Slow Cooker Taco Meat makes making taco meat sp easy. Just dump the ingredients into the crockpot and let the slow cooker do all the work. This crock pot Taco meat recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners and when you are having a get-together. It is the perfect way to cook a large batch of taco meat for a taco bar too!
Slow Cooker Taco Meat Recipe
My whole family loves tacos. Tacos are a staple meal in our house and just about every week there is a taco something meal for dinner. While I know cooking taco meat on the stove is not a difficult thing, sometimes it just makes life easier to use the crock pot and make taco meat.
This easy crock-pot taco meat recipe is full of flavor, and you only need 4 ingredients to make it. It is also super simple to make, dump all the ingredients in the slow cooker and then let them cook until dinner time. Then everyone can enjoy tacos for dinner and you didn’t have to spend a ton of time in the kitchen.
I like making slow cooker taco meat on days when I know we are going to be busy. I put everything in the slow cooker and let it cook while I get other things done and then by dinner time it is ready for us to enjoy.
If you are having a large family get together or a party and want something simple but tasty a taco bar is perfect! Plus you can double or triple this recipe easily and cook it in the crockpot. Then during the party keep the taco meat warm by keeping the crockpot on the warm setting, for everyone to enjoy!
Easy Taco Recipes
- 7 Layer Taco Dip
- Chicken Taco Casserole
- Slow Cooker Taco Soup
- Chicken Taco Lettuce Wrap
- Layered Taco Dip
- Slow cooker chicken tacos
- Taco Soup
What is Taco Meat?
Taco meat is a seasoned and cooked filling commonly used in tacos. The meat is typically ground and can be made with different meats including beef, chicken, pork, and turkey. Common taco seasonings include chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, and salt. The combination of these seasonings imparts a rich, savory, and mildly spicy flavor to the meat, creating a versatile base for tacos.
What to Make with Slow Cooker Ground Beef Taco Meat
Ground beef taco meat is incredibly versatile, and there are numerous delicious meals you can create using it. Here are some meal ideas to inspire your meal planning:
Classic Ground beef Tacos. Load up soft taco shells or hard taco shells, you can use flour tortilla or corn tortillas with the slow cooker ground beef taco meat. Then top them with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. You can also get creative with your tacos and make Taco Lettuce Wraps and taco cups.
Burritos. Create a flavorful burrito by adding the taco meat to a burrito sized tortilla. Add in your favorite buritto toppings including corn, salsa, rice, guacamole, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
Burrito Bowls. Create a flavorful burrito bowl by serving the taco meat over a bed of rice or quinoa. Top it with black beans, corn, salsa, guacamole, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.
Taco Salad. Transform your taco meat into a hearty taco salad. Layer the seasoned meat over a bed of mixed greens and add toppings like diced avocados, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and shredded cheese. Finish it off with a drizzle of your favorite dressing. We love this Easy Taco Salad.
Quesadillas. Make cheesy quesadillas by sandwiching the taco meat between tortillas with shredded cheese. Pan-fry until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy. Slice into wedges and serve with salsa and sour cream for dipping.
Nachos. Arrange a layer of tortilla chips on a baking sheet and top with the slow cooker ground beef taco meat, shredded cheese, black beans, jalapeños, and diced onions. Bake in the oven at 350 until the cheese is melted, then add fresh toppings like guacamole and salsa.
Variations of this Recipe
Change up the meat. If you are not a fan of ground beef you can also use ground turkey, ground chicken and ground venison to make this taco meat.
Skip the beans. If you are not a fan of beans, you can leave them out. You can use just one type of beans if you prefer.
Add some Spice. Adjust the heat level by adding chili powder, cayenne pepper, or your favorite hot sauce for an extra kick.
Taco Dinner Side Dish Ideas
Sometimes when we have taco night we just do tacos because they are a meal by themselves with meat and veggies. Other times we like to add some side dishes. Here are some delicious side dishes ideas for Tacos:
Mexican Style Rice. A classic side dish, Mexican rice is often seasoned with tomatoes, onions, and spices. It adds a flavorful and filling element to your taco meal.
Refried Beans. Creamy and savory refried beans are a traditional side dish that complements the flavors of tacos. Serve them on the side or use them as a taco filling.
Chips and Guacamole. Creamy avocado goodness, guacamole adds a fresh taste to the tacos as a topping but it is also perfect for having a side dish to dip tortilla chips in.
Salsa and Pico de Gallo with chips. Salsa is great as a topping for but it is also perfect for having a side dish to dip tortilla chips in.
Slow Cookier queso. Melted cheese goodness is always a hit. Serve a warm queso dip for dipping tortilla chips or drizzling over tacos.
What are the Best Taco Toppings?
