Meat base is basically ground meat (usually beef) that is cooked and seasoned for use in multiple recipes. Southern Living’s Savory Meat Base Recipe is an excellent meat base that combines ground beef, bottled marinara, and various seasonings for a base that will serve as foundation for several meals – from Sloppy Joes to spaghetti and more. The beauty of a meat base is that it freezes well and can pulled out for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
One of my favorite meat bases uses only two ingredients – ground turkey and taco seasoning. I call it “turkey taco meat,” which is really just another term for a simple meat base.
I want to share this simple recipe on Family Savvy because it really is delicious, easy, and practical. I use the base for taco salad, soft or hard tacos, or loaded nachos. It keeps well for several months in the freezer if properly sealed in a freezer ziploc bag.
Note: I highly recommend Penzey’s Taco Seasoning. It is perfectly balanced, not too spicy, and is without the artificial taste of grocery store taco seasoning packets. I keep this seasoning on hand and use it all the time. If you live anywhere near a Penzey’s, it is worth the trip just to get this seasoning.
Turkey Taco Base
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 8 Tablespoons Penzey’s Taco Seasoning (I use original)
- 1 1/2 water
Brown meat until all pink is gone; drain any excess fat. Sprinkle 8 TB taco seasoning over meat, stirring well and cooking for a few minutes until meat is well seasoned. Add 1 1/2 cups water; cook until sauce is thick. Allow to cool. Spoon 4 cups each into 2 quart-size freezer ziplocs, making sure all air is removed.
When ready to use, thaw turkey taco base and reheat. Put out soft and hard taco shells, corn or tortilla chips, and assorted toppings – chopped lettuce, tomato & onion; diced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, and Queso.( I also make Chuy’s Inspired Jalapeño Ranch Dip; it is to die for!) Everyone can make their favorite combination. So yummy and so fun!
Hope your family enjoys this as much as mine does! If so, let me hear back from you!