Years ago, Taco Bell was my food craving after a night of bowling. Nothing beat grabbing a 10-pack of crunchy tacos from the drive-thru. Yes, 10. Bowling is hard work you know. Well, it turns out that making copycat Taco Bell tacos at home is about as easy as you can get. The key is the rinsing and draining of the ground beef and of course, a great seasoning mix. You end up with great beef flavor without the fat.
Most grocery stores now carry masa harina, but if you can’t find it you can grind tortillas or just use finely-ground corn meal instead. Or, visit your local Hispanic grocery store which is quite sure have some on the shelves. The flavor and texture are distinct and really cannot be accurately duplicated by something else. Masa harina really makes these copycat Taco Bell tacos the perfect after-bowling meal!
Copycat Taco Bell Tacos
For the 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 pound lean ground beef
For the beef filling
- Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Heat a large over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Chop the meat with a spatula and cook until done.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly then transfer to a strainer. Rinse under hot water to remove any residual grease. Drain well.
- Optional: I prefer my ground beef to be fine, so at this point I place the meat in a food processor and pulse a few times to get a nice small grind.
- Return the meat to the skillet and add the seasoning mix along with 1 cup of water.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and continue simmering, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated.
- Remove from heat.
For the tacos
- Warm the taco shells per package instructions.
- Divide meat between the tacos and add the lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and taco sauce if using.