Slow Cooker Taco Meat (Ground Beef)
Easy slow cooker taco meat recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. This Mexican ground beef is full of taco seasoning, salsa, onions, garlic. No browning step required and no tomatoes or ketchup needed.
Is it tough to find a more crowd-pleasing food than tacos! With endless options for customization and unmatched versatility, this recipe will be a hit for your guests and satisfy those cravings! Be sure to check out these other slow cooker taco recipes if you need some more tacos in your life: Slow Cooker Steak Tacos or Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef.
How to make slow cooker taco meat recipe from scratch?
- Add ingredients to large crockpot – Ground beef, onions, garlic, salsa, taco seasoning, salt, pepper.
- Mix until combined – Use large spoon to break up meat.
- Cover and cook on high – 4 hours or until meat is no longer pink and cooked through
- Remove lid – Mix everything together
- Drain excess grease if necessary – Enjoy!
What to serve with Mexican ground beef?
Bread– Like corn tortillas, flour tortillas, hard taco shells, pita bread, hamburger buns, hoagie rolls, etc.
Rice– Serve it with Mexican rice, cilantro-lime rice, plain white rice, or brown rice. An uncommon choice would be quinoa.
Dips– Salsa, guacamole, queso are some favorites!
Salads- Such as bean salad, corn salad, or a simple green salad.
Beans– Refried beans or black beans are great choices.
Corn- Corn salsa, corn on the cob, Mexican street corn, corn casserole, or this Slow Cooker Creamed Corn.
Homemade taco seasoning/ Meat seasoning/ Ground beef seasoning
Feel free to use store-bought taco seasoning or make your own from scratch! Try mixing these together:
- 1 part chili powder
- 1 part ground cumin
- 1 part garlic powder
- 1 part onion powder
- 1/4-1/2 part crushed red pepper
Variations for ground beef tacos
Add toppings– Sour cream, avocado slices, guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeno slices or salsa all make great toppings.
Make it healthier- Use chicken or turkey ground beef, less cheese, more veggies.
Add veggies– Bell peppers or corn would enhance the flavor profile.
Add fruit– Pineapple or mango balance the spice well.
Make it a bowl– Serve the meat in a bowl with cilantro lime rice, lettuce, salsa, and red onions.
Garnish options- The best option is cilantro. You can use parsley if you don’t have cilantro on hand but it’s just not the same.
Mix in some white wine– For another layer of flavor.
Add orange juice– For a subtle citrus flavor.
Add tomatoes– Paste, fresh, or ketchup to bring out the flavor.
Tips and Techniques
What ground beef is best for tacos? I would go with a USDA 85% Lean Ground Chuck. Thick meat that won’t crumble but still has a good, 15% amount of fat to pack in flavor.
How to remove excess grease- Shouldn’t have to if lean meat is used, pour in container and dispose in trash.
Should I brown meat? This is an optional step. Some people believe it adds more flavor but I didn’t notice a difference.
Adjust the spice level- By adding more or less chipotle peppers.
Use Mexican oregano- It is slightly different than the regular oregano we all use.
What size crockpot to use? I recommend a 6 quart or larger slow cooker for even cooking.
Adjust amount of seasoning– Use more or less whatever herbs and seasonings you like or dislike.
What to do with leftover taco meat?
Use leftovers as a topping- On flatbread, salads or nachos.
Use it as a filling– In tacos, burritos, tamales, wraps, sandwiches, enchiladas, and quesadillas.
Make it a salad– Serve the beef over a salad instead of tortillas.
Make it a pasta– Serve it over your favorite pasta such as rotini, spaghetti, shells, fettuccine, etc.
Add it to soups– Add the leftovers to your favorite tomato or broth-based soup for a Mexican twist.
Use as a topping- On flatbread or pizzas.
Use it in a wrap– Create a Mexican beef wrap and add lettuce, tomato slices, and rice if you like.
Refrigerate– In a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze– When it cools down completely, store it in a sealed container for up to 1 month.
Reheat– From thawed, in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More slow cooker beef recipes
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup
- Slow Cooker Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich
Slow Cooker Taco Meat (Mexican Ground Beef)
- 2 pounds Ground beef, Lean, I used 90/10 so that it's not too greasy
- 1/4 cup Onions, Finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
- 1 cup Salsa, Mild or Spicy
- 4-5 tbsp Taco seasoning
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- Add ground beef, onions, garlic, salsa, taco seasoning, salt, pepper in a large crockpot (6 quart or larger).
- Use a large spoon to break up the meat and mix until combined.
- Cover and cook on High heat for 4 hours or until meat is no longer pink and cooked through.
- Remove lid and mix everything together.
- Drain excess grease, if necessary. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave.