Crockpot Chipotle Barbacoa Bowls


Have you been to Chipotle? Have you ever ordered their barbacoa meat? If you have and you love it like I do, this Crockpot Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe is for you! If not, this recipe is still for you because you are going to love the exotic and rich flavors. A couple years ago when I was in the MOMS Club in my hometown, we had a recipe night once a month. My friend Jennifer shared this recipe with us and we all swooned over it like a new baby! I particularly love that it sits in the crockpot all day and makes my house smell like a 5 star restaurant. It’s spicy, tangy, goes with anything, and if you serve it for guests they’re going to think you’re the best cook ever. Here’s how to make these fabulous chipotle barbacoa bowls:

Start with a 3 pound chuck roast and your crockpot. Cut the roast into 2 inch square pieces and turn the crockpot on low.

chipotle barbacoa bowls

Add one onion finely chopped, 4 minced garlic cloves, and 2 chipotles in adobo sauce. If you are not into spicy food, just stick with the 2 chipotles. Your meat will have a kick but it won’t be overpowering. I added 4 chipotles because I like my food spicy enough to make my nose run. I know, I know, that’s not normal. My mom would say it’s because I was breastfed, lol. Now add in 1/4 cup of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and then go grab the spices.

Adding in all these spices is where this recipe gets REALLY glorious. You’ll need 3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon of oregano, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves. It is important to make sure your spices are fresh so that you get the best flavor. One quick way to tell if your spices are still potent is to put a small amount in your hand and crush or rub it. Taste and smell it. If neither is obvious, it is time to replace it. If you haven’t used a spice in more than 1-2 years, consider replacing it.

Now add 1/2 cup of beef broth. You can add water instead but the broth really enhances the flavor.

Now mix it all together.

Set the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

When time has almost elapsed, grab a couple of forks and shred the beef into strips. The meat should have a deep brown color and you should smell the vinegar and cloves. Let the shredded beef marinate in its juices another 10 minutes. By the way, this meat keeps in it’s juices for 5 days in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer. Double batch, anyone?

chipotle barbacoa bowls

Go ahead, take a bite! You know you want to! Besides, you have to make sure it’s edible! Not much to it, is there? I love a good crockpot meal because of how simple it makes my life. The effort is minimal and the benefits extravagant!

The fun part is deciding how you are going to serve this delicious chipotle barbacoa. I think it is lovely atop a bed of fresh lettuce with some guacamole and sour cream. Another great idea is to roll it in a tortilla and make a burrito. You could even sprinkle it on top of some chips and make some loaded nachos. What about rice or mashed potatoes? I guess you could even be like my husband and eat it straight out of the crockpot!

Clearly, the possibilities are endless. How will you serve this unforgettable chipotle barbacoa? Comment below and let me hear your creativity! For more irresistible slow cooker recipes, check out my Crockpot Meals or follow me on Pinterest. Happy cooking y’all!

Crockpot Chipotle Barbacoa Bowls

Heidi Davison
This chipotle barbacoa meat has a deep, rich flavor that goes with anything. It is wonderful wrapped in a warm tortilla, on top of a bed of lettuce, or next to a pile of mashed potatoes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8


  • 3 lbs chuck roast cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 1 finely diced onion
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce or more for spicier meat
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup beef broth


  • Cut up chuck roast into 2 inch pieces and put into the crockpot.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and chipotles.
  • Pour in the lime juice and vinegar.
  • Add all the spices and mix together.
  • Set crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Shred the beef and let it marinate in it's juices for 10 minutes.
  • Serve over lettuce or in a tortilla.



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  • I can’t wait to try this recipe! We love making crock pot meals at my house!

    • Aren’t crockpot meals the best?! Please tag me and let me know how it turned out! I love to know that the recipes are really helping people.

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