Delicious Taco Bueno Recipe: Make Your Taste Buds Dance!

Do you ever crave the classic Tex-Mex goodness of Taco Bueno but don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home? Look no further, because I’ve got a copycat Taco Bueno recipe that will blow your mind. As a former employee of the restaurant myself, I can tell you that this recipe tastes just like the real deal.

Crafted with fresh ingredients like garlic cloves, onion, kidney beans, and ground beef, this recipe captures the essence of Taco Bueno’s legendary flavor. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also easy to make in your own kitchen.

So whether you’re hosting a party or just want to satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings without leaving the house, this Taco Bueno recipe is the perfect solution for any occasion. Don’t settle for mediocre Tex-Mex when you can have restaurant-quality flavor in the comfort of your own home.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Taco Bueno
Taco Bueno

Listen up, amigos! You’re in for a treat – a copycat recipe to the famous Taco Bueno. Get ready for a Tex-Mex celebration in your mouth with this incredible Taco Bueno Recipe that will have you saying “Ole!”.

This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves Tex-Mex cuisine as much as I do. And what’s not to love about it? Full of bold flavors and spices, this dish is the ultimate comfort food that will leave you drooling.

Taco Bueno is all about hearty and flavorful toppings without skimping on quality ingredients. So, how about we talk about that for a second? This recipe doesn’t only taste amazing, but it gives you full control over the quality of ingredients used in your dish – no more wondering where your food came from when ordering from a restaurant.

Let’s not forget about the versatility of our dish, as you can customize it to fit almost any dietary restriction or preference you may have. With various substitutions and variations, you can create a vegan or gluten-free version of this recipe and it will be just as mouth-watering.

But wait, there’s more! This copycat Taco Bueno recipe is also incredibly easy to make. You don’t need to be an expert in the kitchen to whip up this delicious meal – simply grab the ingredients you need, follow the instructions provided in this article and voila! Your own personal Tex-Mex party at home.

So, whether you are hosting a dallas cowboys watch party or craving some spicy Tex-Mex goodness, this Taco Bueno Recipe is bound to be everything you want and more. Trust me, once you try it, there’s no going back!

Ingredient List

 Sizzling and spicy Taco Bueno served with a side of fresh guacamole.
Sizzling and spicy Taco Bueno served with a side of fresh guacamole.

Get your shopping list ready! Here are the ingredients you will need for this delicious Taco Bueno recipe:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 3 cans of pinto beans
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 1 bottle of chili sauce (8 ounces)
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce (16 ounces)
  • 1 packet of chili seasoning mix (1 ounce)
  • Tortilla chips
  • Refried beans
  • Blend of cheddar and pepper jack cheese for topping

Note that for vegetarian option, you can substitute ground beef with vegetarian meatless ground beef, and skip the kidney beans if they contain meat flavor. The gluten-free option is to use gluten-free spaghetti sauce and tortilla chips.

The Recipe How-To

 A medley of flavors come together in this delicious and classic Tex-Mex dish.
A medley of flavors come together in this delicious and classic Tex-Mex dish.

Now it’s time to get down to business and make this copycat Taco Bueno recipe a reality. Trust me, the end result will be worth the effort.

Step 1: Cook the Beef

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 lbs of ground beef and cook, breaking it up as it cooks, until browned all over. Drain any excess fat.

Step 2: Make the Taco Bueno Sauce

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Add 1 can of kidney beans (with liquid), 1 can of spaghetti sauce, and 4 ounces of chili seasoning mix. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare the Refried Beans

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 cans of pinto beans (with liquid), half an onion chopped, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Mash with a potato masher to your desired consistency.

Step 4: Assemble Your Taco Bueno Platter

Lay out your desired amount of tortilla chips on a large platter. Spread a generous layer of prepared refried beans over the top of the chips, followed by some of the seasoned taco meat. Drizzle generously with taco sauce recipe from step 2.

Step 5: Add Toppings

Add whatever toppings you like! Some great options include shredded cheddar cheese or blend cheddar pepper jack cheese, diced onions or scallions, sliced jalapeños or green chilies, sliced olives, lettuce, fresh cilantro leaves, and sour cream.

Congratulations! You’ve now successfully created your very own version of this Tex-Mex favorite. Enjoy your homemade Taco Bueno feast with family and friends at home.

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect meal for a quick lunch, dinner, or anytime craving strikes.
The perfect meal for a quick lunch, dinner, or anytime craving strikes.

Are you feeling adventurous and want to try something different with the Taco Bueno recipe? Don’t worry, there are ample opportunities for substitutions and variations to make sure you get the perfect taste you’re looking for. Here are some simple yet exciting ways to change up the recipe:

– Vegetarian Style: If you’re looking for a vegetarian alternative, replace the ground beef with soy meat or tofu. While replacing beef with meat alternatives might sound tricky, it’s all about finding the right spices and flavorings to elevate your recipe.

