Taco Bell Tacos

Taco Bell Tacos are delicious tacos. You can make Taco Bell tacos fresh for your family anytime with our recipe. You could also use this meat as a topping for nachos, inside burritos, and so much more. Enjoy your own Taco Bell tacos at home made in your own kitchen with this recipe..

Taco Bell Taco

This taco seasoned beef from Taco Bell is used in many different recipes. You can use in your own Crunch Wraps, the Taco Bell Mexican Pizza and so many more Taco Bell items. This isn’t an exact duplication of their recipe, but it is really close. This recipe is salt free, so be sure to add some additional salt should you desire. You can purchase their retail version of the Taco Bell Taco Seasoning Mix 1oz (6 Packets), but this one doesn’t contain any artificial flavorings, colorings, and it is pretty easy to make. If you enjoy this recipe, be sure to try the Taco Bell Crunchwrap you can make with these similar ingredients.

Taco Bell Tacos

  • Author:
  • Recipe Type: Copycat Restaurant Recipes, CopyKat Recipes, Main dish Recipes
  • Prep time:10 minutes
  • Cook time:20 minutes
  • Serves: 4
Taco Bell Tacos

You can make tacos that taste like Taco Bell, it isn't too hard to do.


  • Beef Filling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons masa harina
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon powder
  • 1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef chuck
  • Tacos
  • 12 taco shells
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Sour cream (optional)


Beef Filling

Mix together all the ingredients except the meat. Stir the spice mix well to make sure that all spices have been blended well.

Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet (preferably nonstick) and brown, stirring well. Remove from the heat. Dump the meat into a strainer in the sink, rinse with hot water, and drain off the water and grease from the beef. Return the beef to the pan. Stir in the spice mix and 3/4 to 1 cup water. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes, until most of the moisture has cooked away. Remove from heat before the meat is completely dry.


If you like, you can refresh the taco shells in the oven at 350 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes.

To assemble the tacos, into each shell spoon a couple of tablespoons of the meat. Top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and sour cream if desired. Serve immediately.

Print Recipe
  • Kyra

    I only rinse my meat BEFORE adding the seasonings. I am sure I wouldnt use this recipe, just because the onions and what not. I cannot handle all that. Thanks for the video though!

  • fantasy01

    I’m from the great state of Texas so yeah I love Tacos. I also love the way you present your recipes on video from such an attractive women makes it all the better. Allen

    • stephaniemanley

      Thank you very much 😉 I hope you enjoy the videos.

  • Hungryman8

    Believe me, you DON”T want to make seasoned ground beef for tex mex the way Taco Bell makes it today. Taco Bell, the real one Founded by Glen Bell no longer exists. Today TB is a poor copy of what once was a fresh, healthy, tasty and natural food service provider from years ago. YUM brands bought the franchise and has bastardized everything natural, healthy and fresh that made Taco Bell famous.
    The meat today is only part meat, the rest is fillers and artificial preservatives and flavorings. This reduces cost (bottom line). Everything Taco Bell today is centered around saving the company some pennies. No more is the quality of the food the priority like it was when Glen owned it. They don’t have kitchen food prep/cook anymore at each site. All food is previously prepared in large warehouses and shipped in loaded with preservatives. The frying oils have been changed from natural healthy coconut oil and lard to man made toxic vegetable oil like canola. You can actually taste the rancid flavor in the chips. The meats & cheeses are prepackaged. The vegetables are shipped in frozen, instead of being fresh produce and prepped on-site they way it used to be. The tortillas are the shelf stable type with preservatives now. The ground beef is an orange color that is like a cheap chili from a can. You can taste it is different from years ago when it was brown in color with individual pieces of meat with just spices added.
    Glen Bell would be furious if he was alive today seeing what YUM has done to his company. Taco Bell used to have a slogan called – “The Fresh Food Place”. That is no more. It should be called Toxic Bell. I feel sorry for the ignorant who eat this garbage. They don’t know how great it once was. I used to manage a Taco Bell in the 1980’s and everything was FRESH and NATURAL.

    • Crash

      This poster here knows what is up. I first ran across a Taco Bell in Memphis Tenn during 1978 and it was actually great Mexican food that was prepared fresh on site. The current Taco Bell food would not pass as low grade dog food compared to those original Glen Bell recipes. The only clone or copycat recipes that would be of interest for me is from this time frame prior to the Pepsi buyout. The food at Taco Bell remained the same until Pepsi decided to take a more hands-on cost cutting approach in the early 80s. It has been a steady decline downhill since that time.

