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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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240 comments on “Slow-Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos”

  1. I’ve made plenty of slow cooker shredded beef recipes and am always disappointed.  This, by far, is the best!  It’s a perfect blend of spices.  I’m so happy I tried this, as I was ready to succumb to the boring shredded beef recipes from the past.  Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  This was delicious! I doubled the chipotle peppers because my husband loves spicy tacos, but the meat wasn’t spicy at all, yet full of flavor!

  2. This looks delicious!  Any thoughts on doing this in a Dutch oven?  Seems reasonable but II’m wondering what temp and for how long.  Any ideas?  Thanks!

    • Sure thing. I haven’t tried it in a Dutch oven, but imagine it would need to cook on medium-low (stirring occasionally) for at least 3-4 hours.

  3. I’ve got this in the slow cooker now and am looking forward to tacos tonight, but I’m curious: Why don’t you list the ingredients in the order in which they appear in the method? 

  4. Made these tacos the other day. And the meat was so delicious, juicy and tender. We love chipotle at our house, I added an extra pepper and some of the adobo sauce into the meat sauce. It was wonderful it didn’t even need salsa. We’re Hispanic and do much of that cooking in our household and were very pleased with this recipe! My husband, who is from Mexico, couldn’t get enough of these. Thanks :)

  5. A great, simple recipe! All I had on hand was a red onion and no tomato paste & it still tasted great!

  6. I just recently found this recipe and was wondering what could you substitute instead of Chili adobo? I’m not a fan of that flavor…possibly able to leave it out? 

    • Hey Stacey! If you’re not big on that smokey, tangy flavor adobo has, I would just omit it. If you want more spice, you could add some hot sauce or chili flakes. Hope that helps!

  7. I just found this today and am making it tomorrow. So looking forward to our tacos tomorrow! I love shredded beef tacos. On a side note, you’re right, I never use all the chipotle peppers in the can. I just put the extra in a baggie and throw them in the freezer. When I need some, I just take them out of the freezer, thaw and get out what I need, and put the bag back in the freezer again. Been doing this for years and never had any problem with them.

  8. which yields the best results: 3-4 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low?

  9. Which yields best results: 3-4 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low?

  10. This is one of my favourite slow cooking beef recipes which I make on a regular basis. Absolutely love it, it’s not too spicy in case anyone wondered as my hubby loves it and doesn’t like spicy food. (I normally use half of the suggested chilli powder)

    Another really helpful tip which I read on here, is to freeze the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in a plastic bag (squash it flat) then as you need it, just break a piece off & use from frozen.

    Wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing! :)

    • Thank you so much, I’m happy to hear you and your husband like these so much! Also, thanks for your tip on the chipotle peppers! Cheers! : )

  11. I just put these in the crock pot. I couldn’t find the peppers so I substituted with different peppers. Our house smells delish! Can’t wait to try! 

  12. I have this in the crock pot for the last 6 hours on low but it’s still to hard to shred??

  13. I made this recipe out of a combo beef and pork stew meat (that’s what I had). I cooked for 4 hours in slow cooker then made burrito bowls. The whole family loved them. Wonderful flavor in the meat. I am sharing with all my foodie friends. Thank you for sharing Ali!

  14. im trying this recipe for the first time! I still cooking as I toe! I’m having my Cinco de Mayo party and after reading the reviews I’m sure it will be great! I’ll let you know  tomorrow. 

  15. Hi!

    Would you suggest halving the recipe to make it enough for two people? So exited to make this…2nd meal of the relationship so wish me luck! It looks great!:)

    • Hi Lauren! Yes, I think this recipe would work just fine, halved. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out for you guys. : )

  16. Yum! Absolutely perfect! This website seriously NEVER disappoints! 

  17. Making it tonight, semelles good so far.

  18. I made this yesterday. I added an equal amnuot of chicken stock because I was cooking 4lbs of pork. I let the whole thing go in my slow cooker for about 3 hours. It was excellent, but I had to add a significant amnuot of salt to bring the flavor up to where it should be. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Thanks Niraj, we’re happy you liked these! Thanks for sharing how you made them with pork! :)

  19. Made these last week (had a Mexican themed date night at home), awesome!  Making them again tonight for some friends, cheers from New Zealand!

    • Thanks for sharing Kylie, we’re happy you liked them, and hope your New Zealand friends do as well! :)

  20. Hi, I’d like to try and make the shredded beef tacos can you please tell me where I can get the chipotle adobo sauce would I be able to get it from any grocery store?

    • Hi Diana! You can find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the International aisle of most grocery stores. We hope this helps!

  21. What are the nutritional requirements on the Slow Cooker Shredded Beef tacos? Thanks!

    • Hi Karen! We’re sorry but we currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site. The nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. But many of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate! We hope this is helpful, and are sorry we’re not able to provide the nutrition info on these!

