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If your family loves Taco Tuesday, here is a quick and easy way to make Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker. This is perfect to start a Taco Bar!
The Easiest Crockpot Taco Meat – Made Right in Your Slow Cooker
This recipe just might change the way you look at ground beef, my friends. And, really, give you a whole new reason to love your slow cooker.
For years I've been convinced that there was no way on earth how to cook ground beef in the crockpot (unless I pre-cooked it ahead of time for something like chili), however, I've thankfully been proved wrong.
With the way our schedules have looked lately, I've had a hard time getting much besides cereal on the table if Mrs. Potts doesn't do the cooking, so I was determined to give it a shot.
Guess what? It worked.
We used the new Old El Paso Stand & Stuff Tacos that I found a few weeks ago on sale ~ my family loved them!
The night I made this, everyone walked in for dinner around 6:15. I simply rolled out the fixins' for our home-cooked taco bar, and everyone (this momma especially) was pretty well pleased.
I also made a little “secret sauce” for my husband and I to add to ours ~ just equal parts low fat ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. To really fluff things up I even put out some stockpiled French's Fried Onions for my husband to add to his, and he declared it one of the best meals we've had in awhile. Whew. ‘Cause y'all know I worry that he likes his dinner. 😉
And to make things even better (does it get much better than a happy family at dinner time?), everything I used were items I'd gotten on sale for some crazy good deals.
I'm pretty sure I spent less than $4 to feed our family of five ~ happy happy happy. This taco meat system would also work really well for Walking Tacos!
Here's how to make Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker:
Start by placing your ground beef, salt, water, garlic powder and onion into the crockpot. Then, cook on high for about 2 hours – stirring occasionally.
Once the meat is mostly cooked, stir again, then turn the slow cooker down to low. Cook for another 1 – 2 hours.
Add in your taco seasoning pack (or try this homemade taco seasoning), give it a good stir, and cook for another 20 minutes.
To finish off your taco meat, drain any liquids and then serve!
Taco Meat In The Slow Cooker
- Taco Seasoning packet or make it from scratch if you'd prefer ~ I was just in a hurry
- 2 lbs. ground beef get more if you'd like to make extra to freeze
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Place ground beef, water, onion, salt, and garlic powder in slow cooker.
- Cook on high for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally (I stirred it twice throughout the day)
- When meat is almost cooked through, stir again and turn your slow cooker down to low.
- Cook an additional 1-2 hours.
- Add in taco seasoning packet and give it a stir, then cook 20 more minutes.
- Drain completely (will be a little liquidy from the water and some of the fat in the beef).
- Serve over tacos, and freeze any leftovers so that you don't have to start from scratch the next time around!
If you don't have any taco seasoning packs, try this homemade taco seasoning!
Note: I don't think this is the kind of slow cooker meal that I'd start and then leave on all day if you're not going to be home – I think you need to be there to give it a quick stir every so often.
If you're looking for a delicious beef recipe with just about no work involved, check out this delicious italian beef recipe.
Click HERE to see video if it's not working for you.
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I tried this today. I bought about 6 pounds of ground beef at Costco today. Some I made into 1/2 pound patties and froze. Then I took about 2 pounds and browned it in my slow cooker. So easy. I also made meatballs and par cooked them in that same slow cooker. All is frozen now and I will just be able to grab and defrost for chili or sloppy joes or spaghetti or whatever later on. Thanks for the tip. I do not love to cook so anything I can do to make it easier, is great by me.
So glad it worked for you Linda – thanks so much for sharing (and love that you have so much done – yay!)
I am trying this recipe. I accidentally put taco seasoning in at the beginning. I hope this doesn’t hurt anything!#
I think it’ll be fine Jennifer!
If you do this without adding the taco seasoning, you will have meat ready for quick meals like spaghetti. I freeze it in 1 lb portions and simply add whatever seasonings are needed for a particular recipe.
Billy Martin says
How many people will 2 lbs of meat feed?
I would guess 6-7 Billy? Hope that helps!
Making this tonight – do you use 1 packet of taco seasoning to 2 lbs of meat? The packet says one pound of meat, just want to make sure the seasoning is right. Thanks
One packet is what I used, but if you want to add a little extra you definitely could (would give it extra kick.) Either way it’s a pretty safe recipe that you can’t mess up! 🙂
Texan here. I’d stick to one packet for each pound of meat.
After stirring the seasoning, I added refried beans ans salsa. Amazing!!!
Great tip Cassie – thanks for sharing!
Jill Laufer says
Does the meat come out very finely crumbled? I once had taco meat that was like that (like what you would get at a taco joint). It came out of a crockpot but I wasn’t sure how the person got the meat so finely ground up.
It’s been a few months since I’ve made it Jill and I don’t remember it being very crumbled up – just similar to our regular taco meat that we do at home? (I know what you mean about it being finely crumbled like you might get at Taco Bell – I don’t think it was that crushed though…. )
Sindy Sloan Fagen says
Yum. I made this today and it was fantastic. My husband said they were the best tacos he'd ever eaten. 🙂
YAY! So glad you all liked it Sindy. 🙂
JoAnna Salley says
I made this last night, actually I got it started and left my 16 yr old (autistic) and 12 year old sons to finish as I had much to do. It turned out great–thanks for sharing!!!
Tracy Dejesus says
James Gardipee says
should i scale the time with the amount of meat that i cook?
How do you keep it from being too greasy?? I hate grease. Even I I use pretty lean hamburger.
I have done this many times. Only I mix the burger, water and taco seasoning together then put it all in the crockpot (or roaster).The meat always comes out with great flavor and very tender. I have cooked 15-20 lbs of taco meat at a time this way and I always get compliments.
Thanks so much for sharing Nancy – that’s a great idea to cook so much ahead of time!
I’ve done that for church events too. I set out both tortillas and a big bowl of salad so they can serve themselves a taco salad if they wish. If it’s a ladies event I go with less tortilla and more salad. Ha.
Pam @ Hodge Podge Moments says
Just tried this and it turned out great! Can’t wait to make a bigger batch next time. 🙂
So glad it worked for you Pam! 🙂
Laura Pell Schuppener says
Sweet! I didn't know you could throw in raw meat!!! That saves time!
So excited to try this! Thank you! I assume the meat should be thawed first?
Yes – the meat was thawed Denise. Hope that helps (I was thrilled that it worked!) 🙂
Holly Hargrave Green says
Sinead, for Mexican chicken in crock pot use boneless chicken breast, a jar of salsa, and a package of taco seasoning. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours and it shreds up just like Moes.
Just added it to my slow cooker ~ thank you Holly (can’t wait to try ~ that was so simple!)
Holly, how many chicken breasts do you use per jar of salsa, et. al.???? Thanks so much!
Jennifer F says
I just did that last night, but used canned diced tomatoes because I was out of Salsa, the kids loved it!
So glad to hear that Jennifer!
I also add a can of pinto or black beans also.
Sinead Waters Turner says
Fabulous! Thanks! Now if you could just give me a recipe to make chicken tacos like this (and like Moe's), I'd be a super happy camper! 😉
You know what – I was just looking for a recipe to try tonight … possibly even a copykat recipe to have to post next week. I’ll see what I can find Sinead!