Chipotle’s Barbacoa

Chipotle’s Barbacoa

Chipotle Barbacoa is tender shredded beef slow-cooked with smokey, delicious spices. So, instead of leaving the home to wait in queue at Chipotle You can simply make it yourself and take pleasure in the aroma of cooking barbacoa all day long. It is a great way to serve a large number of people and the kids will be awestruck!

If you’re using frozen chuck roast, make certain to defrost it overnight prior to cooking it. The recipe below requires two pounds of beef chuck roast. It might appear to be a lot, but you can cook the entire thing and then freeze a little of it to use for meals in the future.

There is a good chance that you already have a lot of spices in your kitchen, particularly if you make many Mexican food items. It is also possible to substitute canned peppers with the ones that you have in your pantry.

This recipe is extremely easy and takes only some minutes of preparation time. It is important to cook the roast in an oven or in a skillet prior to placing it into the slow cooker as it adds flavor for the roast. After all, ingredients are inside your slow cooker, the only thing you need to do is sit for an hour or two, and you’ll get the tender and juicy barbacoa that’s similar to Chipotle.

Serve barbacoa in bowls with the toppings of your choice or within a big tortilla to make the most delicious barbacoa-filled burrito.

Make sure you read our notes below to ensure that you are getting the most tender and delicious meat that you can.

Chipotle's Barbacoa

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time
25 min 6 hours 6 h 25 m


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (2 pounds) beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 4 to 6 pieces
  • 1/3 cup apple cider
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, or more to taste
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 serrano chile pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste (optional)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream for toppings
  • Flour tortillas (optional)


Preparing the Barbacoa

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over low heat, gradually increasing heat to medium-high. Add the beef chuck pieces, and cook until browned, about 30 seconds per side. Once it’s seared and lightly browned, transfer the beef to the slow cooker.
  • Combine apple cider, chipotle peppers, lime juice, garlic, cumin, serrano pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and ground cloves in a blender or food processor. Blend until it becomes a smooth sauce. Pour the sauce over the beef in the slow cooker.
  • Stir the chicken broth, onion, and bay leaves into the slow cooker.
  • Close the lid, and cook on low until the beef is fork-tender, which will be 6 to 8 hours.
  • Shred the beef using 2 forks.

Serving the Barbacoa

  • You can serve the barbacoa in a bowl topped with cilantro, lime, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream. Or you can serve the barbacoa and toppings in a large flour tortilla as a burrito.


  • If you’re looking for even more depth to the flavor, you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and marinate the beef in it overnight.
  • Before cutting the roast into 2-inch cubes, trim as much of the visible fat as possible from the outside of the roast and any large fat veins on the inside.
  • For more Chipotle foods you can make at home, try out our Chipotle Steak Recipe, Chipotle Chicken Recipe, and Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe.


What is barbacoa beef at Chipotle?

What exactly is barbacoa? In simple terms, barbacoa can be described as garlicky tender, shredded beef slow and low in the smoky and spicy flavorful barbacoa sauce.

Does Chipotle use real barbacoa?

Barbacoa typically refers to slow-roasted barbecued meat, however, the barbacoa served at Chipotle can be described as specific to beef and is packed with flavor that people rave about.

What is real barbacoa made of?

“Barbacoa, made from the meat of a cow’s head, is cheap yet rich in flavor.”Commonly served as a breakfast at weekends cheek, also known as cache, is a rich source of collagen. Slow-roasting increases its taste and smooth texture.


Leave a Comment