This Instant Pot Taco Meat is the perfect filling for taco salad jars – you can make it with ground beef, chicken or turkey and it all comes together with mostly simple ingredients from your pantry too!
Taco meat is a great meal prep staple that you can make in your Instant Pot – it comes together super quickly while you assemble the rest of your ingredients for your taco salad jars, and let’s just say the results are delicious! Say goodbye to a whole bunch of mess of your stovetop and clean up limited to just a pan and a cutting board because this Instant Pot taco meat is beyond easy.
I love salad jars because they are amazing for layering in your fave ingredients and clearing out your vegetable crisper, and they also save room in your fridge so you can stockpile all your work week lunches without being able to fit anything else in there.
Mason jars make a perfect meal prep tool because they are awesome for keeping ingredients separated and staying fresh all week long! Whenever I have a fresh salad or something where I want my greens to stay crisp, you better believe I’m using a mason jar!
And you’re guaranteed to have a couple kicking around just in case you haven’t been able to get some square glass meal prep bowls yet.
And for those of you new to the Instant Pot, I know that a 3 minute cook time on ground turkey seems too good to be true, and technically it is! 😉 The pot actually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to preheat before it pressure cooks for the 2 minutes.
You’ll press the high pressure button, then wait for the pot to heat with your turkey and spices inside. As it comes to pressure, you may see tiny bits of steam escape through the pressure valve before everything seals off and then it starts to pressure cook. You’re still saving a TON of time though and while the Instant Pot taco meat is cooking, you’re left hands free to assemble your veggies and salad jars.
I used ground turkey for these Instant Pot Taco Salad Jars to keep this taco salad on the lighter side but you could technically use any ground meat. Ground beef would be super flavourful and as long as you use extra lean ground beef you don’t need to worry about sauteeing and draining either.
I actually don’t understand why most people brown their meat/poultry in the Instant Pot ahead of time because I don’t really ever see a difference in taste, and the main reason I love my Instant Pot in general is because it is a dump and press start type of appliance.
Dump everything in, push go, sit down and rest…that’s it!!!
You may need to drain the Instant Pot taco meat once you’re done because you will need to use a little bit of chicken broth in order to bring the pot to pressure and keep it moist, but other than that you’re good to go!
If you don’t want too much excess liquid and still keep the moisture and flavour you can also add a more liquid brand of salsa and cook the Instant Pot Taco Meat alongside the onion, garlic and spices all at once – that is a technique I have tried before and really love but for the sake of these jars I wanted to have the salsa sitting in the bottom of the mason jars to substitute for a dressing, not get cooked through with the meat.
But, it’s up to you and your preference of course!
And feel free to also switch up the veggies or omit the black beans – honestly, you’re already getting enough protein here as you need so if you want to eliminate carbs get rid of the beans and corn and just pack more veggies in.
Or, if you’re not worried about the carbs, you can also pack some tortilla chips (and maybe even some guac *GASP*) in your lunch bag along with your Instant Pot Taco Salad Jars.
Now that’s an amazing lunch idea!
Will you be making this Instant Pot Taco Meat?
Will you be trying it with ground poultry or meat? Either way, these salad jars are incredible and you’ll love them as your weekly meal prep!
If you try any of my recipes be sure to let me know on Facebook or in the comments – I’d love to see what you come up with!
The Instant Pot DUO Plus 60 is the version I use in this recipe.
These are the mason jars I use!
And of course I get all my free-range ground poultry from Butcher Box!
Instant Pot Taco Meat (Taco Salad Jars!)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 jar salsa
- 1 cup corn
- 1 can black beans
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 cup tortilla chips
- Add olive oil, onions, garlic, salt, ground meat, taco seasoning and water to Instant Pot and mix around breaking up meat. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 min to preheat then the 3 min to pressure cook.
- Do a quick release of the pressure and open the lid when safe to do so. Drain any excess liquid that remains the meat.
- In 4 1L sized mason jars, layer in salsa, taco meat, corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes and lettuce in that order, topping with chips if desired or packing chips in a separate plastic bag so they remain fresh. Jars will keep in fridge up to 5 days.