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Instant Pot Ground Beef Taco Meat {Fresh or Frozen Ground Beef}

Use ground beef in your Instant Pot for easy weeknight Instant Pot Ground Beef Taco Meat! This easy hands off method is only 3 minutes under pressure, and has you that much closer to tacos in hand! 

Taco beef tacos with beef in bowl flatlay

Ground beef taco meat is a great staple to have on hand to have in hard shell tacos, tortillas, on sweet potato nachos, or even in a salad. Base recipes,  like this one,  that can be made once and used for repurposed meals are the best!

Fresh or Frozen Ground Beef works! 

Forgot to take your beef out for dinner? No problem.

All you will have to do is adjust the cook time up to 8 minutes (from 3 minutes). This is because you now are pressure cooking a solid block, and it is just that – frozen. 

The pot will also take longer to come to pressure when using frozen ground beef. You also do not need to adjust liquid volume if cooking the beef right from frozen.

For more about how to cook from frozen in your Instant Pot – see this post with printable cheat sheet.

ground beef tacos on a plate being held

Regular vs Lean Ground Beef

I prefer to use lean ground beef in all Instant Pot beef recipes because you don’t have the same opportunities to drain the excess fat. 

You do not need to adjust the liquid volume – you keep the recipe the same regardless of which type of ground beef you use. 

Instant Pot Taco beef in bowl flatlay

But wait, don’t you need 1 cup of liquid?

The general rule for Instant Pot cooking is that you need at least 1 cup of liquid so that the pot can get to pressure. 

With this recipe, since you don’t sauté prior to the pressure cycle, the beef will release enough liquid so you do not need to add the standard one cup of liquid.

ground beef taco close up in hand

No you don’t sauté before the pressure cycle – here is how you do it! 

  • If using fresh ground beef, break it up a bit so that it cooks somewhat evenly. When you release the pressure, your beef may not be fully cooked – THAT IS OKAY – because after the pressure cycle you break up the beef and sauté off the excess liquid.


  • When you first open the lid after the pressure cycle, you may look in horror! The beef will be in a large clump post cooking, and you will want to use a potato masher to break it all up again and sauté it. 


  • If you feel there is too much fat after the pressure cycle, feel free to drain some, or all of it. This is why I always suggest using lean ground beef for this recipe. 

how to make instant pot taco beef


Are you a beef lover too? Check out these other ground beef ideas on the blog!

When you make this in your kitchen, I would love to see how you use this taco beef! Tag me @mealplanaddict on Instagram, or post your creation in the Meal Plan Addict Community and inspires somebody else’s dinner this week! 

ground beef taco close up in hand

Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos

Print Recipe
Use ground beef in your Instant Pot for easy weeknight Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos! This easy hands off method is only 5 minutes under pressure, and has you that much closer to tacos in hand! 
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot Beef, instant pot recipe, Taco Beef
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Servings 6 cups cooked
Calories 310
Author Steph


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon ( I use better than bouillon)


  • Break up the ground beef and place in the instant pot - try to avoid placing one large chunk inside (unless you are cooking from frozen, of course).
  • In a small bowl, add all of the dry spices.
  • Shake the seasoning mix over the beef.
  • Add the bouillon and water to the liner.
  • Secure the lid and set to sealing.
  • Set the pot to 3 minutes, high pressure. 10 minutes if cooking from frozen.
  • Quick release the pressure when the pressure cycle is complete.
  • Now, don't panic, The beef may not be fully cooked at this point and look like it is in one big ball. Have no fear.
  • Press cancel and then set the pot on saute mode. Use a potato masher to break up the beef and fully cook it (if needed). You can also strain it at this point if you don't want excess liquid - if needed. I find the amount of fat is highly dependent on which brand of beef I am using.
  • Load up your tacos with your taco beef and toppings of choice.
  • Left overs can stay in the fridge for 3 days, or you can freeze them. This reheats well.


Nutrition info is an estimate only and will vary depend on the type of ground beef you use (extra lean, lean, or regular).
This info is only for the taco beef - nutrition info will change based on what kind of taco and fillings you choose. 


Serving: 1cup cooked | Calories: 310kcal | Protein: 31g | Fat: 18g

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