Make Instant Pot Taco Meat from frozen ground meat thanks to your pressure cooker! Then you can use the taco meat in so many different recipes for the week!
I've always been big on finding ways to make food last longer and ways to stretch our dollar when grocery shopping. But now, like most of you, we're stuck at home for who knows how long.
Even though we've been living without a kitchen for almost three months while our kitchen is being remodeled, we still try to order take-out or delivery only once or twice a week. And now that we are housebound, I aim to only have groceries delivered once a week. That means we need to be extra smart with what we buy, and meticulous about how we use each and every ingredient.
Since our world turned upside down thanks to the virus, I've been trying to share helpful tips to help all of you shop smarter and make food last longer. You can read about my Costco Meal Plan and Grocery List as well as my tips for a Well Stocked Pantry. I also include helpful shelf-life guidelines to maximize your pantry goods.
One of my favorite ways to get creative in the kitchen is with taco meat. It's easy to cook once, and then use in SO many different recipes!
And, thanks to the Instant Pot pressure cooker, you don't even have to have planned ahead and thawed the meat before cooking!
Which meat should I use for taco meat?
We almost always use ground turkey. However, you can use ground beef, ground pork, or even ground chicken.
How to cook frozen ground meat in the Instant Pot
All you need to make taco meat from frozen ground meat is:
- an Instant Pot. This is the Instant Pot I have and love. You can use a 6-quart using the same recipe. Do NOT attempt to make this in a smaller 3-quart pressure cooker.
- 1 pound ground turkey, ground beef, ground pork, or ground chicken
- 1 cup water, divided
- ½ cup taco seasoning. I like to have this pre-made taco seasoning on-hand. But you can make your own, too.
Place the trivet that came with your Instant Pot inside the inner pot. Pour ½ cup of water into the pot; reserve the rest of the water for later.
Then place the frozen meat on top of the trivet.
Close and seal the lid. Set your Instant Pot to Pressure Cook on High for 25 minutes. It will take anywhere from 9 to 15 minutes for your Instant Pot to come to pressure before it starts counting down.
When the cook cycle is done, allow 10 minutes for natural release, then do a quick release. Once all of the pressure has been safely released and the valve pin has gone down, carefully open the lid.
Carefully open the lid. Remove the trivet. Press SAUTE and add the remaining water and the taco seasoning. Stir until combined, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon and evenly coating the meat with the seasoning.
Use immediately in one of the recipes below. Or, use some of it now, and freeze some for later.
To freeze, allow the meat to cool slightly, then place in an airtight freezer-friendly container. You can freeze ground turkey for up to 3-4 months. Thaw before reheating.
Tips for cooking frozen ground meat in the Instant Pot
Some things to keep in mind when cooking frozen ground meat in the Instant Pot:
- It takes longer for the Instant Pot to come to pressure compared to thawed meat, because you are working with frozen meat, which requires more heating time.
- Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat to make sure it's done. Ground beef and ground turkey should be at 165°F when done.
- This recipe is for one pound of ground meat. If you have two pounds of ground meat, you can try simply doubling the water and the seasoning, and cooking at high pressure for 28 minutes.
Recipes using Instant Pot taco meat
Aside from the obvious - tacos - here are some of my favorite recipes using taco meat.
- breakfast wraps and breakfast sandwiches
- taco pizza
- taco salad
And here are more recipes in which you could use taco meat:
- Tri-Pepper Turkey Pasta
- Mexican Lasagna
- Taco Mac and Cheese: a competition-worthy recipe
- Taco Tuesday Leftovers: Easy Taco Pasta!
Instant Pot Taco Meat from Frozen Ground Meat
- 1 pound ground turkey meat or ground beef
- 1 cup water, divided
- ¼ cup taco seasoning
- Pour ½ cup of water into the instant pot liner. Add trivet and place frozen meat on top of trivet.
- Close and seal lid. Pressure Cook (or Manual) on HIGH for 25 minutes. Allow for Natural Release for 10 minutes, then do a Quick Release for the remaining time. Once the pressure is completely released and the valve pin is down, press CANCEL.
- Carefully open the lid. Remove the trivet. Press SAUTE and add the remaining water and the taco seasoning. Stir until combined, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon.