Leftover Taco Meat Recipes

Amy Hoover
Puff Pastry Taco Bites

Spice up your next meal and use up that leftover taco meat! Leftovers mean half the prep is done, making the next meal easy.

Puff Pastry Taco Bites

Add leftover taco meat to puff pastry dough for a quick and easy alternative to pizza rolls! This recipe serves four to six people with two to three bites per person, depending on the amount of leftover meat. The recipe is versatile, so you can have bits with more or less meat -- just fill until you feel it works.

Ingredients

  • Leftover taco meat
  • Prepared puff pastry dough
  • 2 egg whites mixed with 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Instructions

Dipping Puff Pastry Taco Bites
  1. Set oven for 400 degrees Fahrenheit or whatever the recommended cooking temperature is for your pastry dough.
  2. Roll the puff pastry dough out onto a surface prepared with flour until you have a rectangle. The size of your rectangle will depend on the amount of meat you have left.
  3. Add taco meat to the center.
  4. Pull sides up and around, then gently roll just enough to seal the seam and create the rounded "bite" look.
  5. Cut into bites approximately 2" in length.
  6. Place on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan lined in parchment paper.
  7. Brush each bite with egg wash. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  8. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes or until the pastry dough is browned.
  9. Allow bites to cool for a few minutes, then serve with salsa and queso dip.

Rice and Tomato Taco Casserole

Casseroles are quick and easy for good reason, so utilize your leftover taco meat and other leftover condiments to put this one together. It will serve about six to eight people, depending on the amount of taco meat on hand.

Ingredients

Rice and Tomato Taco Casserole
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped peppers (red, green, yellow, or mix)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • Prepared Mexican rice (leftovers work great!)
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • Leftover taco meat
  • 2 cups cheddar or Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • Sliced tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Sautée the onions and peppers in the vegetable oil on top of the stove at medium-high.
  3. Once the onions are translucent and the peppers fragrant, add the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Once the sauce is properly heated, pour over the Mexican rice and chopped tomatoes. Add the cream cheese. Mix until well combined; the cream cheese should melt and help serve as a binder.
  5. Spread the rice mixture in a greased 9x13 baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle leftover taco meat on top of the rice mixture.
  7. Cover the top of the casserole with the cheese.
  8. Add sliced tomatoes to the top of the casserole.
  9. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes; cheese should be bubbling when you pull the casserole out.

More Flavorful Ideas for Leftover Taco Meat

Taco meat can work as a spicy alternative to ground beef in a number of delicious recipes:

  • Make stuffed zucchini by swapping taco meat in for ground beef, switching the sauce to enchilada sauce instead of spaghetti sauce, and using a Mexican cheese blend.
  • If you only have a little meat leftover (not enough for a full recipe), crumble it into tiny pieces and add to tortilla rollups for a party.
  • Make enchilada casserole or seven layer taco casserole even spicier by using leftover taco meat instead of ground beef.
  • Use the meat in a super simple taco salad appetizer dip - just layer it over the sour cream mixture.
  • Use the meat in place of chicken in a tortilla soup recipe.
  • You can also freeze the leftover meat to incorporate it into a recipe at a later date.

Spice Up Your Leftovers

Using taco meat in your favorite recipes not only spices up your basic dishes but also stretches the budget. Skip the traditional taco salad and try swapping leftover taco meat in your favorite recipes for a memorable twist.

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Leftover Taco Meat Recipes