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Our Favorite Family Taco Meat Recipe

Family Favorite Taco Meat Recipe

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  • Author: Nichole Banducci
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Cuisine: Mexican


I started making my own taco meat from scratch during my ‘paleo phase.’ (Have you ever seen how much sugar is in taco seasoning?!?) Through the years, I kept tweaking my own recipe until I settled on this delicious version.

The whole family loves taco night. I love that I can mom-ify my meal by putting the taco meat on arugula with pickled onions and Cholula®.

This recipe also works great with plant-based or other protein options.


2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tbsp Better than Bouillon
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt


  • Place a high-walled pan on medium heat. (I used a dutch oven.)
  • Once hot, add ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. (great if you can use the same spoon for serving). Keep breaking-up the beef chunks and stirring the meat until it is about 50% browned / 50% still pink.
  • When the beef it is 1/2 cooked, add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Then, add Better-than-Boullon and stir to incorporate.
  • Once the ‘saucy’ ingredients are mixed-in, add garlic, onion, cumin and salt.
  • Continue to stir until the meat is completely cooked.

You can serve the meat in traditional taco shells, soft tortillas or even on a salad.


Ground Beef: I love using grass fed & finished meat whenever possible. It is known to have higher omega-3 fatty acids and lower levels of bad fats. Feel free to choose your preferred level of fat content in the meat.

Plant-Based: You can use this recipe with nearly any plant-based option. I love it with ‘Beyond Meat.’ I’ve even mixed ‘Beyond Meat’ with ground beef to boost my family’s vegetable intake (shhhh….).

Chili Powder: The roasty profile of ancho chili powder adds phenomenal ‘cooked all day depth’ to recipes. If you don’t have it on-hand, feel free to use cayenne or even a chili powder blend.

Cumin: For years, I made this recipe for years without adding cumin. So, no worries if you don’t have it on-hand. Yet… I highly recommend adding it to your spice collection. It’s phenomenal for making meat rubs or even adding a bit of a savory note to salad dressing.

Better-than-Bouillon®: This is a beef stock concentrate (aka a ‘base’) that boosts flavor in so many recipes. (I used to run the MINOR’S® line of professional flavors and sauces, where I first learned about bases and flavor concentrates.) Honestly, I think this concentrate is the secret ingredient that makes my family (and their friends) crave this taco meat recipe.

Too Spicy? This recipe is not spicy, but if it accidentally gets heated, then you can add agave or honey to cut the heat. About 1 tbsp tends to do the trick.


  • Serving Size: 2 tacos (about 1/4 cup of meat each)