Instant Pot Taco Meat

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This Instant Pot taco meat is so flavorful! I love cooking taco meat in my Instant Pot because I can make a big batch and feed my family throughout the week.

Instant Pot Taco Meat by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

This is the most flavorful taco meat that you’ll ever meet! It’s delicious served with tortillas, over salad, or on top of nachos. I love this recipe so much that I usually make it a couple of times a month and my family happily enjoys leftovers.

When you make taco meat in an Instant Pot, not only does it cook the meat quickly, I feel like it also intensifies the flavors of the seasonings that I use.

Get Creative with Leftovers or Freeze the Meat for Later

I enjoy making and eating traditional tacos but when it comes to leftovers I try to be creative by using the meat in breakfast tacos with eggs and potatoes, on top of salads, or in a “burrito” bowl with rice and fun taco toppings (think: red onion, cilantro, cheese, olives, sour cream… what can’t you put on a taco?).

This recipe is delicious as is – but if you want to stretch the meat out to serve more people or to last you a little longer, you can add some chopped potatoes to it. I’ve done this – and it’s fantastic.

The great thing about this recipe is that it makes quite a bit of taco meat. You can eat some now and freeze a portion of it for when you want to enjoy a lazy cooking day.

“Love this recipe! . Freezes beautifully and tastes as good when thawed as it did when it was freshly made! I have shared this recipe more than any other with my instant pot friends. Thank you!”

Kim
Instant Pot Taco Meat by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

Don’t Add Extra Liquid to This… Here’s Why:

One thing you have to keep in mind when making this recipe is that meat can release a lot of liquid. That’s why I don’t add any additional water to the Instant Pot before making this taco meat. Even without adding liquid, I sometimes have to boil off a bit of water that the meat naturally releases. Once I remove the lid from the pot, I press the sauté button to boil off any remaining liquid.

Then (as I mentioned above) I top the meat with lots of cilantro and use it in all different ways: tacos, burritos, in salads, in a burrito bowl, etc.

“We LOVE this recipe. I have done it several times as written, but also modified it according to what I had in on hand, subbing in turkey for beef, sweet bell peppers for green, sweet onions for red. It has always come out great!!! We usually make it in bulk and freeze extra…but even then it doesn’t last very long. Thanks!”

Susan
Instant Pot Taco Meat by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com

Instant Pot Taco Meat

Instant Pot Taco Meat

4.97 from 54 reviews
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Servings 2 pounds meat

Ingredients
 

  • 2 pounds ground beef or ground meat of choice
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 red onions diced
  • 3 green bell peppers diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Cilantro garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot except for the ground beef.
  • Press the “sauté” button and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes.
  • Then add the ground beef to the pot and cook until mostly brown.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure (or you can quick release too if you’re in a hurry).
  • Open the lid, and if the meat released any liquid then press the sauté button to boil it off.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Notes

  • I do not add any additional water to the Instant Pot prior to cooking this because meat naturally releases water as it cooks. You can add a bit of water if you’d like, but you’ll need to boil it off at the end by pressing the sauté button once it’s done cooking.
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Instant Pot Taco Meat by Ashley of MyHeartBeets.com
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Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Susan Hedrick says

    5 stars
    We LOVE this recipe. I have done it several times as written, but also modified it according to what I had in on hand, subbing in turkey for beef, sweet bell peppers for green, sweet onions for red. It has always come out great!!! We usually make it in bulk and freeze extra…but even then it doesn’t last very long. Thanks!

  2. kim says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! . Freezes beautifully and tastes as good when thawed as it did when it was freshly made! I have shared this recipe more than any other with my instant pot friends. Thank you!

  3. AC says

    5 stars
    The best taco recipe I have ever tried. All the seasonings come together perfectly. I added 1 tbsp of tomato paste. The meat was so tender!

  4. Sandra says

    4 stars
    Tried this today it was very flavorful but I did leave the green peppers out because I don’t like them but it still had a good flavor but in my opinion needed more of it so that’s why I gave it 4 stars but this is personal preference so take that into consideration. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  5. Wendy Nearhoff says

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe! I won’t make my taco meat any other way. This will always bring a wonderful memory of my sister coming to visit me. We hadn’t seen each other in years and my hubby and I bought our first house. I made this for her and she LOVED it. As a matter of fact she tried it on the stove as she didn’t have an IP. Needless to say the flavor just wasn’t the same so she is now the owner of an new IP. I can’t wait to try some more of your recipes. I just subscribed and am so happy I found you. It was a year ago that I found you but man have I had this MANY times since then. I may have gotten my sister addicted to it.
    Could you use this with shredded chicken? Or cook some chicken in the seasoning and broth maybe and then shred it? Not sure if you know but thought I would ask.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Wendy, that’s so great to hear! Thank you for sharing this with me – I’m so happy to hear that this recipe reminds you of such a great visit with your sister and I love that she makes this now too! I haven’t tried this with chicken, but you’ve inspired me so I think I will. I’m sure it’ll be great. If you try before me, please let me know how it goes!

