I’m not sure when this whole Taco Tuesday deal became a thing…and it’s fun, but let’s be honest. No actual lover of tacos needs a specific day of the week for them. I think a lot of you are with me on this. In our house, we could eat tacos every day…and lately it’s the one meal that make everyone happy, which means we eat it all the freaking time.
And so to be sure that I always have taco meat ready to go, I love to make a BIG batch and freeze it in ziplock freezer baggies to grab for a quick dinner!
I’ve been using my Instant Pot to make tacos because it’s super easy to cook AND thaw…like ONE minute quick…and making it this way is a HUGE timesaver. A quick saute of ground turkey or ground beef, and then you just simply add canned tomato sauce, broth or water, and 1-2 T of my Salt Free Taco Seasoning.
This seasoning is also an awesome thing to make on meal prep day (isn’t it pretty?). I use it in my Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas, my Fish Tacos with Avocado Mango Salsa , and I even mix it with Greek yogurt for a delicious dressing for taco salads. I do usually add salt to these dishes, but I like being able to control the amount, you know?
And while you don’t have to pressure cook this, I think doing so for a just a minute helps to seal in the flavor of the meat…and the texture afterwards is spot on. We are texture freaks in this house in case you didn’t know this!
I usually eat some for dinner that night, and save the rest for my freezer! After it cools, I just grab some Freezer bags and portion out the meat into individual or dinner sized servings and freeze it them flat.
This is where I LOVE my Instant Pot. It’s ridiculously easy to thaw the frozen meat right in the pot. You can actually do it from raw meat which is pretty damn awesome – like in this recipe from The Foodie and The Fix – but like I said, we are texture freaks, so we prefer to brown our meat first. Old habits die hard, I guess.
I simply take the block of frozen meat and add it to my IP with 1/2 cup of water and I cook it for ONE minute. Yup – you heard me…just one minute. And it comes out totally perfect. It’s like little Keebler Elves are in there stirring up the pot.
For the Make Ahead Salt Free Taco Seasoning
- 6 teaspoons chili powder
- 5 teaspoons paprika
- 4 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Taco Meat
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1–3 pounds of lean ground turkey, chicken, or beef
- canned low sodium tomato sauce – I use ONE 10oz can per pound of meat, roughly 1.25 cups per pound (so three pounds of meat = three cans of sauce)
- 1–2 T of the seasoning listed above per pound of meat (so three pounds of meat = 3–6 T of the seasoning. You can start with less and add more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp of Himalayan salt per pound of meat (so three pounds of meat = 3/4 tsp of salt)
- 1/4 cup of water or broth per pound of meat (so three pounds of meat = 3/4 cup of water or broth)
- Mix salt free taco seasoning
- Spray Instant Pot with cooking oil spray and set to sauté. When IP is hot, add in meat and brown until cooked almost through. Add in seasoning mix, sauce, salt, and water/broth. Stir meat mixture and cover. Set to manual/pressure cook for 1 minute. Quick release after cook time. Stir and taste, adjusting seasoning as needed.
- Let meat mixture cool, then divide into ziplock bags. I usually measure portions using my red container. Don’t forget to label your bags! Flatten meat so it takes up less room in your freezer.
- You can either take them meat out of your freezer in advance and thaw in the fridge…OR, if you are like me and forget to do this…use your IP for easy thawing! Just add 1/2 cup of water to your IP and add your frozen block of taco meat. Set to 1 minute on manual or pressure cook. Do a quick release and stir meat after cook time is up. If mixture has too much liquid, just set it to sauté and let it thicken up before serving.
Each 3/4 cup serving is 1 red container
- Serving Size: 3/4 cup of meat
Keywords: Instant Pot Taco Meat, Instant Pot Frozen Taco Meat, Instant Pot Make Ahead Meals