Instant Pot Taco Meat
This recipe for Instant Pot Taco Meat produces flavorful and perfectly-seasoned ground beef that’s so good for making into tacos! And using the Instant Pot will produce the type of finely-crumbled ground beef taco meat you’ll find in tacos from a Mexican restaurant.
For many years now I’ve been making Slow Cooker Taco Meat in big batches and freezing it in containers to pull out for a quick dinner. And I love to make that taco meat on the weekend and fill up my house with good aromas from the slow cooker.
But I know taco meat made in the slow cooker is never going to happen for some people, so recently I decided to experiment with the same seasonings to make Instant Pot Taco Meat. For this recipe you brown the ground beef in the Instant Pot, then you add the perfect seasonings, hot sauce, and just a bit of water and cook the browned ground beef for just three minutes under pressure. And it was such a success!
The pressure cooking time breaks apart the meat so it turns into the type of finely-crumbled seasoned ground beef that makes restaurant tacos so good. And pressure cooking infuses the meat with flavor. When we tested the recipe we absolutely loved this Instant Pot Taco Meat for an easy dinner idea!
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- ground beef
- olive oil
- Cholula Hot Sauce (affiliate link) or other hot sauce of your choice
- ground Cumin (affiliate link)
- Garlic Powder (affiliate link)
- Onion Powder (affiliate link)
- finely-ground black pepper
- salt, to taste
How Spicy is the Instant Pot Taco Meat?
If you use the whole six tablespoons of Cholula Hot Sauce the recipe calls for, the taco meat will be a bit spicy. You can always add more hot sauce later but you can’t take it out, so if you’re making this for kids (or adults who don’t like spicy food) I would use a bit less Cholula. (If you reduce the amount of hot sauce very much, I would add a few tablespoons more water to the Instant Pot.)
Can you make Instant Pot Taco Meat with Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning?
If you’re a fan of Kalyn’s Taco Seasoning and have it on hand, you can replace the spices used in this recipe with 3-4 tablespoons of that seasoning blend. I’d still use the Cholula Hot Sauce, unless you don’t want it to be spicy. My taco seasoning mix has a few additional spices that some people might like in their tacos, although we also loved it with the basic recipe found here.
Do you have to brown the ground beef for this taco meat recipe?
You can probably make taco meat in the Instant Pot by cooking the raw ground beef under pressure for a longer time and breaking it apart at the end. But I love the texture of really finely-crumbled ground beef for tacos. Browning the beef in the Instant Pot and then pressure cooking it with the hot sauce and spices infuses the meat with flavor and breaks it apart into perfect taco meat. And the total amount of cooking time is about the same.
How can you use this Instant Pot Taco Meat?
This perfectly seasoned and flavorful ground beef would be great used for making ground beef tacos with your favorite tortillas and toppings. It can also be used in recipes like Ground Beef Tacos, Cauliflower Rice Taco Bowls, Perfect Low-Carb Taco Salad, or Kale Taco Salad.
What toppings are good for ground beef tacos?
In these photos I am showing the Mission Carb Balance Low-Carb Tortillas (affiliate link) I always use for tacos, and what I consider to be the basic ground beef tacos fixings of lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and grated cheese. But if you want to get a bit fancier, ground beef tacos would be delicious with Tomato-Avocado Salsa, Tomato-Avocado Salsa with cucumber, Avocado Salsa, Spicy Mexican Slaw, or Spicy Lime Coleslaw.
How to make Instant Pot Taco Meat:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot on SAUTE, HIGH HEAT, and cook the ground beef for about 10 minutes, or until it’s nice browned.
- Add all the spices, salt, and water to the Instant Pot.
- Stir the meat and spice mixture so seasonings are well distributed.
- Lock lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH TEMPERATURE, three minutes.
- When time is up quickly release pressure.
- If you have excess liquid set the Instant Pot to SAUTE, HIGH HEAT for a few minutes to evaporate the liquid. (We didn’t need to do that.)
- Serve taco meat inside tortillas with lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and other tacos fixings.
- The taco meat can be frozen in snap-tight containers.
More Tacos to make in the Instant Pot:
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep where you’ll find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef
- 2 T olive oil
- 6 T Cholula Hot Sauce (see notes)
- 1 1/4 T ground cumin
- 1 1/4 T garlic powder
- 1 1/4 T onion powder
- 2/3 tsp. fine grind black pepper (more or less to taste)
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup water
- Heat olive oil in the Instant Pot on SAUTE, HIGH HEAT, and cook the ground beef for 10 minutes or until it's nice browned. I break it apart with a Hamburger Meat Chopper (affiliate link) while it cooks, or you can use a potato mashed or the edge of a turner. (Plastic utensils are best to use inside the Instant Pot.)
- Add Cholula Hot Sauce, ground cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, and water to the Instant Pot.
- Stir the meat and spice mixture so seasonings are well distributed.
- Lock the lid and set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH TEMPERATURE, three minutes.
- When time is up quickly release the pressure.
- Browning the meat will usually make it so very little water is released when the beef cooks under pressure, but if you have excess liquid set the Instant Pot to SAUTE, HIGH HEAT for a few minutes to evaporate the liquid. (We didn't need to do that.)
- Serve taco meat inside tortillas with lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and other tacos fixings as desired.
- The taco meat can be frozen in snap-tight containers and pulled out of the freezer whenever you get that craving for tacos!
You can use any hot sauce you prefer for this recipe. If your preferred hot sauce is extra spicy, you might want a bit less than this recipe calls for.
If you're making this for kids or adults who don't like a lot of spiciness, I would use less Cholula and add a bit more water to the Instant Pot.
This recipe created by Kalyn and Kara and inspired by Slow Cooker Taco Meat.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 610mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 44g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If you eat the Instant Pot Taco Meat in low-carb tortillas this would make a great easy dinner for any low-carb or Low-Glycemic diet, or for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. You could make lettuce wrap tacos with this taco meat for Keto. The South Beach diet would recommend lean ground beef, with less than 10% fat for this recipe.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Instant Pot Recipes or Taco Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.