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!
How to make taco meat in an Instant Pot
- Add olive oil, garlic, salt, ground meat, taco seasoning and water to Instant Pot.
- Pressure cook for 3 minutes.
- Safely release pressure and drain any excess liquid that remains in the meat.
- If making taco salad jars: drain can of black beans, slice cherry tomatoes and shred lettuce.
- Layer in salsa, taco meat, corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce in mason jars. Enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – any neutral oil like canola oil or avocado oil can be used instead.
- Ground beef or turkey – ground chicken can also be used.
- Taco seasoning – use store bought taco seasoning or make your own with a blend of chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, paprika and oregano.
- Garlic – use fresh or jarred minced garlic in this recipe. In a pinch, garlic powder can also be used.
- Yellow onion – white onion, red onion or shallots will work.
- Water – chicken broth is a great, flavourful alternative to water.
- Salt (to taste)
- Salsa – store bought salsa is recommended for easier preparation, otherwise you can also use homemade salsa.
- Corn – use another vegetable of choice or leave it out altogether.
- Black beans – use kidney beans or pinto beans or leave them out altogether.
- Cherry tomatoes – any chopped tomatoes will work.
- Romaine lettuce – use your favourite variety of lettuce instead.
- Tortilla chips – feel free to leave out if you’re watching carbs.
How long does it take to cook taco meat in the Instant Pot?
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 3 minutes.
You’ll press the high pressure button, then wait for the pot to heat with your meat 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.
Storing and reheating
These mason jar taco salads are very meal prep friendly! Store these in the fridge where they’ll last up to five days. Keep them in individual servings to make this an easy grab and go lunch option!
There is no need to reheat these! Once you’re ready to enjoy your salad, pour out the contents into a bowl before eating.
Freezing leftover taco meat
While you can’t freeze salad, you can make the taco meat in advance and freeze for up to four months. You’ll want to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before adding it to your salad jar.
More Instant Pot taco recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- 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 for up to 5 days.