Slow Cooker Birria de Res

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This Slow Cooker Birria de Res recipe is a Mexican shredded beef dish made with a flavorful combination of dried chile peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and broth. This tender and juicy birria beef is perfect for tacos, burritos, tortas, and more!

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Birria de Res (beef birria) is a deeply rich and ultra-satisfying Mexican beef stew that is so insanely flavorful—you won’t believe it’s made with just a few simple ingredients. It’s made in the slow cooker to give the flavors of the beef, chile peppers, and tomatoes plenty of time to come together. The result is mouthwatering deliciousness.

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, Birria de Res is traditionally made with goat. However, here in the United States, I’ve found that it’s much easier to find beef at the grocery store.

Lucky for me (and now you!), it’s just as delicious with beef roast or beef chuck. To be fair, I haven’t tried making the version with goat at home, but I can’t imagine a dish tastier than this one. Okay, maybe I’m a little biased. But trust me, this Mexican beef dish is the real deal.

Once you’ve shredded the beef and mixed it back into the sauce, you can serve it in tons of different ways. You could scoop it over a bed of rice, pile it into tortillas, roll it into enchiladas, or load it into sandwiches. The options are endless, so let’s get cooking!

If you love making Mexican dishes at home, you will also want to try this Slow Cooker Beef Machaca and Mexican Shredded Beef

Birria de Res Ingredients

Let’s quickly cover the ingredients you’ll need to bring this birria beef recipe to life.

  • Beef Chuck Roast: Chuck roast will give you the most authentic flavor and texture since it has more fat. For a lighter option, swap in lean beef brisket, beef stewing meat, or top round roast. 
  • Chile Peppers: For my birria recipe, I use a combination of three types of dried red chile peppers—guajillo peppers, pasilla chiles, and ancho chiles. You should be able to find them in the international aisle at most grocery stores.
  • Tomatoes: Any medium to large fresh tomatoes, like vine tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, will work well.
  • Chicken Broth: For a more deeply rich and savory birria stew, feel free to use beef broth instead. Regardless of which one you choose, I always opt for the low-sodium variety.
  • Garlic: You can double up on the garlic if you want an extra garlicky flavor. Make sure to use fresh garlic cloves for the best flavor.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Want to make the best-ever Birria de Res? Here are some of my top tips and recipe variations to help you do just that:

  • If you’re worried about the heat, feel free to omit the ancho chiles or simply reduce the amount you use. Even with the ancho chile peppers, this dish is not overly spicy. As long as you can handle a little bit of spice, you’ll be fine.
  • While I like to use chicken broth (there’s already plenty of beef flavor), you can absolutely substitute vegetable broth or beef broth if you want.
  • Make sure to save the broth you use to rehydrate the dried chile peppers—this is going to be a key component of the red chile sauce that we cook the meat in.
  • There are plenty of delicious toppings you can add to slow cooker Birria de Res before serving it. Some of my favorite choices include chopped cilantro, lime wedges, diced red onions, and queso fresco.
  • Try adding a little more flair to the dish by tossing a little of your favorite Mexican beer into the slow cooker with the red chile sauce.

Ways to Serve Birria de Res

Looking for great ways to serve this dish? Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy birria beef:

  • Make birria nachos by adding the beef to tortilla chips along with melted cheese, fresh cilantro, and chopped green onions.
  • Whip up burrito bowls with a base of brown rice or cauliflower rice, followed by your beef and any other toppings you like.
  • Serve your beef over warm corn tortillas with queso fresco and pickled onions for delicious birria tacos.
  • Load up this dish into tortillas and bake a drool-worthy beef enchilada entree that works great for serving large groups.
  • Lighten it up with a birria taco salad by serving this dish over a bed of leafy greens with corn, black beans, queso fresco, and avocado chunks.
  • To lock in tons of extra flavor, brown the beef before adding it to the slow cooker with the sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most popular questions about this slow cooker birria de res recipe:

Any cut of beef that you would ordinally cook in a slow cooker to shred –like brisket, chuck roast, short ribs, and round roast– works great for birria.

Allow your leftover birria beef to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or freezer-safe storage bag. Then, you can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, place it in the fridge for 24-48 hours, then reheat on the stove or in a crockpot.

Birria is most often made with beef, goat, or lamb. However, you could also use pork or chicken if you prefer. Because this dish is cooked to juicy perfection low and slow in the slow cooker, you really can’t go wrong with any type of meat you want to use.

Yes! You can make Instant Pot Birria de Res by following the recipe up to the point where you would ordinarily add the meat and sauce to the slow cooker. Instead, add everything to your Instant Pot and set it to high pressure for 60 minutes. Then, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before manually releasing the rest.
The Recipe
Birria de res with a dark red chile sauce served in a corn tortilla with cilantro.

Slow Cooker Birria de Res

COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 35 Min
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  • 2 lb lean beef chuck roast
  • 3 dried guajillo peppers
  • 2 dried pasilla chiles
  • 2 dried ancho chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth (or beef)
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped

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Heat the dried chiles in a heavy sauce pan for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and puffing up. Add the chicken broth (or water) to the saucepan, turn off the heat, and cover for 30 minutes.


Seed and devein the chiles, saving the water. Add the chiles, water, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, pepper, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth.


Add the sauce and meat the slow cooker. Cook for 6-8 hours on low. Shred with 2 forks.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 334
Calories from Fat 230
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26g
Saturated Fat 10g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 82mg
Sodium 245mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugars 2g
Protein 22g

* 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 authorMeet 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
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