Instant Pot Taco Meat made from frozen ground beef or turkey and with seasoning packet or homemade taco seasoning. Use it for tacos, enchiladas, taco salad, wraps or turn into a pasta dish.
This dish is perfect for my Instant Pot Chili Mac or into my Instant Pot Hamburger Soup.
As with many Instant Pot recipes, this one is a game-changer. You can easily make taco meat with ground beef or turkey without having to defrost the meat. Just place a frozen block in the Instant Pot and let it cook. You can use it right away to make pretty much any Mexican dish calling for ground beef or cool and freeze for later. You can easily double the recipe, cooking time stays the same.
Ingredients (your shopping list):
- ground meat (beef or turkey)
- taco seasoning (homemade or packet)
Step by step instructions
This recipe could not be easier. Just place the frozen block of meat in the Instant Pot and cook. Drain the liquid, add seasoning and saute for a few minutes.
Step 1: cook the meat
Add the water to your Instant Pot insert and place the trivet inside. Place frozen block of ground meat on the trivet. Close the lid and set timer to 25 minutes.
Step 2: add seasoning
Once the timer is up, remove trivet with meat from the Instant Pot. Drain the liquid from the pot. Add the meat back in and break apart with a wooden spoon. Saute with seasoning (you can add garlic, onion, peppers too) and water. Stir in well.
Step 3: use or freeze
Use the meat immediately in a dish or cool completely, place in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 4 months.
Tips for the best results
- use the trivet to keep the meat from cooking in water and also easily lift it out of the pot to drain the liquid
- if your meat is not cooked all the way (that happens if the meat is frozen in thick blocks), that is okay. You will finish cooking it before adding the seasoning.
- add seasoning after cooking to prevent diluted flavor
- once the liquid is drained, add garlic, onion and pepper and saute until softened; then add the meat and seasoning
How to use it?
- use it immediately to make ground beef tacos
- serve in lettuce wraps for low-carb tacos
- use to make ground beef enchiladas or burritos
- use to make soups
- make any casserole that calls for ground meat
Press the "saute" setting and add the meat to the Instant Pot. Add ½ cup of water and mix. Cook until hot.
More easy Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Instant Pot Black Beans
- Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Instant Pot Rice
- Instant Pot Quinoa
For more recipes using the digital pressure cooker, feel free to browse our Instant Pot Category.
Also, check out my Instant Pot Guide for Beginners, filled with all the info you need to get started with your new appliance!
Seeing BURN message on your IP? Read my Instant Pot Burn Message post to learn why and how to save your dish.
If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo and share it on INSTAGRAM! Tag me @crunchycreamysweet so I can check it out and leave a comment! 😀
Instant Pot Taco Meat (from frozen)
- 1 lb frozen ground beef or turkey
- 1 cup water divided
- 1 oz packet taco seasoning or 3 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
- Make sure the stainless steel insert is in your Instant Pot. Place trivet inside.
- Pour ½ cup of water into the pot.
- Place a frozen block of meat on the trivet. Close the lid. Set the valve to "sealing" position. The newer Instant Pot models do it on their own.
- Press "manual" or "pressure cook" setting and set timer to 25 minutes. Make sure the Instant Pot is set to cook on HIGH pressure.
- The Instant Pot will beep and it will start coming to pressure. It took 6 minutes for me.
- Once the timer is done, press "cancel/off". Let the Instant Pot release the pressure naturally. It took 9 minutes for me. If it takes longer than 10 minutes, switch the valve to "venting" position to release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully open the lid away from your face. Lift out the trivet with meat and set on a plate.
- Drain the liquid from the pot.
- Press the "saute" setting. If desired, add olive oil, garlic, chopped onion and bell pepper and saute until soft.
- Add meat back to the pot and break apart with a wooden spoon.
- Add seasoning and stir in well. Wait 1 minute. Add water and stir in. Once the meat is hot, press "cancel/off" button.
- Use the meat immediately or cool completely and place in a freezer-safe bag.
- Please, note that the time the Instant Pot will take to come to pressure can vary. For me, it took 6 minutes.
- You can easily double the amount of beef and water to make a larger batch. The cooking time stays the same.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate.
This is great if you don't plan ahead and want to make taco meat quickly from frozen.
It doesn't break up as easily as making on the stovetop... the advantage here is that you can make from frozen. I noticed that it was difficult to break up and threw it in the food processor and pulsed a couple of times. I prefer the stovetop method, but this is perfect if you don't want to plan ahead!
I made 1.5 #s and served to our family as well as my son and his football friends... they gobbled it up. Thank you...
HI! So I think I did something wrong. Full disclosure, I'm new to the instapot. When I sautee, do I close the lid? Also, the meat didn't break up. What did I do wrong?
It doesn't break up as easily as making on the stovetop... the advantage here is that you can make from frozen. I noticed that it was difficult to break up and threw it in the food processor and pulsed a couple of times.
Sara Templeton says
Ok. So, I tried it this way.... the exact method described. But, i am super confused by how this is supposedly more convenient than the pan method. Not trying to be a jerk, but, really....more steps, more time... I don't get it. I'll stick to the pan in the future.
Sara Templeton says
The recipe is tasty though... just confused about the choice of instant pot...
Kylie Sabra says
I came home from a busy day at work and exhausted. I threw those spices the water in the frozen meat into the pot with the lid on it and walked away that was 40 minutes I didn't have to pay attention to anything. That's priceless
Kim Carl says
It is easier if you are starting with Frozen Meat an running late with no time or way to unthaw your Hamburger an need Dinner on in 30 minute time frame. You don't have to be in the Kitchen stirring you can dump it an go do something else for 25 or so minutes. Once you have drained off Fat N liquid it takes just a few minutes to add ingredients N Mix throughout with Hamburger. The Hamburger gets chopped up fine during stirring. The Insta Pot Saute gets quite Hot and will burn if not stirred so you always want to leave lid off while sautaing in the insta pot till you are familiar with how it cooks N stir instead of to bring the meat an seasoning to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes as on the stove top. No need to dirty the food processor. I Absolutely Love My Insta Pot often times freeing up my time while cooking supper an less dishes to wash After. I absolutely Use my Insta Pot more than Anything else in my Kitchen. Hope you truly investigate an enjoy your Insta Pot Cooking.
For me, it’s because I can walk away while it’s cooking and I won’t burn the house down
Because you don't have to thaw the meat first. I also like that the tall sides of the IP mean I am not dealing with grease splatters later. I just dropped a frozen chunk of ground sirloin in with a little water, went off to exercise, and came back 40 minutes later to stir in seasonings and chopped onion/garlic. Done!
Love the fact I don’t have to separate the fat like I do in the pan!
Don Mcdiarmid says
Directions confusing between step 9 and 10. How do you put meat back in pot when it's already in Pot.n
Hi Don! In step 7 it says: Lift out the trivet with meat and set on a plate. Hope this helps!
I just made this because I forgot to thaw my ground turkey. It worked perfectly! Thanks for sharing.
Ashley F says
Loved how quick and easy this was to make! The taco meat was perfect!
I loved how this was made from frozen because we need to cook something last minute and this made dinner a success!
That's fantastic! Thank you, Suzy!
So happy for the instant pot!! Love that I can have this meat so quick & it's so tasty & great for so many recipes!
This was so helpful and just in the nick of time. I'm a chronic forgetter of all things thawing meat so this saved the day and was so delicious! Thanks!
Thank you so much, Sara!
Sara Welch says
Another great recipe for my Instant Pot! Looking forward to enjoying some tacos this weekend!
So easy and the flavor was fantastic! Thanks!