This Instant Pot taco meat is seriously the best that you will ever make! And the best part – it works for your Keto, low carb or Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle.
My goal to start using and loving my Instant Pot has slowly been becoming a reality. I’ve made chicken stock, shredded Mexican pork, sous vide eggs, southern style veggies and even some desserts.
And I’m kinda loving it. Finally! I thought it would never happen. But I keep finding myself trying to figure out another recipe to throw in my Instant Pot. I even got rid of my crock pot last week (gasp)! Ok truth be told, I dropped the lid and it broke so it wasn’t really usable anymore but I got rid of it nonetheless.
So when I was scrolling Pinterest and saw a Taco Bell style taco meat in the Instant Pot, I had to try it. I’ve been a Taco Bell fanatic for as long as I can remember and anytime someone claims a copycat recipe I’m in.
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Instant Pot Taco Meat – Keto/THM S
The pin that I saw was written at the blog The Salty Pot. I followed the directions meticulously (subbing in my own seasoning) and it turned out great! I made some small changes to the original to make it work for our family & our Trim Healthy Family lifestyle.
And I’m telling you, it is good. I don’t know if it is Taco Bell good (because can anyone ever reach that greatness??) but I think you will enjoy it. My husband claimed it to be the best taco meat that I had ever made. The cooking process really infuses the meat with the Mexican seasoning blend giving it much more flavor than letting it simmer 5 or 10 minutes on the stove.
The recipe does have a couple of steps and isn’t exactly a quick recipe. But since it is made in the Instant Pot, you can set it and forget it. It is also a great recipe to make ahead and freeze. More details on how to do that in a minute.
Step 1: Cooking the Ground Beef
You can use frozen or fresh ground beef in this step. Which is great if you are like me and forget to thaw out your meat!
Frozen Instructions: Add 2-3 lbs frozen ground beef and 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Seal and set manual high pressure to 30 minutes. Quick release when complete.
Fresh Instructions: Add 2-3 lbs fresh ground beef and 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot. Seal and set manual high pressure to 8 minutes for 2 lbs or 10 minutes for 3 lbs. Quick release when complete.
Step 2: Break up the Cooked Beef
Using a meat masher, break the cooked beef up into small pieces. The first key in my opinion to Taco Bell style beef is that the meat is broken up into very small pieces.
Now drain the water & grease from the beef.
Step 3: Taco Seasoning
Now it is time to season the Instant Pot taco meat. Add 1 cup of beef broth and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning for every pound of ground beef. If you want to use a store bought packet of seasoning, that is 1 packet per pound.
If you are a Keto or Trim Healthy Mama, try this healthy homemade taco seasoning. You can make a big batch in just a couple of minutes.
Seal the pot & place on manual high pressure for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Saute if Needed
I found that if you use 3 lbs of beef, you don’t really need to do this step. There will be a small amount of liquid left but I left it so that when I warm it back from frozen, there will be a bit of liquid.
If you use only 2 pounds or want to eat right away vs. freezing, you need to get some of that liquid to evaporate. Turn the pot off & then turn it back on by pushing the saute feature. Allow the liquid to cook off for approximately 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
Step 5: Freezing
If you want to freeze the Instant Pot taco meat for an easy meal later on just let it cool after step 4. Divide it into gallon size ziplock bags in portions that meat your family’s needs.
Label your bag and lay it flat to freeze.
To reheat, thaw in fridge and warm it in a skillet or in the instant pot on the saute setting. If you got rid of most of the liquid in the original cooking process, you may want to add 1/4 a cup of beef broth when warming.
Serve the meat with your favorite taco toppings.
Make your Taco Meat Even Better!
- Add Chorizo – Add a package of chorizo during step 3 to the already cooked ground beef. It really helps with flavor and consistency.
- Pack it with Veggies – Also in Step 3, you can add 1/2 a bag of frozen cauliflower rice to your ground beef/chorizo mixture. The cauliflower takes on the flavor and color of the meat. Give it a good stir after the second round of pressure cooking is done to mix it all together. My 7 year old and my husband never knew it was there. And that is saying something!
More Healthy Low Carb / THM S Mexican Recipes:
30 Min Salsa Verde Chicken with Queso Cauli Rice
Keto Cheese Enchiladas (No Tortilla)
Instant Pot Shredded Mexican Pork
Low Carb Pork Belly Tacos with Siracha Mayo
- 2-3 lbs ground beef
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2-3 Packets Taco Seasoning (1 pack per lb) (If using homemade, use 2 tablespoons of seasoning for each lb of beef)
- Place the fresh or frozen ground beef in the instant pot with 1 cup of water.
- Set Manual pressure to high, seal and cook 30 minutes if beef is frozen. Follow the same process but set the time to 8-10 minutes if the beef is fresh. (8 mins for 2 lbs, 10 mins for 3 lbs)
- Quick release the pressure & break up the ground beef into small pieces.
- Drain off the water and grease from the Instant Pot.
- Add 1 cup of beef broth and taco seasonings to the pot.
- Set manual pressure to high, seal and cook for another 30 minutes.
- If you used 3 lbs of beef, most of the liquid should be absorbed after a quick release of pressure. If you used 2 lbs or have excessive liquid with 3 lbs turn on the saute feature. Saute for 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.
- To Freeze: allow the meat to cool. Separate the taco meat into portions that will feed your family and place into freezer bags. When ready to use, thaw the meat in the fridge. To warm, simply use the saute feature on the Instant Pot or add to a skillet on the stove. You may need to add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water or beef broth while heating.
Christina Long says
So what was the secret nutritious ingredient? I missed it! lol
Stacy Craft says
Nutritional yeast! Adds flavor and good stuff!