Slow Cooker Taco Meat

How to Make Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker

Yes, I said…you can make your taco meat in the slow cooker.  It’s so nice to have it going and have everything ready before the supper hour (ahem…during nap time is the perfect time to get this all done).  This is especially convenient on those busy nights when everyone has to eat at different times….or when I don’t get home until it’s time to eat and I really don’t want to have to think about getting supper to the table.

I love using my own taco seasoning mix (it’s cheaper, tastes better, and I know exactly what’s in it), but you can easily use those little packets from the spice aisle.

I usually make this double recipe or even more.  Why not?!?!? It’s so easy and then you can freeze the leftovers in zip top baggies in the amounts that your family will use it for easy meals in the future.  You could also just cook the meat (without seasoning) in the slow cooker, strain, freeze for plain cooked beef to use in any recipe.

 How to Make Taco Meat in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Taco Meat
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yes, I can make your taco meat in the slow cooker.
Serves: 8
  1. Around lunchtime, add all ingredients to slow cooker (my meat is usually frozen when I add it). Cook on high for several hours, give the meat a stir and break it up occasionally. Turn to low after the meat looks like it is mostly cooked (you probably don't have to, but I worry about it burning).
  2. The taco meat will look really soupy. That's okay, just strain it before serving. Part of it is the fat, part of it is a little extra moisture from the water. To strain, put a colander over a bowl or in the sink and dump in the meat.

Yes, I can make your taco meat in the slow cooker.

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  1. I love this idea – do you freeze it before or after you drain the extra liquid? and what do you find is the best way to thaw it? Oven vs. pan vs. back in the crockpot?

    • Hi Megan! I drain it a little with a slotted spoon then spoon into bags and freeze. I dump it back into the slow cooker for a little bit or heat on the stove top. :)

  2. Don’t drain the meat in the sink! That’s a surefire way to clog up your sink when the fat solidifies. Ladle out the meat and pour the fat/juice into an empty concentrated juice can and keep in the freezer. When it’s full you can throw it out when you take out the garbage.

  3. I’m making “walking taco” for our Family Halloween Party. This is the first time I’ll use the slow cooker for ground beef tacos. If I’m cooking 3lbs of meat, should I set it for about 3hours on high? What about a low setting and leaving it all day? What is your best suggestion?

    • Sounds wonderful! I’ve done both so it really depends on how much time you have to let it cook. I prefer the slow/low method. Just watch it closely if you do it on high.

  4. Sorry to hear your AC was out….it’s been so hot this summer! But I am glad that you liked the taco seasoning! YUM…nachos…my favorite!

  5. I made this last night using your taco seasoning recipe. Our AC is out so I needed something that did not require the stove or oven! It was delicious, I made nachos!

  6. Yummy. I love having extra taco meat ready when we want my enchilada casserole. May add a bag of frozen corn, Kidlet loves corn in tacos. She also likes to coat inside of taco shells with refried beans before warming.

  7. We make this using a carne asada taco meat we get at Winco,which is just fine chopped steak, makes the best steak tacos ever… they come out so tender and juicy!! None of my family are fans of ground meat, so the chopped up steak meat is perfect for us, but it’s always a little tough, the slow cooker takes care of that!

  8. Great recipe! I’m going to make this tomorrow for a Hispanic Heritage Buffet I am having at work. For all those leftovers check out my Tupperware web page. We have a 24 piece FreezerMate Set for only $79 which would be perfect for leftovers and organizing all those bags of frozen veggies that I’m sure attack you when you open the freezer door!

  9. I usually make big batches to freeze in my frying pan but I love the idea of doing it in the crockpot. One big batch would do itself in there!

    I am enjoying my visit to your blog (it's my first time). I hope you can stop over to Free 2 Be Frugal sometime soon.

  10. Love this idea. I tend to get rushed when making tacos or fajitas considering all of the toppings/condiments to get ready. This method would sure help with the crazy.

  11. oh thanks! great idea! I am always panicking around dinner time.. my kids love tacos but the meat is usually frozen… love this.


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