Copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa Recipe in a Crock Pot

Chipotle has been one of my favorite restaurants for many years. Similar in meal prep as the recent Burrito Bowl recipe, this copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa recipe is one of my dinners that everyone loves. And I love it because it can be cooked in a crock pot with just a few minutes of prep time.

plate of beef barbacoa with lettuce, tomatoes, and sides

The beef barbacoa is versatile with a variety of healthy eating such as low carb, paleo, gluten-free and just plain good. You can serve it over a bed of lettuce and veggies, with rice, riced cauliflower, or Andrew’s favorite, in a large tortilla burrito.

One of the best things about this recipe is I typically have most of the ingredients on hand already. The other bonus is there isn’t a lot of chopping or prep work to be done.

chuck roast, bottles and jars of ingredients needed to make beef barbacoa

When shopping for the items, you may have some trouble finding the Chipotle Chilies in Adobe sauce. It took me a few trips around the store, but it’s a can that can be found in the Mexican aisle.

Most of the other ingredients you probably already have on hand. I keep a bottle of lime juice in the fridge for times like this, right along with a jar of minced garlic. It helps me cut down on prep time.

Copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa

The first step to making this copycat barbacoa is to put all of the ingredients except the bay leaves and beef into your food processor.

  • 1/2 Cup Beef broth
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

Pulse the processor for about 30 seconds until everything is ground up and mixed well.

sauce mixed in food processor

Next, grab a cutting board to cut the chuck roast into bite-sized pieces, about 1-2 inches cubed. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just smaller pieces so that it cooks faster.

Once those 2 things are completed, place the beef in the crock pot or slow cooker, and then pour your mixture from the food processor over the beef.

cut chuck roast with sauce in crock pot to be cooked

Place the 2 bay leaves in and close the lid. Turn the slow cooker on high or low, depending on how much time you have for it to cook. Either way will be just fine.

If you have all day 8-10 hours set it to low, if you only have 4-6 hours, set it to high.

Once the crock pot or slow cooker has been cooking for the appropriate time, your beef should be super tender so that it falls apart very easily. Take 2 forks and pull apart the pieces, or shred.

Beef Barbocoa in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

We’ve all done it. You completely forgot about putting the beef in the slow cooker. The night isn’t ruined. Just pull out the instant pot or pressure cooker. Follow the same steps, as the crock pot and adjust the time as needed for your equipment.

Your beef can most likely be fork tender in about 30 min.

Some of the additional toppings we have had with this shredded beef have been:

  • Roasted corn – found in the frozen section, my favorite is from Trader’s Joes
  • Black beans – canned
  • Shredded cheese – typically a Mexican blend
  • Salsa – I prefer a fresh salsa instead of canned
  • Guacamole – simple to make with a few avocados and a dry mix envelope
  • Sour cream
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Cilantro

It’s a great option when feeding a crowd also. I plan to have it the day before Thanksgiving when we have a house full and I don’t want to do a lot of cooking.

I will have a lot of the taco toppings listed above spread out on the kitchen counter as a buffet so everyone can create their own favorite dish.

beef barbacoa on salad
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Copycat Chipotle Beef Barbacoa

This Mexican beef is perfect for burritos, tacos, salads and even quesadillas you want to fix for a crowd or for meal prepping.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: crock-pot, Gluten-free, low carb, meal prepping, Paleo
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 281kcal
Cost: $20

Equipment

  • crock-pot
  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs Chuck roast cut into 2 in pieces
  • ½ cup Beef broth
  • 2 medium Chipotle chilies in adobo including sauce (canned)
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Oregano dried
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Ground cloves
  • 2 whole Bay leaves

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients except bay leaves and beef into a food processor. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Place the beef chunks into crock pot. Pour the pureed mixture from the food processor over the beef.
  • Add the bay leaves into the crock pot.
  • Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. The beef should be fall apart tender when finished.
  • Remove the bay leaves.
  • Place the beef into a bowl. Shred using 2 forks.
  • Return to crock pot or add in juices from crock pot into bowl. Stir until combined.
  • Allow juice to be soaked up by beef, about 5 min and enjoy.

Notes

Some of the toppings we have had with this shredded beef have been:

  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Rice 
  • Roasted corn – found in the frozen section, my favorite is from Trader’s Joes
  • Black beans – canned
  • Shredded cheese – typically a Mexican blend
  • Salsa – I prefer a fresh salsa instead of canned
  • Guacamole – simple to make with a few avocados and a dry mix envelope
  • Sour cream
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Cilantro

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 524mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 4mg

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