Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos for Cinco de Mayo

Today, we’re getting you ready with an amazing taco perfect for your cinco de mayo parties this weekend! The barbacoa comes together quickly in a crockpot, topped with a simple pico de gallo, or whatever other toppings you enjoy!

I’m planning to serve these with our jalapeno margaritas, which compliments the soft spiciness of these barbacoa tacos.

Earlier this week, I shared my easy recipe for homemade fresh flour tortillas, which you can read here. They make the experience of a full on taco party so much better! They’re soft, and warm and taste way better than the premade stuff from the grocery store.


Slow Cooker Barbacoa Taco Recipe

Time: 10 minutes prep, 4 hrs on high or 6 hrs on low

Yield: ~ a lot of tacos


2.5 lb beef chuck roast (trimed of excess fat and cut into 2 inch cubes)

3 tbsp olive oil

2 4 oz. cans of mild chopped green chiles

3 chipotles in adobo sauces, minced (not the whole can – trust me….)

Juice of 3 limes

2 tbsp of white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp worchestershire sauce

2 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp oregano

8-10 crushed garlic cloves

1 tsp chili powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

3 bay leaves

1 cup of water or beef broth



  1. Trim the beef chuck of any excess fat and cube into 2 inch pieces
  2. Add the olive oil to the bottom of your slow cooker, and add the beef. You can brown them if you want, but I don’t find it to be necessary. It will add a depth of flavor though, and if you have the time, you can go ahead and get a nice sear on your beef.
  3. Add all your other ingredients to the slow cooker, except the bay leaves. Gently stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook high for 3-4.5 hours or on low 6-8 hours, or until the beef is tender and falls apart easily. (The last time I made this the beef needed about 4.5 on high to fall apart easily)
  5. Shred the beef and let it sit in the cooker for another 10-15 minutes.


Top with your favorite taco toppings and enjoy with our jalapeno margaritas! Find all our cinco de mayo party recipes here.


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