Easy Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos

5 from 1 vote
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Simple, healthy, and delicious, this Easy Instant Pot Taco Meat is perfect for a busy lunch or dinner. It’s the fastest way to make ground beef tacos any night of the week, and you can use it for more than just Taco Night! Everyone will love this family-friendly meal!

Want more tacos? Try Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos, some breakfast Salsa Egg Tacos, and easy Fish Stick Tacos!

A Plate of Tacos Being Held Over a Counter with Containers of Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce

Instant Pot Tacos – Easiest Ever Ground Beef Taco Meat

It seems like tacos are one meal that everyone is always in the mood for. And by making the taco meat in your Instant Pot, with a flavorful blend of homemade taco seasoning, you’ve got a seriously perfect dinner headed your way. It’s fast, good for you, and super easy to make!

This is a great recipe for meal prepping as well. You can make the entire batch and then serve it for lunches throughout the week. Just microwave the individual portion, or heat it in a small covered saucepan, and you can make tacos on the fly!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, this recipe also works on the stovetop! All you have to do is brown the meat in a skillet first, breaking it into pieces with a spatula. Then add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for about ten minutes.

Creamy sauce being drizzled over a plate of tacos from a spoon.

What You’ll Need

Have you ever made your own taco seasoning? You have to try it! This recipe only includes enough spices for the two pounds of meat, but you could double it or even triple it and save the extra!

  • Ground Beef: You’ll need 2 pounds of 85% lean ground beef. This makes eight ⅔ cup servings. If needed or preferred, you can also use 90% or 93% lean ground beef.
  • Onion: I like to add one yellow onion, peeled and chopped, to my taco meat. You can substitute any type of onion that you like.
  • Garlic: Crush or press the fresh garlic so that you don’t end up with large chunks.
  • Chili Powder and Cumin: Chili powder and cumin both tend to be somewhat mild, so I use a whole tablespoon of each. You can add more or less, if you’d like!
  • Oregano: You’ll need two teaspoons of dried oregano for Instant Pot tacos.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper: For a tiny bit of heat, add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper; this can also be omitted or replaced with paprika.
  • Tomato Paste: You can use it from a can or a tube. Be sure not to use tomato sauce, which is much less concentrated.
  • Water: This keeps your meat moist and just slightly saucy/
Raw Ground Beef in a Bowl with the Taco Seasoning Spices in Little Dishes Beside it

Can I Use Frozen Ground Beef?

Yes, you can! An awesome thing about using an Instant Pot is that it makes cooking frozen beef super easy. You’ll need 2 one-pound frozen blocks of ground beef (I don’t recommend using larger frozen amounts). Just increase the cooking time to twenty minutes, but keep everything else the same!

How to Make Taco Meat in the Instant Pot

Honestly, there is not going to be an easier recipe on the Internet than this. It’s so simple and so fast – it’s just the best!

Add Ingredients to Pot: Simply place all of the ingredients for the ground beef taco meat into your Instant Pot. There’s no need to stir or anything. 

Cook Taco Meat: Put the lid on the Instant Pot, and set it to “Sealing.” Cook on “Manual, High Pressure” for 8 minutes. Once it’s finished, carefully release the valve.

Taco Meat Being Stirred Around in an Instant Pot Bowl

Thicken Sauce (Optional): If you want to thicken the sauce a bit, turn the Instant Pot on “Sauté” and let it cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Some of the liquid will evaporate, leaving a thicker sauce.

A Wooden Spoon Holding a Bite of Ground Beef Over an Instant Pot

Assembling Your Tacos & Adding Toppings

To assemble your tacos, I think it’s easiest to set up a buffet-style or family-style table, with all of the toppings and a platter of tortillas (or shells, or lettuce wraps) ready to go! Speaking of toppings, I’ve collected a list of amazing topping ideas here, for inspiration!

Bowls of Taco Meat, Cheese and Tortillas Next to Various Vegetables on a Cutting Board
Having a party?

shredded chicken with black beans in a bowl with tacos in the background


Make a slow cooker full of Crockpot Mexican Chicken to set up a big taco bar! Then guests can choose whether they prefer beef or chicken.



What to Serve with Tacos

It’s only natural to serve ground beef tacos with Mexican Rice and Pinto Beans, but there are even more creative ideas to try with your favorite Tex Mex meals.