The best toppings for tacos can vary based on personal preferences. If you are planning to make a taco bar, set out an assortment of toppings, and let everyone customize their tacos to suit their taste buds. but here are some classic and popular choices to consider:
Shredded Lettuce. Adds a refreshing crunch and a cool contrast to the warm and savory taco filling.
Diced Tomatoes. Brings a juicy and slightly acidic element that complements the richness of the meat.
Shredded Cheese. Whether it’s cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican blend, melted cheese adds a creamy and savory layer to your tacos.
Homemade Guacamole. Creamy avocado goodness with a hint of lime and garlic. It adds a delightful richness and freshness.
Sour Cream. Offers a cool and tangy element that balances the heat and spices in the taco meat.
Salsa. Whether it’s pico de gallo, salsa verde, or a classic tomato salsa, these provide a burst of flavor and a touch of heat.
Chopped Cilantro. Fresh cilantro adds a bright, citrusy flavor that enhances the overall freshness of your tacos.
Jalapeños. Whether sliced fresh or pickled, jalapeños provide a spicy kick that can be adjusted based on your spice tolerance.
Sliced Avocado. Creamy slices of avocado can add a buttery texture and mild flavor to your tacos.
How to Store Leftover Ground Beef Taco Meat
Allow the ground beef taco meat to cool completely, then place in an airtight container. Place the air tight container in the fridge.
How to Freeze Cooked Taco Meat
Allow the taco meat to cool and then portion it how you want it. You can do individual portions or larger portions. I like to make a double or triple batch and then put a meals worth into freezer bags for nights when I need a last minute meal.
If you have made a larger quantity or want to store the taco meat for an extended period, freezing it is a great option. Portion the meat into smaller containers or zip-top bags, leaving some space for expansion, label the containers, and then place in the freezer. Frozen taco meat can be stored for 2-3 months.
When ready to use frozen taco meat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Avoid thawing at room temperature, as it can lead to uneven thawing and potential food safety issues.
Slow Cooker Taco Meat Recipe Ingredients
- Raw Ground beef. You can use any ground beef that you want to, I use whatever I have on hand, if you prefer lean ground beef that will work with this recipe also.
- Canned Black beans. I use canned because it is easy, if you like using dry beans you can. If you are going to use dry beans you will want to make sure that you rehydrate them the day before you plan on making the taco meat.
- Canned red kidney beans. I use canned because it is easy, if you are going to use dry beans you will want to make sure that you rehydrate them the day before you plan on making the taco meat.
- Taco seasoning. I prefer to use homemade taco seasoning
How to Make Slow Cooker Taco Meat
Prep the crockpot by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray or lining it with a disposable crockpot liner.
In a colander pour the cans of black beans and kidney beans and rinse with cold water.
Add the raw ground beef to the slow cooker and use a wooden spoon to break apart the meat into chunks as best as you can.
Add the beans to the crockpot, and then add the taco seasoning to the crockpot. Use a spoon to mix everything together.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2-4 hours.
Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up any chunks of ground beef after it is done cooking and give it a stir to combine everything.
Then serve as with your favorite taco toppings or use in another recipe as desired.
Slow Cooker Recipes
- Crockpot Parmesan Chicken
- Crockpot cheeseburger soup
- Slow cooker honey garlic chicken
- Crockpot Sausage and Peppers
- Slow cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage
- Crockpot Barbacoa Recipe
Can you put raw ground beef in a Slow Cooker?
Yes. You can put raw ground beef in the crockpot and that is one of my top reasons I love cooking taco meat in a crock pot! There is no browning of ground beef needed for this easy ground beef crockpot taco meat recipe!
Can I cook the meat before adding it to the slow cooker?
If you want to cook the meat in a skillet on the stove before adding it to the slow cooker you can. I just dump the meat into the slow cooker, some people like to cook it a little bit before adding it to the slow cooker.
Why is there such a large time frame for the cook time?
Depending on the slow cooker will depend on how long it takes to cook. If you are making this for the first time check it for being done at the start of the cook time and continue to cook until it is cooked all the way through.
Do I have to use homemade taco seasoning?
No, You can use the store bought packets of taco seasoning to make this recipe but I prefer to use homemade.
Slow Cooker Ground Beef Taco Meat Recipe (Crockpot Taco Meat)
- Prep the crockpot by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray or lining it with a disposable crockpot liner.
- In a colander pour the cans of black beans and kidney beans and rinse with cold water.
- Add the raw ground beef to the slow cooker and use a wooden spoon to break apart the meat into chunks as best as you can.
- Add the beans to the crockpot, and then add the taco seasoning to the crockpot. Use a spoon to mix everything together.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2-4 hours.
- Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up any chunks of ground beef after it is done cooking and give it a stir to combine everything.
- Then serve as with your favorite taco toppings or use in another recipe as desired.