Leftovers: 15 recipes to use up your taco meat whether beef, chicken, or shrimp

Fish tacos are on the menu at Olé Olé Cantina, 820 Brockton Ave., Abington, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
Fish tacos are on the menu at Olé Olé Cantina, 820 Brockton Ave., Abington, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. /
2 of 4

1. Walking Tacos

I’m sure we’ve all at least heard of these if we haven’t had one for ourselves. These are the absolute perfect use for leftover taco meat especially if you’ve got company coming over (trust me, they’ll never know that it’s leftover meat). You can legit put whatever you want on it, just like you would a regular shelled taco!

What is it?

Basically, what you do is get yourself a personal size bag of whatever type of chip that you want (some grocery stores even sell bags slightly bigger called ‘walking taco’ bags). Then come the fillings: leftover taco meat (beef, chicken, etc), veggies, cheese, sour cream, nacho cheese sauce, guacamole….the possibilities are literally endless! Looking to get rid of some extra shredded cheese or cut up veggies, or even a jar of jalapeños? That works too! Basically, have some serious fun with this one – because it’s super hard not to.

2. Taco Casserole

According to The Cookie Rookie blog, Taco Casserole is possibly the number one thing to make with your leftovers from last night’s Taco Tuesday. It has layers upon layers or different super special and unique flavors. Whatever you can imagine it tasting like, add it in!

What is it?

It’s basically like a warmed up version of your ever so classic and super traditional 7 layer taco dip maybe minus a few layers or so. Here’s exactly what her recipe consists of: refried beans (tons of them, let me tell ya), tater tots (any variety will do, but the mini ones in my personal opinion, would probably work the best here), taco meat, and your choice of any additional toppings, although stopping there is perfectly acceptable as well! Best part? It only takes 30 minutes to bake in the oven! Quick, easy, and delicious! What could be better, right folks?!

3. Layered Taco Salad

Seriously?! Who’s actually got time to not only make a salad, but to mix it all together before people eat it? Might sound like a simple task, but trust me, if you’ve never made a salad for company coming over, then you have no idea what it’s already like to chop up all of your ingredients as it is, let alone, mixing it and finding the right exact dressing that fits the flavors!

What is it?

It’s basically like a layered trifle dessert, but it’s savory! You can legit add anything in that you want, so forget any sort of recipe that you find and make it up and layer it up however you please to do so! I personally think that chicken would work best here, but again, whatever you have will work just fine. Check with your company (and yourself too for that matter) to figure out what everyone loves and wants to put in it. Add a dip as the dressing. There is absolutely no tossing or mixing involved: grab some tongs that can reach the bottom of your dish and there will surely be no shortage of toppings, that’s for dang sure! Enjoy and eat up!

4. Frito Pie

While, when you Google photos of this, it may look much like the Taco Casserole from a few recipes ago, trust us, it’s different, and ten times if not more delicious! It’s topped with whole Fritos; I mean come on, Fritos are the quintessential chip (besides the obvious choice) for leftovers for Mexican night, am I right?!

What is it?

As PopSugar itself said it best (roughly): it’s almost as if a Walking Taco and a Taco Casserole had a baby, two recipes of which we’ve previously discussed already. Depending on what recipe you peep at, it only takes roughly give or take a few, 20-35 minutes or so in the oven! How quick is that?! I can’t imagine something easier to be honest. Much like legit everything else on this list, choose whatever sort of toppings that you want, throw it all into whatever sort of oven-safe dish that you want, and boom done – game set and match; dinner’s ready, everybody!

5. Shrimp-Stuffed Avocados

Now, this recipe is potentially the most unique one on this particular list. I’ve only heard of stuffed avocados from a breakfast joint not too far from my house; however, from the few that I have seen, I’ve never seen one quite like this before!

What is it?

Have some leftover shrimp from the night before? Have a few avocados that you need to use up in your fridge before they go bad bad? Then this recipe is just for you, so be sure and listen up, folks! Basically, what you do here is the following (super simple) steps: legit all that you have to do is two things, number one being chill your leftover seasoned shrimp from the night before and number two being to cut any avocados that you for sure will be using or saving in half. Yes, that’s legit it! Best part? If you’ve still got some leftover filling with the little shrimps, grab some tortilla chips that are just sitting there all lonely in your pantry – this recipe can double as Ceviche!

6. Breakfast Frittata

When I was doing some research on some of the best (and delicious) leftover Taco Night recipes, one came to mind – it’s something that we do in my house with (almost) leftover anything! As my mom always says: “Just crack an egg on top!” Well, mom, after all this time of poking fun at you, it’s finally paying off for one delicious recipe!

What is it?

As long as you like eggs, this recipe will be a new morning favorite that you just wish you had leftovers to make it with (or at least something else to make it fresh with too, right?). Just beat however many eggs that you wish to use, cut up or add in any veggies or shredded cheese to make it creamier I’ve found, and then finally throw in whatever sort of taco meat that you used from the night before – don’t worry, shrimp will work too – I had a delicious Gulf Shrimp & Cheddar Omelet in New Orleans and boy was it a delicious combo of flavors that I didn’t know I was missing, let me tell ya, that’s for dang sure! Eat up, however you’d wish to!