked meat will change the texture.
Reduce waste and save money. Check out these simple strategies to repurpose leftovers.
What To Do With Leftover Taco Meat —15 Leftover Taco Meat Recipes
These Leftover Taco Meat Recipes work for all varieties of taco meat — ground turkey, chicken, beef, shredded chicken, etc.
- Breakfast Burrito — Taco meat isn’t just for dinner; leftovers make a great start to the day, too! Fill a flour tortilla with scrambled eggs, meat, cheese, and tomatoes for a hearty breakfast. Heat the meat in the same pan as the eggs for fewer dishes to wash.
- Quesadilla — Keep within Mexican cuisine and make quesadillas with the leftover taco meat. Heat an empty tortilla for a few seconds, and then fill half with meat and cheese. Fold the empty side over and heat for a few minutes and then flip.
- Pasta — Saute chopped bell pepper in a teaspoon of olive oil in a large frying pan until soft, and then add cooked taco meat. Add cooked pasta (small shells would be great, but any shape will do). Top with Mexican cheese.
- Taco Soup — Use this recipe from The Modern Proper, and you will have dinner in no time. Since your meat is already cooked and seasoned, there is no need to brown, just add the ingredients to the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Mixed with Rice and Beans — For an easy and filling dinner, mix the meat with rice and your choice of beans (black and pinto work well). Serve some chips on the side if you want some added crunch.
- Stuffed Shells — Cook large pasta shells and stuff them with leftover taco meat, top with Mexican or Monterey Jack cheese, and bake in a 375-degree oven until cheese melts, about 30 minutes.
- Stuffed Peppers — Mix cooked rice, leftover taco meat, and a can of tomato sauce in a large bowl. Remove the ribs and seeds and add rice, and top with cheese. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30-40 minutes. If you are short on time, Trader Joe’s makes frozen rice that heats up in three minutes.
- Taco Omelet — Add leftover meat to eggs along with cheese tomatoes for a delicious way to start the day.
- Taco Lettuce Cups — Ditch the shells for a lower-carb version of tacos. Use large romaine or green leaf lettuce leaves as the basis of a new dinner. Fill with meat, cheese, and other fixings.
- Stir Fry — Sautee diced bell peppers in neutral flavored oil until soft. Add the meat to warm and then place on top of rice.
- Budda Bowl — Combine cooked quinoa with leftover meat, roasted sweet potatoes, chopped kale, and top with this delicious chipotle sauce.
- Stuffed Sweet Potatoes — Baked sweet potatoes make a great canvas for leftover taco meat. Top with sour cream and cheese.
- Taco Sloppy Joes — This recipe from Belle of the Kitchen is easy to start with, but when you begin with cooked meat, it is on the table in no time when you begin with cooked meat.
- Taco Salad — Make a salad with romaine, leftovers, black beans, corn, tomatoes, and taco cheese. Top with crushed tortilla chips—mix taco sauce with sour cream for an easy dressing.
- Nachos — Top tortilla chips with leftover taco meat, cheese, beans, and broil for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Add sour cream, guacamole, and your other favorites.
What Do You Think?
Which is your favorite of these Leftover Taco Meat Recipes? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear!
Do you have other leftovers to use up? Check out our guide to repurpose almost any leftover.
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