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Barbacoa tacos on a plate with cilantro and lime wedges.
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5 from 8 votes

Barbacoa Tacos

Barbacoa tacos are juicy, flavorful, and made easy with a slow cooker! Serve it up family style with toppings for the ultimate taco night.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Barbacoa Recipe, Barbacoa Tacos, Beef Barbacoa Tacos, Shredded Beef
Servings: 8 tacos
Calories: 543kcal
Author: Lisa Bryan



  • 4 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 3-inch chunks
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 3 bay leaves

Taco Ingredients

  • tortillas
  • diced onion
  • avocado slices
  • chopped cilantro
  • sour cream or cheese optional


  • Add all of the ingredients, except the bay leaves, to the bowl of a slow cooker.
  • Use tongs to gently toss and mix it all together. Then add the bay leaves, and cover. Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. The beef should be tender and fall apart easily when shredded with a fork. If it doesn't shred easily, cook it a bit longer.
    Cooking beef barbacoa in a slow cooker.
  • Remove the beef to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it.
    Shredding beef barbacoa on a cutting board.
  • Place the shredded beef back in the slow cooker, give it a stir, and let it absorb the juices.
    Mixing beef barbacoa in a slow cooker.
  • Use tongs to remove a serving of barbacoa from the slow cooker, top it on a tortilla, and garnish with diced onion, avocado, cilantro, and other toppings.



Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1075mg | Potassium: 923mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 354IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 6mg