Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos {Easy to Make}

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos {Easy to Make}

This recipe for Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos is cooked in the slow cooker all day to make the perfect tender, juicy, and spicy taco. Easy to make and so delicious.

slow cooker barbacoa tacos

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos

These barbacoa tacos are a family favorite. The boys, especially, ask for them at least once a week. They are easy to make, so I’m happy to oblige.

What I Love About This Recipe: 

  • a slow cooker recipe that cooks up tender and delicious every time
  • always a hit with friends and family
  • perfect for taco night

FAQs

What is Barbacoa?

Barbacoa is a meat that is usually slow-roasted in a spicy sauce. The meat is typically goat, lamb, or beef. Then the beef is served in tacos, burritos, or over a salad

Make Ahead and Storage:

Can I Make Barbacoa Tacos in Advance?

Yes! This is a great recipe to make in advance because the longer it sits in the juices the more flavor it will take on.

Reheating: Reheat meat in its’ juices in a covered saucepan on the stovetop until heated through

Can I Freeze Barbacoa Meat?

Yes! Once the meat has cooled, place it in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months

Thawing: You can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, in a slow cooker on low (with the lid on), or in a covered saucepan on low heat until heated through

What Kind of Tortilla Should Barbacoa Tacos be Served on?

I prefer a corn tortilla, but you can also use flour tortillas. It’s really a matter of preference

How do you Shape Corn Tortillas into Taco Shells?

I like to first, preheat the oven to around 350 degrees. Then, I set them across 2 slats of my oven rack so they hang down on either side. I then bake them for about 5 minutes. They are ready when your tongs can lift them up and they still hold their shape.

Another tip: for crunchy corn tacos, spray the tortillas with cooking oil before baking

What Should I Serve with Barbacoa Tacos?

beef barbacoa tacos

Tips and Tricks:

  • use my method above to shape corn tortillas into shaped taco shells
  • cooking this barbacoa low and slow for about 8-9 hours, but you can still speed up the process by turning your slow cooker to high and cooking it for about 4-5 hours
  • you can substitute liquid beef broth for the water and bouillon cubes – you’ll need 2 cups
  • if the chipotle peppers are too spicy, then substitute chili powder for a milder flavor (about 3 Tbsp.)

barbacoa tacos in the slow cooker

If you are ready to make this delicious Barbacoa Beef, then let’s make sure you have everything you need:

Ingredients…

  • chuck roast – cut into 2-inch slabs. This particular roast is preferred because of the marbling and tender quality of the cut
  • salt – table salt is all you need for this recipe
  • ground black pepper 
  • water – this is to make a beef broth with the bouillon cubes. If you have beef broth liquid already, then you can omit this and the cubes. Use 2 cups of beef broth
  • beef bouillon cubes – the cubes are used to make a beef broth when combined with the hot water in the slow cooker. If you already have beef broth, then you can leave the water and cubes out and just use 2 cups of broth, instead
  • garlic powder – to add flavor
  • onion powder – used to add flavor
  • mustard powder – this adds a little kick and deepens the flavor
  • bay leaves – when bay leaves simmer and break down, their flavor enhances the other flavors already present
  • cumin – a common Mexican spice
  • lime juice – for tang
  • chipotle in adobe sauce – this adds a lot of spice to this dish and gives it a nice kick

How do you make Barbacoa Tacos?

Instructions: 

  • In a slow cooker, add the chuck roast beef, spices, broth, bay leaves, lime juice, and cumin
  • Cover the slow cooker and place it on low for 7-8 hours (occasionally stirring the flavors to make sure they are blended well)
  • Remove beef and shred
  • Spoon some juices out and place in a container to serve with beef tacos
  • Place the beef back in the juice that is left in the slow cooker
  • Serve on warm tortilla shells with toppings

More Mexican Dishes

Mexican Lasagna 

Ground Beef and Corn Mexican Casserole with Jiffy

Mexican Pie Recipe

Print

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos

a slow-roasted beef barbacoa that can be served in tacos, in burritos, or on taco salads

  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7-8 hours
  • Total Time: 21 minute
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 lbs. of chuck roast – cut into 23 inch wide sections
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin powder
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 7 oz. of chipotle in adobe sauce

Instructions

  • Place the slabs of beef in your slow cooker
  • add liquid and bouillon cubes
  • mix spices in a small bowl and shake over the liquid and beef
  • pour in the lime juice
  • add your bay leaves
  • spoon out the chipotle and adobe sauce
  • close the lid and set on low
  • cook for 7-8 hours (beef should be tender enough to pull apart with a fork)
  • remove bay leaves
  • take out the beef and shred it
  • spoon out some of the juice so you have it to serve with the tacos
  • place shredded beef back into the remaining juices
  • serve over warm tortilla shells with your favorite taco toppings

Notes

 

Can I Make Barbacoa Tacos in Advance?

Yes! This is a great recipe to make in advance because the longer it sits in the juices the more flavor it will take on.

Reheating: Reheat meat in its’ juices in a covered saucepan on the stovetop until heated through

Can I Freeze Barbacoa Meat?

Yes! Once the meat has cooled, place it in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months

Thawing: You can thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, in a slow cooker on low (with the lid on), or in a covered saucepan on low heat until heated through

What Kind of Tortilla Should Barbacoa Tacos be Served on?

I prefer a corn tortilla, but you can also use flour tortillas. It’s really a matter of preference

How do you Shape Corn Tortillas into Taco Shells?

I like to first, preheat the oven to around 350 degrees. Then, I set them across 2 slats of my oven rack so they hang down on either side. I then bake them for about 5 minutes. They are ready when your tongs can lift them up and they still hold their shape.

Another tip: for crunchy corn tacos, spray the tortillas with cooking oil before baking

What Should I Serve with Barbacoa Tacos?

  • black beans
  • pico-de-gallo
  • fresh cilantro
  • sliced radishes
  • sour cream
  • Spanish rice
  • guacamole

Tips and Tricks:

  • use my method above to shape corn tortillas into shaped taco shells
  • cooking this barbacoa low and slow for about 8-9 hours, but you can still speed up the process by turning your slow cooker to high and cooking it for about 4-5 hours
  • you can substitute liquid beef broth for the water and bouillon cubes – you’ll need 2 cups
  • if the chipotle peppers are too spicy, then substitute chili powder for a milder flavor (about 3 Tbsp.)

Nutritional Values are only an estimate

 

 

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