Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

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I think I may be one of the only people in the world who’s not a Chipotle fan. I know…judge away.

But. I absolutely love shredded beef tacos. They’re my absolute favorite thing to order at two of my favorite Mexican restaurants in town. So when I saw one of my favorite bloggers post a delicious photo and recipe of her shredded beef tacos a few months ago, I knew I had to give them a try!

In the past whenever I’ve tried making shredded beef, the seasonings have always seemed too bland. But sure enough, this recipe — rockin’ the chipotle peppers, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic and more — made for some totally flavorful tacos!!! And for leftovers later in the week…it starred again in some quesadillas and sandwiches as well. :)

So bring out your crock pot, and give this recipe a try! It’s definitely a keeper!

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Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 3-4 servings 1x


This slow cooker shredded beef recipe is packed with flavor, simple to make, and the beef is delicious in all sorts of other recipes as well.


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds beef (I used a boneless chuck roast)
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced (if you want extra flavor/heat, add an extra pepper)
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Flour tortillas

Favorite taco toppings:

  • guacamole or sliced avocado
  • salsa
  • Mexican rice
  • grated cheese
  • fresh lettuce
  • tomato
  • onion
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges


  1. Whisk together the chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix into the beef, covering each side evenly.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place the beef in the skillet and sear on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the beef from the skillet and place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and diced onion to the saute pan. Saute for an additional 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the beef stock and stir the pan to deglaze it, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add tomato paste and minced chipotle, and whisk into the pan sauce until combined. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for a 3-5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly. Pour the pan sauce down over the beef in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until the beef shreds easily.
  4. Shred the beef with two forks, and toss to coat with any of the remaining juices. Serve the beef in the flour tortillas, topped with your favorite taco toppings.


Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

Ali’s Tip:

If you’re like me and rarely make it through an entire can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, would highly recommend chipotle powder! It’s now available in most grocery stores, and is so fun to have on hand. For one pepper, I usually substitute in around 1/2 tsp. of the powder.

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310 comments on “Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos”

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  1. Pingback: Top Ten Crockpot Recipes Roundup

  2. I made this and used for beef enchiladas. Super good. Even the finicky children liked it. :)

    I have the same issue about never using the full can of adobo, so I just freeze the remainder. Lasts forever.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • We’re glad to hear that, David — we appreciate you giving it a try! :)

  3. Those look amazing but I have to ask about those tortillas!  Are those homemade or store bought?

    • Thanks, Tricia — we hope you enjoy the recipe! And the tortillas are store bought. :)

  4. Thank you, great recipe!   I added a little bit of fresh squeezed lime juice in my crock pot came out soft and flavorful.  I usually prep the meat and place everything in crock pot and refrigerate the nite before.  Then put on low heat and go to work in the morning.  When I get home only 20 minutes to just warm some tortillas and gather up my toppings.  Home by 5 dinner by 530 and leftovers for the next day, crockpots should be mandatory in every home.  Keep pumping out more recipes you’re the best!

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  6. I love Mexican food, as soon as I can make this recipe at home.

  7. How is the cook time only 15 minutes? Also since you simmer for 3-5 minutes, I don’t see how the prep time is only 5 minutes.

    • Hi John — oh no, that is a big error! We’ve just edited the recipe to reflect the proper prep and cook times. We apologize for this!

    • Great tacos – really really tasty – thank you for sharing this recipe…, I added black pepper and Himalayan salt obsoletely wonderful.

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  9. Pingback: Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos – Eating the Internet

  10. CAn I slow cook a beef brisket instead?

    • Hi Raymond! Yes, definitely! Just put the brisket in the slow cooker, fat-side up. We hope you enjoy!

  11. 5 stars
    Made this many times! A great recipe which i recommend to everyone, thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    Amazing!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

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  14. Pingback: 65+ Slow Cooker Tacos Recipes with Beef, Pork, or Chicken | Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker

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  16. 5 stars
    I use an entire can of chipotle peppers. I’m in Colorado. :D

  17. Pingback: 25 simple beef crockpot recipes you have to try – Site To US

  18. Have anyone ever made this in an InstantPot? If so what was the cooking time? TIA

    • I just made this in my stovetop pressure cooker and cooked it at pressure for 50 minutes. I did double the beef stock to not burn or run out of liquid though. You will have to strain out the extra liquid but its so tasty, thanks for the recipe

  19. 5 stars
    Really tasty, I cut out a lot of the fat from the meat, prior to cooking. I just didn’t want to be be eating all that fat with my meat. It still tasted really good. I used the canned Adobe pepper and sauce and froze the rest in individual portions for another time. This recipe is a keeper.

