Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos


Do we need much more in life than these Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos?? These easy Mexican tacos have been a go-to dinner recipe for me for 5+ years, try them and you’ll see why!

Slow Cooker 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.

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

Also most of the time I usually opt for a cross rib roast instead of a chuck roast.

Why? Well it’s a lot less fatty, you get more meat out of it, and it’s still so tender (just like 1 step below the melt-in-your mouth of chuck roast but I don’t like all that gristle much).

Once in a while I’ll still use chuck roast though if that’s what’s on sale.

Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos

You can also go the extra mile and saute 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 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!


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.

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


  • 1 (2.5 - 3 lb) cross rib roast or chuck 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


  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

Recipe updated 1/28/18 to include browning the beef before adding to the slow cooker. It adds so much flavor and I don't make it anymore without doing this step.

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  • 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. September 22, 2018 at 7:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear your family liked these Jessica! Thanks for your review! September 22, 2018 at 10:10am Reply

  • 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. July 1, 2018 at 10:26pm Reply

  • 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. March 11, 2018 at 11:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: 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! September 1, 2018 at 3:52pm Reply

  • 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. March 10, 2018 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Bridget! So glad you like them! March 12, 2018 at 10:25am Reply

  • 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. March 4, 2018 at 7:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a review Rachel! March 6, 2018 at 6:05pm Reply

  • Elaine Lambert: Has anyone tried this without cumin? My hubby hates cumin, which makes finding taco recipes difficult! February 4, 2018 at 6:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You can just omit it. You could also add another Mexican spice like 1 tsp paprika or coriander to make up for it. February 6, 2018 at 10:45am Reply

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