      • stephaniemanley

        Thank you for your suggestion I remember when this happened. My recipes are my best creation of what they have. It is very difficult to recreate recipes that no one has eaten for 30 years, I am happy to recreate a dish if someone wants to taste it and does a good job of accurately tasting, and articulating what they tasted.

      • Joe Joe

        I agree with Hungryman and Crash !!!! Taco Bell is low life fools food. You have no class or braincells – let alone taste. Taco Bell does not exist today. Surprised they don’t follow the crowd and call it “TB” because it is just as toxic. LOL So many ignoramuses in the world. Their palates are burnt from using drugs and alcohol, so they would not know cat food from fine cuisine. You will not believe it, BUT Taco Bell used to be upscale food by the truest sense. Freshly picked, ground, cooked, shredded, and prepared each and every day. Like a fine restaurant you pay top $ for these days. Yet it was a working man’s prices. The best of both worlds.
        Don’t anyone dare compare Taco Bell slop of now to blatantly say it was always this bad and crappy. Because you do not know a damn thing and probably were not even born when it was in its prime under Glenn Bell direction. The food of original Bell would today be considered as Excelsior and Excellent. It amazes me the puke people consider food and eat nowadays. Toxic Bell is spot on !!!

        • stephaniemanley

          I can definitely appreciate your opinion. I know I used to look forward to eating there when I was much younger. I miss the bell beefer.

        • Zatch

          Well aren’t you just so high and mighty. Everybody bow down to Joe Joe here.

          • Joe Joe

            I don’t strive for power like a leftist. I am just pointing out facts. Taco Bell is poor nutrition, harmful, and not pleasing like it once was. Look up Coconut oil properties. This was how Glenn Bell made his nacho chips, and eventually the taco shells and pizzazz pizza wafers. Nature made organic health food.

            Now TB uses man made carcinogenic unsaturated vegetable oil made to lubricate machinery.

          • stephaniemanley

            I totally appreciate and understand your comments. I think by making a copykat version of their food enables folks to make those more positive swaps.

            I never really intend to go eat say at a particular chain restaurant, I end up there for a variety of reasons. It’s too late to cook a meal, I am to tired to cook a meal, the fridge is bare, there is nothing left to heat up, and I don’t feel like it are just a few reasons. I may stop at a chain place just to fill the void. If there is something I really like there, I will try to replicate the recipe.

          • PEANUT

            You are right on JoeJoe!Coconut oil was what we used,it was written on the bucket.So many people I know that eat there now end up with the trots including myself before I quit.It amazes me

            that the same people go back again and again.

          • Joe Joe

            Peanut? You may have the insight we need… Join us at this thread “Taco Bell Pre-90s Was Good – Do You Notice the Difference Now” It is a forum that will break the back of YUM brands. We are developing the original recipes for true Taco Bell. Join us and contribute. We need all former taco bell employees and managers from the 1980’s and prior. BEFORE YUM brands destroyed real Taco Bell and made the food toxic to humans and cheapened the ingredients with man made chemicals and fillers.

          • PEANUT

            I would love to join you.I went to a TB convention in ’77 as I was in training to be a manager.We watched a commercial in process of being made and healthy foods and clean environment were the topics.I shudder when I think of how things have changed.

          • stephaniemanley

            Heck, I would love to join y’all. I remember how good they used to be.

          • Joe Joe

            Great ! Join us and bring back healthy fast food that Glen Bell worked so hard to make permanent. You can be a great asset of knowledge. The forum was start by Houndogz, and Mr.Smee as well has experience. There are other regulars too like hungryman and the rest. Together we will again make Taco Bell like in its glory days of mouth watering bliss.

    • PEANUT

      I was a lead employee at Taco Bell in 1977 and was so proud to tell everyone that our veggies were fresh and kitchen was really clean.My job included coming in early to cook the meat and beans everyday.Meat was in 10 pound bags and when cooked had very little grease to drain off.The meat came with a bag of seasoning pre-mixed.The beans only had salt and lard added and pressure cooked.I then whipped them with a huge stick like blender tool.All was clean and fresh.I have eaten at Taco Bell only 3 times since because I always had tummy problems after.I can’t eat there.When I worked there Pepsi owned them and they were really on top of things.Sad to see they no longer operate that way.

  • Robbie

    I worked at TB when we did everything from scratch- they used real ground beef and a sauce made from a packaged mix and water and the secret is to continuously stir the meat while it’s cooking to break it up. Back then, it was a dryer meat, now it is more greasy. I make tacos at home all the time and I just use taco seasoning in the package and water. Tastes like a TB taco used to. I have no idea what they use now, I just know they are too greasy for me.

