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

Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef

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Perfectly spiced and incredibly easy to prepare, Mexican-Inspired Shredded Beef is super versatile and makes the best shredded beef tacos!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Diet Gluten Free
Keyword Crockpot, shredded beef, Slow Cooker
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs 15 mins
Servings 8
Calories 319


  • 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


  • 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.


*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.


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