Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (2024)

Recipes Copycat Recipes

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (1)

Kristen Carli/Mashed

ByKristen CarliandMashed Staff/

There's really not that much of a secret to how restaurants make their foods taste so good. From a fine dining establishment to a fast food chain location, restaurants rely heavily on four things to make foods taste great: cream, butter, sugar, and salt. You'll find a decent amount of each of the latter two in this Copycat Taco Bell beef recipe, and that's why it tastes oh-so-good.

Thanks to the rich blend of spices used here, you get a lot of flavor in this beef. But how does Taco Bell make its ground beef so moist and tender? Okay, so that one is a bit of a secret, but it's a secret chef, food writer, and registered dietician Kristen Carli of Camelback Nutrition & Wellness is happy to share" "The original Taco Bell beef actually uses oats in order to retain moisture," she says. "This works at home as well, and you cannot even detect the oats in the texture."

So, let's gather our spices, beef, and oats and get cooking!

Gather your ingredients for this copycat Taco Bell beef recipe

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (2)

Kristen Carli/Mashed

To cook up this copycat Taco Bell beef recipe, you'll need olive oil, ground beef, oats (rolled oats work well), MSG such as Ac'cent (don't judge too fast, we're going to talk about this!), chili powder, salt, sugar, ground cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Make sure you grab all these ingredients before you start cooking.

You're also ideally going to want a large cast iron skillet on hand, but any good pan will serve you fine.

A few words on monosodium glutamate for this copycat Taco Bell beef recipe

MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate, got a bad reputations a couple decades back. Yes, when overused, as is often the case in both prepared, packaged foods and in restaurants (Asian restaurants draw an unfair amount of MSG ire), the stuff is bad for you. So is salt. And sugar. And so on. As reported by the Mayo Clinic: "The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that's 'generally recognized as safe.'"

And it's one you surely eat all the time already, anyway, according to Healthline, if you ever eat Pringles, Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, many types of BBQ sauce, pepperoni, and a ton of other foods you probably eat on a regular basis. In moderation, MSG is not more harmful than other flavor-enhancers like salt. And enhance flavors it does. As Carli says: "The MSG brings the real flavor in thiscopycat Taco Bell beef recipe, and I wouldn't skip it."

Process the oats into a powder for this copycat Taco Bell beef recipe

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (4)

Kristen Carli/Mashed

There are basically three types of oats, not counting whole oats, which are more suited to horses than humans. First, you have minimally processed steel-cut oats, where the hulled groat is chopped into two or three pieces. Then you have rolled oats, where the groat is steamed, thus partially cooked, and flattened out in a roller for quicker cooking. Finally, you have quick oats, which are even more crushed and broken down than rolled oats.

As you'll be breaking the oats down until they are quite pulverized, really any oat will do, but make it a bit easier on yourself and consider rolled oats. Place said oats in a food processor and pulse the blade until they are ground into a flour.

Cook the beef with oat flour to make your copycat Taco Bell beef recipe

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (5)

Kristen Carli/Mashed

In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat up the olive oil. Once the oil is hot (but before it reaches its smoke point), add the beef and two tablespoons of oat flour. (Note that you will likely have a little left over. You can use this in a wide variety of other recipes, so don't throw it out.)

Cook the copycat Taco Bell beef recipe, breaking up any chunks with the back and sides of a wooden spoon, and don't let that ground beef sit around unattended while you brown it.

Spice things up with this copycat Taco Bell beef recipe

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (6)

Kristen Carli/Mashed

As soon as the meat for yourcopycat Taco Bell beef recipe is cooked through, reduce the heat to medium and add the Ac'cent (or whatever MSG you choose), chili powder, salt, sugar, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. If the beef seems to be drying out, reduce the heat slightly and drizzle in a bit of oil.

And that's it, you did it! Use your copycat beef in tacos, burritos, salads, fancy Sloppy Joes, and so on. And you can "store the beef in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge," says Carli, adding that it "re-heats in the microwave easily."

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe

5 from 400 ratings

Fill 202Print

Don't want to go through the drive-thru? No problem. Just whip up this copycat Taco Bell beef recipe in the comfort of your own home.

Prep Time

5

minutes

Cook Time

15

minutes

Servings

8

servings

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (7)

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon MSG such as Ac'cent
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

  1. Place the oats in a food processor and pulse until ground into a flour.
  2. In a large skillet at medium heat, pour the olive oil, then add the beef and 2 tablespoons of oat flour. Cook, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink.
  3. Add MSG, chili powder, salt, sugar, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving338
Total Fat25.3 g
Saturated Fat9.0 g
Trans Fat1.3 g
Cholesterol80.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates6.3 g
Dietary Fiber1.7 g
Total Sugars1.3 g
Sodium291.9 mg
Protein20.8 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (8)

Rate this recipe

Recommended

Copycat Taco Bell Beef Recipe - Mashed (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated:

Views: 5810

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.