Flavorful bits of meat coated in spices, served in a soft or hard taco shell with your favorite fixings makes a delicious family dinner of Ground Pork Tacos in 25 minutes.
Ground pork is an easy way to make a popular taco meal healthier and more flavorful.
This post is sponsored by Ohio Pork, but all opinions are my own!
Ground Pork Taco Recipe
Simple seasonings that you probably already have in your pantry coat ground pork to make the best taco meat. This basic recipe is very easy to enhance with black beans, corn, salsa or your favorite mix-in.
We use softened onions and a light homemade taco seasoning to keep the kids happy. The spices can easily be doubled for a more robust flavor. Lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream are easy toppings that add veggies to the meal.
When meal prepping we love doubling this recipe. Leftover taco meat is perfect to serve over salads or with loaded baked potatoes. Freezing taco meat in individual portions saves time and makes busy family life easier!
Basic Taco Toppings
Finely chopping toppings allows for more flavors to mix in every bite!
- Finely shredded or chopped Romaine or iceberg lettuce
- Chopped Roma or Cherry tomatoes (canned diced tomatoes can be drained and work well) – tastes great as a topping or can be stirred into the meat in the skillet
- Shredded Mexican or sharp cheddar cheese
- A dollop of sour cream
- Chopped cilantro for a fresh flavor
- Diced or sliced avocado
- A few drops of fresh lime juice add a fresh citrus zip
Why is Ground Pork Better?
When compared to ground beef, ground pork typically has a milder flavor and can be a leaner meat. Pork is typically the best value in ground meet. Ground pork is good to use in about any recipe that calls for ground beef or hamburger.
I also appreciate that when you buy ground pork at the grocery store you are supporting farm families all over Ohio (like mine) and the United States! We’re one of more than 3,500 family farms in Ohio that raise enough pork to feed millions of people!
While shopping I like to look for ground pork that was sealed at the processing plant like in the photo. Plastic wrapped trays are fine, but typically don’t last quite as long in the refrigerator.
What is Ground Pork?
Trimmings from pork chops, bacon, ham and other cuts of pork can be made into a high quality ground pork. Ground pork is mild in flavor making it a great base for many meals.
Being very lean, ground pork is typically a healthy, protein packed, meal choice. Shop for ground meat that has some fat because fat equals flavor in meat. A little fat or flavor goes a long way making pork more flavorful than ground chicken or turkey.
The % lean is typically not marked on ground pork the same way as beef, but visually pork should be primarily bright pink with some specs of white.
Grinding meat is one way to make meat more tender. This method of processing makes ground pork very tender and easy to chew when cooked through.
Breakfast sausage is made from ground pork with seasonings added to create a variety of flavor profiles. Ground pork can also be used to make meatballs, stir fry, tacos, burgers, casseroles and more.
What To Do With Leftover Taco Meat
We love making two pounds of ground meat in a large skillet and using half for our first meal of tacos. Warm the extra meat and mix in black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes for a new taste and new meal!
This enhanced taco meat mixture is wonderful served over salad or making another variation of tacos.
To make creamier, an ounce or two of cream cheese can be warmed into the meat and tastes great in baked tacos.
Baked Pork Tacos
When using hard shells fill with meat and cheese and then bake at 350°F until cheese is melted and shells become crunchy, about 5 – 10 minutes.
Baked tacos taste best right out of the oven as the shell can get a bit soggy over time.
Why Add Water To Taco Seasoning?
Sprinkle seasoning on the cooked and drained ground meat and then add water to help the seasonings evenly coat the meat. Water also helps to create a light sauce, but wait to fill taco shells until most of the water has cooked off.
Use about 1/3 cup of water for one pound of meat and 1/2 cup for two pounds of ground meat.
How to Brown Soft Taco Shells
Lightly spray each side of the soft corn tortilla with olive oil and lay in a large pan over medium-high heat on the stove top. Once warm and beginning to bubble the shells should brown fairly quickly. Shells take about 5 to 10 minutes total to lightly brown on each side.
A couple tablespoons of vegetable oil can also be poured into the skillet and the shells browned in the hot oil. Use tongs to turn the shells and keep a watchful eye not to burn.
Shells should be folded in half while still warm and held down by resting a tablespoon or the tongs on them. Tortillas will hold their shape to fill.
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- A few shakes of crushed red pepper may be added to the seasoning to increase spice to the recipe.
- This seasoning is light and fairly mild, so the amount of seasoning can easily be doubled to kick up the flavor.
- Brown is a flavor, not just a color on the soft taco shells.
- Recipe also makes great ground pork taco bowls.
- Ground pork is done when browned or cooked to an internal temperature of 160F.
- Taco meat tastes best with 1 – 2 tablespoons of seasoning depending on your preference.
Ingredients Needed to Make Ground Pork Taco Meat
- Ground Pork
- Vegetable Oil
- Sweet onion or yellow onion
- Koshor salt and black pepper
- Chili powder
How to Make Ground Pork Tacos
Prepare a skillet over medium high heat. Warm oil then add onions and garlic. Cook about 3 minutes until they start to soften and become translucent.
Add ground pork and use a meat masher to help crumble. Stir and cook until the meat is brown all the way through. Pour onto a large plate covered in a couple layers of paper towels to drain.
Mix together chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper and cumin.
Return meat to skillet and sprinkle seasonings over the top.
Pour 1/2 cup water into the skillet and turn down to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Brown soft shells with olive oil or spoon into hard shells, top with cheese and bake until shell is crunchy.
Top as desired and enjoy!
How Long Does Taco Meat Last?
Taco meat kept in an air tight container or self-sealing bag in the refrigerator lasts for 3 to 4 days.
Ground pork taco meat freezes very well in an air tight container or self-sealing bag. We like to freeze in individual portions so an easy meal is always on hand!
What to Serve with Tacos:
Guacamole makes another great topping or side dish.
Simple Black Beans and Yellow Rice is another winner!
More Delicious Meals with Pork:
Ground Pork tastes great in Baked Spaghetti with Sausage for another popular and easy family meal.
Pork and Sauerkraut Roll-Ups are made with ground pork and wrapped in bacon to create one of my husband’s favorite meals!
Kielbasa and Sauerkraut is our most popular recipe with pork and a perfect classic meal!
Printable Easy Ground Pork Taco Recipe
Easy Ground Pork Tacos
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small sweet onion at least 1/2 cup, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Koshor salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 1/3 cup water
- 16 street taco shells
- Spritz olive oil
- 2 cups Romaine lettuce finely chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes washed and quartered
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
Ground Pork Taco Meat
- In a large skillet over medium heat warm vegetable oil. Then add onions and garlic. Cook until they begin to soften.
- Add ground pork to the onions and use a meat masher to help separate and crumble meat. Stir often until evenly crumbled and browned all the way through.
- Drain pork on a large plate lined with paper towels.
- Return pork to skillet on low heat. Mix seasoning together and sprinkle evenly over the meat.
- Add water and stir well so the spices can evenly coat the meat. Simmer for about 5 minutes until most of the water has evaporated.
Shells & Filling
- Spray shells with olive oil or add vegetable oil to a large skillet over high heat. Once each side of the soft shells are lightly browned, fold in half, fill with meat and serve.
- Chop lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro to top tacos.
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