5 Minute Beef Tacos


These five-minute beef tacos are perfect for those nights when you’re too busy to cook but still need something thrifty and healthy!

Image shows a close up of two soft taco shells full of beef, cheese, avocado, salsa, and bean sprouts. Text above reads "Five minute beef tacos"

What’s the biggest grocery budget buster in the world?

Busy nights.

You know, those nights when you’re running late, you get too busy, and you order takeout because you just don’t have time to cook dinner from scratch.. as much as I may love pizza.

Then you feel guilty.

You know that stuff is loaded with junk you shouldn’t eat, like sodium, MSG, and other chemical preservatives.

To say nothing of the fact that the average takeout dinner for a family of four costs about $25.

Sound about right?

What if I told you there is a better way?

Today, I’m sharing our 5-minute beef taco recipe with you because it’s both cheaper AND healthier than any takeout you can get.

For me, this recipe comes together in less than the time it takes me to stop by the pizza place on the way home or order takeout online.

I totaled up the seconds from the video footage below – before I sped it up and cut out the parts where nothing was happening on the frame because I was searching for the right bowl and all that, and the total time from start to finish was 4 minutes, 23 seconds.

Seriously! Dinner on the table in less than five minutes!

Image shows two soft shell tacos on a plate with beef, avocado, cheese, salsa and bean sprouts in them.

Of course, the big secret is the ingredients I used.

  • Freeze-dried beef dices. I LOVE this freeze-dried beef! The beef is fully cooked with a little salt, then it’s flash-frozen in a vacuum chamber where the moisture is slowly evacuated to create instant beef pieces. It amazes me that when you add a little hot water, wait a few minutes to rehydrate, and put it side-by-side with fresh beef, you can’t even tell the difference! For the half pound (rehydrated – it only weighs a few ounces dry) of beef I used in this recipe, I paid $5.56 
  • Refried beans. Normally, I use homemade refried beans. I try to cook a large pot of pinto beans at the beginning of the week and use them in various recipes all week long. But this week, I ran out, so I ended up breaking into my emergency stash of freeze-dried refried beans, as you’ll see in this video. Obviously, I could have bought canned refried beans from the local grocery store, but I do my best to avoid those, as they tend to be chock-full of lard from confinement-raised pigs (yeah, I’m pretty picky about my lard sources), and depending on the brand, a whole host of other undesirable ingredients. Freeze-dried refried beans, on the other hand, consist of a single ingredient – beans. So I keep a #10 can in my pantry for what I like to call “first-world emergencies”. Total cost for our meal (I show 1/2 cup in the video, but we normally eat about 1 cup) I used in this recipe: $0.98.

Other ingredients were various things I happened to have in the refrigerator:

  • Broccoli sprouts that I grew myself (I was out of lettuce!) – a few pennies
  • Salsa$0.50 (roughly it’s $2.67 per 12 ounce jar)
  • Cheddar cheese$0.50
  • Avocado (small) – $0.50 (the video only shows half an avocado, which would be $0.25, but we typically use a whole one for family meals.)

Total cost of the meal – $8.04

That’s a WHOLE lot cheaper than takeout!

Yes, it’s hard to cough up the cash for a can of freeze-dried beef or chicken at first, but in the long run, it saves you SO much money, and keeps you healthier to boot!

Also, in a world where $5 dinners are considered cheap, $7.55 is on the very low side of moderate.

So do it! Stock your pantry for a rainy day a busy day, and a day to save money!


5 Minute Beef Tacos

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Make a delicious dinner for your family in just 5 minutes with this tasty taco recipe.

  • Author: Elise
  • Cook Time: N/A
  • Total Time: 5 minutes




Add 1 1/4 cup hot water to beef dices and stir together (Note: you can rehydrate beef in a small sauce pan or skillet and keep warm on the stove to speed the process up)

Add 1/3 cup hot water to refried beans and stir together

While beef and beans are rehydrating, assemble other ingredients and set the table


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