Just like Taco Bell Tacos

Just like Taco Bell Tacos

Recipe courtesy of foodie crush.com

You’ll need:

  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Taco seasoning is pretty salty on its own so don’t be alarmed if you take a taste and feel it’s too much.

Tomato juice is added to the ground beef and spices to deglaze the pan and pull up all those browned bits, plus adds moisture for the super special ingredient that my mother in law adds to make these tacos taste most like Taco Bell: Ground cornmeal.

I know, right? Cornmeal makes perfect sense as a taco meat ingredient. It tightens up the beef mixture after the tomato juice is added, and adds another layer of maize/corn essence combining with the Mexican flavors. If the mix feels too thick, add a bit more tomato juice (V-8 works too), or even water to thin and cook the cornmeal.

Use a baking sheet or a casserole dish to snuggle yellow or white corn taco shells together upright, then spoon the taco meat into the shells and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake in the oven or a toaster oven at 400° until the cheese melts and the shells begin to brown.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword tacos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 tacos
Calories 238 kcal


  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup yellow corn meal
  • 12 taco shells
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • sliced lettuce, chopped tomatoes, avocado, onion, and sour cream


  1. Add the ground beef to a large skillet over medium high heat and cook until browned, about 10 minutes, breaking into small pieces as it browns. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the beef is well browned and the onion is translucent. Add the cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, kosher salt, and black pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring often.

  2. Stir in the tomato juice and cornmeal and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the juice has cooked down and the cornmeal softens, stirring occasionally. Add more tomato juice or water if the mixture clumps.

  3. Place the taco shells on a baking sheet or in a baking dish and spoon about 1/3 cup taco meat into each shell and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Broil in a toaster oven or oven until the cheese melts.

  4. Garnish the tacos with fixings and serve.

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