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Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef

One of these days, my family is going to revolt and make me stop cooking Mexican-spiced food. Until then, I shall cook it to my heart’s content. This recipe for shredded beef is super easy and economical, too. Start with a beef roast, top it with all those yummy spices, a little of this, a little of that, and you’ve got a fuss-free dinner that is delish. Try it in burritos!

a bowl of shredded beef with slices of fresh lime

I LOVE this Shredded Beef Recipe!

Since I was a kid, throwing a roast in the slowcooker has been a go-to move for dinner. Seriously. Toss it in, add your favorite vegetables and seasonings, put on the lid and let it go for hours.

This version is no different. Pick out a nice beef roast such as a chuck roast or arm roast, and go to town with the spices. It is that simple.

Of course, we’ve got a couple of twists and turns to make it extra tasty. Here’s what you’ll need to make this shredded beef recipe.

overhead picture of a crockpot with a beef roast, next to measuring cups and bowl of spices

Ingredients Needed:

  • Beef roast – Pick a 3 to 4 pound roast (or whatever will fit in a 6 quart Crockpot or slowcooker). Chuck roast or arm roast will work best.
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Onion powder and / or Garlic powder
  • Salt + pepper
  • Onion
  • Salsa – You can also use canned, diced tomatoes, such as Ro-Tel.
  • Pickled peppers AND the juice – Go mild or wild to change the heat level.
  • Liquid – Just a little, you can use water, broth, or beer.

This is one of those recipes where you can raid your spice cabinet and pantry and use what you have on hand. For example…if you have some oregano, add a little for earthy flavor. I was out (boo!) or else I would have added a little.

a white bowl with spices

Don’t have onion powder, use garlic powder. Don’t have either, that’s ok. Use what you’ve got. (Be careful, do not confuse onion powder with onion salt! Two totally different things and you don’t want this to get too salty.)

We used our favorite brand of salsa in this shredded beef recipe. However, you can use a can of Ro-Tel, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of stewed tomatoes. Whatever you have on hand.

For the pickled peppers, I used a combination of mild banana peppers and jalapeno slices. Definitely a fridge-raid, y’all. Another good option would be tamed jalapenos. Whatever pickled pepper you pick, save that juice! You will need it for this recipe.

a measuring cup of tomato salsa next to a smaller measuring cup of pickled peppers

TIP: Not only does using the pepper juice give this recipe tangy flavor, it also helps to tenderize the beef roast.

pickled peppers

How to Make Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef:

  1. Place the beef roast in the bottom of a 6 quart (or whatever size you’ve got where the roast will fit). Sprinkle all of the spices over the roast.
  2. Next, add the chopped onion and salsa (or tomatoes) on top.
  3. Pour the pickled peppers and the juice over everhthing. Add the liquid (water, broth, or beer)..
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours (on high for 4 – 5 hours) until the beef is tender and easily pulls apart using a fork.
  5. Using two forks, shred the beef and stir it into the sauce. Serve hot.

Yay! Dinner is served. Seriously, this recipe is a keeper. Make it YOUR WAY. Make it your own. That’s part of the fun of cooking. This recipe is only a suggestion.

tender beef roast in a slowcooker

You can serve the shredded beef in so many different ways. Family style is a great option. A table full of this flavorful and tender beef served with warm rice, tortillas, lettuce, fresh veggies and sauces.

This beef also makes a fantastic filling for burritos. Make up a batch and freeze them for later. So good! (And smart thinking for you meal preppers.)

close up picture of shredded beef

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try:

Chili Colorado Skillet

Spicy Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Cheesy Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Can I Make This in My Instant Pot?

Yes.

Follow your manufacturer’s instructions on cooking a beef roast for exact times. You may want to add a little more liquid to the recipe.

Also, since this is a whole piece of thick meat, the cooking time in an Instant Pot will vary. Many beef roast recipes prepared in an Instant Pot require you to cut the meat into smaller pieces. That is a great idea for this recipe.

shredded beef on a tortilla

Tips + Ideas for Amazing Results:

  • Trim off excess fat from your beef roast before adding it to the slow cooker. Fat is a good thing in this recipe, but there is likely enough in the actual roast…so cut off the extra on the outside.
  • If your roast won’t fit into your slowcooker or Crockpot, cut it and make it fit.
  • Feel free to use your own combination of Mexican-style spices based on what you have on hand.
  • Like it hot? Use pickled jalapenos. Need it mild? Use tamed jalapenos or mild banana peppers.
  • The sauce will thicken as it stands. If you want it thicker, take a small bowl. Stir together a teaspoon cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Pour that mixture into the finished shredded beef and sauce. Stir well.
  • This makes AMAZING leftovers and is an ideal meal prep recipe.

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close up picture of shredded beef
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Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef

A delicious, Mexican-style recipe for shredded beef prepared in a slow cooker.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword shredded beef
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 445kcal
Author Buy This Cook That

Equipment

  • Crockpot or slowcooker (see notes about preparing in an Instant Pot)

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds chuck roast trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup salsa or undrained diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pickled peppers
  • 1 cup pickled pepper juice
  • 1/2 cup water or broth or beer

Instructions

  • Place the beef roast in the bottom of a 6 quart (or whatever size you’ve got where the roast will fit). Sprinkle all of the spices over the roast.
  • Next, add the chopped onion and salsa (or tomatoes) on top.
  • Pour the pickled peppers and the juice over everhthing. Add the liquid (water, broth, or beer)..
  • Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours (on high for 4 – 5 hours) until the beef is tender and easily pulls apart using a fork.
  • Using two forks, shred the beef and stir it into the sauce. Serve hot.

Notes

The nutritional information does NOT include any toppings, tortillas, etc.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 883mg | Potassium: 959mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1363IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 6mg

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