  20. 5 stars
    I made this once before and absolutely loved it, only thing was that it was SO spicy. I want to make them again for Super Bowl but am worried about the spice for so many people. I see no one else commented about how spicy they are, is there a mild version of chipotle peppers and maybe I bought a hot version? Or are these just VERY spicy? Wondering if I could not use the actual chipotle pepper but just maybe some of the sauce from the can and still get the same great flavors?

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  22. 5 stars
    I’ve made these a few times, always delish…but, I forgot the tomato paste at the store and snow is coming down hard…can I do without it or do you have substitution recommendations?

  23. Pingback: Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos – Carmen's Fresh Bite

  24. Hi!

    I want to make this for about 15 people. What size roast and how long would you suggest?

    Thank you!

  25. 4 stars
    Hot damn! I just realized I have never left a comment! We made this for the first time on cinco de mayo (I used the link you left another commenter to do this in the oven), made again two weeks later by SO request. He has been bugging me the last few weeks about when we’re gonna make this again :) we’re going to try in the instant pot tonight since it’s too warm to run the oven for a few hours today

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  27. Pingback: Free Printable Menu Plan + Dinner Ideas for the Week of 10-15-18 - Food Life Design

  28. 5 stars
    This was so so good! I only used one pepper as my husband doesn’t like spicy but I definitely think I could have used more. The whole family loved this (which is unusual as it seems there is always one that doesn’t like what I make). This will definitely be a repeater!!

  29. Pingback: Free Printable Weekly Meal Plan #25 - Food Life Design

  30. 5 stars
    Made this this morning for dinner, we ended up eating it for lunch and making another batch for dinner! I omitted the chipotle peppers since I forgot to get some and it was soooo darn good!!! Added sauted bell peppers with onions and rice pilaf to toppings and it was delicious! Thank you for this recipe!!

  31. 5 stars
    Forgot to rate :)

  32. I make this whenever we have a large group of people around for dinner. Its amazing! Totally recommend :)

  33. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight! We thought it was really good, but next time I’m going to add more chipotle peppers – not hot enough for our taste :)

    I cooked it in the oven at 275 for about 4 1/2 hours.

  34. Pingback: 16 Of The Best Tacos To Make For Every Meal Of The Day · Jillee

  35. 5 stars
    Made this in my Instant Pot, cooked on high pressure for 1 hour and used the quick release method. Turns out perfect everytime!

    • I was wondering if anyone had tried this in the instant pot! Was your meat frozen or fresh when you put it in the instant pot? Thanks!!

  36. I have made this recipe several times. It is easy and delicious!

  37. Can I substitute boneless chuck roast for boneless chuck steak? I couldn’t find the roast.

  38. Pingback: Weeknight Meal Plan: July Week 2 - My Texas Kitchen

  39. Yes.

  40. I have made this recipe before and it was great! But I’m wondering, do you think this would work with chicken instead of beef?

    • I do something similar with chicken. I use 3 chicken breast and pour my favorite hot sauce or picante sauce over it. Cook on high in crock pot for 3 hours. Easy way to shred it is in your Kitchen Aid Mixer.

  41. Has anyone tried making this without the pepper in Adobo? I’m not familiar with adobo sauce, but I have a kiddo who can’t handle any amount of spice and I want to try this. Is it possible to just skip that, or is there adobo without pepper and is it spicy at all? Like, at all at all she’s super sensitive to heat of any kind. Tia.

  42. Perfect combination of spices

  43. If I have premade shredded beef, unflavored no spices, how would I go about cooking this?

  44. Amazing! Made for Cinco de Mayo with pineapple cucumber salsa on top. Meat was spicy and delicious.
    Super easy too!

  45. Delicious!

  46. Has anyone made this and substituted petite diced tomatoes instead of tomato paste?

  47. I have made this multiple times and everyone loves it!! I was wondering can you make this with pork shoulder?

  48. Would you need to change anything if this was made in a pressure cooker?

  49. I’m with you on Chipotle. This looks delicious—thanks for sharing!

  50. Is it okay if we don’t use tomato sauce?