20 Easy To Make Leftover Taco Meat Recipes

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If you have some leftover taco meat but aren’t in the mood for taking the time to prepare a few more the next day, the good news is that there are a huge number of other recipes that can make use of some second-hand meat that will taste just as good, if not better, than the tortilla snack we are all so familiar with.

Whether you have some meat left over that you want to make use of, or you know you’re going to have some extra in the near future that you would hate to see go to waste, here are 20 delicious recipes that you can use your leftover taco meat to prepare.

How Long Does Leftover Taco Meat Last?

As long as you keep cooked taco meat in the fridge, it can be stored and safely eaten for up to three to four days, however it’s never advised to go over this limit since bacteria may have spread through it by this point, making it inedible and potentially dangerous to eat.

Therefore, once you’ve finished a taco feast, always place any of the leftover meat in the fridge rather than leaving it on the counter so that you can use it for some of these delicious recipes rather than throwing it away.

1. Beef Enchilada Casserole

This casserole recipe contains a few layers of ingredients to make each and every bite as flavorful as possible, and not to mention, it can be made in barely any time at all.

Alongside the leftover ground beef from the tacos, this casserole is also packed with beans, tortillas and some cheese to make for the perfect blend of flavors that is elegantly topped off with some enchilada sauce.

2. Spicy Chicken Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Even if you only have a little bit of extra meat left over from your taco feast, this poblano peppers recipe only requires a small amount of meat since it is packed full of a whole range of other tasty ingredients to add as much flavor as possible and can be made in just a few minutes.

With the spicy peppers being stuffed with chicken, crunchy veggies and a few spices to ramp the heat up just a little bit more, these are perfect as an afternoon treat.

3. Nachos

While a crunchy bowl of nachos is definitely tasty on its own, by simply adding a layer of some leftover taco meat to the dish, it can allow the flavor to stand out even more while still retaining that familiar crispiness that we all love nachos so much for.

This recipe can also work with tater tots, simply mix in any leftover meat you may have and you can create a downright delightful appetizer that goes down perfectly for parties and family gatherings.

4. French Bread Taco Pizza

The French bread in this recipe is split horizontally and covered in taco sauce along with some leftover meat and a whole host of healthy ingredients and extra additions to make for a delightful evening appetizer that you can either serve as one big piece, or you can cut it up into smaller chunks depending on how many people you plan to feed, the choice is entirely up to you.

5. Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of trying the crunchwrap supreme from Taco Bell, this homemade version tastes just as good and is layered with ground leftover meat, creamy jalapeno sauce, queso and sour cream to give it that familiar soft and creamy texture that blends so well with the rich tasting meat.

Additionally, this DIY crunchwrap supreme can also be made in just a few minutes, making it perfect as a quick lunch or an evening appetizer than can be made on the go.

6. Burritos

If you still want to prepare a festive feast but want a change-up from regular tacos, you can never go wrong with what many people consider to be its cousin, the burrito.

Since they often already share the same meat as their filling, you can easily use some leftover taco meat to pack a burrito full of that deep and rich meaty flavor that is complimented so well by some beans, rice, tomatoes and lettuce, and the best part is that since there are so many ingredients packed into this burrito, you won’t need too much leftover meat to make them.

7. Hash Brown Taco Casserole

You’ll have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t love the soft and chewy texture of a hash brown, however an easy way to make it even more delicious is to cover it with cheese, a little dose of cream, some chopped tomatoes and of course, a good amount of leftover meat to round the whole dish off, perfect as a late evening appetizer to enjoy as the sun goes down.

8. Cheeseburger Mac And Cheese

This skillet recipe may sound a little unusual at first glance, however, once you get a taste of that creamy mac and cheese flavor mixed in with the delicious serving of leftover taco meat, you will quickly understand why many people say that this dish manages to taste just like a cheeseburger, despite looking like a regular bowl of mac and cheese.

With a few cloves of garlic thrown into the mix along with some tomato sauce and a few onions, this is a unique recipe that you really won’t want to miss out on if you or someone you know loves the meaty taste of a hamburger.

9. Taco Style Spaghetti

There really is no better weeknight dinner that is guaranteed to keep the whole family satisfied than a classic taco-style spaghetti, and luckily, you won’t need to take too much time learning the basics of this recipe since it’s very much the same as cooking a regular pot of spaghetti, but with a few additional ingredients mixed in including a few onions to add a more chewy texture and some delicious sour cream.

10. Homemade Sloppy Joe’s

The classic sloppy joe’s recipe can be made to be just as delightful as we all remember it being from our childhoods by using some leftover taco meat as the base and adding in some bell peppers along with a few different types of sauces to create the messy sandwich that so many of us love snacking on so much.

It’s advised to always serve a sloppy joe sandwich in a buttered and toasted bun to add that extra bit of crunchiness to an otherwise fairly soft dish.

