Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Spice up your next taco night with this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef simmered in a delicious marinade then shredded to use in tacos, burritos or burrito bowls.

Who doesn’t love Chipotle? We used to go there all the time. The burrito bowls are my favorite and it’s where I got Mr. Mother Thyme to finally fall in love with guacamole. Now he can’t get enough of it!

Nowadays we don’t get there as much and honestly if we do go out it’s usually to Moe’s (sorry Chipotle!) Not that there’s anything wrong with Chipotle but Moe’s is closer to where we live and my kids like Moe’s more and Mr. Mother Thyme loves their chips and Queso. My daughter and I used to go to Moe’s every Tuesday after dance. Not only was it taco Tuesday but kids ate free, score! Now she dances at a different studio on Wednesday not near Moe’s so we don’t go as much. Last week she begged to go after dance and since we haven’t had a Moe’s date night in awhile I couldn’t resist even if it wasn’t taco Tuesday.

Since I’m not running around on Tuesday evenings with dance night now on Wednesday we’re usually having taco Tuesday at home. I’d much rather be home then running around and eating out! Every week I like to spice up our taco Tuesday with something different and this Chipotle inspired Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef is another one that we love on our taco Tuesday menu!

This Slow Cook Barbacoa Beef has definitely got a kick so if you like to spice things up you’ll love this. It’s great on corn tortillas, burritos or in burrito bowls. My personal fave is stuffed in warm corn tortillas topped with lots of guacamole, chopped cilantro, and red onion. It’s so good! And even though it’s got a kick to it once you add veggies and guacamole it really balances out the flavor.

Be prepared when you make the marinade you’ll definitely taste the spiciness! That’s good! It wouldn’t be barbacoa beef it it didn’t have that kick to it. Once it’s blended with the beef and the sauce simmers it totally balances it out. If you’re not big into spicy foods just add a little less adobo sauce and start maybe only add 2 chipotle peppers instead of 3 and you should be fine.

Mr. Mother Thyme claims this is even better than Chipotle. I tend to agree plus I don’t even have to leave the house to get it! If you want to spice up your next taco night then you’ll want to add this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef to your dinner menu too!


Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

  • Author: Mother Thyme
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pound chuck roast (excess fat trimmed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (divided)
  • 23 canned chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1/21 tablespoon adobo sauce (from canned peppers)
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Season roast with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Add roast to skillet to brown and sear all sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  4. While roast is cooking in a food processor add chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, lime juice, garlic cloves, vinegar, cumin, oregano, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and blend until smooth.
  5. With machine still running stream in beef broth until combined.
  6. Add beef to slow cooker and pour marinade on top.
  7. Add bay leaves then cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours until meat is tender.
  8. Remove meat from slow cooker and place on cutting board.
  9. Once cool to touch shred beef using two forks.
  10. Stir shredded beef back in slow cooker with sauce and continue to cook for 15-30 minutes.
  11. Remove bay leaves then serve as desired.


For less heat start by adding only 1/2 tablespoon adobo sauce and 2 chipotle peppers. You can always add more if needed.
I make it with 1 tablespoon adobo sauce and 3 chipotle peppers.

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more taco night favorites!

One-Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta
One-Pot Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas

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