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This instant pot taco meat recipe is the easiest way to prepare taco meat and so quick. Once you cook your taco meat this way, you’ll never go back to the way you were cooking it before.

Cooked ground beef in pressure cooker.
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The best Instant pot taco meat recipe

Tacos are a staple in my house as my family loves taco night.  It is a simple meal but now it is even easier.

The pressure cooker makes this popular meal even faster. The entire meal comes together in minutes.

This is a great way to get dinner on the table even during busy weeknights. Also check out Leftover Taco Meat Recipes.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make crock pot taco meat instead or Check out also our Skillet Ground Beef Tacos.

Can I cook ground beef in my instant pot?

Yes, you can definitely cook ground beef in the instant pot and you do not need to brown the meat first on your stove top.  An instant pot makes cooking with ground beef even easier.

I put the ground beef in the pressure cooker raw and then use a spoon or meat tenderizer to break the meat up once it has been cooked.

Tacos on a plate ready to eat.

Let’s make Instant pot Taco meat.

This is one of our favorite meals and it is so fast and easy.

Ingredients for recipe: ground beef, salsa, taco seasoning.


  • ground beef
  • salsa. You can use any brand you prefer.
  • Taco seasoning. I use Homemade Taco Seasoning and make it in bulk. You can also use store bought taco seasoning if you prefer.
  • water. Beef broth can also be used.
Cooked ground beef in pressure cooker.

How to make Instant pot taco meat

You are not going to believe how EASY it is to make this taco meat instant pot. 

  • First, add the ground beef and all of the ingredients in your instant pot including the water. It is just that simple.  Keep in mind you need at least 1 cup of liquid any time you use a pressure cooker. 
  • Then seal the instant pot and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Finally, once it has finished cooking, do a quick release and then use a spoon to break up the taco meat.

That’s all there is to it and this recipe will be ready to serve to all your friends and family.  Trust me, after you make taco meat in a pressure cooker, you’ll never make it on your stove top again.

Keep reading for the complete recipe.

Topping ideas

I enjoy making a taco bar so that everyone can have what they like on their tacos shells.

What to serve with instant pot tacos:

  • Instant Pot Spanish Rice- This is so easy and much better than any of those box mixes. Make extra to freeze for another easy side dish later.
  • Pressure Cooker Refried Beans Save money and enjoy flavor packed refried beans with this simple recipe. This is another great recipe that you can freeze for easy dinners later.
  • Easy Arepas – I love serving the taco meat with cheese on top of easy arepas.

For more easy ideas, check out even more side dishes for tacos.

Tacos on a plate ready to enjoy.

Tips and tricks:

  • Keep in mind you need at least 1 cup of liquid any time you use a pressure cooker. Don’t skip the water.
  • Substitute beef broth instead of water for even more delicious flavor. If you decide to make instant pot ground beef tacos without salsa, I would suggest using beef broth to add flavor.
  • You can use ground turkey instead of ground beef in the recipe. The ground turkey takes on the flavor from the taco seasoning. It is delicious as well.
  • If you need a pressure cooker, I love the  8 quart Instant pot . However, you might like the 6 quart size if you have a smaller family size.  We have the Instant Pot Brand and have been pleased with it.
Tacos on a plate ready to enjoy.

Can you thaw meat in an instant pot?

If you forgot to thaw your ground beef for this recipe, don’t worry.  The instant pot is great at taking frozen food to a wonderfully cooked dinner in no time at all.

You can put the frozen ground beef directly into the pressure cooker.  If you are using frozen meat, you will need to increase the pressure cooking time to 35 minutes.

This will allow extra time for the meat to thaw and cook for this recipe.

Thanks to this fast and easy way to cook frozen meat, there really isn’t any excuse not to make this. I love that I can literally grab the meat from the freezer and still have a fast dinner.

Cooked ground beef in pressure cooker.

Can you brown meat in an instant pot?

One of my favorite features of the instant pot is the saute function.  The sauté setting allows the instant pot to work just like a pot on the stove top. 

You can use this feature if you prefer to brown the meat instead of using the pressure cooker feature.

I always cook instant pot taco meat on the pressure cooker option but this feature works great for recipes that do require browned ground beef.

Make easy instant pot tacos!

It is one of of our favorite instant pot recipes. Anyone can make this and get dinner on the table fast.

This is a great meal to make when you are tempted to get takeout. You can literally have this ready and on the table in less time than eating out. It is cheaper too and we think tastes better.

Give it a try today. I think your family and friends will enjoy it. It definitely does not disappoint.

Tacos on a plate ready to enjoy.

Print this Instant Pot Taco Meat Recipe below:

Easy Instant Pot Taco Meat

4.99 from 53 votes
You must try making ground beef tacos in an instant pot. It is quick and easy to make pressure cooker taco meat that doesn’t require browning first.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine Mexican
Course Main Course
Calories 222


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  • Place the ground beef (raw) in the Instant pot.
  • Pour the salsa on top and sprinkle with the taco seasoning.
  • Pour the water around the beef.
  • Add the lid and set the valve to sealing.
  • Set the pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Do a quick release to release the pressure. Then use a spoon to break up the taco meat.
  • If the mixture is too watery, switch the instant pot to the sauté setting and cook off the excess liquid.
  • Serve in your favorite type of tortillas with taco toppings and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can use frozen ground beef as well.  If you use frozen ground beef, set the pressure to 20 minutes with a quick release.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 222kcal, Carbohydrates 4g, Protein 33g, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 94mg, Sodium 508mg, Potassium 647mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 2g, Vitamin A 325IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 28mg, Iron 4mg

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More Instant Pot taco recipes: 

You must try making ground beef tacos in an instant pot. It is quick and easy to make pressure cooker taco meat with ground beef that doesn't require browning first. This easy instant pot taco meat can easily be made with frozen meat too.  #eatingonadime #tacorecipes #instantpotrecipes #pressurecookerrecipes

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

4.99 from 53 votes (51 ratings without comment)

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  1. Carrie Barnard says:

    so sorry! 15 minutes will work. I’ll update that now.

  2. Tom says:

    Your blog says to pressure cook for 25 minutes. The recipe says to pressure cook for 15 or 20 if frozen. WHICH IS IT?

  3. Carrie Barnard says:

    There is a printable recipe at the bottom of the post. Thank you!

  4. Larry says:

    There is no printable reciepe

  5. Rhonda says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Love the results and the time I save!

  6. Kathy says:

    5 stars
    So easy and tasty. Love not having to brown the meat.

  7. Carrie says:

    I would switch it over to the sauté setting and cook off the additional liquid. Thanks!

  8. Rachael says:

    I used this recipe it mine came out really soupy what can I do get the water of it? Let it cook more on the pressure cooking setting or sauté it?

  9. Carrie says:

    Yes, as long as your instant pot is bigger and the ingredients doesn’t exceed the fill line. I would start by increasing the cook time to 35 minutes and then check it and cook it additionally if needed. Thanks!

  10. Pam says:

    Can this be doubled in an instant pot? If so, any idea how long to process?

  11. Teresa says:

    This was amazing. I have made a similar taco meat on the stove but this was so much easier.
    I also had to cook down the liquid but it was so good. I will do it this way from now on.

  12. Carrie says:

    I’m not sure why on this. Mine is usually not soupy. I would have just cooked it off like you did in the sauté feature. I do that all the time if it’s not the consistency that I would prefer. Thank you!

  13. Toni says:

    Smells and tastes delicious! This came out more like taco soup than taco meat. I substituted ground turkey for ground beef. I don’t think that would cause the soup effect though. I set the UP to saute and reduced the liquid down. Just wondering how juicy it should be.