These Mexican shredded beef tacos are easy to make and full of flavor. Covered in spices and slow-cooked to perfection, this shredded beef is the perfect addition to taco night and something the whole family is sure to love.
If you like beef tacos, you’re going to love these shredded beef tacos! I’ve shared a slow-cooker shredded beef recipe before, but this Mexican-inspired shredded beef is juicy, tender, full of flavor, and, most importantly, easy to make! Plus, you can make this recipe in the slow cooker, on the stovetop, or in an Instant Pot, so it’s super versatile.
In addition to tacos, this shredded beef works well in burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, burrito bowls, tacos bowls, and salads. Not to mention, it keeps well in the fridge and freezer making it a great meal prep idea for healthy lunches and dinner for days to come.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy – If you can turn on a slow cooker, you can make these shredded beef tacos.
- Healthy – Made with whole foods, this shredded beef is nutritious and delicious.
- Versatile – The shredded beef works well in tacos, rice bowls, and salads.
- Great for Meal Prep – The beef keeps well in the fridge making it a great meal prep idea.
Ingredients for Shredded Beef Tacos
You’ll need the following ingredients to make Mexican shredded beef tacos:
- Beef Chuck – A boneless chuck roast will give you the best results. If you can’t find a chuck roast, a tri-tip roast, rump roast, top-round roast, or bottom-round roast will give you similar results.
- Spices – A mixture of chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt to make the Mexican seasoning.
- Beef Broth – To help braise the beef, chicken broth will also work. Feel free to use low-sodium beef broth if desired.
- Tomato Paste – To thicken the sauce.
- Olive Oil – To sear the roast, avocado oil will also work.
In addition to the above, you’ll need corn tortillas or flour tortillas and toppings for your tacos.
To Make them Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free beef broth.
To Make them Dairy-Free: No adaptations are needed, this recipe is dairy-free.
How to Make Shredded Beef Tacos
- Make the spice mix. In a small bowl or jar, combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, dried oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
- Make braising liquid. In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the beef broth and tomato paste.
- Season the beef. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the roast, rubbing it into the beef until covered on all sides.
- Sear the beef. Warm the olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat and sear the beef roast for 1-2 minutes until browned on all sides.
- Add to slow cooker. Place the seared meat in the slow cooker and pour the braising liquid around the beef.
- Cook until fork tender. Cook in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low until the beef is tender, starting to fall apart, and can easily be pulled apart with a fork.
- Make the sauce and shred the beef. Once cooked, transfer the roast to a cutting board and, using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Transfer any leftover liquid to a small saucepan, bring to a bowl, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until thickened.
- Toss beef in the sauce. Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker, drizzle with some sauce, and toss until well coated.
- Make the tacos. Layer tortillas with a bit of shredded beef mixture and finish with toppings of your choice.
The detailed instructions for these Mexican shredded beef tacos can be found in the recipe card below.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
In addition to tacos, this shredded beef works well in rice bowls. Simply serve the shredded beef on a bed of rice and toppings of your choice to create a balanced meal for lunch or dinner.
No slow cooker? No problem! These Mexican shredded beef tacos can be made in the oven. Simply season the beef as per the instructions then sear the beef in a large Dutch oven on all sides, pour in the braising liquid, then transfer to the oven at 325°F for 3-4 hours until beef is tender, and then shred the beef as per instructions.
Best Toppings for Beef Tacos
Here are some of my favorite taco toppings for Mexican shredded beef tacos:
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Shredded cheese
- Refried beans
- Pickled jalapenos
- Hot sauce
- Lime wedges
- Fresh cilantro
What is the best cut for shredded beef tacos?
Chuck roast is the best cut for Mexican shredded beef tacos, as its rich and fatty nature ensures the beef is juicy and tender. Although, other roast cuts, such as rump roast and round roast also work well, as does brisket and even flank steak.
Why isn’t my beef shredding?
If your beef is not shredding, it’s simply not cooked long enough. Continue to cook the beef in the slow cooker until it is tender, starting to fall apart, and can easily be pulled apart with a fork.
Can you overcook shredded beef?
Yes, you can overcook shredded beef. If the beef is overcooked, it will be tough and dry.
Storage + Reheating
To Refrigerate: Allow the shredded beef to cool completely and then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: Once cooled, place the shredded beef in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: Once thawed, place shredded beef in a pan on the stove on medium-high heat and warm for 3-5 minutes, adding splashes of water to rehydrate the beef as needed. To reheat in the oven, place the shredded beef in a casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, and warm in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. To reheat in the microwave, place the beef in a microwave-safe dish and warm for 1-2 minutes.
More Easy Mexican Recipes:
- Meal Prep Taco Salad
- Chicken Burrito Casserole
- Mexican Baked Rice
- Turkey Taco Skillet
- Chickpea Tacos
Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos
Covered in spices and braised in a flavorful sauce, these slow-cooker Mexican shredded beef tacos are easy to make and make a great meal prep idea too.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 24 tacos 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 3–pound boneless beef chuck roast
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Toppings of choice
- In a large measuring cup or bowl, add the beef broth and tomato paste and stir until well combined. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt, and stir to combine.
- Place the chuck roast on a cutting board, pat it dry with a paper towel, sprinkle with the spice mixture all over, and rub it into the roast until all sides of the roast are covered in spices.
- In a cast-iron skillet or pan on medium-high, warm the olive oil, then add beef chuck roast and cook for 1-2 minutes per side until brown. If your slow cooker has a removable stove-safe insert, you can do this directly in the insert on the stove.
- Once the beef chuck roast is browned, transfer it to the slow cooker (or return the insert to the slow cooker) and pour the beef broth mixture around it, then cover the slow cooker with the lid.
- Turn the slow cooker on and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 until the beef is fully cooked and can easily be shredded with a fork.
- Once cooked, transfer the beef roast to a cutting board and, using two forks, shred the beef into small pieces. At this point, you can remove any chunks of excess fat from the beef, if desired.
- Transfer the remaining liquid from the slow cooker to a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by at least half and thickened significantly. If your slow cooker has a removable stove-safe insert, you can do this directly in the insert on the stove.
- Return the shredded beef to the slow cooker, pour in some braising liquid – adding as much or as little as you like – and toss until well combined. Taste the beef and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Layer shredded beef into warm tortillas and serve with toppings of your choice. Any leftover shredded beef can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Oven Instructions: Season the beef as per steps 1 to 3, then sear the beef in a large Dutch oven on all sides, pour in the braising liquid, then transfer to the oven at 325°F for 3-4 hours until beef is tender, and then shred the beef as per steps 7 to 10.
Instant Pot Instructions: Season the beef as per steps 1 to 3, then sear the beef in the Instant Pot, then pour in the braising liquid. Cover and set the lid to “Sealing” and pressure cook on “Manual” for 50 minutes, followed by a quick release. Once cooked, complete steps 7 to 10 as outlined.
- Serving Size: 1 taco (no toppings)
- Calories: 161 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fat: 6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 14 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Protein: 14 grams