Make Ahead Slow Cooker Taco Meat

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Beef Tacos


This Make Ahead Slow Cooker Taco Meat recipe lets you cook once and have four meals in the freezer for busy nights.

Thank you to the Ohio Beef Council for sponsoring this post! 

My teenager’s favorite meal is beef tacos, so we eat them regularly. And I finally got smart this Fall and started batch-cooking taco meat. But not by standing over the stove browning pound after pound.

I cook it all at once in my slow cooker instead.

My slow cooker hasn’t seen much action since the Instant Pot came into my life. But when I was experimenting with batch-cooking taco meat, I liked how I could open the lid of the slow cooker to give it a stir or test the temperature. You could certainly use the Instant Pot to brown taco meat, which is what a lot of recipes call for. But then you might as well be browning it on the stove!

How to Make Taco Meat in the Crockpot

Place four pounds of ground beef in the slow cooker ceramic insert. Mash with a potato masher or spoon to break it up.

Ground beef in crock pot

Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours (or on low for 4-6 hours) or until temperature reaches 160 degrees F (it takes my crockpot about 2.5 hours). The edges will cook first, so stir and mash after an hour and then stir a few additional times during cooking, breaking up remaining big pieces (be sure you’ve stirred it well before measuring the temperature).

Pour the cooked meat into a colander set over a bowl or the sink to drain excess moisture. Return ground meat to slow cooker, add enchilada sauce and spices, and…

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