Slow Cooker Beef Machaca

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Slow Cooker Beef Machaca is a healthy beef dish with bell peppers, tomatoes, and just enough spice that's great for tacos, bowls, and more. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down

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Slow Cooker Beef Machaca is a traditional Mexican dish full of peppers, tomatoes, and spice that makes a delicious taco or burrito filling.

Last night I dreamed about being a cowboy, about long nights on the trail and campfires and ….smores. So maybe it was more like camping than cowboying, but I was riding a horse and dressed in the best of cowboy attire. Where did this cowboy dream come from? I think the blame lies with this Machaca which I ate much too much of last night.

Slow Cooker Beef Machaca on a plate with rice.

You see, Machaca traditionally was a dish made by cowboys and ranchers involving dehydrated beef, some chili peppers, and was eaten with whatever was handy. Sometimes it was rolled into flour tortillas, many times it was scrambled up with eggs, and sometimes it was fried into crispy little taquitos. This version skips the dehydrated beef but uses all the traditional flavors and can be eaten a thousand different ways. Make extra. You can always freeze it if you don’t finish it.

When you are making this Slow Cooker Beef Machaca, keeps these things in mind:

  • Most of the spice in the dish is coming from the serrano peppers. These can be very spicy but tend to mellow out a bit when they are cooked for a long time. If you are worried about the spice, you can use jalapenos or poblano peppers instead. You could also use canned chipotle peppers if you want to add a smoky flavor.
  • Although traditionally made with beef, this recipe is also really delicious with chicken. I prefer using chicken thighs since they stay nice and tender when cooked but chicken breast would also work as well. And although I haven't tried it, I imagine that pork would work really well too.
  • If you can find Maggi sauce, it will give it more of a traditional flavor. Maggi is a seasoning sauce that is used in a lot of Mexican, Latin, and Asian cooking. It's a salty sauce, kind of like soy, but it does contain MSG so depending on your dietary needs you may want to use soy or Worcestershire sauce instead. There are also many versions depending on the country its intended for. I prefer the Mexican Maggi Jugo if you can find it.

Slow Cooker Beef Machaca with tomatoes, rice, and cilantro.

Here are some things I used to help prepare this recipe:

  • Slow Cooker: There are so many different slow cookers on the market but I personally use this one that allows me to brown, sear, or saute in the same pan. Plus I find the cooking temperature to be really even and consistent.

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The Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Machaca

COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 3 lbs. lean eye of round beef roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or Maggi sauce )
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 U garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 U serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 1/2 cup nonfat beef broth
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

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Season the beef with salt and pepper and place into the slow cooker.


In a medium bowl, whisk together the lime juice, beef broth, and Maggi. Stir in the other ingredients and then pour over the beef.


Cook on low in the slow cooker for 8 hours. Then shred the beef using two forks and serve. I usually like to let the shredded beef hang out in all the cooking liquid/sauce for about 30 minutes before serving. Just keep the slow cooker on low.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup (268g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 247
Calories from Fat 53
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 102mg
Sodium 204mg
Total Carbohydrate 6g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 40g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Slow Cooker Beef Machaca
† SmartPoints™ and PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
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On Slow Cooker Beef Machaca
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June 23, 2018 - 18:33
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Very tender and tasty! Will definitely fix this one again.
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May 30, 2017 - 14:49
This recipe sounds amazing and I would love to make it for this weekend. My sister-in-law is coming to visit and she is on Weight Watchers right now. My brother and my husband are meat and potato guys so I know they will love this dish. Could you tell me what else you serve along with it usually to round out the meal? I see rice in the photo but am not sure my SIL would prefer that unless perhaps I made brown rice instead. I would love any suggestions you have for side dishes etc. Thanks so much!!!Debbie
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November 7, 2018 - 09:15
Great question! I actually love to serve this as tacos with rice and beans on the side. Your sister in law could use low carb tortillas. And most beans are zero points, so that would be a good option for her. You could also use cauliflower rice or make a Mexican inspired salad with black beans, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro.
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