Crockpot Mexican shredded beef is super easy to make and takes only 15 minutes of hands on time to prepare! Plus, it's extremely versatile and freezer friendly so you can make it in bulk and store for months. This comes in handy when you need a quick, easy dinner.
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I really enjoy making shredded beef but I especially love making it in the crockpot. Set it, forget it and get stuff done around the house! All while your roast slow cooks and makes the house smell dreamy.
Sometimes shredding meat can be a pain, but not if you use the slow cooker! After 8 hours in the crockpot, your roast will basically melt apart and shred with little to no effort creating less work for you. That's the best possible end result in my opinion!
Use your pulled beef to make Mexican cuisine of all kinds. Think enchiladas, burritos (or burrito bowls), fajitas, tacos, quesadillas and so much more.
Another awesome thing about this recipe?! It's gluten free, dairy free, low carb and high protein!
Ingredients & Substitutions
This pulled beef recipe requires only 9 simple ingredients!
- Spices: salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, chili powder and ground cumin. Sub chili powder and cumin for Italian seasonings if you'd like to use your beef cuisine other than Mexican!
- Boneless beef chuck roast: choose a beef roast with lots of marbling for the juiciest final product. A rump roast will also work but may not turn out as moist due to lower fat content.
- White onion: yellow will also work.
- Lime juice: to add a little zing and zest!
- Beef broth: vegetable or chicken can be substituted. You'll only need 1 cup of broth (a full can is 1.75 cups). To avoid tossing unused broth I started keeping a jar of broth base in my refrigerator at all times, it comes in super handy in lots of recipes that require less than one can. Reducing food waste always feels good!
How to make shredded beef in the crockpot:
Keep scrolling for the full recipe card and measurements. We'll start here with a quick overview!
- Measure all spices into a small bowl and stir until well combined.
- Rub spice mix all over your chuck roast until it's completely covered!
- Peel and slice onion. Arrange pieces on the bottom of your crock pot.
- Place the roast on top of the onion slices.
- Squeeze lime juice over the roast and add broth.
- Cover and cook low for 8-10 hours.
- Remove meat from the crockpot and place it on a cutting board or baking sheet. Shred beef with two forks. You can also shred meat right in the crockpot, I prefer to take mine out so that I can easily separate large chunks of fat from the roast.
- If desired, place meat back in the slow cooker and mix with cooking liquid and onions. I love doing this because it adds so much flavor!
Step By Step Photos
- Tough meat: if you check your roast after 8 hours and find that it's tough, don't worry! That doesn't mean it's overcooked. In fact, this means the roast needs more time.
- Low and slow: some recipes for shredded beef suggest cooking roast on high for 4-6 hours. I highly recommend planning for cooking time of at least 8 hours. This is really the best way to get that "melt" where the meat just falls apart. You should have to put very little effort into shredding your meat once it's done!
What to make with shredded beef:
The options here are endless, which is the best part of making a big batch of this delicious staple! You can literally cook once and use leftovers to eat multiple meals made with your tasty shredded beef. Perfect for meal prep!
Having meat/protein ready to go really makes weeknight cooking much more quick and convenient. Here's some inspo:
-Use your shredded beef as a filling for fantastic quesadillas or as a topping for nachos.
-Whip out a bag of corn tortillas and enjoy an easy shredded beef tacos bar with all of your favorite toppings like pico de gallo, chopped red onions, cilantro, sour cream, homemade guacamole, baja sauce, poblano sauce and more!
-Wrap shredded beef in large flour tortillas with black or refried beans, rice and cheese for a tasty burrito.
-Ditch the tortillas completely and make a burrito bowl!
-Try taco stuffed peppers with shredded beef instead of ground.
If you'd like to make pulled beef for cuisine that is not of Mexican origins, I recommend substituting cumin and chili powder for Italian seasonings!
This version can be used to make breakfast hash, casseroles, soups & stews or sliders. It can also be enjoyed solo, along with some mashed cauliflower, roasted brussels sprouts or beet & goat cheese salad!
Allow your shredded beef to cool completely and then transfer to an airtight food storage container or Ziploc baggie. Press as much excess air out of the container/bag as possible. Refrigerate for 3-4 days or freeze for 4-6 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Chuck roast, which is a cut of beef that comes from the shoulder, is best for slow cooking! A cut with lots of white fat (or marbling) will turn out the juiciest. Often, cuts with plentiful marbling are labeled as "chuck pot roast." This is what I look for when I want to make shredded beef, but any chuck roast will work!
Shredding a slow cooker roast should take VERY little effort. If you start trying to pull the meat into pieces and it's not falling apart, it's undercooked. Simply place the lid back on the crockpot and cook for another hour or two and then check to see if it's tender.
If your roast is rubbery or tough, don't worry! It's not overdone and actually needs to be cooked longer. Keep it in the slow cooker for 1-2 more hours and see how it's coming along. Once the beef is super tender and just melts into pieces, it's done.
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More Slow Cooker Recipes
- Creamy Ham & Bean Soup (Crockpot or Stovetop)!
- Italian Stuffed Pepper Crockpot Soup
- Easy Crockpot Beef Chili
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup
Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef Recipe
- Large crockpot
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon chili powder *see note below
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 large white onion
- 2-3lb boneless beef chuck roast *see note below
- Juice from one, small lime
- 1 cup beef broth *see note below
Recipe notes:Roast: select a roast with a decent amount of marbling if possible. Marbling creates a nice, moist final product! I like to get a 2-3 pound chuck pot roast as leftovers from this recipe freeze nicely and can be used in lots of different meals! Chili powder: I prefer to use a mild chili powder, but you can use medium or hot if you like it spicy! Beef broth: one can of broth is about 1 & ¾ cup. If you want to avoid wasting a partial can of broth, I recommend getting bullion cubes or broth base so you can make as little or as much broth as you want. Broth base comes in super handy and is a great thing to keep around the kitchen! General: if you'd like to use your shredded beef in cuisine other than Mexican, I recommend using Italian seasonings in place of chili powder and ground cumin.
- Measure all spices into a small bowl and whisk until well combined.1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black ground pepper, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- Rub spice mix all over your chuck roast until it's completely covered!2-3lb boneless beef chuck roast
- Peel and slice onion. Arrange pieces on the bottom of your crock pot.1 large white onion
- Place roast on top of the onion slices.
- Squeeze lime juice over the roast and add broth.Juice from one, small lime, 1 cup beef broth
- Cover and cook low for 8 hours. If you check your roast after 8 hours and find that it's tough, this simply means that it needs more time. Cover and cook another 1-2 hours and check again to see if the meat is tender!
- Remove meat from the crockpot and place it on a cutting board or baking sheet. Shred beef with two forks. *Note: You can also shred meat right in the crockpot, I prefer to take mine out so that I can easily separate large chunks of fat from the roast.
- If desired, place shredded beef back in the slow cooker and mix with broth and onions. I love doing this because it adds so much flavor!
- Use your shredded beef to make all kinds of delicious dinners. Enjoy!
- Allow your shredded beef to cool completely and then transfer to an airtight food storage container or Ziploc baggie. Press as much excess air out of the container/bag as possible. Refrigerate for 3-4 days or freeze for 4-6 months.
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