Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!

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Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!I’m not gonna lie – this recipe is a doozy.  However, it’s gonna be delicious!  The kind of delicious that has everyone in the family going back for more.  The kind of delicious that has neighbors and friends begging for the recipe.  The kind of delicious that makes this one a staple in your recipe lineup.  In short, make this recipe…but just know that it’ll take some time!

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!These Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls rely on the slow cooker…how hard can the recipe be!?  Well, that’s the thing.  Nothing in this recipe is hard.  But there are a lot of individual components, and that’s where the time comes in.

The barbacoa gets prepped and into the slow cooker fairly quickly.  But in order to make the burrito bowls later, you’ll need to make several other recipes.  There’s the cilantro-rice that forms the base for everything.  Then there’s the poblano-corn salsa that gets piled on top of the rice.  And if you’re like me, you’ll need a scoop of homemade guacamole on the side, too.  That’s a lot of chopping!

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls

Every time we go to Chipotle, you can count me ordering either the chicken or the beef barbacoa.  (Chipotle needs to step up their game in the steak department, if you ask me.)  But here’s our secret for Chipotle.  (Ssshhh…)  We always get our order as a burrito bowl, but then ask for the tortilla on the side.  Then we take that burrito bowl – which is piled high with all sorts of delicious toppings – and go make about 4 mini-burritos ourselves.  Then there’s an order of the lime tortilla chips to scoop up anything that didn’t make it into one of the mini-burritos.  Delicious!

These Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls were inspired by Chipotle.  Is this Chipotle’s exact recipe?  Nope, I don’t have that one.  But is this recipe close enough that it’ll fill your Chipotle craving?  Absolutely!

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!I used a chuck roast to make the barbacoa for these burrito bowls.  A chuck roast that simmers in an awesome combination of ingredients for about 8 hours.  By the end of the day, that roast will shred apart beautifully.  The result is a bowl full of shredded barbacoa that could be eaten by itself!  Truthfully, we’ve used this exact recipe for barbacoa before and then just piled it on top of a baked potato.  A spoonful of sour cream on top, and you’re all set.  This is the kind of recipe where you could make extra shredded barbacoa and keep it in the freezer for later.  Then you can turn it into sandwiches, quesadillas, baked potatoes or these burrito bowls later.

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!If this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls looks familiar, then it might be because it is.  Last year, I posted the same burrito bowl recipe but topped it with grilled jerk chicken instead.  The components for these burrito bowls are amazing.  We just switch up the protein on top to give it a different flavor profile.  It all started with grilled, marinated chicken.  Then it moved on to jerk chicken.  Then it moved on to this beef barbacoa.  No matter how you top these burrito bowls, I can promise you that it’ll be a tasty meal that will have friends begging for the recipe!  Enjoy!

Did you make these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls at home?  Leave a comment!  Or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 10 hours
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 538kcal


For the Slow Cooker Barbacoa

For the Corn Salsa

For the Rice

For Toppings


For the Slow Cooker Barbacoa

  • Using a large bowl, add beef, salt, cumin, oregano and allspice. Toss until well coated, pressing the spices lightly into the beef. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Using a large skillet, add oil and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add beef and cook for ~30 seconds per side, or until browned. Transfer beef into slow cooker.
  • Using a blender, add chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, broth, apple cider vinegar, tomato paste, lime juice, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, black pepper; process until smooth. Pour mixture over beef in slow cooker; stir until beef is well coated.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until beef is fork-tender. Shred beef using 2 forks.

For the Corn Salsa

  • Brush the poblano peppers with oil and place on sheet pan. Broil on high for 8-12 minutes, or until skin becomes well-charred. (Note: Keep a close eye on the peppers at this stage. Different broilers cook at different rates! You’re looking for the skins to blister and bubble.)
  • Allow peppers to cool slightly, then peel and discard the charred skin. Dice and set aside. (Note: ensure that all of the seeds are removed from the peppers.)
  • Cook frozen corn according to package directions; set corn aside. (Note: Fresh corn can be substituted here if available.)
  • Using a medium bowl, combine the diced poblanos and corn with all remaining ingredients (onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper).

For the Rice

  • Using a medium saucepan, add butter and heat over low heat until melted.
  • Add the rice and lime juice; continue cooking, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add water and salt; stir gently and increase heat to medium-high. Once water begins to boil, cover and remove pan from heat. Do not uncover or stir again.
  • Allow rice to rest until all of the water is absorbed (~18-20 minutes).
  • Once rice is cooked, add the chopped cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.

For Toppings

  • Layer rice and lettuce in a bowl.
  • Add barbacoa, guacamole, corn salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, and any additional toppings of your choice.
  • {Optional} Serve with warm flour tortillas.


Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are commonly found in the Hispanic foods section at the grocery store. For this recipe, just use 3 of the actual peppers along with 1 Tbsp of additional liquid.

Craving some delicious comfort food?  Then put these Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls on the menu!