  6. Sarah says

    5 stars
    After our first time trying this recipe a few years ago, we completely stopped buying prepacked taco seasoning blends and just always keep a jar of this blend around for all our taco needs.

    We especially love the leftovers from this recipe in breakfast tacos or burritos the next day 🙂

  7. Lorne McInnes says

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe every two weeks for three years. I add corn and celery for colour, texture and vitamins. I also swap out one green pepper for a red one for colour. Bag it in 1/2 cup glad bags and freeze it. It is wick and easy for dinners when I get home. Thank you.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Lorne, really happy to hear that you’ve been making this so often for so long! That’s so awesome to hear. Thanks for letting me know how much you like this and for sharing how you meal prep 🙂

    • Wendy Nearhoff says

      Lorne, Thank you so much for this response to our fabulous host. My hubby always says to make less but I did half and it just didn’t taste as good. So I can now freeze the left overs for next time thanks to you! I am making this again today and was worried I was going to have too much as I can’t eat spicy food like I use to. So thank you for commenting and helping me out!

  8. Candice says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe numerous times – with ground turkey, beef, pork, chicken, and with other mild modifications. Every time it has been exceptionally delicious. I highly recommend this impeccably flavorful recipe and will most certainly be making some form of it many more times in the future.

  9. Albert Vicente says

    4 stars
    Love the Recipe! Maybe censor your ads a bit better so I don’t have to picture feet and fungus right next to the instructions even if I want to print it out. All I can think of is ground beef foot fungus!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Albert, so glad you love the recipe! Unfortunately we (bloggers) don’t really have a say over what ads show… I think they are targeted to users/searches so if you were using a public computer, you might see ads that have nothing to do with you/your family. Sorry about that!

  10. Candy says

    I’m planning on making this for a party. If I used 4 lbs of ground meat, would I have to adjust the cooking time or keep it the same?

  11. Wendy Nearhoff says

    5 stars
    LOVE this recipe. I tried it a few weeks ago for the first time and have since made it 4 times. Delicious!

  12. Edgar says

    5 stars
    Wow, what a great idea. I am going to use this method for my all ground meat. I often cook for groups of 40+ and must do some food prep. I sometimes prep cook my beef and freeze, the extra juice in the meat makes it a great freezer item. I did add some cider vinegar just becasue add some sort of vingegar to all most everything.

    10 Minutes natural release is PERFECT. Thanks.

    Look forward to cooking it down more and stuffing my Mexican Egg Rools with it!

    Somehow the food cooked in the insta pot intensify the spices.

    Again, thanks so much I am going to make use of this often, in may dishes.

  13. Mark says

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I made just a few changes: I doubled the amount of cumin ( I love the flavor of cumin in taco meat), and I doubled the amount of salt. Also, I used red bell peppers to make the results look more attractive. I actually prefer my taco meat to be on the “mushy” side, so I increased the cooking time to 15 minutes. I also added 1/2 cup of beef broth. One other thing: in order to better control the browning, I let the diced bell peppers sauté for a minute or two before I added the onions. Then I waited another minute or two before I added the garlic. I guess this is just a preference thing.

  14. Jana says

    5 stars
    This recipe is so yummy! After browning my meat, there wasn’t much juice so I did add 1/2 cup of water. You were right, there was quite a bit of juice I had to cook off, so next time, I won’t add the water. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  15. Lindsay says

    5 stars
    The spice combination is delicious. I used 90/10 beef and did not drain the fat. Just required a little sauté at the end. This one is a keeper!

  16. Jaynie Miller says

    5 stars
    Amazing! Best taco meat I have ever made! Will try using leaner meat in the future to make less greasy but I can’t complain. First recipe from this site, but will look for more soon!

  17. Gaylen says

    5 stars
    DELICIOUS! I want to print it on my nice recipe paper, but I can’t get it to print without the ads. Any ideas?
    Thanks!

  18. Cheryl says

    5 stars
    I made this today , I did add a small can of tomato sauce and then I put it on sauté to get rid of the extra liquid at the end ! It’s a keeper ! Thank you for this Great easy instant pot taco meat meal ! We loved it !

  19. arielina says

    I made this recipe today with the only variation was that I only added 1/2 tsp of chili pepper. It is the best recipe taco rwcipe I have tried!! It is delicious and easy to make. Did not added water and put it in the sauté option at the end to boil the water down!! It was amazing!

