Mom’s Taco Recipe

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: My Favorite Taco Recipe- Quick and Easy. This meal is gluten-free adaptable– please see tips below the recipe.

Yield: 10 to 12 tacos

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Mom's Tacos

This recipe is an adaptation of my Mom's tacos that she made back in the 70's. This was our family's favorite dinner while we were growing up.


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can chili beans (or any beans), drained
1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel (tomatoes & chiles)
10 to 12 tortillas, warmed
desired taco fixings (lettuce, tomato, sour cream, avocado, cheese, etc)


1. Heat a large saute pan to medium-high, swirl a Tablespoon of olive oil. Saute onions and mix in ground meats. Cook until lightly browned. Tilt the pan and scoop out any accumulated fat (or take a bunch of paper towels and let them soak it up. Discard the fat.

2. Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixed spices onto the cooked meat. Pour in chili beans and Ro-Tel. Heat for about 10 more minutes & your taco filling is ready.

3. Fill heated tortillas with taco filling and desired taco fixings.


*For best results, use ground meat that is about 93% fat free. Any leaner & it might be too dry.
*Chili beans are nice to use because they're spiced and in a light sauce. Drain the sauce slightly, but don't rinse. You can sub kidney beans or black beans if you'd like.
*If you don't have access to Ro-Tel (found in the canned tomatoes aisle), sub canned chopped tomatoes and canned chopped chiles).
*You can use flour or corn tortillas. Heat according to package directions. Mom liked to heat the corn tortillas by frying them in a little bit of hot oil. If you're making this as a gluten free recipe, be sure to use gluten-free corn tortillas & make sure that the chili beans are GF too (or use alternative beans).


9 Responses to “Mom’s Taco Recipe”

  1. postedAug 20, 2010 7:30 AM

    These tacos look amazing! Like the combo of the turkey & ground beef :) xo

  2. postedAug 22, 2010 5:24 PM

    i made tacos tonight and thought I had a packet in the cabinet. I DIDN’T !!! But I saw this post and used your spices and O.M.G. it was delicious. Thanks!

    No more packets for me!

  3. postedAug 27, 2010 8:14 AM

    Excellent! Most delicious tacos we’ve had for a long time. I keep Rotel in the cupboard, but don’t think of using it. Thanks!

  4. postedSep 2, 2010 10:04 PM

    also you can prepare the sauce boiling 1 or 2 tomatoes and 5 or 6 chilis then you put everything in the blender with salt and 1/4 cup of water and you have a mexican sauce.

  5. postedSep 10, 2010 6:42 PM

    I made these tacos and I have to say I will never look back at a taco seasoning packet again! I did omit the beans and served them on the side instead. Love these!

  6. postedDec 2, 2010 3:02 PM

    Making these tonight with some guac! I bought the “hot” Rotel so they should be nice and spicy. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  7. postedJun 3, 2011 7:43 PM

    I left out the chili beans, but I’m gonna try that next time.

    I thought this was one of the best, if not the best, taco recipe I have ever had. It was the perfect amount of heat!

    Thank you so much for the recipe :)

  8. postedDec 19, 2011 9:03 AM

    These look yummy. A nice change from all the sweets I’ve been eating lately. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. postedFeb 16, 2014 3:23 PM

    I always use refriend beans instead of just whole beans. It makes the meat mixture hold together so it stays in the tortillas better.

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