Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef - Real Food Whole Life

Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef

January 10, 2022

shredded meat on corn tortillas and wooden cutting board with toppings on the side

Perfectly spiced and incredibly easy to prepare, Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef is super versatile and makes the best shredded beef tacos!

shredded meat on corn tortillas and wooden cutting board with toppings on the side

about this Mexican-inspired shredded beef recipe

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 street-inspired tacos).

Since it’s so quick to prepare, has a simple ingredient list and makes loads of leftovers, 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.

PS – This Mexican-inspired shredded beef is also freezable! Making it a fun option for family meal prep, or to make and freeze leftovers for singles & couples.

seasoned beef in a black crockpot on white background

process & tips for making this Mexican-inspired pulled beef

This recipe couldn’t be easier to make, since there’s no browning or sauteing 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 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.

top down view of Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef in a black crockpot on white background

how to make street-inspired shredded beef tacos

We love turning this shredded beef into street-inspired taco!

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.

more ways to use Mexican-inspired shredded beef

This shredded beef would also make great burrito bowls with rice, beans and toppings of your choice (like this 4-ingredient guacamole).

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 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.

top down view of Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef in a black crockpot on white background

ingredients & modifications

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.

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.

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.

Tip: Make this recipe spicy by adding ½ teaspoon cayenne powder to the spice mixture prior to cooking and serve with spicy hot sauce.

shredded meat on corn tortillas and wooden cutting board with toppings on the side

how to store & freeze leftover slow cooker shredded beef

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.

more slow cooker ground beef recipes

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup

Beef Minestrone Soup (with Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Instructions)

Slow Cooker Easy Beef and Bean Chili

this recipe is…

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I hope you’ll make this healthy Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef recipe soon.

If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

shredded meat on corn tortillas and wooden cutting board with toppings on the side
5 from 1 vote

Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef

Yield 8
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 15 mins

Perfectly spiced and incredibly easy to prepare, Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef is super versatile and makes the best shredded beef tacos!

Ingredients

  • 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

  • lime juice

Optional serving suggestions

  • corn or flour tortillas, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, sliced radish, lime wedges, hot sauce

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

*Depending on the heat level of your slow cooker and thickness of your roast, cook time may vary. It took my slow cooker 6 hours on high to achieve shreddable meat, though yours may take more or less.
If the meat is still not very tender and shreddable at the end of the directed cook time, simply cover and add time in 30 minute increments oh high until it shreds easily.
You can also strain the cooking liquid into a fat separator before adding the meat back to the slow cooker.
Nutrition information calculated for the shredded beef only, without tortillas or toppings.
This recipe is very mild as long as you use mild chili powder, but for a spicier version add ½ teaspoon cayenne powder to the spice mixture prior to cooking, and serve with spicy hot sauce.
For more ingredients & substitutions, see blog post above.

Nutrition

Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 538mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!

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