How To Make The BEST Taco Meat (In The Instant Pot!)

Want to make the BEST taco meat ever? This taco meat recipe is loaded with hidden veggies and is made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker! It comes together in under 30 minutes and tastes like your favorite classic, indulgent taco meat! It’s whole30-compliant and a recipe the whole family will love!

How To Make The BEST Taco Meat (Instant Pot) - Lexi's Clean KitchenHow To Make The BEST Taco Meat (Instant Pot)

Growing up I LOVED Taco Bell. Yes, you read that right. I have given up my love for Taco Bell, but I haven’t given up my love for classic beef tacos. This taco meat recipe tastes like the classic taco meat you love, but made healthy and delicious. From one taco lover to another, I promise you’ll love this recipe! You are going to love how quickly this taco meat is to make, and how you sneak all the veggies into your families taco night!

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P.S. Did you know you can see all of my pressure cooker recipes in one spot? Find them all here!

How To Make The BEST Taco Meat (Instant Pot) - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

What spices do you put in taco meat?

  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Optional: cayenne pepper!

How much liquid do you need in an instant pot?

  • Usually about 1 cup!

How To Make The BEST Taco Meat (Instant Pot) - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

If you like this Instant Pot recipe, try these favorites:

How do you make the best tacos?

Follow this recipe and I promise you will have the BEST taco night ever!

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How To Make The BEST Taco Meat (In The Instant Pot!)

  • Author: Lexi
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • Optional: 1 zucchini, diced
  • Optional: 2 celery sticks, minced
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup salsa of choice
  • At the end, add spinach

Instructions

1. Heat oil and sauté veggies for about 4 minutes, until they begin to soften.
2. Add in the meat and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned.
3. Add in spices and mix to combine. Add in the salsa.
4. Seal the lid and then cook under high pressure for 15 minutes.
5. Turn the knob to quick release. Add in spinach while hot and mix until wilted.
6. Serve with your favorite taco fixins’ and enjoy!

Notes

Taco fixin’ ideas: grain-free tortillas, lettuce, tomato, cheese, jalapeños, scallions, avocado, cilantro, lime.

Note: If your meat is very fatty, you may want to drain it before adding the spices and salsa.

Make it in the slower cooker: In a skillet, sauté veggies and brown the meat. Add everything into your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 201
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Protein: 23g
  • Cholesterol: 77mg

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50 comments
January 15, 2018

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50 Responses

  1. I have made this over and over and over again. It’s a staple in my house these days. Normally a lb of taco meat would last one night (given my husband’s appetite) but this recipe easily lasts 2-3 nights because of all of the veggies and fiber. It’s AMAZING and importantly, so healthy.

  2. I made this today with all of the listed veggies except carrots, which I was out of, but I added diced sweet peppers and green chiles. I also doubled the spices and it was superb! My kids didn’t even notice the veggies in it and normally picky eaters, they ate every bite! It was a little watery and more soup-like than I prefer (I assume from the zucchini and celery), but a tablespoon of corn starch with water thickened it right up. Will be a regular recipe staple in my home, especially with all of the yummy vegetables we have been harvesting from the garden.

    5.0 rating

  3. I’ve made this so many times, it’s such an easy dinner to whip up and super family friendly. Love how versatile it can be too with different veggies, etc. Tonight I committed to making it before realizing I actually had ground chicken and not ground turkey/beef, but it came out great anyway!

  4. This is one of my favorite instant pot recipes! I love that it is chocked with veggies and has options. I think the key is the spice mixture.

    Salsa gave me the dreaded burn notice twice, so I’ve been using a can of DRAINED rotel tomatoes and it works great. Also, doesn’t leave me with 1/2 jar of leftover salsa in the fridge.

    Could you whip up a recipe that is exactly the same except has Italian spices instead of Mexican? I’d like to use it as a spaghetti sauce recipe. Thanks!

    5.0 rating

  5. The best ever! So easy and versatile. Use whatever veggies you have in your fridge. And any salsa works too! I have used regular, pepita from TJs, or even fresh.

    5.0 rating

  6. I absolutely love this recipe, I make it weekly!! Do you think this could be altered to be a soup by adding extra liquid/broth?

  7. This is the BEST taco meat! Love the rainbow of veggies! I make with turkey meat. My whole family, including my two little girls gobble it up! Thanks for creating this weekly dinner winner!

    5.0 rating

  8. How can this be so easy and still packed with a ton of flavor?! I absolutely love this recipe! I either do ground beef or turkey and turns out great either way. I use Trader Joe’s Salsa Authentica, which gives it the best flavor, I think! Definitely a staple when weeknights get busy. Thanks Lexi!

    5.0 rating

  9. I made this recipe last night but I used beef. and it’ was so dry it came out like dog food. I’m not sure what I did wrong. The only thing I could think of is that when I browned the beef I cooked it too long.. when you say brown the beef should still be read to me and so I just turn on the outside? The only change I made was that I did not use mushrooms. It also did. not have any flavor. and not very much liquid. Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.

    1. Hi Colleen – This dish is actually more on the liquid-y side where you’d have to sauté out extra liquid at times. You definitely added the salsa and everything else? I’ve never heard this! The beef shouldn’t do it.

  10. My family loved this taco meat, and I loved that it had so many hidden veggies in it! I doubled the recipe and cooked it in a skillet and it was delicious!

    5.0 rating

  11. Perfect for meal prep and so darn good! Love all the extra veggies packed in this recipe. And kid approved! My girls asked for seconds 🙂

    5.0 rating

  12. We are not allowed salsa on the diet plan, can we sub the salsa/liquid out with chicken broth?

    1. Hi Jenilee! My best guess is that would work! Canned tomato sauce definitely works. If you give it a try, let us know!

  13. To. Die. For. Simple as that. Even the picky teenager (who cannot stand mushrooms!) gobbled this up! I had every intention to use the zucchini from my CSA, but my husband steamed it while I was out, so I had none. Spced buying the spinach so I didn’t use that. Everything was diced up so small, and it all incorporated amazingly well in the IP. The flavor? OMG…awesome. I seriously don’t think I will go back to any other taco recipe. And so quick (don’t you just love your IP??) and filling! Thanks, Lexi! Keep up the great work! I’m glad I found you:)

    5.0 rating

  14. Audrey, I just made the recipe doubled and did the final cook time for 25 mins. using beef not turkey. It turned out great, not watery or dried out.
    Hope this was helpful.

    5.0 rating

  15. So delicious!!! Question: How would I adjust the cooking time if I want to double (or triple!) the recipe?

    5.0 rating

  16. This recipe is delicious!!! I want to double (or triple!) the recipe… how do I adjust the cooking time?

  17. This taco meat is just the best! It is so easy to put together, and cooking it in the Instant Pot gave me time to saute up some Siete tortillas and plantains while the meat was cooking! I also loved sneaking in some veggies for my non-veggie loving husband.

    5.0 rating

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