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. /
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7. 30-Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

Make some delicious tacos in the cold, cold Winter, but still not 100% sure on what to do with the leftovers? Look no further, folks, because the penultimate recipe is here: some of the best Chicken Tortilla Soup that you will have is one made with leftovers. Why? Because you know, deep down, that you didn’t waste a single crumb or final crumble of taco-seasoned ground beef. Let’s dig in!

What is it?

Basically, throw all of your leftover meat, legit whatever kind that it may be, whatever leftover, or fresh, veggies and beans that you have available (if you’re into that too, of course, that is), and finally, for the actual liquid part of it all, some super delicious bone broth that, guess what, can also be made with some leftovers from taco night or chicken night, for all we care! Season and enjoy!

8. One-Pot Taco Pasta

Anytime anything says that it’s a one-pot recipe, two things go through my mind that go as follows: ‘is it really just a one-pot meal’ and ‘will it be mushy or taste like a Michelin Star restaurant meal’. If you’re like me, then keep reading to see what the recipe’s more like down below!

What is it?

First of all, it’s baked and simmered, so no need to worry about excess butter or oil if you’ve got a sensitive stomach! Second of all, there’s not much more to say except that this recipe is truly the definition of freedom! For example, no one pasta will work for this in particular because any pasta truly will! For yet another delicious example, you can flavor it however you choose, whether you’re catering to yourself, or just for a few company guests as well! As they saying is: anything goes – and truly it does!

9. Mexican Taco Pizza

Everyone knows this following fact: Taco Bell, within the last couple of years or so, has hexed the Mexican Pizza off of their menus. While most people did nothing but bash it and throw shade upon it, I quite enjoyed it. Imagine this: throwing all of your most favorite taco ingredients onto some delicious homemade or store-bought pizza crust; what could be better, am I right?!

What is it?

While this particular recipe isn’t an exact replica of the menu item from Taco Bell, it is an even more delicious homemade version of a used-to-be Mexican fast food favorite. According to Averie from the classic, famous, and super simple blog called Averie Cooks, here’s what her particular recipe entails, but feel free to do your own thang instead: one sweet Vidalia onion, lean ground beef, taco seasoning (feel free to make your own or just add in some cumin if you so happen to choose to do so), frozen pizza crusts (again, please feel free to make up your own as well – yum either way), black seasoned refried beans, shredded mozzarella cheese (don’t have it – use whatever cheese, vegan or dairy, that you so prefer it to be), and finally, some shredded mixed Mexican shredded cheese blend. This recipe is your oyster! Customize!

10. Healthy Cashew Chicken

Now, personally, when I think of using my Taco Night leftovers, I definitely don’t think of reusing them into a whole other cuisine or country. However, this particular recipe will do a great job of repurposing some of your delicious Mexican leftovers, and turning them into some even more delicious Chinese dishes!

What is it?

Here, this recipe basically takes whatever sort of meat that you have, and helps you create a delicious and healthy sauce to pour on top of it, and according to the recipe, you’ll definitely wanna make a double, or maybe even a triple or four times the original recipe because it is just that good. Here’s what it deliciously consists of: water, low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, Hoisin sauce, honey, veggie oil, minced garlic (I’d personally leave this out – ew to garlic), grated fresh ginger, and finally, some corn starch for thickening purposes. Bake the chicken with some of your favorite – yes leftovers included – veggies and you’re dinner is all set to go! Eat up, folks!

11. Taco Skillet

Ever heard of a one-pot meal? Ever put all of your soup or stew ingredients into your crockpot and forgot all about it (on purpose, of course, that is)? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then a one-skillet recipe will for sure be the one for you, so be sure to listen up shortly, y’all!

What is it?

Erin Clarke from the Well Plated by Erin internet blog makes this recipe easy! Gluten free? Yup! Want to make it low-carb, Keto, or whatever else? She’s got alternatives for just about any and all kind of ‘normal’ diets that you could possibly think of! Make it with your favorite leftover taco meat (or make a brand new recipe if you had no leftovers), top it with some and any of your favorite leftover or fresh toppings, and boom (cue in Mr. Legend, Emeril Lagase, himself) you’re eating up! Healthy, fresh, delicious, lean, well-seasoned, and super-customizable! Yumm-oh!

12. Smothered Beef Burritos

This particular recipe could go well for either burritos or enchiladas, so there ya go! Like one but not the other? No worries; we’ve got ya covered! Burritos and tortillas alike are basically like one big blank canvas. Unless you get flavored tortillas (which, just ew for burritos, good for lunch meat wraps, nonetheless), tortillas and wraps take on whatever flavor you put within them! How cool!

What is it?

Talk about some warm and delicious Mexican comfort food over here, am I right?! The most great thing about this recipe? If you don’t like traditional smothering sauce, or red taco sauce, which come one who doesn’t then feel free to add in your favorite queso dip on top. Warm, ooey, and gooey! Make it with meat fillings or if you celebrate Lent and wanna make these on a Friday evening for dinner, then choose just cheese fillings or maybe even throw in a few veggies as well! Remember this y’all: a blank canvas!

13. Taco Zucchini Boats

Now this might just simply be the easiest recipe on our list over here! If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to tacos, burritos, etc, then definitely check something like this particular recipe out! It’s healthy, delicious, and flavorful nonetheless, despite the lack of carbs within it (I know, less carbs, we’re all sad, but trust me, we’ll surely get over it quickly, folks, won’t we)!

What is it?

Here, here’s all that you do (yes, literally, y’all): heat up some of your favorite and leftover taco meat (microwave or pan or oven doesn’t matter), hollow out some zucchinis to make your ‘boats’, add some toppings, additional seasonings, or whatever else your sweet little heart desires and guess what?! Dinner. Is. Served. Eat. It. Up.

14. Fish Taco Slaw

First of all, what!? And second of all, yummy! Upon looking at just the title alone, I thought to myself that this one can’t possibly taste good; however, make sure that you don’t judge a book by its cover, because we are all sure to be sadly with just how delicious-sounding that this particular recipe is alike and nonetheless! Here we go!

What is it?

According  to this particular recipe that will be linked down below, this recipe can either be a side dish, minus the protein, or stand alone as an entreè all on its own. Mix up the slaw, add in your fave leftover taco night protein, and yup, that is it! Wanna kick it up a notch, try adding in some spice! Don’t wanna kick it up, then simply don’t add the spice! Make it how you please! We love it!

15. Crunchwraps

This is my personal favorite Mexican dish to recreate from home! While I’ve never personally made it with leftovers from Taco Night, I have taken some Thanksgiving and Christmas leftovers and thrown them all into a at-home recreating of a Taco Bell classic favorite over here! Doesn’t matter what kind of leftovers that you have, this recipe will work and be super delish nonetheless! Now, let’s go over and be sure to check it out!

What is it?

Basically, it’s simple whatever it is that you just even want it to be! Want it spicy? Sure! Want it more mild and creamy? Go right on ahead! Want just a couple of ingredients? Awesome! Want to load it up until you can’t fold in the sides anymore just like me and my family? That works to! Make these to your sweet little heart’s content and be sure to eat them the heck up for legit any meal! These are perfect for all three meals of the day: either dinner, lunch, and even breakfast too! Yum!