    • stephaniemanley

      I miss those days when they used to cook in their kitchen.

  • Flavonoid

    Rinsing beef under water? Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I agree with straining the meat, but washing flavor away is rediculous.

    • stephaniemanley

      While I think we will disagree on this, if the meat is extremely greasy this can be a great thing to do. Some people do this to lower the fat content of their meat. I appreciate you stopping by!

  • Tricia

    I don’t think I’ve never heard the words ‘taco bell’ and ‘delicious’ in the same sentence before, LOL. I worked there for a summer in high school, that was enough to turn me off of mexican food for 10 years!

    • stephaniemanley

      Thanks to a summer at Dairy Queen I still can’t do soft serve ice cream.

  • Debbie

    Very disappointing recipe. It’s nothing like Taco Bell tacos. I could have used any taco seasoning mix.

  • kim

    amazing. It has only been 20 years since I worked at Taco Bell and they used only ground beef and cooked it fresh and definitely not in water

    • stephaniemanley

      When I used to work at Dairy Queen years ago, we cooked all of our meat in hot water. We would literally break an ‘X’ number of frozen meat patties into a large pot of water.

  • Sara

    I am so excited to try this. i just moved to Brasila and they dont have the pre-packaged mixes here so I am going to attempt this!!! Thank you.

  • joel

    don’t have any of that stuff

  • Taco Monster

    I have been looking for a good Taco Bell taco meat recipe clone for a while, and I was excited to find this one. Unfortunately, I wound up exceedingly unimpressed. I have tried other CopyKat recipes before and been satisfied, but this one does not taste even remotely like Taco Bell meat. Plus, I understand that this recipe isn’t meant to simulate the texture, etc. of Taco Bell meat, but (even with the corn flour) the sauce doesn’t thicken up even as nicely as the junky store-bought taco spice packets. Not a winner, I’m afraid.

    • Clive Blanston

      That’s because the store-bought stuff under the Taco Bell “brand” (Not the restaurant kind) has muddied the waters so to speak. The label of the actual stuff is now public knowledge thanks to the Internet. It says right on the label “Natural smoke flavoring added”, yet I have never seen a clone that added it. I cracked this one myself with actual TB meat to compare as I went. Also, I used oats instead of wheat flour and the unsweetened cocoa that’s right on the label as well. Enjoy.

      ¼ cup of oats (finely minced, or pulsed in food processor)
      1/8 rounded tsp of yeast
      1 level tsp.salt
      1 level tsp.Chili Powder
      ½ heaping tsp Onion powder
      ½ level tsp sugar
      ½ level tsp Garlic Powder
      ¼ rounded tsp. Paprika
      1/2 slightly rounded tsp ground Cumin
      1/8 level tsp pectin (canning salt)
      1/2 level tsp cocoa powder
      ¼ rounded tsp corn starch
      1½ level tsp beef bouillon (I use “Better than Bullion”)
      3 Tbsp tomato sauce
      1/4 tsp smoke flavoring (I use “Liquid Smoke” brand)

      1. Mince oats thoroughly and add other
      dried ingredients; set aside in small bowl.

      2. Dissolve bouillon, tomato sauce, and
      liquid smoke in ¾ cup of hot water; set aside.

      3. In a no-stick pan, fry 1 lb of beef
      and drain fat; discard fat.

      4. On low simmer add the seasonings/oats, and the bouillon mixture to the beef and cook through chopping and mixing with spatula. (You can add
      additional water if needed).

      5. Note: The oats will make the final
      product pasty like the real stuff, so keep turning meat with spatula as water
      simmers off.

      I haven’t found a crack for Taco Bell Mild Sauce that seemed close, but it can be purchased in long-neck bottles at grocery stores for about a dollar. Also, a half bottle of the stuff added to a large can of mild Enchilada sauce will make a perfect clone of TB Enchilada sauce for making other menu items like the Encharito and the Burrito Supreme.

    • CaliNative

      Listen to what all past Taco Bell employees are saying. They are 100% correct. I know, I was one of
      them. I worked at Taco Bell in as a teen
      from about 1986- 1989.

