leftover taco meat recipes

31 Leftover Taco Meat Recipes To Add to Your Cooking Arsenal

Did you go all out on taco night and are now left with a generous serving of taco meat leftovers? Well, you’re in luck. You don’t have to toss the leftovers in the trash or have to wait for the next taco night to roll by to put the deliciously seasoned ground beef or turkey meat to good use — not when you have these insanely good leftover taco meat recipes at your disposal!

From air fryer chimichangas and taquitos to taco bake and pasta, with these recipes, you can transform any type of leftover taco meat into a stunning new dish!

#1. Air Fryer Chimichangas

A healthier version of the popular Mexican dish, these air fryer chimichangas are an excellent way to use up your leftover taco meat. Featuring a flakey, crispy exterior with a soft filling inside, these chimichangas are made by filling the tortillas with taco meat and beans mix and air-frying them until perfectly brown. Garnish with your favorite taco toppings and serve!

#2. Air Fryer Taquitos

These air fryer taquitos are so delicious, you’ll wish you had a bigger air fryer to show off your culinary prowess with! Add a little cream cheese and shredded cheese to your leftover meat, then place 2-3 tablespoons of this filling in crunchy tortillas and air-fry them. Enjoy delightful flavors in every mouthful!

#3. Cheesy Taco Rice Skillet

Combining well-seasoned taco meat, quick-cooking rice, and a melty taco cheese blend, this recipe creates a delightful meal that will brighten up your dinner like no other. Serve with some black beans on the side or top it with your favorite taco toppings, and wrap it in tortillas for a novel burrito twist!

#4. Classic Taco Salad

This wholesome taco salad is practically bursting with flavors! Make it with leftover taco meat and your preferred add-ins, or serve it as a salad bar so everyone can pick and choose what they want to complement their dietary needs and preferences! Delicious and convenient, this recipe is practically made for an easy, hassle-free meal.

#5. Crockpot Taco Soup

This delightful comfort soup is a wonderful medley of flavors and textures that come from leftover taco meat and simple ingredients like black beans and tomatoes to satisfy all of your cravings. You can make this soup mild or spicy, depending on your personal preference. Serve with some sour cream or shredded cheese.

#6. Dorito Taco Salad

This delicious salad combines leftover taco meat, a gorgeous blend of spices, crisp fresh lettuce, pinto beans, and crispy Nacho cheese-flavored Doritos with a zingy homemade dressing to make the perfect Mexican dinner for everyone to enjoy. This recipe is adaptable, so feel free to explore your options.

#7. Easy Taco Bake

This taco bake recipe combines Mexican and Italian flavors to create a delicious fusion. Start with spooning the macaroni and taco meat mixture into a pan, then top it with cheddar and parmesan cheese before baking it to melty, cheesy perfection. Garnish it with chopped green onions to add some color and a crisp flavor to the dish.

#8. Easy Taco Pasta

In just 30 minutes, you can make this brilliantly vibrant, creamy pasta recipe! Smother pasta shells in a tomato sauce with leftover taco meat, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Top with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and a sprinkling of cilantro to create a lip-smackingly delicious meal.

#9. Hearty Southwestern Frittata with Potato and Beef

Cut down the cooking time by making this southwestern frittata with leftover taco meat combined with potatoes, rice, cheese, and veggies. Top it off with chopped cilantro for a healthy weeknight meal. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. This recipe is also highly customizable, so get creative with your fillings!

#10. Layered Taco Salad in a Jar

This toothsome recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover taco meat. As this salad is assembled in a jar, you can also take it to work! Remember to bring a cup of guacamole with you for an extra boost of flavor. It’s a quick, delicious, and healthy meal that’s also very easy to make!

#11. Leftover Tacos Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

To make this super flavorsome recipe, stuff sweet potatoes with leftover taco meat and top them with some grated cheese. Grill them until the cheese is melted and bubbly. To serve, top the taco-filled potatoes with your favorite toppings for irresistible flavors in every bite.

#12. Mexican Breakfast Burrito

This recipe is easy and quick as it is, but when you use leftover taco meat, you cut down your cooking time by half! It’s a terrific way to make a new dish out of leftover taco meat and other tex-mex taco ingredients. With its insane flavor profile, one bite is enough to make you a fan.

#13. Mini Sweet Pepper Nachos

To satisfy your taco cravings guilt-free, this low-carb, gluten-free recipe calls for replacing your favorite nacho chips with small sweet peppers as a base for your leftover taco meat along with a choice few ingredients to create an altogether new dish. Use your favorite taco fixings to suit your taste preferences.

#14. Mini Taco Salad Cups

Bake crispy, crunchy, golden-brown wonton wrappers filled with chopped green lettuce or iceberg lettuce and leftover taco meat, then top with your favorite taco toppings — super simple and super tasty! You can eat them for dinner or bring them to parties or game days, enjoy them anytime you’re craving a delicious finger meal.

#15. One-Pot Taco Spaghetti

This creamy, cheesy spaghetti recipe brings all your favorite taco flavors in pasta form. Skip Step 1 of the instruction since you already have your leftover taco meat to make this perfect weeknight meal for the entire family. The best part? It’s all made in one pot and calls for very little clean-up!

