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Slow Cooker Taco Meat

Slow Cooker Taco Meat makes it easy to get a homecooked meal on the table any night of the week. It takes just 5 minutes of effort to have the best spiced beef for burrito bowls, salads and more.

If you love spicy Mexican flavors, you’ll love our Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe! It’s delicious made in the slow cooker or on the stove top. Or use today’s meat in our delicious taco salad recipe!

Taco meat made in the crockpot and served in a white bowl.

Why this Recipe Works

  • Set it and forget it. This recipe requires little more than tossing beef in a crockpot with seasoning and water, then letting it cook hands-off.
  • Perfectly seasoned taco meat. No spice packets or sugary sauces needed!
  • Endlessly versatile. Save this slow cooker taco meat to use in any recipe that calls for seasoned ground beef, from stuffed peppers to nachos.
  • Freezer friendly. Make it ahead of time, then stash it in the freezer for later. You’ll always have a last-minute meal option on hand!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make taco meat in the slow cooker.

Ground beef – You can use any leanness of ground beef here. For a lighter option, ground turkey would be delicious too.

Spices – We use chili powder, dried onion, garlic powder, cumin, and paprika. Or swap the individual spices out for our Homemade Taco Seasoning!

Serving Suggestions

Taco meat in a white crockpot.

There’s almost no end to the ways you can enjoy this slow cooker taco meat.

Serve the beef in bowls over Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice and add all your favorite taco fixings on top. Shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, salsa and sour cream turn this meat into a complete meal.

It’s also amazing on nachos with this Vegan Cashew Queso, or simply tossed with lettuce and shredded cheese for a taco salad.

Swap it out for the pan cooked meat in these Avocado Tacos and you won’t even miss the tortillas!

Step by step photos showing how to make taco meat in a slow cooker.

Recipe FAQs

Is this taco meat spicy?

This taco meat is flavorful but doesn’t have a ton of heat. For more of a kick, add a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or some fresh jalapenos!

Can you freeze this taco meat?

Yes, this taco meat is extremely freezer friendly. If you won’t be eating it right away, transfer the meat to a freezer bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months.

What beef fat content is best for slow cooking?

While I prefer beef with a higher fat content for recipes like Meatloaf and burgers, lower fat content beef can be used in slow cooking with good results. Since you’re cooking it with water over a long period of time, 85% lean beef stays perfectly juicy. That said, you can use any ground beef in this slow cooker recipe for tasty taco meat.

More Tex Mex Recipes

Yield: 3 pounds

Slow Cooker Taco Meat

Slow Cooker Taco Meat makes it easy to get a homecooked meal on the table any night of the week. It takes just 5 minutes of effort to have the best spiced beef for burrito bowls, salads and more.

Slow Cooker Taco Meat makes it easy to get a homecooked meal on the table any night of the week. It takes just 5 minutes of effort to have the best spiced beef for burrito bowls, salads and more.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Chopped Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the ground beef in a 6 qt slow cooker and break it up with a wooden spoon or similar utensil.
  2. Place all the seasonings in the crock pot and stir well. Add water.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours (or cook on low for 6 hours). When cook time ends, break up the meat with wooden spoon.
  4. Use immediately or freeze for later.




Notes

  • Substitute seasonings for our homemade taco seasoning blend instead!   
  • Want a spicy twist? Add 1 teaspoons crushed red peppers, or add some fresh jalapenos in the mix.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1/4 pound

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 213mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 31g

This Slow Cooker Taco Meat makes a flavorful starter for countless easy dinners! Best of all, you only need a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of hands-on prep time.

Large skillet with beef taco casserole.
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