20 Minute Taco Meat

20 minute taco meat
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This 20 minute taco meat will come in handy

Taco Tuesday will be a breeze with this 20 minute taco meat recipe. I use my instant pot for this, but any pressure cooker does the same thing. I don’t use my instant pot often, but when I do, it’s always the pressure and sauté setting. Those two are great time savers, and they are key in this quick recipe. If you’ve forgotten to defrost your meat, you don’t have to worry! Just add 2-3 minutes to the pressure timer and you’re still done about 20 minutes.

What you need for this quick taco meat

I love this recipe because it’s a testament to how you don’t need a lot of ingredients to get good flavor. I use taco sauce and taco seasoning which make the cooking process even easier. You just add everything to the instant pot, turn it on for ten minutes, then let it do it’s thing. Then just sauté until the excess liquid dries up and serve. I like chopping some tomatoes and finely shredding lettuce to top my tacos with. The time during which the instant pot is working is more than enough to get the taco shells and add ons ready. I love crunchy corn taco shells, but my husband insists on flour tortillas. Are you team crunch or team soft?

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Do you enjoy tex-mex flavors?

Here a few more delicious Tex-Mex recipes for you to try:

Veggie Enchiladas

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas

Tex-Mex Egg Rolls

This 20 minute taco meat is versatile

I use this for so many different things. You can use this on pizzas, in pastas, or layer it over nachos. Make a burrito bowl with some rice, avocado, lettuce, tomatoes and this taco meat. The possibilities are endless. Something my mom always did while I was growing up, and still does now, is she makes a double batch of this and freezes it in small portions. Then when you’re cooking, just defrost it and use as needed. SO not only is this a quick 20 minute taco meat, but it’s great for meal prep.

20 minute taco meat

20 Minute Taco Meat

This 20 minute taco meat is the best quick weeknight dinner and will make your taco tuesdays a breeze. This is great for meal prep and a very versatile recipe.
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Tex-Mex


  • Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot


  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground chicken
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic crushed
  • 1/2 cup taco sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup water


  • Add all the ingredients listed above to your instant pot or pressure cooker and mix to combine. If your ground beef is still frozen just mix the rest of the ingredients around it.
  • Set the pressure setting to 10 minutes (13 minutes if using frozen ground beef) and make sure the vent is set to seal. Once the 10 minutes are up you can do self release or carefully release the steam.
  • Give everything a good mix and turn the sauté setting on for 10 minutes. Mix occasionally until most of the liquid has dried up, you may not need the full 10 minutes. Then just taste for seasoning, and serve with your favorite taco fix ins. I love serving this with taco sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and sour cream.


Variations. I love keeping this simple, but you can add a can of black beans or kidney beans to make this more hearty. It’ll cook with the meat and turn into a refried bean consistency.  
You can also add a chopped jalapeño or canned chillies for spice.
Substitutions. Just like ground beef, ground chicken or ground lamb works great with this recipe. 
If you can’t find taco sauce, smooth salsa works great. 
You can find many homemade taco seasoning recipes online if you can’t find a ready made one, although I recommend getting one, it’s very useful! 
Keyword Instant Pot Recipes, Taco Meat

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