This Instant Pot Taco Meat will be the easiest taco filling/nacho topping you've ever made! Healthy, flavorful, and loaded with vegetables, it is the perfect quick weeknight meal.
If I had to pick my family's favorite dinner (and ignored my children's votes for Kraft Mac and Cheese and frozen chicken nuggets) this Instant Pot Taco Meat would be it.
There is not a single groan, pouty face, or sarcastic request to go to bed hungry when this hits the table. Just cheering, squeals, and offers to set the table. For real.
This isn't necessarily a major time saver compared to a good ol' skillet on the stove top. But I HATE browning ground meat on the stove top. The splatters, the smell, the fact that I have to stand there and do it . . .
With the pressure cooker you can put your ground meat on a trivet and hit start. The end.
I cooked this in a 6 quart Instant Pot, but an 8 quart will work equally well.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS INSTANT POT TACO MEAT
- Again, no browning meat on the stove top, hallelujah
- Refried beans and black beans get mixed into the meat, adding extra protein and fiber
- The meat mixture is so versatile! Hard shells, soft shells, both; it all works!
- Serve the meat straight from the pot so it stays nice and warm for a taco buffet
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST TACO MEAT
- Place ground meat on a trivet in the pressure cooker pot
- While it cooks, mix together the homemade taco seasoning
- When meat is done remove from the pot, discard liquid, then return meat to the pot
- Use meat chopper to chop into small pieces
- Add taco seasoning, beans, and enchilada sauce
- Stir to combine the ingredients
There's just something about taco night that brings family and friends together. Am I right!?
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST INSTANT POT TACO MEAT
- To avoid having a watery taco meat mixture, cook it in on a trivet or steamer basket as directed in the recipe.
- If you want a saucier meat, add a splash of broth or extra red enchilada sauce to make it looser.
- If you prefer to brown the meat, use the saute button after the meat is cooked to give it some color and extra depth of flavor.
- This recipe can be doubled or halved as needed, but keep the cooking time the same.
- This taco meat is also great for taquitos, quesadillas, burritos, taco salads, or any other kind of Mexican food.
- Taco meat freezes great! Scoop it into a freezer safe zip top bag and press it flat for quicker thawing later on.
GREAT VEGETABLE RECIPE FOR KIDS
This taco meat is perfect for picky kids! You can leave out the black beans and only add refried beans to the meat, they won’t even see it comin’!
I’m not opposed one bit to hiding vegetables in food for kids (or husbands). However, I always make a point to tell them what’s in it after they’ve decided they either like or dislike it.
Once they’ve told you how wonderful you are and that you make the best tacos ever, blah blah blah, you can innocently reply, “Ya, who knew that adding refried beans to the taco meat would make them taste so much better!”
Now watch as their faces go from shocked, to confused, to content, as they shrug their shoulders and eat another taco.
Success! They ate vegetables, it was their choice, and they now feel confident in their acceptance of beans.
Seriously, this works. My daughter says one of her favorite vegetables is butternut squash because of this Squacho Cheese Sauce, which, by the by, also tastes amazing on these tacos.
More vegetables! Yes!! Do it!!!
For my kids, ground meat is the ingredient they typically avoid so the addition of the beans and cheese sauce has encouraged them to reconsider their opinion of taco meat. I’m tellin’ ya, this recipe is a miracle worker.
I see many happy taco nights in your very near future. Enjoy!
VARIATIONS TO THIS INSTANT POT TACO MEAT
- Use ground beef or ground turkey, both work great!
- Beans can be left out if desired. Use the full taco seasoning mix
- Make it spicy! Add 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the taco seasoning mix
- Make it creamy – a big dollop of whipped cream cheese stirred into the meat is delicious!
MORE TACO TOPPINGS OPTIONS:
- Veggies! Diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, olives, avocado/guacamole, pickled jalapeno slices, etc
- Cheese! Any kind of shredded cheese or my favorite Instant Pot Squacho Cheese Sauce
- More beans! Refried beans, Black Beans, or Pinto Beans!
MORE INSTANT POT TACO RECIPES TO DROOL OVER
- Instant Pot Coconut Lime Fish Tacos with Peach Salsa
- Instant Pot Hawaiian Barbecue Pork Tacos with Pineapple Cashew Coleslaw (my favorite!)
- Pressure Cooker Chicken Walking Tacos
HOW TO MAKE A TACO IN A HARD SHELL – THE ULTIMATE HACK
Truth be told, I now own these awesome taco holders so that I can assemble several tacos at one time. Game changer!
Before that I used this little fork trick here. It keeps the taco upright while you stuff that shell right to the top with zero chance of spillage.
HOW TO COOK FROZEN GROUND MEAT IN THE INSTANT POT
Do you struggle to remember to get your meat thawed for dinner? I do this All. The. Time.
Yet another reason I could kiss my pressure cookers before I go to bed every night, because it doesn’t care, it’ll cook it straight from frozen.
If your meat is in a frozen flat block, cook the meat for 12 minutes instead of 8.
MORE BEEF RECIPES FOR THE INSTANT POT
- Instant Pot Meatball Sandwich
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Green Chile Beef Burritos
- All our Beef Recipes!
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT TACO MEAT
Instant Pot Taco Meat
This taco filling can be made from fresh or frozen ground beef or ground turkey. Full of fiber and protein and incredibly versatile. It's hands off taco meat that is flavorful and nutrition packed.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey or ground beef
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can refried beans
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- 10 oz can mild red enchilada sauce or about 1 cup of homemade
- Optional for serving: taco shells, whole wheat soft tortillas, tortilla chips, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, olives, salsa, ranch, sour cream, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeño slices, shredded lettuce, Squacho Cheese Sauce
- Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker pot and place a sturdy trivet inside. If your trivet has large gaps in it, cover it with foil and poke holes all over it so the meat can drain.
- Place ground meat on top (no need to crumble, just leave in one piece).
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes.
- While meat is cooking, mix together chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and salt and set aside.
- When pressure cooking is complete, use a natural release for at least 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure.
- Remove pan or trivet containing the meat and set it aside.
- Discard juices from inside the pot.
- Return the meat to the pot and use a wooden spoon or meat chopper to break it apart.
- Add spices, refried beans, black beans, and enchilada sauce and stir well. Use the saute function to warm everything through.
- Serve with hard taco shells, soft tortillas, or over tortilla chips for loaded nachos. Add desired toppings.
Freezer Meal Instructions
- Prepare recipe through step 9. Portion into quart size freezer safe Ziplock bags and press flat. Freeze.
- When ready to use, let it thaw overnight in the fridge or remove the bag, place it inside a heat safe bowl, and place the bowl on top of a trivet. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes to thaw.
- If starting from frozen ground meat for step 1, cook at high pressure for 12 minutes and proceed with instructions
- Beans may be omitted if desired, without any other adjustments in the recipe needed
Keywords: instant pot, pressure cooker, Mexican food, nachos, tacos