Make the best taco meat using this Slow Cooker Taco Meat recipe. It's an excellent choice for an easy dinner or taco Tuesday! Set it in the slow cooker and let it do its thing, resulting in tender and flavorful taco meat every time!
Slow Cooker Taco Meat Recipe
Taco meat is a deliciously seasoned blend of ground beef that can be used in a variety of ways to create mouth-watering Mexican dishes. One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can use it to make classic tacos, burritos, nachos, and even loaded fries!
Can you make taco meat in the crock pot? Yes! When it comes to cooking the best taco meat, the crock pot is the perfect tool for the job. Using a slow cooker allows the flavors to simmer together over time, resulting in tender and juicy meat that's packed with flavor.
Plus, it's incredibly easy to make - simply add all the ingredients in, set it, and forget it. This makes it perfect for busy weeknights when you don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.
Crock Pot taco meat is tasty, simple, and budget-friendly. Using affordable lean ground beef and easily accessible ingredients, it's a versatile meal prep option for the week.
Why You'll Love Crock Pot Taco Meat
- This recipe is incredibly easy to make - simply add the ingredients in the crock pot and let it do the work for you.
- Perfect for busy weeknights or when you're entertaining a crowd!
- Slow cooking blends flavors, tenderizing the meat for deliciously satisfying taco meat.
- This budget-friendly recipe uses only four simple ingredients, maintaining great flavor and quality.
- Taco meat is versatile and perfect for various dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and loaded nachos. Making it a convenient and tasty choice for meal prep.
Slow Cooker Taco Meat Ingredients
Below is everything you'll need to make this crock pot taco meat! (Find precise measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Lean Ground Beef - This is the base of the recipe that provides the protein and bulk of the dish. It can be a lighter option than regular ground beef as it contains less fat.
- Salsa - Salsa enhances flavor and moisture in ground beef. Its acidity tenderizes the meat, while the mix of herbs, spices, and vegetables adds depth of flavor.
- Taco Seasoning - Uses spices like chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika to give an authentic Mexican flavor. Consider using homemade taco seasoning for an extra touch of freshness and taste.
- Yellow Onion - Gives the dish a sweet and savory flavor and adds texture to the ground beef.
How To Make Taco Meat In The Crock Pot
Add ground beef: Remove the ground beef from the package and place it into the crock pot. No pre-cooking or browning is needed.
Assemble ingredients: On top of the ground beef, add the salsa, chopped onion, and taco seasoning.
Cover and cook: Add the lid to the top and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours or until the ground beef is fully cooked through.
Break up and serve: Break up the beef with a spatula until it's crumbly. Serve over nachos, or quesadillas. Enjoy!
- Swap out the lean ground beef for ground turkey or chicken for an even lighter option. You can also use a plant-based ground beef substitute to make this dish vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
- Add diced bell peppers, zucchini, or corn to add more vegetables to your taco meat.
- Adjust the spice level of the taco meat by adding more or less taco seasoning, depending on your personal preference. For a milder version, omit the chili powder and cayenne pepper from the taco seasoning blend.
- Substitute the salsa for a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies for a smoky and slightly spicy flavor.
- Add a chipotle pepper, hot sauce, or adobo sauce for an extra kick of heat.
- Add fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley to the taco meat before serving to add a pop of freshness and brighten up the dish.
- Add a squeeze of lime juice for some acidity and tanginess.
More Ways To Use Taco Meat
- Quesadillas: Spread taco meat on a flour tortilla with cheese, fold in half, and cook until golden brown and crispy.
- Taco Salad: Use it as a topping for a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, and other veggies, and top with dressing or sour cream.
- Stuffed Peppers: Mix taco meat with rice, cheese, and veggies and stuff it into bell peppers. Bake in the oven until tender, and enjoy!
- Breakfast Burritos: Create a hearty and tasty breakfast burrito by pairing it with scrambled eggs, cheese, and avocado.
- Tostadas: Make a snack or meal by stacking a crispy corn tortilla with refried beans, taco meat, lettuce, and tomatoes.
- Enchiladas: Roll it in corn tortillas, top with enchilada sauce and cheese, and bake until bubbly and delicious.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Store leftover taco meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, heat in the microwave or in a skillet until warmed through.
Freezing: You can store it in the freeze for up to 3 months. Allow the meat to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. When ready to eat, thaw the taco meat in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Slow Cooker Taco Meat FAQs
For this recipe, yes. The slow cooker will cook the ground beef slowly and evenly.
I recommend using lean ground beef (90% or higher) for this recipe. It has less fat than other types of ground beef, so it will still be juicy and flavorful without all the added fat.
No, it shouldn't. The salsa and taco seasoning add moisture to the dish and help keep it from drying out. However, if your taco meat is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water or broth to the crock pot before cooking. This will help retain moisture and prevent the beef from drying out.
Keep taco meat in a crockpot on the "warm" setting for up to 2-4 hours, ensuring it stays above 140°F to prevent bacterial growth. Consider reheating on a stovetop or later use if needed for longer.
When cooking taco meat in a slow cooker using ground beef, turkey, or chicken, you typically don't need to add water as the meat releases its own juices. However, if using a taco seasoning mix, follow the packet instructions which may involve adding water for a saucy consistency.
More Crock Pot Beef Dishes
- Crock Pot Chili Mac
- Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
- Crock Pot Beef Tips and Gravy
- Crock Pot Cube Steak
- Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup
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Slow Cooker Taco Meat Recipe
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1½ cups salsa
- 3 tbsp taco seasoning
- ½ cup yellow onion (diced)
- Place the uncooked taco meat in a 6-quart slow cooker.
- Pour the remaining ingredients on top of the ground beef.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- When the beef is done cooking, break up the beef and serve it over tacos, nachos, or quesadillas.
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.