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Texas Tacos

I created this recipe by combining a bunch of taco ingredients that my kids like. Once it’s ready, I often keep the beef mixture warm in a slow cooker so the kids can quickly fill taco shells after an afternoon of rigorous soccer practice. —Susan Scully, Mason, Ohio
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1-1/3 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces) ready-to-serve brown rice
  • 20 taco shells, warmed
  • Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream


  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef, red pepper and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking beef into crumbles, 8-10 minutes. Drain.
  • Stir in tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder and salt; bring to a boil. Add rice; heat through. Serve in taco shells with toppings of your choice.

Taco Tips

What do you put in a taco?

When tacos first started to be part of American meals, the ingredients didn’t vary greatly. In the 1970s, a taco usually consisted of seasoned ground beef placed in a crunchy V-shaped tortilla and topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese. Since then, regional ingredients and cooking styles have snuck into taco recipes, giving us dozens of variations to enjoy.

What's in a traditional taco?

Throughout Mexico, tacos come with a wide variety of tortillas, fillings and toppings. But generally, if you order Mexican-style tacos at a U.S. restaurant, you can expect to get a warm corn tortilla filled with your choice of meat and topped with chopped onions, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, sliced radishes, grilled or pickled jalapeños, and a choice of salsa.

What other meats can I put in a taco?

The answer is a simple one: Almost anything. The seasoned ground beef mixture in this recipe is a popular option. Fish tacos, once seen only in California, are now on almost every restaurant menu. Other popular options are short ribs, shredded pork, shredded chicken and portobello mushrooms.

Can you freeze taco meat?

Yes; this meat mixture freezes beautifully. Make a big batch and freeze individual portions in plastic bags to thaw on the fly.
Research contributed by James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary
Nutrition Facts
2 tacos: 294 calories, 11g fat (4g saturated fat), 42mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 3g fiber), 17g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat.


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Average Rating:
  • pyoung9686
    Feb 27, 2021

    Not TX tacos.

  • TIA
    Nov 20, 2020

    This looks very similar to a chilli I make, except I use salsa instead of the red pepper, tomatoes and tomato sauce, and I use my homemade taco seasoning instead of chili powder. I use kidney beans instead of rice and I serve it over corn chips or Doritos. My husband and son love it, so I'm sure they will love these tacos. I'm looking forward to trying them.

  • bapotts51
    Nov 20, 2020

    I have not tried this recipe. The only reason I'm commenting is that I am somewhat offended that these are named "Texas Tacos". As a 6th generation, native Texan, I have never encountered this mix of ingredients for a taco filling. Also, authentic Tex Mex cuisine would be using garlic, comino (cumin), maybe oregano, as spices, using white rice, and adding pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, & shredded cheese for the toppings. I'm not saying that this recipe isn't good but maybe they should be called "Ohio Tacos".

  • August13
    Aug 17, 2020

    Goiod one

  • pajamaangel
    May 17, 2020

    The only thing I would do differently next time is add some cilantro. These were a tasty twist on traditional tacos.

  • robnchip
    Sep 26, 2018

    I tried this recipe exactly as written and thought it was wonderful. As the creator of the recipe said, these ingredients were things she knew her kids liked and would eat. My grandkids loved the tacos and because it freezes so well, I try to always have it on hand for visits. For I_Fortuna...medium sweet red pepper means medium sized s.r.p. As knowledgeable as you seem to be about cooking, I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

  • I_Fortuna
    Oct 12, 2017

    Looks look just about anything qualifies as Tex-Mex these days. Of course these are not Mexican.However, they are probably good. Kudos for leaving out packaged taco seasoning. These are more like Emeril's Italian tacos. And, where is the cumin and Mexican oregano? And, what is a medium sweet red pepper? There are so many kinds of peppers, perhaps the recipe could be more specific.I have to say, our Mexican family that live in Texas have never heard of this type of taco either in Texas or Mexico. But, everything is fusion these days. Many people north of the border make tacos and enchiladas in some very unauthentic or traditional ways. Seems people make it up as they go along trying to reinvent Mexican food.

  • hkpepin
    May 24, 2017

    My husband and I really liked these. They came together very quickly, always nice, and had plenty of flavor. I skipped the rice, mostly because I didn't have it in instant and I skipped the diced tomatoes because I felt they weren't necessary. I was right. I added some salsa instead for a little more heat. I would make this again, but probably still skip the rice. I liked the corn and peppers in the taco mix.

  • bratzygal
    Mar 29, 2017

    This was good, but not really "Texas Tacos". I've never eaten tacos that had corn or rice in them even when visiting Mexico. However as I stated, this was good. But hey, what ever floats your boat, right!

  • Grammy Debbie
    Oct 3, 2013

    Great, tasty, filling recipe. I was telling my daughter about it and she said my grandsons (5 and 2) would love it, so I've promised to make it for them soon. I actually just threw about a cup of minute rice into the skillet with the other ingredients after browning the hamburger, onion and pepper and it cooked right along without having to dirty up another pan. Thank you for sharing the recipe.