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Slow Cooker Barbacoa (Chipotle copycat!)

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Slow Cooker Barbacoa (Chipotle copycat!) is an easy base for any Mexican meal! This flavorful meat takes just 10 minutes of prep time and slow cooking in the slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker Barbacoa (chipotle copycat)

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Most of the time when I’m creating slow cooker meals, I aim to make them as easy as possible in terms of prep, because that’s sort of the whole point of the slow cooker, right?

But once in a while, it really makes a big difference to sear a meat before slow cooking it, and it’s necessary. (So believe me when I say it’s necessary, it’s not very often!)

My Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken? Dump and go. Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls? Dump and go. Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff? Dump and go. If you need more examples…here are all of my easy and healthy slow cooker recipes.

And Slow Cooker Barbacoa is no different, it’s one of those “dump and go” slow cooker meals that we all love so much.

What is Slow Cooker Barbacoa?

Barbacoa beef is usually a mix of various beef cuts, but in this version, I used an easy-to-find beef chuck roast. It’s shredded and has a smoky, slightly spicy sauce. It’s delicious and full of flavor!

My version is pretty close to the Chipotle version, because I based this recipe off of the ingredients they use. And the secret ingredient? Ground cloves. Don’t skip them because they give it the unmistakable Barbacoa flavor.

What to Make with Slow Cooker Barbacoa

There are so many ways to use this slow cooker barbacoa! Tacos with a fresh cabbage slaw, burritos stuffed with rice and beans, quesadillas with melty cheese, nachos with plenty of toppings, or even green lettuce taco salads are always good and easy options.

But this slow cooker barbacoa is really destined for Slow Cooker Barbacoa Burrito Bowls! (Just like the ones at Chipotle!) We’ll layer it on some cilantro and lime rice, top it with some beans, corn, sour cream, and of course, a Chipotle copycat guacamole!

Slow Cooker Barbacoa (Chipotle copycat!)

Have I convinced you to try this Slow Cooker Barbacoa yet? Be sure to tag me (@myeverydaytable or #myeverydaytable) when you make this recipe, I love to see your creations!

No slow cooker? I recommend getting one. They are so easy to use, versatile, and very inexpensive. My slow cooker is in our moving pod (we recently moved from LA to Minneapolis) and after a few weeks without one, I ordered this 6 qt. Crockpot brand slow cooker from amazon. (affiliate link). It’s $40 and does everything I need it to do!

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Slow Cooker Barbacoa (Chipotle copycat!)

Slow Cooker Barbacoa (Chipotle copycat!)

  • Author: Emily Dingmann from myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: about 6 cups 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican
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Slow Cooker Barbacoa (Chipotle copycat!) is an easy base for any Mexican meal! This flavorful meat takes just 10 minutes of prep time and slow cooking in the slow cooker. 


  • 3.54 lb. boneless chuck roast
  • 1 tsp. salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp. chipotle peppers in adobo (see notes)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. dried cloves
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth


  1. Place chuck roast in a 6 qt. slow cooker.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and place bay leaves on top of meat.
  3. Stir together remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour mixture over meat.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Shred and season with more salt if necessary.


  • Chipotle peppers in adobo are found in small cans in the Mexican or Hispanic section. I recommend chopping up the whole can, using what you need and freezing the rest in a plastic bag. Freeze until you need more and then you can just break chunks off as needed.

Keywords: barbacoa, beef, slow cooker beef, chipotle

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