Crockpot Taco Meat

5 from 14 votes
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Crockpot Taco Meat is just the recipe for a taco Tuesday at home or making dinner for a crowd. Full of flavor, tender and always a family favorite.

If you enjoy slow cooker cooking be sure to try Crockpot Chicken Fajitas and Crockpot Chicken Tacos.

Three taco shells with ground beef cheese and lettuce


This slow cooker ground beef recipe can be used for so many different meals. Tacos, nachos, salads, stuffed peppers and so much more. 3 ingredients is all you need for a freezer friendly meal. Make extra to freeze for another nights meal. 

Why make taco meat in the slow cooker?

You might be wondering why should I make taco meat in the crockpot when it doesn’t take much time to cook on the stove? Here are a few reasons:

  • Flavor – The meat takes on incredible flavor since it is slow cooking in the seasonings.
  • Tender – Slow cooking makes incredibly tender beef. 
  • Quantity – If you are cooking for a large group, this is a great way to cook all at once instead of in multiple batches. It’s also great to keep the meat warm for a taco bar. 

Ingredients needed 

Ground Beef – I prefer using lean ground beef so avoid having a lot of grease. Feel free to substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken.

Taco Seasoning – Use a packet of seasoning or a homemade blend. 

Salsa – Use your favorite jarred or fresh salsa.

How to make taco beef in the crockpot

Scroll down for full printable recipe, ingredients and video.

  • Combine: Add beef, salsa and seasoning to slow cooker.
  • Cook: Set to high and cook for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Make sure meat is cooked through.
  • Serve: Break up meat with a spoon and serve. (Break up meat about 30-45 minutes before serving.)
ground beef, seasoning and salsa in a slow cooker

Can you put raw ground beef in slow cooker?

Yes! Add the beef directly into the slow cooker. I would recommend not cooking meat from frozen. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before cooking. 

Do you need to brown meat first?

The answer is Yes and No. For this recipe, I did not brown the beef first and it was delicious. I have made it browning in the skillet briefly first and it does add a nice texture to the meat. 

If you are in a hurry I would say don’t worry about browning but if you have the time, give it a quick cook in the skillet. 

ground beef in a bowl


Can I use different meat? Yes! This also works well with ground turkey and ground chicken. 

Vegetables? Feel free to add vegetables. Make sure to chop them up small. I like to sometimes add diced red bell pepper or riced cauliflower. 

Taco Toppings

I love making a taco bar for dinner. Everyone can choose there own toppings to “decorate” their meal. Here are a few ideas for taco toppings:

  • Diced avocado or guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced onions
  • Salsa
  • Rice or beans
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced black olives
  • Pico de Gallo

How to store and freeze

Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Freeze: Cook beef and let completely cool. Place in a freezer safe container or bag. Make sure to squeeze all of the excess air out of freezer bag. This can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Reheat: Make sure meat is thawed and reheat in the slow cooker or in a skillet on the stove over medium heat.

More easy crockpot recipes

Looking for a shredded beef option? Try this amazing recipe for Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos.

***If you made this recipe please feel free to leave a comment and rating below.

Three tacos on a plate
5 from 14 votes

Slow Cooker Taco Meat

By Heather
Super easy and flavorful Slow Cooker Taco Meat.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 16 oz jar salsa
  • 1 package taco seasoning


  • Place ground beef, spices and salsa in slow cooker. Place lid on and turn to high heat or 3-4 hours.
  • Approximately 30 minutes before serving, break up the meat with a spoon.


YouTube video


If you prefer the texture of the ground beef to be a little crisper, brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat before adding to slow cooker. 


Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 547IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
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