Healthy Taco Meat (in 30 minutes!)
This healthy taco meat is something I could make with my eyes closed. Some vegetable additions make this budget AND waist-friendly!
Quite a few weeks ago, I asked my friends on Instagram if they’d like to hear about how I make healthy taco meat. I’m always hesitant to share these simpler recipes — the ones that I made so frequently I could do it with my eyes closed. These easy recipes are such family favorites that they’re engraved in my brain.
I specialize in easy to prepare, healthy, family-friendly meals here on Rachel Cooks so this healthy taco meat with a combination of turkey and beef is a perfect fit.
I’d be lying if I said I followed this exact recipe every time. As you know, when you make something frequently, it’s more of a “little of this, little of that” type situation. It’s a clean out the fridge and use up a ton of vegetables kind of recipe.
Depending on who I’m serving this to, I’ll add more or less homemade taco seasoning to increase or decrease the spice level in these tacos.
And then of course there are the toppings! Usually tacos require a bit of planning – I need to include them in my meal plan for the week to make sure I have all the fixings for a great taco. We love refried beans, guacamole, salsa, lettuce (and yes, I totally buy the pre-shredded because it’s really the only time I buy iceberg lettuce), cheese, and then of course some great tortilla chips.
Sometimes I do sour cream but I’m the only one that eats it, so if it’s just our little fam, I don’t typically buy it – because I end up eating way too much. If I’m serving a crowd, I definitely buy sour cream. Also, if I’m serving a crowd, I love to pair tacos with cilantro lime rice.
If you’re not feeling the ground meat in this recipe, I’d encourage you to try this slow cooker shredded chicken for tacos or Instant Pot pork carnitas. Another thing to note is that I typically use all ground turkey when I’m feeding my family alone. I’ve found that a mix of turkey and beef is a great crowd pleaser. You could also easily use all ground beef in place of the turkey in this recipe.
If you take a look at the photo, you can see clearly the huge amount of peppers and onions I add to this taco meat. I love the flavor and nutrition they add but I also love how they bulk it up with minimal added calories. Adding vegetables not only saves calories but also saves money!
If I’m just serving the four of us, I usually make a half batch of this and it still lasts us at least two nights. Granted, my kids eat about a tablespoon if I’m lucky, so keep that in mind (they’re picky little eaters lately!). If you’re serving four hungry adults, I’d use the recipe as it is written if you want leftovers.
Enjoy! This is a staple in my house.
Make ahead tip: This taco meat freezes well. Make a double batch so you have plenty to freeze. Fry it up, cool to room temp and place in freezer containers or resealable bags for up to 3 months. Use for tacos, salads, burritos, quesadillas, you name it! So versatile and handy.
Healthier takes on Southwestern recipes:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red onion, diced small
- 1 red bell pepper, diced small
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced small
- 1 pound ground beef sirloin (90/10)
- 20 ounces ground turkey (93/7)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons taco seasoning (more to taste – my homemade taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water (more if needed)
- In a very large, high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion, bell peppers, ground beef and ground turkey. Cook, breaking up the meat, until the turkey is no longer pink and the vegetables are cooked.
- Add flour and taco seasoning and stir to combine, continuing to cook for 1-2 minutes or until spices are fragrant.
- Stir in water, and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until water is mostly evaporated. You can keep this at a low simmer, partially covered, until you’re ready to serve — you may need to add more water if it starts to look dry.
- If you use a nonstick skillet, you can probably omit the oil in this recipe.
- If you want, use all ground beef or all ground turkey.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 of 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 402mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
Husband’s take: Taco night is one of his favorite nights.
Do my kids eat it: Not really, but they don’t really eat much these days. On taco nights, I usually make them a quickie quesadilla in the toaster oven. Sometimes I’ll use this taco meat and cheese, and sometimes I use refried beans and cheese, sometimes a combo of all three. For N, sometimes I just do a cheese quesadilla because he’s ultra-picky. The quesadillas are easier for them to eat and they can dip them in salsa.
Changes I would make: None.
Difficulty: Very easy.