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Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe is a tasty dinner idea with tender beef seasoned to perfection. Dinner will be a breeze with this easy slow cooker meal. Everyone will enjoy this beef in tacos, burritos, salads and more.

Slow cooker barbacoa tacos on a plate.
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Slow Cooker Barbacoa

Tender beef with a hint of lime and other delicious spices make this such a delicious recipe. Even better, you can come home to dinner ready to enjoy since the crock pot does all the work.

The beef is so tender that it falls a part from being slow cooked all day. The flavor is just amazing and each bite is so tasty.

The chipotle peppers, adobe sauce and other seasonings make this a delicious and flavor packed meal.

If you want to enjoy this recipe even faster, try our Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef recipe.

Slow cooker barbacoa tacos on a plate.

What kind of meat is barbacoa?

We are using beef to make this barbacoa recipe. Traditionally, barbacoa is beef, sheep or goat.

Slow cooker barbacoa tacos on a plate.
Ingredients for Slow cooker barbacoa.

Barbacoa Beef Ingredients:

  • Chuck Roast
  • Chipotle in adobo
  • White Vinegar
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Cumin
  • Minced Garlic
  • Lime
  • Beef Broth

How to make slow cooker beef barbacoa:

  • Just put the roast in the slow cooker.
  • Then add the remaining ingredients to a food processor. Blend until all the ingredients are combined.
  • Pour this mixture on top of the roast. Make sure the beef is well coated in this amazing sauce that is flavor packed.
Food processor for sauce ingredients.
Crock Pot with meat and sauce ready to cook.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. You can also cook on high but reduce the time to 5 hours or 5 hours and 30 minutes. You will have an amazing and tender roast that is easy to shred and delicious.
  • Once cooked, shred the meat. Then stir the shredded beef back in the sauce.

It is such an easy recipe. Keep reading for the full recipe including nutritional information.

Slow cooker barbacoa tacos on a plate.

How to make barbacoa without a slow cooker:

No worries if you do not have time to slow cook the beef. You can bake this instead in your oven and still have delicious and flavorful beef for your tacos.

Just preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Then add all the seasonings to the beef.

Cover and bake this for 4 hours. Once cooked, shred and serve.

How to serve slow cooker barbacoa:

  • Tacos. Soft or hard shell both taste amazing. You can try the Best Flour Tortilla Recipe if you have a few extra minutes to make your own.
  • Eat as is. The meat is so amazing alone. The beef is perfectly seasoned for the absolute best meal.
  • Lettuce Wrap. This is a great idea if you are trying to reduce carbs.
  • Taco Bowl or Burrito Bowls. Just add rice and black beans and any toppings you like. They are so simple to make and these homemade taco bowls taste great and are budget friendly.
  • Taco Salad. This is delicious served in taco salad bowls. Then add toppings.
  • Nachos. Pile tortilla chips with shredded beef. You can add your favorite toppings for amazing nachos.

Slow cooker beef barbacoa topping ideas:

  • Cheese. Any type of cheese can be used that you like.
  • Lime Juice. Fresh lime juice really enhances the flavor of the beef.
  • Adobo Sauce. The more the better!
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream. Sour cream can help decrease the intensity of the heat if it is too spicy for you.
  • lettuce
  • Onion. Diced red onion blends with the other ingredient perfectly.
  • Diced tomato. The freshness of tomatoes make this even more flavorful.
Slow cooker barbacoa beef shredded in crock pot.

What to serve with barbacoa beef?

Slow cooker barbacoa tacos on a plate.

How to store:

Place the beef and sauce inside an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Can you freeze this recipe?

You can freeze the beef up to 3 months using a freezer bag or container. If you do not have much space in your freezer, use bags.

They lay flat and can stack for extra room. The leftovers freeze really well and make a super easy meal for another night. You might just want to make extra to have to freeze.

When ready to serve, thaw in the fridge. Then reheat on the stove or in the microwave. It will still taste amazing.

Slow cooker barbacoa tacos on a plate.


  • You can reduce the amount of chipotle peppers and adobo sauce if desired. This will lessen the heat in the recipe. Likewise, you can also increase the amount if you like spicy.
  • Try to choose beef with a lot of marbling. This will make the flavor even better.
  • Cooking on the low setting will make the beef even more tender. Low and slow is the way to go if you have time. You will be able to shred the beef with a fork.


  • Chicken or pork. The sauce is really delicious on chicken and pork as well. While it will not be traditional Beef Barbacoa, it is really tasty.

    We have used boneless chicken thighs before. They cook easily and shred without any effort.

Make Slow Cooker Barbacoa this week.

It is easy to feed a crowd and does not take much work. The preparation is minimum but the results are flavor packed.

This is one recipe that can easily be served numerous different ways. Leftovers are easy to turn into new meals with this tender beef.

Mexican Monday is even easier with fantastic recipes like this. Toss everything into the slow cooker in the morning and come home to the best dinner.

Give this a try and let us know what you think. It is going to be a hit with your friends and family.

Slow cooker barbacoa tacos on a plate.

Print this slow cooker beef barbacoa recipe:

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Recipe

5 from 19 votes
Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe is a tasty dinner idea with tender beef seasoned to perfection. Dinner will be a breeze with this easy slow cooker meal. Everyone will enjoy this beef in tacos, burritos, salads and more.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Cuisine Indian
Course Main Course
Calories 327


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  • Place the roast in the slow cooker.
  • Place all the other ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined. Pour the mixture on top of the roast in the crock pot.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5 hours (until the meat is falling apart).
  • Shred the meat an stir back into the sauce
  • Serve on your favorite tortillas and with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 days.  

Nutrition Facts

Calories 327kcal, Carbohydrates 4g, Protein 34g, Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat 2g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 117mg, Sodium 622mg, Potassium 656mg, Fiber 2g, Sugar 1g, Vitamin A 828IU, Vitamin C 3mg, Calcium 60mg, Iron 5mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

5 from 19 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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  1. Carrie says:

    This is just an option to add if you like green chiles. Thank you.

  2. Roxanne says:

    Then why is it mentioned?
    “You can also add green chilies with the beef broth.”

  3. Carrie says:

    Phyllis – Beef broth is not needed for this recipe. Thank you!

  4. Phyllis says:

    You mention beef broth in your blog, but I don’t see it listed in the ingredients. Are you supposed to add some? How much?

  5. Darrell says:

    5 stars
    This is soooo good I make burritoes with this very good