Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef

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Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef is satisfying, flavorful, and perfect for loading into tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. With just 5 minutes of prep time, this is the ultimate healthy recipe for taco nights, weeknight dinners, and dinner parties alike.

308 CAL 5g CARBS 14g FAT 38g PROTEIN
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As an avid lover of tacos, I am always on the lookout for fun new ways to spice up taco nights with the family. My husband is a big-time meat lover, so this usually involves experimenting with new types of meaty fillings.

From stars like this Slow Cooker Machaca and Chicken Tinga to amazing taco recipes like these Easy Fish Tacos with Lime Slaw, I have basically become the taco queen.

Therefore, you can trust that I know what I’m talking about when I say this Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef recipe is a major win. Wholesome, flavorful, and fall-apart tender, this dish is a triple threat. It’s perfect for making tacos, topping off burrito bowls, stuffing into quesadillas, and loading up enchiladas.

For a super easy and delicious meal, try serving this Mexican Shredded Beef with some brown rice and Quick Refried Beans for a Mexican-inspired dinner that is guaranteed to please. Child-approved and beyond delicious, this dish does not disappoint!

Looking for a faster way to make beef tacos? Try these easy Ground Beef Tacos and homemade Carne Asada.

Mexican shredded beef tacos served on flour tortillas with pickled red onions, jalapenos, and cilantro.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

To make slow cooker shredded beef, you will need the following key ingredients:

  • Lean beef: I typically opt for extra-lean top round roast, but you can use any lean beef that is good for stewing. Just make sure to cut it into smaller chunks, as this will make shredding way easier later on. If you prefer a cut like tri-tip, try these Slow Cooker Tri Tip Tacos.
  • Beef broth: As with any braised beef dish, the liquid is essential. I opt for beef broth for obvious reasons, but vegetable broth would work well too.
  • Chipotle peppers: These smoky peppers add a ton of flavor and a bit of a kick. If you’re afraid of the dish being too spicy, feel free to cut the amount in half.
  • Tomatoes with green chilies: Make sure not to drain your diced tomatoes, as the canning liquid will contribute to this dish’s flavorful marinade.
  • Apple cider vinegar: A little of this goes a long way in enhancing all of the rich and savory flavors of the dish. Feel free to swap for white vinegar, if needed.
  • Herbs and spices: To season the beef, you will need oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and bay leaves.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Here are my top tips and tricks for making the best slow cooker shredded beef:

  • Spice it up. If you’re craving more of a kick, feel free to add a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Alternatively, you could add 1-2 chili peppers. We also love this Beef Birria is you want something with lots of spicy, smoky flavor.
  • Double the fun. Storing this slow cooker shredded beef is beyond easy, making this dish great for meal prepping and making ahead. I highly recommend doubling up (if your slow cooker has the room) and storing the leftovers to enjoy throughout the week for easy lunches and dinners.
  • Swap out the meat. Not in the mood for beef? Try swapping out the beef with pork or chicken instead.
  • Add garnishes. My garnishes of choice typically include a squeeze of lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro. However, feel free to switch it up with sliced avocado, Pico de Gallo, or a fruity salsa like this delicious Pineapple Salsa.

Easy crockpot Mexican shredded beef cooked with tomatoes, spices, and chipotle peppers in a bowl with a lime wedge.

How to Serve Mexican Shredded Beef

Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef is ultra-versatile, so it’s the perfect way to finish off any Mexican-inspired meal. If you aren’t quite sure where to begin, here are some of my favorite ways to serve shredded beef:

  • Tacos. Mexican shredded beef is juicy, savory, and fall-apart tender, making it a mouth-watering filling for tacos. 
  • Burritos. Stuff a tortilla with this slow cooker beef, brown rice, your beans of choice, and your favorite veggies for a satisfying and flavorful lunch or dinner.
  • Bowls. Every good grain bowl needs a hearty dose of protein. Load up a bowl of rice or quinoa with this dish and all your favorite toppings. It's great on these Cauliflower Rice Taco Bowls.
  • Salads. Similarly, this beef recipe is a great protein to throw on top of any of your favorite Mexican-style salads. Personally, I recommend this Mexican Quinoa, Black Bean, and Corn Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing.
  • Nachos. Loaded nachos, anyone? Try topping your nachos with your slow cooker beef, shredded cheese, sour cream, and black beans for the dreamiest nachos you’ve ever had.
  • Quesadillas. Looking to amp up your favorite quesadilla recipes? Mexican shredded beef is the ideal dish for doing just that.

How to Store Leftover Shredded Beef

This shredded beef dish was practically born to be a meal prep recipe. I almost always double up on the batch and store my leftovers to use for quick meals throughout the week. From salads to burrito bowls, it’s the ultimate secret weapon for upgrading the average desk lunch!

To store your leftovers, allow the dish to cool before transferring it to an airtight bag or container. Then, you can store it in one of two ways:

  • In the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this Mexican shredded beef recipe:

You can make slow cooker beef with any cut of lean beef that is good for stewing. Personally, I like to use extra lean top round roast, but chuck roast and brisket both work well too.

Because this dish is so wildly versatile, you can really pair it with just about anything. Some of my top choices include salads, burrito bowls, nachos, and tacos. That being said, feel free to get creative and serve it any way you like!

To reheat this dish, you can either reheat it on the stove until warmed through or pop it into the oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.

Shredded Mexican beef cooked in the slow cooker and served in a bowl with pickled red onions and wrapped in tortillas.
The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef

308 CAL 5g CARBS 14g FAT 38g PROTEIN
PREP TIME: 1 Hours, 15 Min
COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 9 Hours, 15 Min
1 Comment
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  • 3 lbs. lean top round roast, cut into large chunks (or beef chuck)
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies (undrained)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped (plus more adobo sauce if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

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Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir well to combine.

Lean beef in a slow cooker with tomatoes, beef broth, spices, and chipotle peppers.

Cook on low for 8 hours and shred. Serve with fresh cilantro and lime. This shredded beef is delicious for tacos, salad, burritos, enchiladas, and more.

Shredded beef being served in a flour tortilla with avocado, pickled red onions, and jalapeno.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup beef
Amount Per Serving
Calories 308
Calories from Fat 128
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 117mg
Sodium 677mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 38g

* 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.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
1 Comment
On Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef
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April 8, 2023 - 15:31
Add a Rating:
I'm just here for the seasoning suggestion (recipe), NO WAY on those pickled onions :(. I am looking forward to trying a small crock of this with some lean round. Thank you.
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