Best Instant Pot Taco Meat (Ground Beef Tacos)

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Instant pot taco meat is the easiest way to have taco night any time! This fast and flavorful recipe can easily be doubled with the same quick cook time.

A white bowl filled with instant pot taco meat and surrounded by crispy taco shells and a small dish of shredded cheese.

We love taco night around here! We eat it in all different forms, including instant pot salsa chicken tacos, crockpot beef tacos, taco stuffed shells, Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas and instant pot taco casserole. My son’s all-time favorite tacos are ground beef tacos in crunchy taco shells. 

A picture showing the cover images for all three cookbooks written by Aileen Clark.

He had been asking to have them for weeks, so I finally made some for him the other night. I had been meaning to post a tutorial on making taco meat in the instant pot for some time, so I finally got around to taking some pictures.

Taco meat disappears quickly around here but I made it happen. So do cheeseburger sliders and spicy meatloaf.

Close up of instant pot taco meat.

Why make instant pot taco meat?

I love making taco meat in my pressure cooker for a couple of reasons. It’s not necessarily faster, but it is more hands-off. As a busy mom of three kiddos 7 and under, I can use all of the extra time I can get.

You may also like: Instant Pot Roast Beef

A bowl of instant pot taco meat next to a blue and red plaid towel.

I love that I can make a big batch of taco meat, divide it up, and freeze the extra for future meals. That makes the ground beef taco request much easier. Plus we use taco meat for so many other things – like these amazing freezer burritos

I also love making taco meat in the instant pot because it tastes so good. The meat comes out extra juicy and the addition of mild diced green chilies just makes it better. I use my very favorite taco seasoning in this recipe. McCormick’s premium taco seasoning

A hand holding up a big bottle of McCormick taco seasoning in front of an Instant Pot.

I buy it in bulk at Costco and sprinkle it on all kinds of things. We also like the Trader Joe’s taco seasoning packets, but it is much more spicy. If you want to make your own, I recommend this homemade taco seasoning recipe from Good Cheap Eats. 

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How to make instant pot taco meat?

  1. Press the sauté button on your instant pot.
  2. Add olive oil, chopped onion, and ground beef. Ground beef being browned inside of instant pot.
  3. Mix until mostly browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the fat.
  5. Pour in beef broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot.
  6. Mix in taco seasoning and diced green chilies. Broth, taco seasoning, chilies, and beef inside instant pot.
  7. Pressure cook for 8 minutes.
  8. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
  9. Release the remaining pressure, remove the lid, and serve. 
  10. There will still be some liquid visible in the pot. It will continue to absorb into the taco beef as it cools. Instant pot taco meat with some liquid sitting on top.

How do you reheat taco meat in the instant pot?

If you want to reheat the taco meat on another day, simply add it into your pot and press the sauté button. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water or broth and stir until heated through. 

How do you brown ground beef in an instant pot?

Browning ground beef in the instant pot is really is! It is one of the reasons why I love my instant pot. The handy sauté function makes it a breeze to brown ground beef before pressure cooking and it only dirties one pot!

  1. To brown ground beef in your instant pot, remove the lid and press the sauté button.
  2. If also browning and onion, add a little bit of oil. Add your grown beef to the instant pot and break it apart with a wooden spoon as it browns.
  3. It takes approximately 5-7 minutes to brown ground beef in the instant pot.
  4. Once finished, just drain the fat from the pot and use the ground beef as directed in your recipe.

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A white bowl filled with instant pot taco meat and topped with fresh cilantro.

Can I cook frozen ground beef in my Instant pot?

Yes, if you want to use frozen ground beef, you can quickly defrost it before making instant pot taco meat. It does take a little more time if you plan on using frozen meat, but it is still doable on a busy weeknight because it is mainly hands-off.

Place 1 cup water in the instant pot. Place the frozen ground beef on a trivet inside the instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes. And then follow the recipe as described. 

A bowl of instant pot taco beef on top of a striped towel.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, you can double this recipe. The cook time stays the same. Just make sure you don’t go past the max fill line inside of your instant pot.

Can I freeze instant pot taco meat?

Yes. Taco meat freezes very well. It’s important to let your taco beef fully cool before freezing. Freeze it an air-tight container with label and date. Freeze up to 3 months.

What to serve with instant pot taco meat?

As mentioned above, we love serving them in a simple crispy taco shell with cheese, sour cream, tomato, and lettuce. I love a simple side of refried beans and Spanish rice with these tacos. A lot of times, we just eat the tacos on their own without any other sides.

A white bowl filled with instant pot taco meat and surrounded by crispy taco shells and a small dish of shredded cheese.

Instant Pot Taco Meat Recipe

Aileen Clark
Instant pot taco meat is the easiest way to have taco night any time! This fast and flavorful recipe can easily be doubled with the same quick cook time.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Course Main Dish Recipes
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 447 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup 2 packets taco seasoning
  • 1 4-ounce can mild diced green chilies


  • Press sauté on instant pot.
  • Add in oil, onion and beef.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is mostly browned (a little pink is okay), about 5 minutes.
  • Turn instant pot off.
  • Drain any fat from pot.
  • Pour in beef broth and deglaze bottom of instant pot.
  • Mix in taco seasoning and green chilies.
  • Close lid and set pressure release valve to sealing.
  • Press manual or pressure cook button and set to 8 minutes.
  • Natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  • Quick release remaining pressure.


Serving: 1gCalories: 447kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 42gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 135mgSodium: 468mgSugar: 1g
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4.67 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. I hate that it doesnt say high medium or low pressure….I have a power quick pot but i make instant pot recipes all the time…..

    1. Hi Anthony. Thank you so much for that feedback! All of the recipes on my site (unless specified) are cooked on high pressure. I will make sure to add it to this recipe and will work on getting it updated on my other posts as well (although, I am only one person, so it will take me some time).