  20. Andromada says

    5 stars
    Delicious! I left out green peppers and basil, and added red potatoes in the 6th step as suggested. It’s spicy, but you don’t notice how spicy until you eat a couple of them! That’s the best kind of spice! Will make this again!

  21. Cynthia says

    How many servings does this make? Roughly how many tacos would I get from 2 pounds of grass fed beef?

  22. Julie says

    5 stars
    Amazingly good! So flavorful! I just made this with ground turkey minus the green pepper and cilantro. I couldn’t help adding some water, but I just used a baster to remove excess water. This one is a keeper— thank you!

  23. Rane Lederer says

    I like how straight forward this is. I’m looking to add meal to my repetoire that allow me to “set it and forget it” until I can put together stuff quickly after activites. If I saute and set the pressure cooker part, can I leave it until I get back an hour later, then saute to boil off any additional liquid? Thanks so much

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks Rane! So happy to hear that you like this 🙂 And yes, you can leave it – it’ll switch to the warm setting and be ready for you whenever you get home 🙂

  24. Ann says

    5 stars
    I don’t usually review recipes, but this one is fantastic. Seriously. Make this tonight! You won’t be sorry. Thanks so much for posting!

  25. Brittny Hansen says

    5 stars
    I made this for my family using ground turkey. My husband didn’t even realize it was ground turkey until I mentioned something about it. We’ve added this into our regular rotation!

  26. Fran says

    How do you get the beef broken down while cooking? Is that why you sauté first? If so then why Pressure cook?
    I usually cook 4-5 pounds of beef and pork mixture and package into small bags and freeze. It takes for ever. This seems so much faster. Can I do that much at one time?

  27. Heather says

    Can you start with frozen meat? We processed our own grassfed beef, but reading this I want to try it NOW and don’t have meat thawed! New Instant Pot user- your recipes are where i am starting!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Heather, so happy to hear that you’re starting with my recipes! If it were me, I would probably sauté until the meat thawed to make sure it mixes well with the spices – I know that will take longer since you’re starting with frozen meat. Technically I think you can pressure cook the whole frozen chunk of ground beef then sauté at the end to boil off any additional liquid that released – I just haven’t tried it this way. Let me know if you do that and how it goes!

  28. Darcy says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice in as many weeks.
    Easy and DELICIOUS.

    Last night I subbed 1lb of black bean & brown rice (which I make in huge batches in the instant pot and store in the freezer) because I only had 1lb of beef handy. Required a bit more liquid (1/2 cup). Very authentic tasting!

    I like to finish it off with the juice of 1 lime after step 6. I like the brightness of the lime but it is still amazing without.

    Well done.

  29. Tonja Jay says

    5 stars
    This is a weekly staple now. We eat it over sweet potatoes and sauteed cabbage for lunch. It reheats beautifully, maybe even better the next day. Ashley’s skill with blending spices is very impressive!!!

  30. Stacy Mc says

    So my family cannot eat green peppers. Do you think that leaving those out will affect the moisture in the meat as it cooks? Does it matter what percentage of fat the beef has? I hope this helps my son enjoy tacos more!

  31. Rachelle says

    Incredibly obsessed with this recipe – I haven’t made taco meat any other way in over a year and I always come back to your site to make sure I get it just right! THANK YOU!

  32. Mia says

    Hi, I was wondering how spicy (hot) is this recipe? I love tacos but have a low tolerance for spicyness 🙂 I know it’s relative but would you say is hot? medium? mild?

    Thanks!

  33. Teresa (Tc4IowaState) says

    5 stars
    My first instant pot recipe to try besides steel cut oats. Was very successful. Thanks, glad I found you and can follow you on Pinterest and here.

  34. Bree says

    Not sure what went wrong but mine came out the consistency of chili. No amount of saute mode boiling got rid of the liquid. Despite that, it was delicious. A huge hit at my company potluck and my husband and 9 yr old raved about how good it was. No one minded eating tacos for dinner 3 nights in a row.

  35. Jennifer Blanchard says

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it’s hands down the best taco meat recipe I’ve ever made. My husband loves it too. I only did a pound of ground beef so I halved the seasonings but kept cook time the same. So, so good. I’ve been looking for a good taco recipe for years and I finally found it! Thank you.

  36. Valerie White says

    This is our go-to taco filling. Our family loves it! Just doubled the batch and used an Elite electric pressure cooker and followed the directions exactly. Turned out scrumptious.

  37. Caitlin E. Bearer says

    I need to cook 7-8 pounds of taco meat for a party this weekend. Think I can safetly do it in one batch (I have the instant pot duo 6 quart).

  38. Kim says

    Do you think this would also come out well if you just threw everything in the pot and cooked without sauteeing? Would the cook time stay the same?

