Make Ahead Slow Cooker Taco Meat

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SHARING IS CARING!

This Make Ahead Slow Cooker Taco Meat recipe lets you cook once and have four meals in the freezer for busy nights.

Thank you to the Ohio Beef Council for sponsoring this post! 

My teenager’s favorite meal is beef tacos, so we eat them regularly. And I finally got smart this Fall and started batch-cooking taco meat. But not by standing over the stove browning pound after pound.

I cook it all at once in my slow cooker instead.

My slow cooker hasn’t seen much action since the Instant Pot came into my life. But when I was experimenting with batch-cooking taco meat, I liked how I could open the lid of the slow cooker to give it a stir or test the temperature. You could certainly use the Instant Pot to brown taco meat, which is what a lot of recipes call for. But then you might as well be browning it on the stove!

How to Make Taco Meat in the Crockpot

Place four pounds of ground beef in the slow cooker ceramic insert. Mash with a potato masher or spoon to break it up.

Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours (or on low for 4-6 hours) or until temperature reaches 160 degrees F (it takes my crockpot about 2.5 hours). The edges will cook first, so stir and mash after an hour and then stir a few additional times during cooking, breaking up remaining big pieces (be sure you’ve stirred it well before measuring the temperature).

Pour the cooked meat into a colander set over a bowl or the sink to drain excess moisture. Return ground meat to slow cooker, add enchilada sauce and spices, and stir well to combine. Cook an additional 10 minutes.

Remove taco meat and portion into containers to cool slightly. Freeze in containers or transfer into freezer safe bags. Quart-sized bag works well for one-pound portions, gallon-sized for two-pound portions.

Is Beef Healthy For Kids?

Beef is a high-quality source of protein. That means it has all the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) that we need to get from food. A three-ounce serving has 25 grams of protein, plus nutrients like iron and zinc that are key during growth and development. Protein also provides energy, repairs and builds muscle, and is filling–so it’s a great choice for active kids.

Tips for Buying Ground Beef

  • Look for bulk packages of ground beef, which might save you money over single-pound portions.
  • Choose ground beef that’s bright red in color and firm to the touch (avoid any packages that have excessive liquid in them).
  • Keep ground beef in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to one month.

How to Freezer Slow Cooker Taco Meat

This recipe makes four pounds of taco meat. Portion it in a way that makes sense for your family, such as dividing it into one-pound or two-pound quantities. You can use glass Pyrex dishes or freezer bags. If using freezer bags, portion the meat into the bag, push out the excess air, then press it flat. Laying it on a baking sheet to freeze it helps the bag freeze flat so it’s easier to stack.

What to Serve with Crockpot Taco Meat

Top your crockpot ground beef tacos with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato or salsa.

Yield: 

20

Prep Time:
15 minutes

Cook Time:
3 hours

Total Time:
3 hours 15 minutes

This Make Ahead Slow Cooker Taco Meat lets you cook once and have four meals on hand for busy nights!

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds 93-95% lean ground beef
  • 1 1/4 cups enchilada sauce , (homemade or store-bought)
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place ground beef in the slow cooker ceramic insert. Mash with a potato masher or spoon to break it up.
  2. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours (or on low for 4-6 hours) or until temperature reaches 160 degrees F (it takes my crockpot about 2.5 hours). The edges will cook first, so stir and mash after an hour and then stir a few additional times during cooking, breaking up remaining big pieces (be sure you’ve stirred it well before measuring the temperature).
  3. Pour the cooked meat into a colander set over a bowl or the sink to drain excess moisture. Return ground meat to slow cooker, add enchilada sauce and spices, and stir well to combine. Cook an additional 10 minutes.
  4. Portion meat into containers to cool slightly. Freeze in containers or transfer into freezer safe bags. Quart-sized bag works well for one-pound portions, gallon-sized for two-pound portions.
  5. To prepare: Defrost the taco meat overnight in the refrigerator (or defrost in the microwave), then empty into a skillet and reheat until bubbly and steaming (at least 160 degrees).

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 20

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 774 Total Fat: 30g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 352mg Sodium: 588mg Carbohydrates: 2g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 116g

Thanks to the sponsor of this post, the Ohio Beef Council, which represents the 17,000 beef farming families in Ohio.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


SHARING IS CARING!

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