#16. Overnight Taco Breakfast Enchiladas

This recipe highlights the beautiful marriage of taco flavors with enchiladas and eggs for a hearty, healthy recipe. This delectable dish is easy to prepare and tastes absolutely incredible. Simply put everything in a pan the night before and toss it in the oven when it’s time to serve breakfast. Finish with toppings and you’re done!

#17. Quick & Easy Walking Tacos

Leftover taco meat and your favorite taco toppings piled in a delicious bag of Doritos (or your favorite chips) — that’s Walking Tacos! Since this snack can be customized to complement every palate, it will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. And you don’t have to spend precious time cleaning up! It’s an absolute win-win.

#18. Smoked Nachos

Smoked nachos made with leftover taco meat, chips, beans, and seasonings are the ultimate twist on classic party food! It’s high in protein and deliciously savory, making it a great healthy food. It’s also super easy to put together to ensure nothing stands between you and a platter of this divine treat.

#19. Smoked Queso Dip – Sausage Queso on the Grill

This creamy, rich, cheesy appetizer recipe will tempt you to fire up the grill whenever you have leftover taco meat in the fridge. Make this Mexican-inspired taco dip by combining Velveeta cheese, taco meat, peppers, onions, and Rotel. Serve it at family gatherings or bring it to potlucks with your favorite tortilla chips to scoop up this deliciousness.

#20. Stuffed Bell Peppers

This low-carb recipe uses perfectly seasoned leftover taco meat and pairs it with fresh bell peppers to create a delectable dish. Mix the taco meat with fiber and protein-rich black beans and stuff this filling into halved bell peppers. Sprinkle some cheese and bake. This is a healthy meal bursting to the seams with taco flavors.

#21. Taco Breakfast Casserole

This delectable Mexican breakfast casserole includes all of your favorite breakfast fixings, such as eggs, cheese, toast, and tomatoes combined with the flavorful and protein-rich taco meat. Top with your preferred toppings — anything goes! — and serve with potatoes or grits to enjoy. You can also prepare it the night before and enjoy it the next morning.

#22. Taco Crescent Roll-Ups

These flaky taco crescent roll-ups are a fun way to repurpose leftover taco meat into a tasty new lunch dish. Just open a can of crescent rolls, flatten the dough into triangles, top them generously with the taco meat and shredded cheese, roll them up, and bake. Serve with sour cream or salsa on the side for dipping.

#23. Taco Egg Rolls

Craving a snack? It can’t get any better than these crispy baked taco egg rolls. The finger food is made with a crispy fried egg wrapper shell that is filled with a wonderful taco filling made with leftover taco meat, cheese, and seasonings. This recipe is extremely adaptable, so feel free to switch up ingredients with your favorites!

#24. Taco Lasagna

For a quick weeknight meal, make this Mexican-style lasagna with leftover taco meat, salsa, sharp cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and flour tortillas. Garnish with your favorite toppings and serve with a side of cilantro lime rice or refried beans to round up the meal. With the flavor profile it sports, this one’s sure to make the cut for meal rotation.

#25. Taco Pizza

This Mexican pizza dish uses leftover taco meat, refried beans, salsa, cheese, and your favorite toppings, and it only takes 20 minutes to prepare. Bake until the pizza is golden brown and bubbly, and serve! This recipe delivers a taste of heaven in every bite; it’ll make your takeout menu obsolete!

#26. Taco Quesadilla

These leftover taco meat quesadillas baked in the oven (that’s right, all together!) will have you cooking a bigger batch of taco meat every Taco Tuesday just so you can make this recipe the next day!. Seriously, it’s that good. Serve with all your favorite toppings and some homemade Pico de Gallo for dipping to elevate meal time.

#27. Taco Quinoa Bowl

Hearty and healthy, make this colorful and crunchy taco quinoa bowl with leftover taco meat, protein-rich quinoa cooked in chicken broth, beans, and vegetables. Serve with a variety of toppings like salsa, sour cream, and guacamole to tantalize your taste buds like nothing else!

#28. Taco Ring

The iconic crescent taco ring, prepared by wrapping flaky, buttery dough around well-seasoned taco meat, melty cheese, and refried beans, is a magnificent way to present the all-time favorite tacos. Whip it up for a quick weeknight dinner or use it to spruce up your appetizer menu for family dinners. It’ll be a hit with anyone who grabs a bite!

#29. Taco Zucchini Boats

These taco zucchini boats are a wholesome, low-carb way to use leftover taco meat. Mak this recipe by hollowing out zucchinis and filling them with some excellent taco meat and cheese, and bake them on a sheet pan to minimize cleanup, too! Garnish them with sour cream and cilantro for a healthy dinner recipe that’s big on flavor.

#30. Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Hash

This one-skillet tex-mex recipe uses leftover taco meat to make a tasty, nutritious supper that both kids and adults will enjoy. You can adjust the heat level of this recipe to your liking and add on whichever toppings you enjoy. This recipe is freezer-friendly, making it perfect to make on the weekends and enjoy during the week.

#31. Tortilla Chip Mexican Pizza

Let’s face it, you can never go wrong with pizza — especially if it includes deliciously seasoned taco meat, crushed tortillas, an incredibly flavored blend of taco spices, and a yummy, melty cheese topping. To make pizza nights a big hit with the family, serve this delectable dish with a dollop of sour cream and fresh salsa!

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.