When you need a BIG batch of seasoned ground beef, this 3-ingredient crock pot taco meat recipe is your roadmap to an effortless Mexican meal.
Crunchy or soft, flour or corn; whether it is ground beef tacos, taco dip, taco salad, taco burgers, or walking tacos, folks LOVE the combo of meat, veggies, and tortillas. It is practically a universal truth that once you top ground beef with your favorite cheeses, sauces or sour cream, you've got yourself a winning recipe.
This love for tacos defies generational, geographic, and societal boundaries. Like, for real, name me a street food with a more enthusiastic following than tacos. I'll wait...
Why You Are Going To Love This Crock Pot Taco Meat
With THIS recipe, Versatility and Simplicity are the name of the game. This Crock Pot Taco Meat could NOT be easier to make, and once cooked, it is ready to be enjoyed right away, or it can be frozen for later!
And talk about having many uses! This taco meat should absolutely be your go-to recipe for hosting a taco bar party (or for family taco nights), but you can also use it for WAY more than just tacos!
- Make some nachos (perhaps atop some of our Air Fryer Tortilla Chips)
- Layer it in a baking dish to create a Walking Taco Casserole.
- Roll it up in a tortilla to create these delicious Air Fryer Taquitos.
- Add sauce and noodles and it transforms into Taco Spaghetti.
- Or just use it as the protein in our Beef Queso Dip.
Slow Cooker Makes It Simple
And in case you're worried about the prep work, DON'T. The slow cooker keeps things simple: No draining, browning, or standing over a stove required here. This recipe is about dump, set and forget. (psst! If that's your thing, check out our category of other great Ground Beef Crock Pot Recipes.)
As a bonus perk, this recipe sizes up and down to fit your exact needs. So fill that crock to its limit and save the leftovers, or make only what you need.
Key Ingredients And Substitutions
- Ground Beef - 2-4 pounds of 80/20 ground beef
- Taco Seasoning - your favorite packet of store brand taco seasoning will do just fine, but it you make tacos as much as we do, I'd recommend keeping a jar of our Homemade Taco Seasoning around. If you've got neither, you at least need some cumin, salt, and chili powder.
- Salsa - Our favorite is a medium salsa verde (tomatillo and green chili salsa), but pick your favorite. Any regular restaurant style or salsa roja will also work, so pick your favorite. This ingredient is meant to just add acidity, heat, and a little sweetness.
- Onion (*optional) - If your salsa doesn't have enough stuff for your liking, you can add a chopped yellow or red onion to the slow cooker as well. This will add that patented onion zing and some nice fragrance to you kitchen as it cooks.
How To Make Crock Pot Taco Meat
- Put your raw (thawed) ground beef in the crock pot and break it up with a wooden spoon.
- Season the beef with the taco seasoning, and mix well.
- Add your salsa.
- Cook for 1.5-2 hours on high, or 3-4 hours on low. (This is where you put on a movie, and tell everyone you are busy "cooking")
- Scoop beef out of slow cooker with a slotted spoon to be served, or saved for later.
Tips and FAQs:
Can You Put Raw Beef In Slow Cooker?
Yes. Break it up as much as possible with a wooden spoon to ensure even cooking.
Help! My Crock Pot Taco Meat Is All Clumped Together!
No worries! Beef likes to clump together as it cooks. It also likes to crumble once it is cooked if you just give it a stir before serving it.
Can I Add ___ To The Slow Cooker Taco Meat?
Seasonings? Sure! Just be careful NOT to add anything with too much moisture (sauce, other canned veggies or beans, etc...), or it'll end up sloppy.
What If I'm Making Soup or a Dip?
This crock pot taco meat would be the perfect starter for a one-pot soup or party dip... Just make sure to DRAIN the meat BEFORE you add anything else to the slow cooker.
We recommend scooping out the taco meat with a slotted spoon so that any melted fat or excess salsa juice can be discarded before reusing the slow cooker. This way your next dish doesn't end up overwhelmed by a bunch of oily meat water.
Can I Freeze Crock Pot Taco Meat?
Yes. Once it has cooled, seal it in an air tight freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before use.
Taco meat can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove top, then used in your favorites dishes!
Crock Pot Taco Meat
- 2-4 lbs. ground beef
- 1 ½ Tablespoons taco seasoning per pound of meat
- ½ cup salsa per pound
- Place the ground beef in the crock pot, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break it up into smaller pieces.
- Sprinkle with taco seasoning and stir well. Cover with salsa.
- Cook on high 1.5-2 hours or low 3-4 hours. It can be helpful to stir once, breaking up any big pieces that might’ve reformed together, but this isn’t 100% necessary.
- Spoon the beef out of the crock pot using a slotted spoon then use for tacos, burritos, salads, nachos, and more!
Add a chopped yellow or red onion.
Red salsa or salsa verde both work very well in this recipe, but our favorite is the green (verde) salsa. Freezing:
Cook the meat then cool completely. Place it in a freezer ziplock bag or air tight container and freeze for up to 4 months. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the fridge.
Need More Mexican-Inspired Meals?
We love Mexican cuisine so much that we created a whole category of our favorite Mexican Ground Beef Recipes! Don't miss it!