This is the best and easiest copycat Chipotle barbacoa recipe that you can make! Slow cook your beef roast in a Dutch oven or crockpot for a juicy, tender, fall-apart roast that's smoky, mildly spicy, tangy, and delicious! Bonus: this recipe is low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free, and paleo!
- Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe You Will Love!
- What is Barbacoa at Chipotle?
- Barbacoa Chipotle Meat Ingredients
- How to Make Chipotle Barbacoa Meat
- How to Serve this Barbacoa Chipotle Recipe
- How to Store Barbacoa Chipotle Meat
- Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe FAQs
- Copycat Barbacoa Chipotle Meat
- More Recipes From Seeking Good Eats
Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe You Will Love!
Delicious and Easy! This recipe starts by creating your own chipotle adobo sauce in a blender. Then place your onions and roast in the slow cooker and top with your homemade sauce and set it--the sauce is LOADED with spices, peppers, and tons of flavor!
Dutch Oven or Crockpot. I have made this recipe both ways in the Dutch oven and in the crockpot. I will say that the crockpot is the easiest way--everything in and set it, forget it for 8 hours, and come back to a super fall-apart tender roast.
Healthy. This recipe is great to make for the family or a group of people because it is low-carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free, paleo, and high protein. Serve it up in SO many different ways to accommodate everyone!
What is Barbacoa at Chipotle?
The Chipotle barbacoa beef is actually the most popular meat option that they have! Barbacoa is generally referring to any slow-cooked barbeque meat. At Chipotle, they use beef for their barbacoa and add their traditional chipotle adobo spices and aromatics such as bay leaf, oregano, and cloves. They do marinate their meat overnight as well to help infuse the meat and tenderize it.
Barbacoa Chipotle Meat Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make copycat Chipotle barbacoa:
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: I used canned chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce. You can usually find these in near the other Mexican foods in your local grocery store.
- Beef Broth: use low sodium or fat-free if you prefer.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: adds a great tangy flavor to your barbacoa.
- Fresh Lime Juice: juice one whole lime into your Chipotle adobo.
- Minced Garlic: mince your own garlic fresh, or use store-bought pre-minced garlic to save time.
- Dried Oregano
- Ground Cumin
- Ground Cloves
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Beef Chuck Roast: buy a roast the size that you will for how many people you are feeding. I used a 3-pound roast and normally have plenty of leftovers.
- Onion: you can use white, yellow, or sweet, based on your preference.
- Bay Leaves
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
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Substitutions and Variations
Add additional aromatics, such as a cinnamon stick, to your slow cooker to infuse a little bit of a different kind of spice.
Use more or less chipotle peppers if you prefer the barbacoa to be milder or spicier.
Adjust any seasonings to your liking.
If you like it spicy, add additional peppers such as jalapeno, serrano, or habanero.
Add liquid smoke or fire-roasted red peppers to the chipotle adobo sauce for an extra smoky flavor.
Use a pork butt roast in place of a beef roast if you prefer.
How to Make Chipotle Barbacoa Meat
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making Barbacoa:
1. Add the first 10 ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Place onions on the bottom of your slow cooker and top with the chuck roast. Pour the chipotle sauce over the top, and add bay leaves.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until the roast pulls apart effortlessly.
4. Remove the roast from the juices and shred it with two forks. Add the shredded beef back to the pot juices and stir together. Adjust seasonings to taste.
How to Serve this Barbacoa Chipotle Recipe
Adjust salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste.
Build a Bowl: Make a burrito bowl without the tortilla--like a Mexican barbacoa salad! Layer with rice and beans, then top with shredded lettuce, your favorite salsa, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cheese, and any of your other favorites!
Burrito: Make a classic burrito and add your favorite toppings inside, such as rice, beans, fresh tomato salsa, sour cream, onion, shredded cheese, and so many others!
Salad: A salad is the perfect way to enjoy this beef. Build it with any favorite lettuce, add in rice (or riced cauliflower), guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, beans, etc.
Lettuce Wrap: a lettuce wrap is a great low carb and lower calorie way to serve this beef.
Make this cilantro lime rice to serve with your copycat Chipotle barbacoa!
Keeping it Keto: Serve this barbacoa over the top of cauliflower rice, this classic chaffle, or use lettuce leaves for a delicious tortilla alternative.
How to Store Barbacoa Chipotle Meat
Once cool, store your leftover meat in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze them in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.
Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa Recipe FAQs
At Chipotle, they use a beef roast for their barbacoa. Their carnitas are made with pork shoulder or pork butt. Barbacoa is slow-cooked until it is super tender and shredded. Carnitas are also slow-cooked until super tender but then crisped up in a roasting pan or flat top before serving.
Yes, it does. In this recipe we use a beef chuck roast. You can make barbacoa using pork or chicken as well; however, I find it most commonly made with beef.
At Chipotle, their barbacoa is seasoned with chipotle peppers in an adobo sauce. So, based on your spice preference, it may be a mild-medium if you have a higher tolerance--or if you have a lower tolerance, it may be more medium-hot.
Copycat Barbacoa Chipotle Meat
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (1 for mild, 2 or more for spicy)
- ½ cup beef broth
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- juice of 1 lime
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 (3-pound) beef chuck roast
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 bay leaves
- Add the first 10 ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Place onions on the bottom of a slow cooker, then top with chuck roast. Pour the chipotle sauce over the top, then add bay leaves.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until the roast pulls apart easily.
- Remove the roast from the juices and shred with two forks. Add the shredded beef back to the pot juices and stir together. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- VARIATIONS: Add in a cinnamon stick, use more or less chipotle peppers if you prefer mild or spicy.
- TIPS: Boost the flavor by searing both sides of the beef in a hot pan with avocado oil.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Adjust salt, pepper, and lime juice taste. Use the barbacoa meat wrapped in flour tortillas with cheese and beans or rice. Make a barbacoa bowl and layer over rice, black beans, diced onion, fresh red salsa, diced tomatoes, and avocado slices. Low carb and keto followers serve over cauliflower rice, wrap it in lettuce leaves, or over a chaffle.
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