– Gluten-free Tacos: To make gluten-free tacos, use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas. Corn tortillas will give your tacos a different texture and earthy flavor.

– Different Cheese Combination: While cheddar and pepper jack cheese is a classic and undoubtedly delicious combination, feel free to experiment with other types of cheese. Some other great options to try include mozzarella, Monterey jack, gouda or even blue cheese.

– Spice it Up: If you love food with a bit of heat, add more chili powder or seasoning mix. Or if you prefer a milder dish, simply leave out the chili powder altogether.

– Bean Combos: The recipe requires kidney beans, but if you’re open to new combinations or want extra protein, add black beans or pinto beans as well.

– Sauce Choice: You can switch up the sauce by using spaghetti sauce or homemade salsa instead of chili sauce. Swapping sauces can entirely alter your dish from Mexican cuisine into an Italian/Mexican fusion or tex-mex style.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to substitutions and variations on this recipe. These ideas should inspire you to get creative in the kitchen without compromising on taste. Try one of these suggestions soon and see how they elevate your Taco Bueno experience.

Serving and Pairing

 Our signature crispy taco shell made fresh with quality ingredients.
Our signature crispy taco shell made fresh with quality ingredients.

When it comes to serving and pairing Taco Bueno, the options are endless. This tasty Tex-Mex treat pairs perfectly with a variety of sides and beverages to create the ultimate dining experience.

One classic way to serve Taco Bueno is with a side of tortilla chips. The crispy texture of the chips complements the softness of the beef and beans in every bite. For a healthier option, you can also pair Taco Bueno with a fresh salad or vegetable medley. This helps balance out the meal and adds some color to your plate.

To take your Taco Bueno meal up a notch, consider pairing it with a refreshing beverage like an ice-cold beer or margarita. The flavors in a cold drink can also help counteract any spiciness from the chili sauce or seasoning in the dish.

If you’re looking to host a party or feed a crowd, consider serving up a Taco Bueno platter or two. These platters typically come loaded with all the best Tex-Mex options like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and of course, refried beans and chili sauce. They are perfect for game day gatherings, birthdays or even casual dinners at home.

When it comes to pairing wine with spicy foods like Taco Bueno, try opting for something that is sweet or slightly acidic like a Riesling or Gewürztraminer. These kinds of wines help balance out the spice in the dish without overpowering its flavors.

In summary, whether you prefer to serve your Taco Bueno with chips and salsa or alongside an ice-cold beer, there are plenty of options to choose from when enjoying this classic Tex-Mex dish. Be creative with your pairings and enjoy this recipe that has been enjoyed by many for years!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The ultimate comfort food, this Taco Bueno recipe will surely make you smile.
The ultimate comfort food, this Taco Bueno recipe will surely make you smile.

Ah, the beauty of make-ahead recipes that can save you tons of time and headaches. Lucky for you, this Taco Bueno recipe is one such dish! It makes a delicious batch of flavors and ingredients that easily fit the bill for meal prep or a quick snack. Plus, in case you have leftover portions or want to prepare a little more for later, it’s good to be armed with knowledge on storing and reheating.

I suggest making the recipe as per instructions and then letting it cool down before storing it in an airtight container. The fridge is the best place to store in unless you’re planning to consume the leftovers within a few hours; then, you can go ahead and leave them on your countertop.

When reheating, there are several methods to choose from, but I recommend two popular ones – microwave and oven heating. For the former, place the desired quantity onto a microwave-safe dish or bowl and heat high for about 1-2 minutes until it reaches your preferred temperature. If using an oven (recommended), preheat the oven at 350°F and scoop out the desired amount onto an oven-safe dish. Cover it with aluminum foil or seal with another suitable covering and then bake between 10-12 minutes.

Remember that while leftovers may not taste quite as fresh as when cooked fresh from scratch, they can still be pretty close when handled properly. Go ahead and experiment with ratios and add-ons; after all, what’s better than enjoying Taco Bueno again without all that blending and chopping?

Tips for Perfect Results

 Customize it to your liking with different toppings and spice levels.
Customize it to your liking with different toppings and spice levels.

When it comes to Taco Bueno, there is no denying its popularity in the Tex Mex scene. Whether it’s the mouth-watering Taco Platter, the delicious Bueno Chilada Platter or the iconic Muchaco, Taco Bueno has something for everyone. But what really separates this restaurant from its competitors is its homemade taste. As a barista who used to work at Taco Bueno, I’ve uncovered some tips and tricks to get that authentic Bueno flavor at home. Here are my top tips for perfect results.

Firstly, for that signature Bueno taste, I recommend adding some extra chili sauce to your tacos or burritos. Not only does it enhance the flavor, but it also gives your dish that extra kick!

Secondly, when making refried beans, use canned pinto beans and mash them with a potato masher rather than a blender or food processor. This will give you that traditional homemade texture that everyone loves.

Next up, don’t skimp on the cheese! For a truly authentic Bueno experience, use a blend of cheddar and pepper jack cheese. Trust me; it’s a game-changer!