And don’t forget to sip on a Pina Colada Mule Cocktail or Mocktail!

Someone holding a taco in their hand.

Tips for Success

This versatile recipe has a lot going for it! Check out these extra tips for making and using this easy, flavorful meat.

  • Keep it Keto: This recipe is actually keto-friendly as written, so if you watch the toppings and wraps you use, it can be a wonderfully easy and satisfying keto meal. Lettuce wraps are a fantastic keto taco shell! Some people love raw collard leaves, too.
  • Try Grassfed: If you’re not exactly a fan of grassfed beef, but you want to give it more of a try, this is a great recipe for that! Grassfed beef can sometimes be on the tough side, and have a stronger taste, but the Instant Pot does a great job of tenderizing, and the taco spices work perfectly with the hearty taste!
  • Make It a Bowl: If you’d like, try serving this delicious taco meat over cauliflower rice, white rice, or cilantro lime rice for a delicious “burrito bowl” entree.
A Bowl Filled with Tacos in Front of a Bowl Filled with Seasoned Beef

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

As mentioned, this is a great recipe for making in advance and enjoying throughout the week. Here’s how to go about storage:

  • To Refrigerate: You can keep leftover taco meat for up to 4 days in the fridge, as long as you store it properly. I recommend using airtight food storage containers, or zip-top freezer bags.
  • To Reheat: Take out your desired portion and place it in a covered saucepan. Reheat on low, adding a tablespoon or so of water if it seems dry.

Can I Freeze Extra Taco Meat?

For sure! Freezing extra taco meat is a wonderful way to prep some extra protein. It’s easy to pull out of the freezer and reheat, so I like to make double batches and freeze half.

When it’s time to use it, take the meat from the freezer and place it in a covered saucepan or skillet with a splash of water. Heat on low until heated through, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.

Got Leftovers?

Whether you only have a little and just want to make lunch the next day, or have enough to feed the entire family another meal, you can add this taco beef to:

Both recipes have single-serving options, or you can double or triple or quadruple the batch. Plus, change up the base and toppings to make it keto-friendly, paleo, and gluten free. You can even invite the vegetarians to the taco party by making some Pineapple Black Beans for them to create their bowls!

A plate of tacos next to an Instant pot with taco meat in it.
Brianne Recommends
  • Instant Pots are available now at a variety of price points. They all work basically the same, but some have added features like allowing you to control it from your smartphone.
  • While many people love a classic flour tortilla, you can easily find basic corn tortillas that are gluten free, or other options, like the Siete brand, that are grain free and low carb.
tacos on a pla
5 from 1 vote

Easy Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos

Simple, healthy, and delicious, this Easy Instant Pot Taco Meat is perfect for a busy lunch or dinner. It's the fastest way to make ground beef tacos any night of the week, and you can use it for more than just Taco Night! Everyone will love this family-friendly meal!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 18 minutes



For the Ground Beef Taco Meat

  • 2 pounds 85% lean ground beef (can use 90% or 93% lean if preferred)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water

Topping Ideas

  • Corn, flour, or low-carb tortillas or lettuce wraps
  • Chopped Romaine lettuce
  • Chopped tomato
  • Diced red onion
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sliced jalapeno
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Southwestern Salad Dressing


  • Add ground beef, onion, garlic, dried oregano, salt chili powder, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, and water to the Instant Pot (there’s no need to stir). Put the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to “Sealing”. Cook on “Manual, High Pressure” for 8 minutes. Once it’s finished, carefully release the valve.
  • If you want to thicken the sauce a bit, turn the Instant Pot on “Sauté” and let it cook for a couple minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Serve in your preferred type of tortilla with your favorite toppings.


Nutrition facts apply to taco meat only.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (not including tortillas or toppings))
Calories 272 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 581mg24%
Potassium 493mg14%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 433IU9%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Want more easy and delicious weeknight meals to make in your pressure cooker? Give these a try!

  1. Teah

    Hi Brianne, theses beef tocos sound delicious but I don’t have an instant pot and was wording if I was to make this in a slow cooker do you know what the cooking time would be? Thanks Teah

    1. H Teah, I have not made tacos in the slow cooker. I have seen other recipes but they brown the meat in a skillet, then just let it simmer for a while in the crockpot. Since the meat is already cooked, it’s really just a matter of letting all the flavors blend.

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