Easy Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos

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These easy Instant Pot Tacos are packed with flavorful ground beef and kid-approved seasonings. Best of all, they’re ready in under 30 minutes thanks to your pressure cooker. Say hello to your new favorite weeknight dinner!

Instant Pot tacos in hard shells on a white plate with tomatoes, onions, cheese, and lettuce, next to bowls with guacamole and tomatoes.

Hi all, Jenn here!

Tacos are on a weekly rotation at my house. Sometimes, it’s chicken tacos, sometimes pork carnitas, and sometimes these awesome ground beef tacos.

I love this recipe for its delicious flavors, of course. But even better, it’s a quick, one-pot, dump-and-go meal. All you need is some ground beef and a few flavorful seasonings that are probably already in your spice cabinet. 

⏲️ Whether you have fresh or frozen ground beef, you’re less than 30 minutes away from a filling meal that your family will love!

Ground beef tacos in a hard shell with tomatoes, onions, cheese, and lettuce on a plate in front of an Instant Pot.

How to Make Instant Pot Tacos in Any Brand of Electric Pressure Cooker

This Instant Pot Taco Meat recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.

Tacos are one of the easiest meals to whip up in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot!

🛑 After the quick release, the beef will not be fully cooked! This is intentional to avoid the burn notice and get fully flavored, perfectly cooked taco meat! 

This recipe cooks at high pressure to cook the meat, and then uses the Saute function to break up the meat and evaporate any remaining liquid. I like to use my OXO meat chopping tool to easily separate the meat inside my Instant Pot. 

Overhead shot of ground beef taco meat made in and Instant Pot surrounded by a bowl of cheese and guacamole with prepared tacos on a plate.

Best Spices for Ground Beef Tacos

A month or two ago, my son told me, “Mom, I wish your tacos were as good as Taco Bell Tacos.”

Um, what?! Challenge accepted!

I’d researched a few copycat recipes, and they all pointed to the same secret ingredient: granulated beef bouillon

It makes a HUGE difference and really kicks up the beefy flavor of the tacos!

And, I can officially tell you that my son has decided this recipe is “WAY better than Taco Bell tacos.” (I agree!)

🌶️ The taco seasonings in this recipe are mild and kid-approved. If you like it spicy, I highly recommend doubling the chili powder or adding crushed chili pepper flakes.

Overhead shot of ground beef cooked in an Instant Pot with all the spices.

How to Cook Ground Beef Tacos with Frozen Beef?

If you’re using frozen ground beef, you’ll have best results with beef that is frozen in completely flat. (A misshapen frozen piece of meat won’t cook evenly.)

If your beef is frozen flat, the only difference between cooking these tacos with frozen vs. fresh beef is an extra 2 minutes of cook time.

  • For Fresh Ground Beef: Cook on High Pressure for just 3 minutes
  • For Frozen Beef: Cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes

💡 Tip: If your ground beef comes larger packages, weigh out 1 pound portions and freeze them flat in ziplock bags for Instant Pot ground beef recipes like this one. 

Overhead shot of Instant Pot ground beef tacos in a hard shell on a white plate with lettuce and tomatoes with a bowl of guacamole and tomatoes.

How to Serve Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos

When it comes to serving this quick and easy dinner, the possibilities are endless. I’ll toss on whatever we have on hand. Some ideas:

  • soft flour or hard corn tortillas
  • chopped fresh tomatoes
  • diced onions
  • diced peppers (bell peppers for the kiddos and jalapenos for an extra kick)
  • thinly sliced radishes for a zesty twist
  • salsa or green taco sauce
  • chopped lettuce
  • fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • a sprinkle of shredded cheese
  • a generous dollop of guacamole (I just found out that my Costco sells guac in individual portion cups that don’t go bad, and it’s been LOVE.)

My favorite sides for Instant Pot tacos are my pressure cooker cilantro lime rice or my easy Instant Pot Spanish Rice. When I cook it, I freeze the leftovers in individual portions for future lunches!

45 degree angle of ground beef in a bowl surrounded by bowls of guacamole, tomatoes, onions, and shredded cheese placed in front of an Instant Pot.

Who says you need to wait for Tuesday to have a taco party? With this easy recipe for Instant Pot ground beef tacos, you’ll find yourself serving tacos all week long. 

More Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot Ground Beef Recipes

Instant Pot tacos in hard shells on a white plate with tomatoes, onions, cheese, and lettuce, next to bowls with guacamole and tomatoes.

Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos

Servings: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Additional Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Beef
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: instant pot beef taco meat, Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos, instant pot taco recipe, Instant pot tacos, instapot tacos, Recipe, taco bell ground beef
Flavor-packed Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos with kid-approved seasoning is the one-pot dinner you need on busy nights! Use fresh or frozen ground beef for this foolproof recipe.
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt*
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated beef bouillon
  • 1 pound lean ground beef fresh or frozen
  • Tortillas cheese, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole, for serving

Instructions

  • In the pressure cooking pot, combine the water, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried onion, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, sugar, and beef bouillon. Add the ground beef. Lock the lid in place. 
  • If the beef is not frozen, select High Pressure and set the cook time for 3 minutes. For frozen beef, select High Pressure and set the cook time for 5 minutes.
  • When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid and give everything a good stir. (Note that the ground beef will not be cooked through at this point.)
  • Select Sauté and cook, stirring frequently, until the water evaporates and the beef is browned and crumbled, about 5 minutes. 
  • Serve as desired, wrapped in flour tortillas or crisp taco shells, with cheese, salsa, fresh lettuce, diced tomatoes, and guacamole.

Notes

*If using frozen ground beef, adjust the cook time to 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 480mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g

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A picture collage including an Instant Pot and an overhead shot of ground beef tacos in an hard shell with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and cheese.
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originally published April 18, 2020 — last updated June 1, 2024
Categories: Beef