Shredded Beef Tacos

5 from 1 vote
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Delicious Shredded Beef Tacos is tender and juicy with bold chipotle-infused flavors. Stuff the melt in your mouth beef into a tortilla with all your favorite toppings. It’s an elevated dinner you will crave and the whole family will love.

Sheet pan with shredded beef tacos on top and a spoon with sour cream on the side.
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Why Make These Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos!

  • Behold my favorite taco! Anything with shredded beef will have me in a choke hold! It’s my favorite. These beef tacos are slow cooked to perfection either in the oven or slow cooker.
  • Customizable Comfort Meal. It’s so easy to customize the toppings in many different ways and you can repurpose the leftover shredded beef in many ways.
  • Great Meal Prep Recipe. This makes a fairly big batch and the beef gets better and better throughout the week. Plus it’s so low maintenance. Simply throw everything in the pot and let it cook.
  • Well Because…Tacos! You will love these tacos, they are a labor of love but once they are finished you will be so proud of yourself and impress the family (or partner).

If you want another great taco recipe give my Blackened Salmon Tacos or Ground Beef Soft Tacos a try!

Key Ingredients Needed

Ingredients needed to make pulled beef tacos in small bowls and plates on a counter.
  • Beef Chuck Roast. This is one of my favorite cuts of meat in the winter months, it just tastes so great and comforting. Use a high-quality beef that fits your budget and if preferred top round roast will also work.. You can find this in with the ground beef and steaks at the grocery store. Try my Slow Cooker Beef and Noodles if you love chuck roast!
  • Beef Broth. Keeps the roast nice and moist as it cooks guaranteeing you won’t end up with dried out beef. Beef offers the most complimentary flavor but you can also use veggie or chicken broth.
  • Seasoning Blend: A simple blend of paprika, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper add flavor to the meat as it cooks.
  • Canned Chipotle Peppers In Adobo. These are found in the international aisle. You won’t need to the whole can but you can store leftovers from the can in a ziplock in the freezer. They can be spicy and smoky in flavor so if you prefer mild flavors, use a little less. Chipotle powder also works as a substitution.
  • Canned Green Chilies. These have a good smoky flavor. They can be found in the same area as the Chipotle Peppers.
  • Aromatics: Cooking the beef with onions and garlic deepens the flavor.
  • Orange juice: Adds a hint of sweetness and flavor to the shredded beef.
  • Cheese. Use shredded Mexican blend cheese or cotija I use both interchangeably for this recipe. Really any shredded cheese of choice works well.
  • Optional Toppings. I like to top mine with sour cream, pickled onions, and avocado slices. Definitely feel free to use any of your favorite toppings of choice. As a bonus you will find how to make pickled onions in the notes of the recipe card down below.
  • Tortillas: I think these tacos truly shine in corn tortillas but you can certainly swap them out for flour tortillas if you prefer.

All other ingredients and measurements can be found in the recipe card below. 

How to Make Shredded Beef Tacos

Make the Shredded Beef

First we will tackle how to make shredded beef which starts with making a Mexican pot roast that cooks up so tender it falls apart for a tender, tasty taco filling.

Adding the spices to the chuck roast and then the roast after it's cooked in the pot.

Step One. Mix all the seasonings together. Pat the roast dry with some paper towel. Rub the seasoning mix all over the roast.

Step Two. Cook the onion in a large pot or Dutch oven with olive oil until the onion is translucent, add the garlic and sauté. Next, add the roast and sear it on each side for about 2 minutes. Add the broth, chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, green chilies, and squeeze in the orange juice. Bake the roast in the oven uncovered for 3-4 hours.

PRO TIP: This recipe also works to make shredded beef in the crockpot. Add the oil to the bottom, add the roast and then pour the broth, chipotle peppers, chiles, orange juice, raw onions and garlic to the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low, 6-7 hours. Please note, if the roast isn’t easy to shred, it needs more time to cook!

Shred the Beef & Make Chuck Roast Tacos

Blue dutch oven with shredded beef and broth.

Step Three. Check the beef after three hours of cooking. Once the beef easily shreds with a fork and it’s super tender, it’s ready. Shred the beef with two forks on a cutting board or in the dish it cooked in, just be sure the dish is cool enough to handle.

Step Four. Layer the shredded beef taco meat, cheese and toppings of choice (pico de gallo, avocado, pickled onions, sour cream whatever you want!) on your heated. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of the beef juice. Enjoy!

Shredded beef tacos on a baking sheet with a spoonful of sour cream to the side.