Additionally, for the best results with ground beef, use 80/20 ground chuck instead of leaner beef options. The added fat content will keep the meat tender and juicy while serving.

Another essential tip is to season your meat with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and Kosher salt. This seasoning mix will impart an appetizing aroma into your meat and form the foundation of that unique Bueno flavor.

When preparing tortilla chips or using them as an ingredient in recipes like the Party Burrito or Taco Salad, fry them fresh instead of using store-bought chips. This will make all the difference when it comes to texture and flavor.

Finally, if you’re storing leftovers or meal-prepping for later in the week, separate any ingredients that contain moisture from crispy items like tortilla chips or taco shells. Keeping wet and dry items separate during food storage helps prevent sogginess and stale flavors.

In conclusion, these tips are just what you need to make your copycat Taco Bueno recipes stand out among your family and friends. Keep them in mind next time you’re making Tex-Mex cuisine at home!


Now that you’ve read through the ingredient list and followed the step-by-step instructions to make your own copycat Taco Bueno at home, let’s address some frequently asked questions about this recipe. From substitutions to storage, these FAQs will provide you with additional insights and tips for achieving perfect results every time you prepare this Tex-Mex classic. So, let’s dive right in!

What is in Taco Bueno meat?

Picture this: a crispy corn tortilla filled with your preferred protein, served with fresh lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and a mouthwatering blend of cheddar and pepper jack cheese. The result is a delectable dish that can only be described as one thing: Bueno.

What kind of hot sauce does Taco Bueno have?

One of the most sought-after sauces in the culinary world is the Taco Bueno chili sauce, made with a blend of adobo peppers, cumin, and chili powder. Its distinct taste is widely recognized and has the ability to elevate any dish it is paired with.

What is in a party burrito from Taco Bueno?

Downsize the classic burrito and get party-ready goodness packed in your hand. Meet the mini version of the classic burrito, complete with slow-cooked refried beans, a delectable blend of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, and a kick of spicy chili sauce, all wrapped up in a soft, warm flour tortilla.

Who created Taco Bueno?

Bill Waugh, who received his fine arts degree from Abilene Christian University in 1959, teamed up with his brother Tom and founded the first Taco Bueno restaurant in Abilene in 1967. Initially located at 2549 S. First St., the restaurant later moved to North First Street. As time passed, Taco Bueno continued to grow and expand across the country.

Bottom Line

in the meaty, gooey and cheesy world of Tex-Mex food, there are few things that can measure up to the goodness and deliciousness of a Taco Bueno. The signature dishes like the Cheesecake Chimichanga, the Bueno Chilada Platter, the party burrito or the Bueno Muchaco have become part of our culture and a staple in our households.

With this recipe article, we aim to bring you only the best of the best of copycat Taco Bueno recipes with clear instructions, substitutions and variations, and tips for perfect results. Whether you’re craving tacos, quesadillas or refried beans, our recipes got you covered.

So, whether you’re from Dallas Cowboys country or anywhere else in the world, grab your tortilla chips and get ready to become a Taco Bueno Chef. Impress your friends, family or coworkers with this amazing Tex-Mex cuisine that will feel like it came straight out of a restaurant kitchen!

Don’t miss out on the chance to indulge in some authentic flavors and create new memories with loved ones over a fantastic Taco Bueno meal. Trust us; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Taco Bueno

Taco Bueno Recipe

A great 1pot meal using common ingredients and standard cassarole baking time and temp 30 mins at 350F. My dad used to make this alot when I was a kid.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Inexpensive, Meat, Mexican, One-Dish Meal, Potluck
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 872.5kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans (optional)
  • 2 (1 1/4 ounce) packages chili seasoning mix (1 mild and 1 spicy)
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages Mexican blend cheese (shreaded, reserve 4oz for topping)
  • 22 ounces tortilla chips (plain round)


  • Brown ground beef in a 3-5qt oven safe pan (Dutch oven) and put aside on paper towels to drain.
  • Reserve 2 tablespoons of the fat from the browned meat in the pan.
  • Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan cooking over medium low heat till onions are translucent.
  • Return meat to the pan also adding the spaghetti sauce, kidney beans, and chili seasoning.
  • Once the mixture is heated through set aside in a bowl leaving a thin layer of chili mixture in the pan.
  • Now we can begin layering with a single layer of chips, a layer of chili mixture, and a layer of cheese.
  • Repeat the last step till you run out of the chili mixture.
  • To top off the cassarole crush some of the remaining chips and add them to the reserved cheese and sprinkle over the top of the cassarole.
  • Bake the cassarole covered for 20 min at 350F.
  • Then uncover and bake for the remaining 10 min.

Your own notes


Serving: 341g | Calories: 872.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 68.8g | Protein: 36.6g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 18.1g | Cholesterol: 117.4mg | Sodium: 1605.9mg | Fiber: 4.8g | Sugar: 14.5g

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