  39. AP says

    Thank you for this recipe! I haven’t tried it yet but wanted to ask: do you drain the fat from the ground beef? Or no?

  40. Rhonda says

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I made this tonight. It’s the second time I’ve used my Instant Pot and it helped me learn more about what it can do.

  41. Emily Elimily says

    Trying this as my first meal in my new instant pot and I am a bit nervous. I am a beginner cook. I am still confused in reading through the comments on this thread. You mentioned to cook on high for 10 minutes while others said 30 minutes on the chili mode. When I enter on high for 10 minutes does the pressure cook come to pressure and at the 10 minute mark it is done cooking and releases valve on its own? Or do I need to hit the quick release valve myself? A bit confused with the whole valve thing. Also how many would you say the recipe feeds? 6-8 adults?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Emily, I changed the cooking time to 10 minutes after more testing/feedback and it works perfectly! I suggest following the directions in the recipe card and you’ll be set! Once the cooking time is done, just turn the valve to release pressure and once the pin drops, you’ll be able to open the lid. And I’d say it feeds 6-7. If you try this, please let me know what ya think!

  42. Beth says

    5 stars
    I just made this to use for meal prep bowls for the week, and it is fabulous! I kind of questioned cooking under pressure for 30 minutes, then having to simmer it to reduce the liquid when I read the recipe. Seemed like an awful lot of work/time for just some taco meat I could do faster on the stove. I decided to try it out anyways bc I love the recipes on this site, and I love tacos.

    Wow! I’m so so glad I did. A lot of the cooking time doesn’t require being in the kitchen, so I didn’t feel like it took that long. The end results was totally worth it. This meat is flavorful, tender, and tastes like it’s restaurant quality. It’s not mushy as some commenters wondered, and the seasoning is great! The only comment I’d make – make sure to use leaner ground beef. The way the steps are written, if you had to drain it, you’d end up losing some of the seasoning. I used 90/10 and it was perfect 🙂

    Thank you for providing such a delicious, clean recipe!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Beth! That’s so great to hear! I’ve actually reduced the cook time to 10 minutes after hearing feedback from my readers and it’s just as good! Thank you for the helpful comment – it will definitely help other readers!

  43. My Heart Beets says

    Hi Lisa, you can use either button – as long as you cook at high pressure for 30 minutes 🙂 I’m in the process of changing my directions as some of the newer models have different time settings.

  44. CC says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now, and it’s so incredible. I absolutely love the spice combo in the meat. My six year old and husband are also addicted. Very easy and delicious. Thanks for a great recipe, this will be in my rotation from here on out!

  45. Rachel says

    Just made this and it’s fantastic! My bf said it’s so good he could rub it all over his body! Ha ha! He’s hard to please! Can’t wait to try your other recipes. Delish!

  46. Rimmy says

    Absolutely delicious! I make my own taco meat all the time but never thought to use my Instant Pot…what a revelation! I used ground chicken and halved the recipe; I added about half a cup of tomato sauce, a teaspoon each of coconut sugar and apple cider vinegar before switching into bean/chili mode (the recipe I’ve used for a decade includes these ingredients and I find it makes a huge difference to add a splash of acid and and a dash of sweetener to taco meat). Loved the spice combination and the great flavor that developed by cooking this under pressure!

  47. Melanie says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! The meat has a complex flavor that reminds me of one of my favorite restaurants. I’ll crispy make a double batch next time to have extras for the freezer.

  48. Kay says

    I’m using my instant pot for the first time with this recipe! When you say “make sure the steam valve is closed” do you mean “sealed” setting?

  49. Karen says

    OMG this is wonderful!! My husband and I had it for Mexican xmas this year, in burritos & taquitos. And then … the leftovers spiced up our favourite Hamburger Soup. Wow! Keep up the good work.

  50. Chelsea says

    I’m following the Fast Metabolism Diet and can’t use oil during certain phases. Is there a way to do this recipe without the oil?

  51. Liz says

    Setting it for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker doesn’t make the meat turn into mush since it was already mostly cooked before that? I’m just wondering how the texture will be since ground meat cooks fast already.

    • Kristin Harris says

      I am making this now and just reading the comments. In this comment you mentioned setting for 30 mins, but in the recipe it says 10? Just wondering about this? Otherwise it smells great so far! Thanks!!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Mina, you can use ground chicken/turkey instead of beef. I’d keep the same cooking time (to help the flavors come flavors together). The meat will likely cook in less time though so it’s up to you!

          • Iain says

            5 stars
            I’ve now made this, err…loads of times. It’s fantastic. It’s one of the few recipes my son asks for and we both really enjoy. Thank you so much for posting this!

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