Looking for more tasty slow cooker recipes?  Check out these other favorites, too:

This Slow Cooker Chili Mac will remind you of childhood comfort food in the best way possible!  Plus, it's an easy recipe for busy days!Slow Cooker Chili Mac

These Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings are the very definition of winter comfort food!  This recipe is sure to keep you warm on the cold winter nights ahead.Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Starting with a classic chuck roast, these Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches make for an easy and delicious comfort food meal!Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

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  1. 5 stars
    David, you’ve got my mouth watering with this one. As I’ve mentioned before, we have not a single Chipotle here. When in the US, Chipotle was one of my top quick and tasty lunch spots. And, their burrito bowls with a dollop of guacamole was always my order. However, I never thought of the mini burrito hack.
    What a great collection of recipes you put together for this great dish.

    1. We don’t eat out all that often (maybe a couple of times a month…and that was pre-COVID). As you know, I like to cook and bake, and that means we always have food and leftovers that need to be eaten here at the house. Even though you don’t have a Chipotle, you can get mighty close at home! I feel like most of these ingredients are fairly standard. Sure, it will take some time (as I noted in the post) to make all of the components, but you could totally make Chipotle at home over there! This barbacoa is quite tasty, but the grilled chicken I linked to in the post is amazing, too.

  2. 5 stars
    I wont beg for the recipe, I will beg for a bowl of that deliciousness so that I dont punish myself waiting as the aroma oozes though the house. I just wish I was your neighbor, they look stunning

    1. Thank you so much, Mimi! You’re right that there are a lot of components to this one – but all together, it’s SO good. And, yes, you could live off of the leftovers for days. 🙂

  3. David, you say: “These Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa Burrito Bowls rely on the slow cooker…how hard can the recipe be!? Well, that’s the thing. Nothing in this recipe is hard.” David, it could be hard…if you don’t have a slow cooker lol.

    Anyway, I know slow cooker recipes can be easily adjusted to a non slow-cooker recipe, so that’s fine with me. What matters, these bowls (with a long and complicated-to-pronounce-at 8 am name lol) look and sound absolutely delish!

    1. Haha! You make an excellent point here, Ben. It would indeed be hard to make a slow cooker recipe if you don’t have a slow cooker! However, to be fair, any slow cooker recipe can easily be shifted over to a Dutch oven on low heat – the slow cooker is just easier. Either way, I highly recommend these burrito bowls…even at 8am! 🙂

    1. Ah yes, Chipotle is indeed a restaurant here in the States. It’s a ‘fast casual’ restaurant that specializes in southwestern fare – think burritos, tacos, etc. It’s quite tasty, and it’s one of our guilty pleasures! However, making it at home is a fun one, too – and you end up with a bunch of leftovers, so that’s a bonus! 🙂 Thanks, Sherry!

    1. I think that could be arranged. I mean we microwave the leftovers. Microwaving a 3-pound chuck roast is probably not in your best interest, though. Just sayin’.

    1. Oh man, I’m telling you – this is one heck of a delicious recipe, Kathy! There are a lot of components to it, but you should have enough for leftovers….well, maybe…haha. 🙂

    1. Oh man, this barbacoa is insanely tender, Marissa! It makes for a great topping for all sorts of things – baked potatoes, tacos, quesadillas. You name it! Thanks so much, my friend!

  4. 5 stars
    Oooh,, David! Barbacoa is one of my Chipotle favorites, too! I love the idea of making it into burritos at home that’s brilliant! And this is my kind of recipe. Even though there are a lot of parts, it creates several meals for us! And so much flavor!

    1. Exactly! There are a lot of parts to recreating a Chipotle menu item, but then again you end up with several meals. And it’s also delicious – so it’s totally worth the time! 🙂 Thanks so much, Laura!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m all about comfort food at the moment David and especially with the slow cooker. As we’re locked down here again I get to sit and smell the delicious slow cooking of whatever I’ve got on the go in the slow cooker all day. Although your slow cooker beef baracoa burrito bowls recipe takes a little more time to get ready, I’ve plenty of time to do it at the moment. Looking forward to trying this. Thanks!

    1. I did indeed see that the UK was returning to lockdown status – I suspect we aren’t too far away, although things seem somewhat ok in our immediate area. Either way, comfort food always makes things better, right? I particularly love this barbacoa as it can be used for all sorts of other recipes – baked potatoes, quesadillas, tacos, you name it! Stay safe over there, my friend!

  6. 5 stars
    YUM these burrito bowls look absolutely delicious!!!! Whenever a meal is as delicious as this, it’s ALWAYS worth the time! Love the Chipotle inspiration! And that is so crazy, we’ve just started getting the burrito bowl rather than the burrito at Chipotle as well. Now I just need to follow your lead and make four mini burritos from that bowl! Seriously it’s genius! But I must say, between Chipotle or your burrito bowl recipe here David, I’m going with your recipe hands down!

    1. Yes! The burrito bowl with the tortilla on the side is the way to go. That way you can make your own…or make 4 mini ones! And of course the lime chips help finish off any leftover fillings. 🙂 Thanks so much, Shannon!

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