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Crockpot Taco Meat

Crockpot Taco Meat

Flavorful, tender, and juicy crockpot taco meat. This taco meat simmers all day in the crockpot, making it perfect for a super simple weeknight dinner or feeding a party crowd. Don’t worry about leftovers because the taco meat freezes for future tacos!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: dinner, dinner recipe, slow cooker, slow cooker beef recipe
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: crockpot taco meat, slow cooker taco meat
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 192kcal


  • Large Mixing Bowls
  • 6-quart slow cooker
  • Large spatula or spoon


  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • ¼ cup 1% milk
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil any oil will work
  • 2 medium white onions (about 2 cups chopped)
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce 1 cup
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar light or dark
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans *optional


  • Start by making the bread and milk paste (panade). Place the bread and milk into a large bowl. Then, using a fork, mash together until paste forms.
  • Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper into the paste, then use your hands to mix. Place the ground beef into the crockpot.
  • In a medium bowl, stir the onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano with olive oil. Microwave for 4 – 5 minutes. This step blooms the spices, which adds more flavor to the aromatics. Add the onion mixture in with the beef.
  • Stir the tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and brown sugar together, and then add into the slow cooker with ground beef and the onion and spice mixer.
  • Slowly mix, breaking up large chunks of ground beef. You’ll break the meat up more after it cooks. In this step, you just want to mix the ingredients.
  • Set the crockpot to cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or high for 3 hours.
  • After the ground beef cooks use a spoon to break it into smaller pieces. If you’re using it, stir in the black beans.
  • Serve with taco shells or use in your favorite Mexican-inspired recipe that calls for taco meat.


How to Store
Taco meat is the perfect meal to make ahead of time. It keeps in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick dinner during the week.
To meal prep
After you cook the taco filling, store it in glass containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 1-3 minutes or until hot, and then continue with the recipe. 
To freeze
After the taco meat cooks, let it cool slightly and then freeze into recipe-ready portions. I love using Souper Cubes silicone containers to freeze into 1 or 2 cups portions. You can also use freezer containers or bags.
When you’re ready to use, thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight and then warm up on the stove or microwave. You can heat up from frozen, but it will take longer, which runs the risk of drying the meat out.
You can also turn this crockpot taco meat recipe into a freezer kit. Prepare the meat mixture and onion mixture, let both cool, then put it into a freezer bag or container with the rest of the ingredients. 
When you’re ready to cook the taco meat, take it out of the freezer, place it in the slow cooker, and continue step 4. You can let it thaw or put it into the slow cooker frozen; just adjust your cooking time accordingly. It will need an extra hour or two to cook.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 352mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g