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Restaurant Style Taco Meat

If you eat only zabihah (animal cut in accordance to Islamic Law) like me, you will be over the moon to finally have restaurant style taco meat that your 90s kid heart desired when going to hangout with your friends at Taco Bell as a kid. Who am I kidding though, who doesn't love Taco Tuesday, and want to make sure they are eating "real meat" at home and knowing what ingredients are going into their food?

I’ve never had the real deal, but anyone who tries my taco meat says it’s exactly, if not better than restaurants. Taco meat is so versatile and great for feeding a crowd. The perfect meal prep to turn into so many dishes. Nachos, Mexican pizza, enchiladas, burritos, one of my favorites: Crunchwrap Supreme!

In this post I’ll be sharing how to make this easy and quick taco meat BUT will make this a 2 in 1 post and also sharing how to assemble a Crunchwrap Supreme Sandwich!!!

Not sponsored: I love Trader Joe’s taco sauce and seasoning. Trader Joe’s seasoning doesn’t have cornstarch but adds a nice spice kick which we love in this home. And I mix it with a taco seasoning from any store or homemade that has cornstarch.

The biggest tip I can give to achieve that restaurant style, thick and lucious taco meat that doesn't just fall all over the place is by mixing seasonings with and without cornstarch, adding sauce and making sure you dry out your meat completely before adding the flavorings! So again this recipe can be made using store bought ingredients or homemade. You choose! 

And before we get started, this recipe is 100% my baby sister, Sumayya's creation. I only tweaked it ever so slightly to achieve the best flavor packed taco meat that is so versatile for so many dishes! So you can thank her for bringing this recipe to surface!

Now enough of me talking...err typing, and let's get to the recipe!


serves 8 to 10

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef (or ground meat of choice)

  • 4 Garlic Cloves (mashed) 

  • 3 tbsp Taco Seasoning (see below for recipe)

  • 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch (see notes if using store bought taco seasoning)

  • 1/3 c. Taco Sauce of choice

  • 1/3 c. Water 

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste 

Taco Seasoning:

  • 1 tbsp red chili powder

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • ¼ tsp salt

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • ½ tsp onion powder

  • ½ tsp oregano

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Brown the meat in a pot with your mashed garlic. 

  2. Be sure to use a spoon or spatula to break down the taco meat into small pieces to ensure there’s no clumping or large chunks. 

  3. Mix occasionally as the meat releases its own liquid. 

  4. Keep cooking it down until all the liquid released is dried out. 

  5. It's important that your meat is completely dry before adding the flavorings.

  6. Now add your taco seasonings, cornstarch, sauce, water and tomato paste. 

  7. Give it a good mix, check seasonings, and let it simmer and thicken for 2 to 3 minutes.

  8. You’re now ready to have this meat ready for all your Mexican cuisine fixings. 

  9. Nachos, tacos, enchiladas, crunchwrap supreme, and Mexican pizza.

  10. It's even great for casseroles or in paratha roll wraps!


  • If you use store bought taco seasoning use 1 packet (1 oz.) WITH cornstarch and 1/2 a packet of one WITHOUT cornstarch and omit the cornstarch added in the recipe.

  • One store bought package of taco seasoning is equivalent to 2 tbsp of homemade taco seasoning.

Crunchwrap Supreme Assembly!

Ingredients needed:

  • Large Burrito Tortillas (10 inch)

  • Vegetarian Refried Beans (optional)

  • Cooked Taco Meat (made above)

  • Queso (white or yellow)

  • Tostada (or fry your own mini 5 inch tortillas until crispy)

  • Sour Cream

  • Lettuce

  • Salsa of Choice

  • Shredded Mexican Cheese

  • Street Style Mini Tortillas (5 inch)


  1. Spread some beans in the center of your large tortilla.

  2. Top with 2 to 3 tbsp of cooked taco meat.

  3. Top the meat with 1 to 2 tbsp of queso.

  4. Top the queso with a crispy tostada.

  5. Spread 1 tbsp sour cream over the tostada

  6. Top with some lettuce.

  7. A dollop of salsa.

  8. Some shredded cheese.

  9. Now top with your mini tortilla.

  10. Fold the outside large tortilla edges over to the center mini tortilla to close and seal the crunchwrap.

  11. Place fold side down onto a frying pan.

  12. Let it toast up and seal then flip and toast again.

  13. Optional: spray both sides with oil if desired.

  14. Serve immediately and enjoy!

I hope you give this 2:1 recipe a try and enjoy not only the delicious taco meat but the endless possibilities of dishes that come with such a staple dish! As always be sure to check out my social handles to see videos of me making all these delicious dishes!


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