This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have partnered with Albertsons & Safeway to share my family’s super-healthy Instant Pot taco meat recipe. You are going to love this juicy taco meat recipe that sneaks in veggies and is perfect for Taco Tuesday! Plus I’m sharing a few grocery hacks to help stretch your budget and extend the time between grocery trips, all while saving money and eating healthier.
This year one of my goals was to detox my family’s meal plan. Over the past few years, I have done detoxes myself, but I thought it would be too hard to overhaul the entire family diet. In January, after a couple of my kids had curious rashes and other issues that I just couldn’t ignore any longer, I realized it was time to get my whole family eating better. It’s still a work in progress, and I am really hoping to have more family detox tips to post, but I have been dying to share our Taco Tuesday recipes for the best Instant Pot taco meat — we have been making this recipe pretty much every week for the past year.
You can snag my Instant Pot Taco Meat Recipe at the end of this post, and I also included stovetop instructions in case you don’t have an Instant Pot you won’t miss out! First, I thought this would be a great opportunity to illustrate some of my favorite grocery hacks to help stretch your budget and extend the time between shopping trips, all while giving your family the nutrition needed to stay healthy.
Speaking of budget, when grocery shopping at Safeway, I have been impressed by the quality of their store brand. Signature SELECT™ and Signature Farms® provide everyday products at a value. Signature brands help you stretch your budget and shopping trips with high-quality affordable options in every aisle of the store. I’m picky about ingredients, and many of their items have very clean and simple ingredients, closer to the way nature intended.
The Signature SELECT and Signature Farms store brand is available near me at Safeway, but you can also find them at other Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Randalls, Shaw’s Supermarket, Star Market, Tom Thumb and online.
Here’s are three more family-friendly healthy meal hacks…
1. Stretch Proteins With Veggies
The idea of hiding vegetables was really big a while back, but I don’t think the thrill ever diminished for us moms. Every successful attempt to get those veggies down the trap is a total #SupermomMoment in my book! I have had the most success sneaking veggies in with the meat in my recipes.
This strategy also has financial benefits, and if I think back on my childhood, I am sure my mom was being frugal when she added canned corn and beans to our family’s taco meat recipe. I come from a family of nine so my mom was a master of frugality. Funny how I’ve passed that tradition onto the next generation, and my kids always call me out if I don’t add the corn and beans. Although since corn isn’t exactly a veggie in my book, I now also add zucchini and onion. The trick is to dice up those veggies super tiny so they cook down into the meat where they are barely recognizable!
2. Stock Your Freezer
If you want to prolong the time between grocery trips, the freezer is your secret weapon. Veggies and meat can both be stocked in the freezer to help you make healthy meals from scratch. More on frozen veggies in a minute, but here I wanted to share my tips for freezing meat.
My mom taught me to buy fresh meat and portion it out for freezing, but many of the meats are offered in easy freezable packs now so I can use these same principles without getting my hands dirty. (OK so there goes my cost savings from stretching with veggies, but hey I didn’t have to get any raw hamburger under my fingernails LOL!)
I really like Signature Farms pre-frozen 100% Ground Beef Patties because they have such versatility and are easier for portioning, and I don’t just use them for making hamburgers. Each patty is 4 ounces, and I take out whatever I need from the freezer and can add it — still frozen — into the instant pot to quickly cook up for whatever dish I am making. I will show you how to go from FROZEN patties to juicy taco meat in less then 30 minutes!
3. Pre-cut Veggies Save Time
When I first started doing this whole healthy meal thing, I felt like I spent SO MUCH time in the kitchen. I was so grateful when I figured out how to use prepped veggies to save time. I am talking about both the Signature Farms pre-cut salad mixes over in the fresh produce department and Signature SELECT frozen veggies.
Of course buying actual fresh veggies is great too, but if you find your produce goes bad before you can use it, you might want to consider more frozen veggies. I feel like my biggest secret weapon though are those fresh salad mixes offered in the produce section. I use these for WAY more than just salads.
Once I started to see the salad mixes as bags of pre-cut veggies that are ready to use in ANYthing, they become a huge time saver. It’s much healthier to rely on salad mixes to get dinner on the table fast, instead of the more “processed” box foods. The cabbage slaw mix is a staple in my fridge, and I cook it for all kinds of things including as “noodles” in my gluten free chicken noodle soup or with hot dogs for a sort of sauerkraut inspired side dish that everybody loves. For tacos, I also like the slaw or the garden salad mix with it’s blend of lettuce, cabbage and carrots, and then of course they also have shredded lettuce.
When it comes to more long-term veggie storage, I was raised by a mom who used a lot of canned foods. For clean eating, frozen veggies tend to have fewer ingredients, and they are flash frozen at the peak of freshness locking in most of the nutrients. Of course veggies with a high moisture content can’t be frozen, which means I still have to stock some canned items like tomatoes.
Taco Tuesday in 30 Minutes or Less!
Okay now let’s get to my Instant Pot Taco Meat Recipe. Aren’t you so excited to see how to go from frozen to dinner’s ready in 30 minutes?! While I’m sharing this taco recipe for Instant Pot, I have also included instructions for making this veggie-packed taco meat recipe on the stovetop. Although I must say I really do love my Instant Pot because I can start the meat then run and pickup kids from this or that and come home to an almost-ready dinner.
Instant Pot Taco Recipe Ingredients
- 1 pack of Signature SELECT Yellow Corn Taco Shells
- 1 pack Signature Farms Garden Salad, Coleslaw or Lettuce Shreds
- 4 qty – 4oz Signature Farms 100% Beef Patties (or 1 pound of ground beef)
- Half onion, diced
- Half zucchini, diced
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup frozen corn (half bag if you don’t feel like measuring)
- 1 can of black beans (rinse thoroughly to help remove the juices that can cause gas)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS: After cooking in Instant Pot on high pressure for 8 minutes, release pressure then turn to sauté setting (I find I usually have to turn my pot of completely in order to switch over to the sauté setting). Use a wooden spoon to break up the hamburger into smaller bits than mix in the frozen corn and rinsed canned beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.
STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Defrost your hamburger patties. Sauté the onions and zucchini together until onions become transparent. Add the defrosted patties and spices. Use a wooden spoon to break them up into bits. Once meat has browned completely, mix in the frozen corn and rinsed canned beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Be sure to pin the image below so you’ll have this idea when you need it!