Slow Cooker Barbacoa

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This flavorful Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef recipe is a delicious Chipotle copycat. Perfect for burritos, tacos, salads, quesadillas, served over rice and more. 

Slow Cooker Barbacoa on a bed of rice.

Better Than Chipotle Beef Barbacoa

This is a copycat recipe from one of my absolute favorite fast food restaurants and it is so simple to make! It is slow-cooked to a tender and flavorful perfection. I love how easy it is to just pop all the ingredients in the crockpot and let the slow cooker do all the work. The result is tender fall apart beef with the perfect blend of Mexican spices.

This Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe is so simple to make. It not only tastes great, but we think this is even better than Chipotle and saves you a trip from eating out.

Key Ingredients You’ll Need

This is what you’ll need to make this Mexican beef barbacoa that’s juicy, incredibly tender, seasoned with flavorful spices, and made easy right in the crockpot! This delicious recipe doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, but has amazing results. Full amounts in the recipe box below.

  • Meat: I like to use chuck roast for the best shreddable meat.
  • Vegetables: I like to use onion and garlic cloves.
  • Liquids: You will need beef broth, lime juice, and the liquid from a can of chipotles in adobo to cover the meat in the crockpot.
  • Seasonings: I use a blend of ground oregano, cumin, garlic salt, black pepper, cloves, and bay leaves.

How To Make Slow Cooker Barbacoa

  • Adding ingredients to the crockpot. Put the chuck roast into the crockpot along with slices of onion and garlic. Pour in the beef broth and lime juice. Add in the spices and seasonings. Follow with the chipotle sauce and 2 bay leaves.
Adding the ingredients into the crockpot.
  • Cook the ingredients. Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high until tender and the meat falls apart. Take out the meat and shred it. Place it back into the crockpot before serving. Enjoy!

What is Barbacoa?

Barbacoa means barbeque in Spanish. There are lots of meats that you can BBQ, but this recipe calls for a chuck roast. Traditionally, barbacoa is made out of beef, lamb, or pork. 

What To Serve With Slow Cooker Barbacoa?

This incredible recipe can be eaten by itself or with other dishes. I like using this beef in burrito bowls, burritos, tacos, chimichangas, tostadas, salads or tortas. I also love serving it over a bed of rice or mashed potatoes.

Tips & Tricks

  • Storing: Let the cooked beef come to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container. This will last for 4-5 days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Making sure to place in a freezer-safe container, the barbacoa will keep for 1-3 months in the freezer.
  • Reheating: Microwave the barbacoa for 1-2 minutes until it’s warmed through.
  • Make in Advance: You can make this up to 3 days in advance, let it cool completely, then store it (with the juices) in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, transfer the barbacoa (with liquid) into a baking dish and reheat in the oven for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Spice: If you want more of a kick, you can add a finely diced chipotle pepper or two into the crockpot.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa in the form of tacos.

More Slow Cooker Recipes:

Slow Cooker Barbacoa in a bowl on a wooden board.
Slow Cooker Barbacoa feature
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Slow Cooker Barbacoa

This flavorful Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef recipe is a delicious Chipotle copycat. Perfect for burritos, tacos, salads, quesadillas, served over rice and more. 
Servings: 6 people
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 5 minutes


  • 3-4 lb. chuck roast
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 2 limes juice
  • ½ Tbsp ground oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • Liquid from a 7-oz can chipotles in adobo
  • 2 bay leaves


  • To your slow cooker add the chuck roast. Add in the slices of onions and garlic. Add the beef broth and lime juice to the slow cooker. Sprinkle over all the spices and seasonings. Pour the chipotle adobo sauce over the roast. Add the 2 bay leaves.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours until the meat is tender and falls apart. Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred. Return the beef to the slow cooker. Serve this beef on burrito bowls or in a burrito or tacos.

Last Step:

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Serving: 6g | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1015mg | Potassium: 814mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 5mg


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