11. Southwest Frittata

These frittatas are packed with so many ingredients, it not only makes them a sheer delight to munch on at any time of the day, but it also makes them incredibly nutrient-dense, especially with how many crunchy veggies are packed into the delightful mixture.

Alongside the vegetables, this hearty recipe also makes use of rice, cheese and of course, some leftover meat to create a dish that really can be enjoyed at any time of the day whether that be as a tasty brunch to keep you going for the day ahead, or even as a fulfilling breakfast option.

12. Chili

The leftover taco meat really helps to cut down a tremendous amount of cooking time in this classic chili recipe, allowing you to focus on chopping up and mixing the rest of the ingredients which include green chilies, baked beans and sweet tomatoes.

Once the extra ingredients are ready to go, that really all there is to making this luscious appetizer or evening meal that contains the perfect blend of being both meaty, but also slightly fruity thanks to the tomatoes.

13. Taco Tomatoes

These low-carb snacks really are perfect for when you only have a small amount of leftover meat that you want to use as part of a juicy and delicious, but also healthy appetizer.

The ripe beefsteak tomatoes in this dish are packed with a few ingredients including mushrooms, lettuce and leftover ground beef to give it a very poignant and rich flavor that blends so elegantly with the juiciness of the tomatoes.

Don’t forget to add a wallop or two of sour cream to add a bit of soft creaminess to the overall taste and texture.

14. Loaded Taco Bake

Maybe you’re craving a little more of that familiar meaty taco taste but don’t have enough meat to go through with creating another batch.

If this is the case, then a delicious loaded taco bake might be just what you’re looking for, being packed full of contrasting ingredients that come together to make a dish that can be shared around the dinner table easily since so much can be made at once.

With some extra vegetables and fruit also being part of the mixture including some crunchy broccoli and juicy tomatoes, you can also be sure this recipe is a little healthier when compared to the standard tacos we are all so familiar with.

15. Baked Empanadas

The only real issue when it comes to empanadas is just how addictive they are, however this issue is largely mitigated when using leftover meat as it means the majority of the cooking has already been done and all that’s left to do is prepare the delicately soft casing which is packed with meat, Monterey Jack Cheese, black peppers, butter and a few other creamy ingredients to create an appetizer which is a pure delight on the taste buds.

16. Taco Crescent Rolls

These crescent rolls may look fairly similar to regular tacos, but the main difference is that not only are they a lot easier to make, but they actually taste quite a bit different due to the slightly different ingredients which tend to be a little creamier and not as spicy.

All you need to do to make these light snacks is wrap your leftover taco meat and some cheese in the puff pastry, and then proceed to fry them up, and these satisfying snacks will be ready to serve.

17. Taco Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Many people say that sweet potatoes can be stuffed with pretty much anything, and while that’s certainly true, using leftover taco meat helps to give them a much more vibrant and tasteful flavor, especially when mixed onions, carrots, tomatoes and some lovely taco seasoning.

The real star of the show however is the crunchiness of the sweet potato which helps to add another layer of crunchiness to make for a pleasant sensation each time you go to take a bite, and trust us, it’s hard not to go for seconds once you do.

18. 20 Minute Taco Pie

If you really want to get experimental and try out a new recipe that puts a delightful spin on a classic food that we all hold dear to our hearts, this easy-to-make taco pie doesn’t even require you to spend time making the crust, simply use crescent rolls for the base and pack the middle full of your leftover meat.

When it’s prepared and ready to eat, serve it alongside some rice or a side salad and you will have yourself a fulfilling meal that is perfect to whip up when you need something to eat on the go for when you’re in a hurry.

19. Keto Taco Cups

Keto-friendly, easy to make and downright delicious on the taste buds, even if you just have a tiny bit of leftover meat from your taco feast the day before, any amount is enough to fill these cups up so that they are packed full of flavor with each and every bite.

While they do resemble tacos a little in their taste, since they are a lot smaller and far easier to make, these are a great substitute when you want to prepare something a little different, not to mention, they are a must-have at parties and gatherings as a miniature but delicious treat for everyone to try out.

20. Quesadilla

You can’t go wrong with the classic quesadilla, even if you’re using leftover meat, it still tastes as good as we all remember, especially with some avocado dipping sauce on the side to add a light and refreshing touch to the entire dish.

Make sure to prepare a big batch if you have enough meat left-over since you can be sure people will be asking for seconds as soon as that first bite is taken.


No matter how much leftover taco meat you have left, you will still be able to make a delicious recipe the day after that will taste just as good, if not better than the real thing.

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Wife, Mom of 4 and so much more living in the Sonoran desert. I am passionate about making meals and snacks healthier without sacrificing flavor! I promise you that if you buy healthy foods and make healthy foods, YOUR KIDS WILL EAT HEALTHY FOODS! My motto: Live as naturally as you want to feel.