Chipotle Barbacoa Beef Recipe

Have you been wanting to recreate the mouth-watering flavors of Chipotle’s barbacoa beef recipe at home for the longest time?

With tender, slow-cooked beef flavored with smoky chipotle peppers, garlic, and spices, this Mexican-inspired recipe is the perfect centerpiece for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Copycat Chipotle barbacoa

More Beef Recipes To Try

Simple Beef Shanks
Ground Beef With Rice
Ground Beef Casserole
Steak Gorgonzola Sauce

What is Chipotle’s barbacoa beef made of

Chipotle’s barbacoa beef is made from shredded beef that has been seasoned with a blend of spices, including cumin, garlic, oregano, and chili powder. The beef used for barbacoa is typically a tougher cut of meat, such as brisket, chuck roast, or beef cheeks, which is slow-cooked until tender and flavorful.

Chipotle’s version of barbacoa also includes ingredients such as vinegar, tomato paste, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which add tanginess, sweetness, and smokiness to the dish.

Chipotle’s barbacoa beef is a dish worth trying for anyone who enjoys slow-cooked, seasoned beef. The beef is cooked with chipotle peppers, cumin, and other spices, giving it a distinct smoky flavor that is paired with caramelized onions, fresh cilantro, and creamy avocado.

How to make Chipotle's barbacoa

How to make Chipotle’s barbacoa beef

To start making Chipotle’s barbacoa beef, you’ll need to prepare the beef chuck roast by trimming off any excess fat and cutting it into large chunks.

You’ll then need to sear the meat in a hot skillet until it’s browned on all sides. This step helps to lock in the juices and flavors of the meat.

Once the beef is seared, it’s time to start making the sauce. Begin by sautéing onions and garlic in the same skillet until they’re caramelized and fragrant.

Then, add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, cumin, oregano, and a pinch of salt to the skillet.

Mix everything together until the sauce is well-combined and fragrant.

Next, transfer the seared beef and the sauce to a slow cooker. Be sure to coat the beef with the sauce and cover the slow cooker.

Let the beef cook on low for 6-8 hours or until it’s tender enough to shred with a fork.

Once the beef is fully cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and use two forks to shred it into smaller pieces.

Then, transfer the beef back to the slow cooker and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes to absorb more of the flavors.

Finally, add freshly chopped cilantro to the slow cooker and mix everything together. This adds a fresh and fragrant element to the dish.

Mexican barbacoa beef

What to serve with Chipotle’s barbacoa beef

Here are a few suggestions:

Rice: Chipotle’s cilantro-lime rice pairs well with barbacoa beef. Simply cook white rice and then add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste.

Black beans: Another classic side dish is black beans, which can be cooked with onion, garlic, and spices for extra flavor. You can also try making pinto beans or refried beans to serve alongside the beef.

Guacamole: Fresh, homemade guacamole is a tasty addition to any Mexican meal. You can make your own by mashing ripe avocados with diced tomato, onion, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt.

Salsa: Pico de gallo, corn salsa, or tomatillo salsa are all great options for sides. Make your own by chopping up fresh ingredients and mixing them together with lime juice and salt.

Tortillas: Soft flour or corn tortillas are perfect for making tacos or burritos with barbacoa beef. You can warm them up in the oven or on the stovetop before serving.

Salad: For lighter sides options, romaine lettuce or spinach. Top with your favorite veggies, such as sliced bell peppers, red onion, and cherry tomatoes, and drizzle with a dressing of your choice.

Barbacoa beef instant pot recipe

How to store Chipotle’s barbacoa beef

Here are some tips for storing barbacoa beef:

Let the beef cool down: Before storing, allow it to cool down to room temperature. This will prevent condensation from forming in the container and keep the beef from getting soggy.

Store in an airtight container: Transfer the beef to an airtight container, such as a plastic or glass container with a tight-fitting lid. This will help prevent air and moisture from getting in and keep the meat fresh.

Refrigerate promptly: Place the container in the refrigerator as soon as possible, ideally within 2 hours of cooking. The beef can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Freeze for longer storage: If you don’t plan to eat the beef within 4 days, you can freeze it for longer storage.

Place the beef in an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Slow cooker barbacoa beef

How to reheat Chipotle’s barbacoa beef

To reheat, there are a few different methods you can try depending on your preference:

Microwave: Place in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap.

Heat on high for 30-second intervals, stirring in between until the beef is heated through.

Stovetop: Heat the beef in a nonstick pan or skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of water or beef broth to keep the beef moist and stir occasionally until it’s heated through.

Oven or air fryer: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the barbacoa beef in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the beef is heated through.

Slow cooker: If you have a slow cooker, you can reheat the barbacoa on a warm or low setting. Add a splash of water or beef broth to keep the beef moist and stir occasionally until it’s heated through.

Chipotle barbacoa beef

Chipotle’s barbacoa beef FAQs

Is Chipotle’s barbacoa beef spicy?

Yes, it’s made with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which can be quite spicy for some people.

Can I freeze homemade Chipotle barbacoa beef?

You can freeze barbacoa beef for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Chipotle Copycat Barbacoa Beef

This Chipotle barbacoa beef recipe features tender, slow-cooked beef flavored with smoky chipotle peppers, garlic, and spices, for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: barbacoa beef chipotle, barbacoa chipotle beef, barbacoa copycat recipe, chipotle barbacoa, slow cooker barbacoa chipotle
Servings: 12 servings


  • 3 lb beef brisket or chuck roast trimmed and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup beef broth or chicken broth
  • 2 medium chipotle chiles in adobo including the sauce, about 4 tsp
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cloves optional
  • 2 whole Bay leaf


  • Combine the broth, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, dried oregano, cumin, sea salt, black pepper, and ground cloves in a blender (everything except the beef and bay leaves). Puree until smooth.
  • Place the beef chunks in the slow cooker. Pour the pureed mixture from the blender on top. Add the (whole) bay leaves.
  • Cook for 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low, until the beef is fall-apart tender.
  • Remove the bay leaves. Shred the meat using two forks and stir into the juices. Cover and rest for 5-10 minutes to allow the beef to absorb even more flavor. Use a slotted spoon to serve.

With this copycat recipe for Chipotle’s barbacoa beef, you can enjoy all the delicious flavors of this restaurant-quality meal from the comfort of your own home. Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it!

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