These kid-approved Slow Cooker Ground Beef Tacos are quick and simple, super easy, and will have dinner on the table in a flash! And the icing on the cake is that there are several options to cook it! So! No matter your schedule, dinner can be on the table 😊
For this creation, your cooking choices include using a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or a skillet on the stovetop. And, as always, these slow cooker tacos are freezer safe too.
I am sometimes dumbfounded by how many recipes you can create from ground beef, it is so versatile. Check out these recipes for some excellent ground beef recipe ideas; Easy Crockpot Ravioli, Crockpot Cheeseburgers, or this Unstuffed Cabbage Casseroles.
These crock pot tacos turn out to be a great make-ahead meal. This slow cooker taco meat actually is awesome as a freezer meal before OR after cooking it. But it isn’t just this recipe, there are lots of ways to approach freezer meal cooking.
You might find freezer meal cooking overwhelming. I used to. And I've screwed it up many times.
But one thing I've learned is you don't have to leap in feet first or make a bunch of them. Just a few make-ahead meals here and there can save you $$$…
Before we go any further, let's get the legal stuff out of the way…this post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you purchase through these links. This will NOT increase your cost in any way. But does give you awesome recommendations that have been tested by myself or someone I dearly trust.
Taco Meat Freezer Meal Options
These are just a few ideas to start on a freezer meal journey:
- Toss together twice your normal amount for these ground beef slow cooker tacos. Make one for supper and freeze the other for next week. Follow this method every few meals for a couple of weeks.
Write it down in a meal planning journaland log the date. You'll have a nice stockpile in no time.
- Pick out 3-5 recipes. Be sure to set the serving options in the printable recipe for your family and needs. Now, make a grocery list, go shopping, and mix them up per the freezer meal guidelines on each recipe. If you do 5 recipes like this but x 2; you have 10. There you are! You have meals prepped for well over a week.
- Or join our newsletter and to
get a free copy of one of our make-ahead meals prepping sessions. You'll get six recipes, menus, and simple to follow instructions.It's a freebie and you'll get notified when new ones are available.
Loaded Crock Pot Tacos Ingredients
There are so many reasons I love this recipe. And there are so many variations! Not just the different cooking methods, but the actual ingredients. All you have to do is modifying 1 or 2 ingredients to make a different, interesting recipe.
Easy Taco Meat Recipe - Meat Options & Ideas
- Ground Beef – Ground beef is a staple when making tacos. As a kid, I don’t remember tacos any other way. Boy, have times changed there! I don’t know if any meat you can’t use for making crockpot tacos.
- Ground Chicken, Ground Turkey will both need the same cook time as the ground beef. And they are delicious too!
- Pork loin, chicken breasts, or even a beef roast will need a longer cook time and that will vary depending on how large your meat portion is.
Crockpot Tacos Ingredient Changeouts
- Mexican-Style Tomatoes – Any type of tomatoes will work. Maybe if you used chili-style tomatoes you could swap out the taco seasoning for a chili seasoning.
- Chili Beans – Any canned beans will work. If you go as adventurous as chickpeas, you could use a butter chicken seasoning and then swap the corn below for a different vegetable too. How amazingly simple would that be?
- Fiesta-Style Corn – Staying with the theme from talking about beans (above), what about going with spinach instead of corn? Indian restaurants use spinach in their butter chicken. There’s no reason you can go this route too. And you could use fresh, frozen, or canned spinach for this recipe variation too!
- Chili Pepper Sauce – This one is super variable too. You just need to match it to the style of your recipe. Personally, this is how I’d go:
- Tabasco sauce for Mexican dishes
- Louisiana hot sauce for Cajun dishes
- Sriracha sauce for Thai dishes
- Masala sauce for Indian dishes
- Taco Seasoning – Varying this ingredient is just like changing up the sauce you use, just vary according to the theme you’re going for. This article on BuzzFeed talks about not being afraid of premade seasonings. I whole-heartedly agree!
- Chili seasoning from a package or from homemade
- Tony Chachere Cajun Seasoning
- Even good ole’ onion soup mix in the right combo would be great!
Why Swap Ingredients in Your Ground Beef Tacos?
