10 Ways to Recycle Leftover Taco Meat Filling

Leftover taco filling is a time-saving savior when cooking. The trick is to use it before it spoils.

10 Tasty Ways to Recycle Leftover Taco Meat Before it Spoils.


There’s leftover taco meat in your fridge now, right? Otherwise, why are you reading this? Now is the time to put it to use. Here are 10 tasty ideas for you to consider!

#1 Use as a Topping for Nachos

Nachos: Obvious but delicious way to recycle leftover taco meat filling

Don’t you think these nachos would look even MORE appetizing topped with leftover taco meat?

#2 Make Sloppy Joe’s

To make the filling, heat the leftover taco meat with tomato sauce, brown sugar, canned green chilies and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Don’t have Worcestershire? A dash or two of soy-sauce will do the trick.

Sloppy Joe's: Delicious way to recycle leftover taco meat before it spoils.

 Serve on a bun with hot peppers on top! 

#3 Add to Mac and Cheese

Sounds as nuts as spreading mayo on a peanut butter sandwich but is surprisingly good!

#4 Make a low-Carb Lettuce TaCO

Low-Carb Lettuce Tacos: Healthy way to recycle leftover taco meat before it spoils.

Time to go low carb on this leftover taco meat! Warm the meat in the microwave and place it in the middle of a large crisp lettuce leaf. Top with your favorite taco toppings, sprinkle on a few crushed tortilla chips  and bite in! 

#5 Create Edible Food Art

Alright Picasso, time to show off your artistic side. Spread the leftover taco meat on a large plate and heat in the microwave. Scatter shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, jalapenos, crushed tortilla chips and cheese on top. Then go all abstract art on it by splashing on your favorite salsa and sauces. Mop up with your fingers!

#6 Stir in a Tomato-Based Pasta Sauce

Taco Meat Pasta Sauce: Leftover taco meat adds great flavor to any tomato-based pasta sauce

Question for you. If you stir leftover taco meat in a pasta sauce and end up with leftover sauce, what do you make with it? Did you say Sloppy Joe’s? Now you’re thinking!

#7 Whip up a Tex-Mex Egg McMuffin

It’s crazy good! Here’s the recipe so you don’t have to wait a moment longer to get one on your plate!

Tex-Mex Egg McMuffin: Tasty way to use leftover taco meat before it spoils.

#8 Make Chili

In a pot stir together the leftover taco meat filling with…

  • 1 can (14 oz) of baked beans in tomato sauce.
  • 1 small can chopped green chilies.
  • 1 can (19 oz) of diced stewed tomatoes
  • add frozen corn or anything else you like stirred in chili

How to Recycle Leftover Taco Meat: Idea #8!

Cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes before eating. Hey chili lovers…have a spoonful and let me know what you think in the comments.

#9 Cook a Chili Grilled Cheese

Mix the leftover taco meat filling with 2 tablespoons of tomato-based *chili sauce. Place between two slices of bread with shredded cheese. Butter the outside of each bread slice and cook in a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, until the bread is golden brown. Flip to cook the other side. Guess I could have just said cook it like a grilled cheese.

*If you don’t have chili sauce, make your own by mixing 2 tablespoons of ketchup with 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. 

easy college recipe for students

#10 Make More Tacos!!!

Love It? Share It! Thanks! 

Recipe Guide: 10 Ways to Recycle Leftover Taco Meat

P.S. Click here to subscribe and get this Quick Reference Recipe Guide. Just one of the many free bonuses you receive when you subscribe to College Recipe Cafe’s weekly updates. Cheers!

Brent Garell testing the food at College Recipe CafeBrent Garell – Brent is the guy behind College Recipe Cafe, and author of The Cook-a-Palooza Experience.  He visits local colleges to teach students cooking 101 skills, and is the author of the digital cookbook 15-Minute Money Saving Meals for Students: Cup of Recipes for When You Need Food NOW! Available now on Amazon.

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