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! 

Healthy Taco Meat - Find the easy recipe on - this one is a crowd pleaser!

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. I shouldn’t be, because they 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 really 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.

Healthy Taco Meat - Find the easy recipe on - this one is a crowd pleaser!

If you’re not feeling the ground meat in this recipe, I’d encourage you to try this slow cooker shredded chicken for tacos. 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 clicked through to the instagram picture, you can see clearly the huge amount of peppers and onions I add to this taco meat. I love the flavor they give this but I also love how they bulk it up with minimal added calories. It 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 suckers 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.

Healthy Taco Meat - Find the easy recipe on - this one is a crowd pleaser!

Healthy Taco Meat

This healthy taco meat is something I could make with my eyes closed. Some vegetable additions make this budget AND waist-friendly!

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  • 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 is fairly spicy)
  • 3/4 cup water (more if needed)


  1. In a very large, high-sided skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. 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.
  3. Add flour and taco seasoning and stir to combine, continuing to cook for 1-2 minutes or until spices are fragrant.
  4. 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.

Note: If you use a nonstick skillet, you can probably omit the oil in this recipe.

All images and text ©Rachel Cooks.

Verdict: I could make it in my sleep. Obviously I like it.

Husband’s take: Taco night is one of his favorite nights.

Do my kids eat it: Not really, buuuuut 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.

This healthy taco meat is something I could make with my eyes closed. Some vegetable additions make this budget AND waist-friendly! Get the recipe on!
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  1. It looks delish. Tacos always fly in my family. AND this filling can be used for other things. Like an open faced hoagie sandwich with cheese broiled on top. I am starving. I need to go eat dinner. I wish your bowl of meat was sitting in my fridge.
    I don’t normally talk about ME, but please make note of the slight name change from Wild Goose Tea. New web design too—whoopee and adding new features along the way.

  2. Sounds just like how I cook for my family!! A little of this and a little of that, need to clean out the fridge…. I really had to re-wire my brain when I started blogging and actually measure out and write down the exact ingredients!! My family loves tacos (well almost any Mexican food) too!!

  3. I have a beloved bolognese sauce recipe that I make with turkey, so I know we are going to completely love this taco recipe. Not sure why it never occurred to me to try tacos using turkey, but glad you pointed me in the right direction!

  4. LOVE tacos, thanks for posting this recipe! Can’t wait to make these and top the tacos off with slices of fresh avocado and some salsa! :)

  5. just need to make sure ground turkey or chicken is from the breast/white meat, otherwise, it’s not healthier than lean ground beef–contains fat, skin, etc…

  6. Dear Rachel, This sounds so good…I also love the idea of using shredded chicken for this dish. xo, Catherine

  7. I do something very similar for taco meat except I also add a can of diced green chiles. I love the extra flavor and a little heat!

  8. Great idea! I’m making tacos tonight and am now inspired to health-ify it :)

  9. I love the sound of this taco meat. I’m always so boring and just make it plain BUT I love the idea of bulking it up with peppers and onions. Plus you know it’s going to be a tasty addition…yum!

  10. I’m a big fan of using lean ground beef for taco meat— but never thought to add extra veg like the bell peppers. DOH! I bet it definitely bumps up the flavor! Can’t wait to try this for our taco night!

  11. Great idea to incorporate turkey and beef. You still get all the beef flavor but with the healthier turkey too.

  12. I love taco seasoned meat and love this healthy quick recipe. We eat a lot of ground venison so I’m always looking for new ways to cook it. This is perfect. Pinning!

  13. Healthy and taco meat in the same sentence? Consider me signed up! I always get apprehensive about sharing “easy” recipes too, but I am so glad you did this one…maybe now my hubs can get the tacos he has been begging me to make ;) Pinned!

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