Recipe Tips

  • Be Patient. This shredded beef recipe benefits from a slow cooking process. Allow the meat to cook until it easily falls apart with a fork. This might take several hours, but the result is worth the wait. If the roast isn’t easy to shred, it needs more time to cook! 
  • Don’t Overload the Braised Beef Tacos. The chopped beef is juicy, so don’t overload the tacos otherwise they get messy.
  • Double Up the Tortillas. Using a double layer of corn tortillas makes your tacos less likely to fall apart.
  • Save the Cooking Liquid. If you’re slow-cooking the beef, save some of the cooking liquid. This flavorful broth can be used to moisten the shredded beef for tacos when reheating and can also be used as a sauce.
  • Melt the Cheese. While you can enjoy them just as is, they’re even better after broiling for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the beef.
  • Storing. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be sure to keep the beef separate from the toppings. You can freeze the shredded beef for up to 2 months.  Reheat the beef in a skillet or saucepan with some of the juices.

Recipe Pairings

Pulled beef tacos pair wonderfully with Black Bean Salad, Spicy Cucumbers or Roasted Red Pepper Kale Salad, especially if you prefer something on the lighter side. For something warm, try this Mexican Street Corn Casserole.

If you’re planning a taco bar for a party, add another taco to the mix and try my Chipotle Chicken Tacos!

Enjoy an appetizer first like this Smoked Queso or Cream Cheese Corn Dip.

Recipe FAQs

What cut of beef is best for shredded beef?

The best cuts for pulled beef tacos are usually tougher cuts with more connective tissue, such as chuck roast or brisket. These cuts become tender and flavorful when slow-cooked.

Can I make these beef tacos in advance?

Yes, shredded beef can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for an extended time. The flavors often develop more over time. Reheat the beef before serving.

What’s the best way to warm up tortillas?

You can wrap them up in foil and heat in the oven or use a skillet to heat them individually.

More Taco Recipes

If you loved this recipe let me know! Also, follow me on Instagram & Pinterest for even more fun recipes to make you feel good from the inside out. Thanks for being here.

Sheet pan with shredded beef tacos topped with avocado, pickled onions, and sour cream.
5 from 1 vote

Shredded Beef Tacos

Delicious Shredded Beef Tacos with chipotle infused flavors that will melt in your mouth. An elevated dinner you will crave! 
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • 4-5 qt Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker
  • mixing bowl
  • whisk

Ingredients 

  • 12-14 corn tortillas
  • 3-3.5 lb beef chuck roast , Round roast will also work.
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ½ Tbsp oregano
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 4 oz can green chilies
  • 2 Tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo
  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cup beef broth, low sodium
  • ½ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed , Pre made orange juice will also work in place of fresh squeezed.

Toppings (optional)

  • ¼ cup cotija or Mexican shredded cheese , Use any cheese of choice. I prefer shredded Mexican cheese or cotija cheese! 
  • 1 avocado, sliced , for topping
  • fresh cilantro, chopped , for topping
  • sour cream , optional
  • pickled onions , optional
  • 1 lime, sliced for garnish

Instructions 

  • Mix all the seasonings together. Pat the roast dry with some paper towel. Rub the roast all over with the seasoning mix. 
  • For the Oven: Preheat the oven to 300º. In a large 4-5 qt heat olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté . Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic and sauté. Next add the roast and sear it on each side for about 2 minutes on medium/high heat. 
  • Add the broth, squeeze orange juice, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, green chilies. Bake in the oven, uncovered for 3-4 hours. Be sure to check on it after 3 hours. Once the beef easily shreds with a fork and its super tender, it's ready! 
  • For the crockpot: Set the crockpot to high. Add the oil to the bottom, add the roast and then pour the broth, chipotle peppers, chiles, orange juice, raw onions and garlic to the crockpot. Cover, cook on high for 4-5 hours. On low, 6-7 hours. Please note, if the roast isn't easy to shred, it needs more time to cook! 
  • Once the roast is tender, shred it with two forks on a cutting board or in the dish it cooked in, just be sure the dish is cool enough to handle. Heat the tortillas however you prefer. Add the shredded beef, cheese and toppings of choice (pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, pickled onions whatever you want!). Garnish with fresh cilantro and a drizzle of the beef juice. Enjoy! 
  • Note: Enjoy the tacos as is, or pop them into the oven on broil low for 1-2 minutes to melt the cheese and crisp the beef. Both are wonderful and delicious.

Notes

  • Feel free to swap out any of the toppings for your favorites.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days (keeping the beef separate from the toppings). You can freeze the meat for up to 2 months.   
Homemade Pickled Onions:
  • 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider 
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup ½ teaspoons salt
Pack the onions in a jar that has a lid. Simmer all other ingredients together for about 5 minutes, let it cool for 3 minutes, pour over the onions in the jar, seal the jar and let the onions sit for an hour or up to 24 hour. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 744mg | Potassium: 975mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Bailey
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 477
Keyword: pulled beef tacos, shredded beef tacos, slow cooker shredded beef tacos
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