  22. These were fantastic! Thanks so much. There are just two of us and so we used half a roast and the same amount of everything else. Loved it. 

  23. Making this for dinner tonight, it looks delicious, just wanted to say Thank You!

  24. Thank you for this delicious recipe! I made it for dinner tonight. Served it with corn tortillas, guacamole, raw onion,  greek yogurt & cheddar cheese! Have a feeling, that I will be making it a lot!.

  25. Made this for my boyfriend last night and he loved it!! The only thing I changed was chipotle chili powder instead of can of chipotle in adobo. I was going to buy the adobo seasoning but it’s just salt, garlic and onion powder so I decided to skip it since the recipe calls for onion and garlic. Anyway it was amazing and he cooks so he’s kinda hard to impress but he was amazed by this. Recipe is going in my recipe book :) Thanks!

  26. i know this was posted a while ago, but I have to comment…  This recipe is amazing!!!  I have made it three times in two months and am always sad when there aren’t more leftovers.  I tweeted it a bit, adding 1 tsp Chipotle Powder and 1/2 tsp kosher salt in the rub for the meat before searing.  After I have shredded the meat and tossed it back in with the juice, I squeeze one lime and add some fresh chopped cilantro and stir it all up.  My husband says this is the best shredded beef he has ever had!!!  Thank you for posting this recipe, it is my go to and so easy to put together. ?

    • That’s awesome to hear Christina, we’re happy you and your husband like these so much – thanks for sharing! :D

  27. it is so beautiful and it looks so delicious. I like it. Slow cooker fiesta shredded meat is so easy to do and it has many nutrition.

  28. I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was fantastic!  My hard to please 12 year old ate four tacos!  I served it with avocados, home made salsa, lime, and shredded cheese.This is definitely a fav now.  In fact, I will be making this for a potluck party next week.  Thanks so much for sharing.

  29. AMAZING. It was perfect! I have the tendency of upping spices when I make a recipe so I used quite a bit more paprika and garlic than what was called for. My husband was blown away :) thanks for the amazing recipe! 

  30. These are so delicious. I made them for myself & my husband. I put the left overs in a tupperware and the next day for lunch it was even better.

  31. I am so glad I came across your recipe a few months ago!
    My husband LOVES this so much we have had it every Friday for 2 months straight! Lol.  Usually in puffy tacos, and I will save the leftovers for enchiladas!

  32. Made this today. Oh my!  The aroma while it was cooking alone was unbelievable, and I was not even hungry…The taste was so wonderful.  My husband and daughter loved them, too!  It is a repeat for sure.  We had the option of soft flour and hard corn tortillas. While the soft was awesome, the corn was the best.  I did add garlic salt, dry parsley, dry cilantro and oregano to the rub, but kept to the recipe the rest of the way. This is the first comment I’ve ever left on anything, it was that good!  Thanks for sharing. 

    • Thanks for sharing Terry — we’re glad to hear you and your family enjoyed these! :)

  33. I made this last night and i NEVER comment on recipes.  By far one of the best recipes I’ve cooked in a while.  It will def be a regular in our household.  Thanks for sharing.  :)

    • Wow, thank you for your sweet comment Lauren! We’re thrilled you and your family enjoyed these!

  34. Made this overnight in the slow cooker for around 12hrs on low. It shreds beautifully and is packed with flavour. Definitely making this again soon. A fantastic recipe – followed it to the letter.

  35. Just a question…. I don’t have any kind of broth or stock on hand so water would work too right?  Don’t bouillon cubes either. 

    • Hi Ashley! We would strongly recommend getting some broth or stock as water will not give the meat the flavor it needs.

  36. Separate the chipotle peppers out individually on a piece of parchment paper or wax paper and lay them on a cookie sheet in the freezer freezing for about two hours or until they’re frozen solid. Once they’re frozen solid toss them in a freezer bag this will allow you just to use one at a time and they won’t be stuck together. I do this with green onions and all other things that I can’t use all of. 

  37. This was the easiest and tastiest recipe that I have come across. I didn’t have the actual chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, so I used the dried seasoning, it was still amazing. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you for sharing.

  38. I don’t have a slow cooker – can I use a crock pot on the stove or in the oven instead?

    • Hi Bec! We haven’t experimented with trying this recipe in the stove or oven, however we think that should work. We would recommend following the cooking method in this recipe (or you can google “slow roasted shredded beef,” and will find other similar ones). We hope this helps!

  39. Making this right now and my house smells so good! Making taquitos with it tomorrow for family Sunday dinner. I’m sure I will try a little out when it’s done though. Can’t wait!

  40. 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! :)

  41. 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. :)

  42. 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!

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

  44. 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.

  45. 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!

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

  47. Amazing!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!

  48. I use an entire can of chipotle peppers. I’m in Colorado. :D

  49. 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

  50. 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.