Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe

Perfect Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.comRich and spicy Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe, served with warm tortillas and lime wedges!

Spicy Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |
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There are dishes we make that come and go with very little impact. Then there are dishes we eat that strike us so intensely we think about them for days following. Some are so dynamic, we think about a single meal with reverence, for years.

Beef Barbacoa is one of those life-altering dishes for me.


It’s earthy, ultra spicy, dripping with saucy goodness, and as decadent as a meaty dish gets.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |

Contrary to popular belief, barbacoa is not originally a Mexican dish.

It was originated in the Caribbean islands and became so popular it spread across the mainland. The way we see it on menus today served with corn tortillas, onions, and cilantro, shows the progression of beef barbacoa from a roasted island recipe to a saucy Mexican taco filling.

Making Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |

However modern beef barbacoa still incorporates Caribbean island spices for that deep earthy flavor that makes this dish a standout!

Make: Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |

How to Make Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |

Today we’re making my Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe, which takes much less effort than stovetop and oven methods.

To make this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe simply puree chiles and veggies in the blender and pour the chile mixture over a large beef chuck roast in a slow cooker. Add spices, then cover and slow cook until the meat is so tender it pulls apart easily.

Amazing Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |

This Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe is one of those recipes that is better with time.

Start it in the morning and let it simmer all day long. Better yet, start it two or three days before you plan to serve it. Complete the recipe, and chill the shredded barbacoa until you are ready to serve it. Then rewarm the barbacoa in the slow cooker and serve.

Love this Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |

With so many chiles and spices, the flavor only improves and deepens with time. My Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe tastes amazing on day one, but is nearly a religious experience on day 3 or 4.

Caribbean Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |

P.S. Slow Cooker Barbacoa is spicy. Really spicy. 

The tortillas and toppings help neutralize the flavor a bit, but if you are sensitive to spicy heat, try making it with only 1-2 chipotle peppers.

Dazzling Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe |


Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe

Yield: 10-12 servings

Prep Time:15 minutes

Cook Time:4+ hours

5 / 5 (1 Reviews)
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Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe – Traditional Caribbean Beef Barbacoa made in the crockpot! This simple recipe takes little time to prepare and is so delicious.


  • 4 pound beef chuck roast
  • 4 dried “New Mexico” chiles (Anaheim)
  • 3-5 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1 sweet onion, peeled and quartered
  • 7 garlic cloves peeled
  • 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon ground allspice (or cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 48 corn tortillas
  • Garnishes: lime wedges, chopped cilantro, diced red onion


  1. Soak the dried chiles in 2 cups of boiling water. Place a small dish over the top to help keep the chiles submerged. Soak for 10 minutes, until tender. Carefully remove the stems and seeds. Reserve the chile water.
  2. Place the softened chiles, chipotle chiles, onion, garlic, vinegar, and brown sugar in the blender. Pour the chile water over the top. Puree until smooth.
  3. Place the chuck roast in a large slow cooker. Add the bay leaves, cumin, salt, oregano, pepper, allspice, and cinnamon. Pour the chile puree over the top. Cover the slow cooker and turn on high for 4-6 hours, or on low for 8-12 hours.
  4. Once the roast is fork-tender. Shred the beef into the chile sauce. Cover and keep warm until ready to eat.
  5. To serve: Spoon beef barbacoa onto two layered corn tortillas. Top with diced onions and cilantro and serve with a lime wedge.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10-12 servings, Serving Size: 12

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 792 Calories
  • Total Fat: 45g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.2g
  • Cholesterol: 156mg
  • Sodium: 771mg
  • Carbohydrates: 48.8g
  • Fiber: 6.9g
  • Sugar: 4.4g
  • Protein: 45.9g
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21 comments on “Slow Cooker Barbacoa Recipe

  1. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventuresposted August 8, 2016 at 8:40 am Reply

    I need to make this stat! These are one of my favorite tacos!

  2. Mariaposted August 8, 2016 at 10:55 am Reply

    I love when the slow cooker can do all the work for me!!

  3. Kevin @ Closet Cookingposted August 8, 2016 at 11:30 am Reply

    So nice an easy and so tasty!

  4. Julie @ Table for Twoposted August 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm Reply

    I love a good slow cooker recipe!!

  5. Heather Christoposted August 8, 2016 at 2:09 pm Reply

    One of my very favorite dishes!!! looks so delicious Sommer.

  6. Sharon Murrayposted August 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm Reply

    Hi , I am wondering if the allspice is too overwhelming? What do you think?

  7. Yvetteposted August 8, 2016 at 6:22 pm Reply

    Holy moly this looks beyond spicy and delicious! My mouth is seriously watering. YUM!

  8. Emily @ Life on Foodposted August 8, 2016 at 7:38 pm Reply

    I can feel my tongue tingling already. Marvelous! And it is even better that it is a slow cooker.

  9. Marla Meridithposted August 9, 2016 at 6:31 pm Reply

    Gotta love that slow cooker!

  10. Jenny Flakeposted August 10, 2016 at 9:16 am Reply

    Great recipe, love this for back to school cooking!

    Rating: 5
  11. [email protected]'s Recipesposted August 10, 2016 at 6:31 pm Reply

    The meat looks so juicy and tender. Slow cooked dishes are my recent addiction. 

  12. Laurie Pearsallposted August 16, 2016 at 11:04 am Reply

    What do you think using different chiles will do to the taste? I have pasillas and anchos and smoked serranos, but no chipotles,

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  18. Jo Kposted February 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm Reply

    Wondering if anyone has made this with pork?

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