      Everything was made FRESH onsite. We had one guy who was the
      taco shell fryer and one guy who cooked the meat. The shells were freshly made every single day with coconut oil.
      Meat was REAL ground
      beef, that was placed in huge pans with a mixture of taco seasoning and water
      (that was also prepared onsite daily). The taco seasoning mixture was poured
      over the meat and cooked/simmered until it reached a certain temperature. The aroma of the meat and freshly made taco
      shells filled the entire restaurant and the moment you walked in, you were
      salivating! The aroma was like no other and I will kill to bring back the
      teens now and I always try to explain to them how incredibly delicious Taco
      Bell was in the 70’s and 80’s. They have
      no clue what I’m talking about, but I know if they tasted the original recipe,
      they would freak out and demand it every day. A few changes started taking place in 1989,
      like cheaper nacho cheese and the sour cream tasted diluted etc.. But, I
      started noticing a real difference in the meat recipe somewhere between 92’-94’. It wasn’t the same, but it was not quite BAD
      as it is now. Over the years, TB, has
      made subtle changes and I think by the late 90’s, it was clear to everyone that
      this was NOT the Taco Bell we (Generation X) grew up on L. It is a shame that Taco Bell screwed up such
      a unique and delicious recipe. This may sound bizarre, but it saddens me to
      know that when those of us who are 30 and over die off, the next generations
      will never know how great Taco Bell once was.

  • Ashope1

    When my boys were all home we always had Taco Night, for dinner & often after midnight!!!
    I always had pks. of seasoning , makings for meat & lots of shells on hand.Ortega of course.
    Actually, it was Only Ortega & I only used the recipe on the packet of seasoning. Everyone,
    loved my Tacos. My problem is after several years of “Taco Retirement” my grandchildren
    now live close & apparently have heard of the Taco Raids, & I can’t find my little white packs
    of spices mix. What can I do? PLEASE do not tell me you went & made it “new & Improved”
    Please tell me where I can purchase it in NE Ohio Cleveland area //Elyria 44035 thanx grams
    I only have an E-Mail I don’t have alot to do on my computer

    [email protected]//grannyannie

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jodi-Cox/100000799631525 Jodi Cox

    Hey Taco Bell uses a ground beef and TVP blend for the tacos. Thats the secret ingredient to give the meat the right texture. Fake meat mixed with real meat as a extender. Actually TVP doesn’t taste too bad and its a sneaky way to make kids and husbands eat there vegetables when they won’t put lettuce tomato or onion on there tacos. You brown and drain the meat first Then add TVP (Textured vegetable protein) to the meat than the spices.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t use the TVP in my recipe, I don’t think it is an ingredient post people can get. I personally think the jack in the box tacos have even less meat than the taco bell ones.

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  • Ruby Wood

    Retired to Belize and you just can’t get these tacos unless you make them yourself. Opening up our own little resturant in the fall and will tweak them some to satisfy the locals too.

  • http://www.eurodirectrentals.co.uk Andy @ Euro Direct Rentals

    Nice recipe… off to Tescos now :-)

  • http://kid-recipes.com Victoria

    Thanks for sharing this Taco. I’m the Taco lover and want to make it for my 9 months kid too. I probably make it for my neightbor too.


  • kysunflower

    Taco Bell taco meat is not cooked like that, just browned, you can tell becasue it’s soft and tender, not the dry you get brom browning like that. Taco Bell taco meat is cooked in water, it cooks and stay soft and tender. I know this because my son has worked there for a total of 6 years, and his wife is general manager (the big guy in charge of her store).

    • http://www.copykat.com Stephanie

      I appreciate your comments. I thought that all of the meat was pre-cooked and reheated. I understand they haven’t actually cooked from scratch there for a long long time. I know some recipes for taco meat have you cook the meat in basically in a soup like mixture, I think browning, then adding water back to the recipe helps give it a little more flavor.

      • Shedreamsbeauty

        It is precooked Stephanie then frozen and thawed in hot water at 150 degrees for a hour. I worked there a few years ago. Everything is precooked there all the meat is thawed in a similar method then moved to the heating pans on the taco assembly line.

      • Jay

        I appreciate your recipes and yes Taco Bell meat comes froze pre-packed. I used to work there. They place the froze packed meat into really hot water and let it cook and then open it up and serve.

    • LBlizardbreath

      I don’t think the point is to cook something exactly in teh same manner as the restaurant. it’s to get the same end product. A lot of restaurants have the food half prepared, shipped to them then finiushed in the restaurant…. Also, a lot of restaurants use shortcuts and substitutes for makign large quantities. One person cooking for a small group would not need to follow the restaurant’s steps exactly, as long as the end product is the same or similar.

  • http://www.inin.com TacoLover

    I looooove a good taco!

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  • Sweet Onion Pie

    Great Tacos. The chili powder and garlic really add the perfect zest. Thanks!