Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

January 28, 2018

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos have been on of my go-to regular recipes for 5+ years! These easy, restaurant quality Mexican tacos are perfectly flavorful and oh so tender. Load them up or serve them street taco style with just onion, cilantro and lime.

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

Shredded Beef Tacos

I actually shared this recipe back in January of 2012 (and I’ve made them probably 100 times since) but I wanted to update the photos and also the method a little.

Back then I just added the beef into the slow cooker without browning it first, which yes you can do, but those 6 minutes of browning are a game changer I tell you.

It makes such a difference that it’s the only way I’ll make these shredded beef tacos anymore.

Seasoned taco meat shown here after shredded in a slow cooker

Ingredients for This Recipe

  • Chuck roast or cross rib roast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Beef both
  • Spices including chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder
  • Fresh lime
  • Tortillas and toppings, for serving

Scroll below for printable recipe.

How to Make These Tacos

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Dab both sides of beef dry with paper towels.
  • Season beef with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper) and sear in pot until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes each side.
  • Transfer beef to a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker. Pour beef broth over roast.

  • Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powder evenly over roast. Cover slow cooker and cook on low heat 8 hours (high heat cooking is not recommend here).

  • Remove roast from slow cooker, shred beef (remove fat) and return shredded beef to slow cooker (season with a little more salt if needed).

  • Add in lime juice, cover with lid and cook on low an additional 5 – 10 minutes while preparing toppings and tortillas.

  • Remove beef from slow cooker with tongs to remove juices when plating or drain in a colander.

  • Serve in warmed tortillas with desired toppings.

two beef tacos with corn tortillas shown here on an individual white plate with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and avocado. Served with a side of mexican rice.

Can I use Fresh Onion and Garlic?

You can also go use fresh onion and garlic here if preferred. To do so after browning roast, saute 1 small onion halved along with 3 or 4 cloves of garlic (in place of the garlic powder) in that same oil in the pot after you’ve browned the roast.

Then pour the broth into the pot with the onion and garlic and scrape up those browned bits at the bottom, and finally pour that mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.

This recipe yields perfectly tender, wonderfully seasoned and flavorful beef. You’re whole family will love these tacos, trust me!

Any left over beef from this recipe can also be used for tacos, enchiladas, taquitos, nachos or burritos.

I hope it becomes a favorite for your family too!

More Taco Recipes You Might Like

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

4.5 from 4 votes

These tacos have been a family favorite and a reader favorite for 5+ years! They're so easy to make and so flavorful! They taste just like the tacos you order at Mexican restaurants. The shredded beef makes great leftover too.

Servings: 6
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (2.5 - 3 lb) chuck roast or cross rib roast
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14 oz) can beef broth
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 1 lime

For serving

  • Warmed corn tortillas or fresh flour tortillas
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole or diced avocados
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh pico de gallo or diced tomatoes
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Dab both sides of beef dry with paper towels. 

  2. Season beef with salt and pepper (about 1 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper) and sear in pot until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes each side.

  3. Transfer beef to a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker. Pour beef broth over roast.

  4. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powder evenly over roast. Cover slow cooker and cook on low heat 8 hours (high heat cooking is not recommend here).

  5. Remove roast from slow cooker, shred beef (remove fat) and return shredded beef to slow cooker (season with a little more salt if needed). 

  6. Add in lime juice, cover with lid and cook on low an additional 5 - 10 minutes while preparing toppings and tortillas.

  7. Remove beef from slow cooker with tongs to remove juices when plating or drain in a colander. 

  8. Serve in warmed tortillas with desired toppings.

  9. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Recipe Notes

Tortillas and toppings not included in nutritional value.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 386 Calories from Fat 225
% Daily Value*
Fat 25g38%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 130mg43%
Sodium 433mg19%
Potassium 717mg20%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Protein 33g66%
Vitamin A 620IU12%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 4.7mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Shredded Beef Tacos, Tacos
Author: Jaclyn

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182 Comments

  • Madina

    My hubby bought large pre cut pieces of beef chuck – will it work or it should be a large piece instead? Also, I can’t find the video for this recipie…

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’ve never used smaller pieces but it should still work. And sorry unfortunately I don’t have a video for this recipe.

      • Madina

        Jaclyn: it would be great if u make a video whenever u have a chance and add it to this recipie.

  • Jessica

    I made this last night and it was fantastic!! I didn’t have some of the spices called for and it was still amazing!! My family loved it even some of my picky eaters.

  • Melody Pizzi

    This is my go to for any type of shredded beef mexican dish. I use it to make nachos, taco salads, enchiladas, tacos…It is so good and easy.

  • EvanGerb

    I used a cross rib roast as recommended, but wish I would have chosen a chuck instead. Followed directions exactly but the cross rib WOULD NOT SHRED at all! I had to cut it into pieces instead, and even that was not easy because it was a little tough. Didn’t look anything like your pretty picture. Next time I’m opting for a chuck! The flavor was good, but disappointed in the shred factor.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry that happened. I’ve use a cross rib roast in the slow cooker probably 50 times by now between this recipe french dip and others and have never had that happened. Not sure what went wrong, maybe just a bad cut of meat or the slow cooker not working properly. Hope it turns out perfect for you next time!

    • Melissa

      If that ever happens again, let it keep cooking until it shreds. It will eventually. Sometimes it takes much longer due to the meat.

  • Bridget

    I have been making these tacos for several years now. They come out perfect every time. My family loves them! Also a great alternative to standard taco meat for a taco party with friends.

  • Rachel M

    Made these the other night and they were a big hit! They reheat beautifully and taste great as a nacho topping too. Another great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  • Elaine Lambert

    Has anyone tried this without cumin? My hubby hates cumin, which makes finding taco recipes difficult!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You can just omit it. You could also add another Mexican spice like 1 tsp paprika or coriander to make up for it.