Mexican Shredded Beef (for Tacos + More!)
Perfectly spiced and incredibly easy to prepare, this easy Mexican Shredded Beef is super versatile and makes the best shredded beef tacos! You’ll love how it saves you time (no pre-browning required) with the most succulent, delicious results.
5 star review
“This recipe is exactly what I need for the nights we get home after a busy day and need dinner ready for our family. The beef was gobbled up by all three of us on the first night as tacos and the leftovers have been used on salads, nachos, and over rice. It’s super easy to make and tastes great. My husband has been trying to convince me to eat other things for lunch so he can have as much of the leftovers as possible. It makes a lot, so we’ve been talking about how easy it’ll make having friends and family over for dinner.”– Amanda
The Easiest Mexican Shredded Beef!
Say hello to your new go-to shredded beef recipe!
Not only is this shredded beef succulent and perfectly spiced with classic Mexican-inspired flavors, it’s also incredibly easy to prepare (it’s our new favorite dump & go recipe and it makes the best shredded beef tacos).
Since it’s so quick to prep (less than 5 minutes), requires no pre-searing or cooking, and has a simple ingredient list, this is just the thing to make when you need to feed a crowd.
It’s the perfect recipe to use for a party or a festive weeknight meal at home.
Pre Ahead Tip
This Mexican shredded beef is also freezable, making it a fun option for family meal prep, or to make and freeze leftovers for singles & couples.
Process & Tips
This recipe couldn’t be easier to make, since there’s no browning or sautéing required.
Simply throw all your ingredients into your crockpot and let it work it’s magic!
Here’s a few more quick tips that will help you get the most tender Mexican shredded beef.
Depending on the heat level of your slow cooker and the thickness of your chuck roast, cook time may vary – so I’ve given a range in the recipe card for you below.
If the meat is not very tender and shreddable at the end of the directed cook time, simply cover and add more cook time (in 30 minute increments, on high) until it shreds easily.
A lot of my slow cooker recipes have stock in them, but in this recipe there is no need to add extra liquid.
The meat and the onions will add lots of flavor and create their own juices during the low & slow cook time.
It’s totally up to you if you want to cook it on the high or low slow cooker setting! I’ve included directions for both below to keep your options open on busy weeks.
Make The Easiest Shredded Beef Tacos
While this recipe is incredibly versatile, I love using it for shredded beef tacos!
Simply serve with warm tortillas, chopped white onion, chopped cilantro, sliced radish, lime wedges, and your favorite hot sauce.
If you’re following a low-carb or Whole30 diet this shredded beef is great in jicama wraps, lettuce wraps, or served over cauliflower rice.
How to Use It
Or, try it in shredded beef enchiladas — just swap the beef for chicken in these simple and tasty enchilada recipe.
You can also use it to make a delicious taco salad by serving it on top of shredded romaine lettuce with chipotle honey vinaigrette, pico de gallo, sliced avocado, and crushed tortilla chips for extra crunch.
If your leftovers stash is running low, you can repurpose and stretch the remaining shredded beef into some next-level shredded beef nachos too!
Just pile the shredded beef on top of chips, top with cheese, beans, pickled jalapenos, and pop under a broiler for a few minutes until crispy.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Beef chuck-eye roast: I used boneless beef chuck-eye roast for this recipe for the most tender and flavorful shredded beef. If you use bone-in chuck roast it may make the cook time longer. I like to trim the fat, but feel free to leave it on for a richer final product.
Onion: Onions add so much flavor to this dish. But if you don’t like or can’t eat onions, feel free to skip them in this recipe, as the meat will still render enough liquid to cook on its own.
Tomato paste: The tomato paste adds great concentrated flavor to the meat. Got leftover tomato paste? Remove it from the can, pop it in a freezer safe bag, and freeze for the next time you make this recipe.
Mild chili powder: The chili powder (along with the garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cumin) is the base for making our own homemade seasoning. Mild chili powder doesn’t add much heat to your recipe but does add lots of flavor.
Smoked paprika: The smoked paprika lends a smoky flavor that we love, but if you don’t have it regular paprika will work.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Make it Spicy!
Make this recipe spicy by adding ½ teaspoon cayenne powder and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to the spice mixture prior to cooking and serve with spicy hot sauce.
Storing & Freeze Leftovers
This is one of those recipes that still tastes totally delicious the next day, and leftovers make a great lunch!
It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This shredded beef also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziplock bag, or individually in mason jars.
You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
This Recipe Is…
Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef
- 3 lbs boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and quartered
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
To Add at the End
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Place the onion, tomato paste, and ¼ teaspoon of salt in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring until well combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the meat, patting the mixture onto all sides.
- Place the meat on top of the onion mixture.
- Cover and cook on high for 9-10 hours on low or 6-7* hours on high. Do not uncover during this time.
- Uncover and test the meat by shredding a bit with a fork. If it does not shred very easily, cover and cook for an additional 30-60 minutes.
- Remove to a cutting board and shred with two forks, discard fat. Add back to the slow cooker, along with the lime juice, and stir with the remaining juices.
- Serve warm with tortillas and toppings of choice if desired.
This post contains affiliate links.