And what's the purpose of varying the ingredients? Bulk buying and Sales, Sales, Sales. Planning your meals, shopping sales, and bulk purchases are super smart moves you can do to help your budget. And knowing what to do with all the ingredients you buy, that's how to get a stock of freezer meals, being thrifty AND far being able to relax a little more in the evenings.
This freezer meal planning session is part of meal prepping after purchasing bulk ground beef and other meats. Of course, this isn't intended to eat slow cooker ground beef tacos for multiple meals in a row. That isn’t my intention, it's filling the freezer. So, if you can shop the bulk meat sales for 2 or 3 weeks, you can rotate that stash. AND
I created this meal prep printable for you to keep track of your purchases.
How to Make Ground Beef Tacos – 3 Cooking Methods + Freezing
This ground beef taco recipe was made in the crockpot. But it CAN be made multiple ways.
- Slow Cooker – Have you seen my recipe for doing up Make-Ahead Ground Beef in your crockpot? It is SUPER simple, cooks overnight, and you just drain and freeze for later. You can use that recipe for making this recipe too. Some folks recommend getting the leanest ground beef you can find and tossing everything together with no pre-cooking of the meat. I’ve found this works sometimes, but not always. And when it fails, it’s an epic fail that wastes a lot of cash. And this recipe cooks overnight, so it's simple to use it to make slow cooker tacos.
- Instant Pot – You can cook either fresh or frozen ground beef using your instant pot. If you want to do frozen, you just need a trivet.
- Skillet – I think I learned to crumbled and fry ground beef when I was about 8, maybe 9. Just crumbled into your skillet and cook, chop, and flip over medium heat until it is no longer pink. Drain and add the other ingredients.
- Freezer – You can freeze your meat cooked or uncooked. Just freeze it in a separate baggie if frozen and raw. Then you can drain off any excess grease when you cook it and it won't affect the yumminess of your crockpot tacos.
Check out the printable recipe below and see how easy it is to cook using each method. Slight variations may be necessary, but they are listed. Now and then one cooking technique is more simple than another BUT if you don't remember to put your ground beef tacos in the slow cooker before starting your day, you can still have a homemade, budget-saving meal… without much fuss.
More Ground Beef Slow Cooker Recipes
I love crockpot ground beef recipes. I think they may be my favorite meat to use in the slow cooker. They are simple and tasty, add to your stockpile, AND make everyone happy.
How to Make Slow Cooker Ground Beef Tacos
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 serving Make-Ahead Ground Beef
- 1 15- ounce can Mexican-style diced tomatoes don't drain
- 1 15- ounce can chili beans do NOT drained
- 1 15- ounce can Fiesta or Mexican-style corn drained
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup beef broth 2 cups for the pressure cooker (depending on how long you intend to cook it and keep it warm afterward)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper sauce
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning ~or~ make your own homemade taco seasoning
- Either start with 1 serving of the make-ahead beef mixture OR cook the ground beef in a skillet with the diced onions and garlic until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is soft.
- Drain the beef mixture and pour it into the crockpot.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on high for at least 2 hours or on low up to 8 hours.
- Place a trivet in the bottom of your pressure cooker sprinkle in the diced onions and garlic. Pour in 1 cup water or additional beef broth.
- Frozen Meat - Add frozen ground beef to pressure cooker. Manual setting high for 20 minutes. Allow to natural release for 10 minutes and then quick release.
- Fresh meat - Don't use the trivet but do the remainder of the steps for frozen meat. Manual setting high, 8 minutes. Natural release 5 minutes then quick release.
- Drain liquid off meat and return to pot. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Set to saute. Cook and stir for 8 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.
- Saute the meat, onions, and garlic over medium-high heat in a deep skillet until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain meat and return to skillet.
- Turn burner to low. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Freezer Meal Directions:
- Brown the ground beef and combine all the ingredients in a freezer-safe, prelabeled 1-gallon zippered baggie.
- Lay flat and squeeze out as much air as possible.
- Freeze for up to 8 weeks.
- Can be tossed in the crockpot frozen or defrosted in the freezer overnight.
- If cooking from frozen, cook on low for at least 5 hours.
Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe
- 3 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
- Mix all the ingredients well and use immediately or store in a sealed canister.
- This recipe equals one package of store-bought seasoning. You can also double or triple it and store it for future use.