Chipotle-style Slow Cooker Barbacoa and Cilantro-Lime Rice Recipe

April 22, 2012 Recipes 25

Chipotle-style Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacosmomssmallvictories chipotle style slow cooker barbacoa rice bowl

I had Chipotle Restuarant’s barbacoa tacos and thought they were fantastic. Then I found this Chipotle Slow Cooker Barbacoa recipe on Coupon Crafty’s blog a couple years ago. My husband loved it and when you luck out to get chuck roast on sale, it’s an inexpensive and easy recipe.

Three chipotle peppers was too spicy for my kids but Superhubby and I liked it. I had read in one of the blog’s comments to put the whole can of chicken broth in so that’s what I did and it came out fall apart tender and juicy! The extra broth helps keep the meat tender should you have leftovers that you need to keep (keep some of the broth too).

The recipe below shows how I’ve adapted it and I have made it often. This is one of our family favorites and as you can see by the serving suggestions, a very versatile and tasty meat. This is a great dish to make for company or to feed a crowd where guests can build their own soft tacos, rice bowls, nachos or salad.


Family Yumminess Rating: 5 of 5 stars
RA Ease of Prep Rating: 4 of 5 stars (the hardest part of this recipe is handling the roast, squeezing the lime juice and getting the lid on my mini food processor secured properly. Otherwise it’s very simple and only tastes like you’ve slaved over it all day!)

Cilantro-Lime Rice

Family Yumminess Rating: 3 of 5 stars
RA Ease of Prep Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chipotle-style Barbacoa and Cilantro-Lime Rice

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 9 hours


For Barbacoa:

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons lime juice

1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, canned (for mild flavor. Add more peppers if you like it spicy)

4 garlic cloves

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 lbs chuck roast

1 10-ounce can chicken broth

3 bay leaves

For Cilantro-Lime Rice:

4 cups water

2 cups long-grain white rice

2-3 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced

2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. For Barbacoa:
  2. Make adobo sauce by combining vinegar, lime juice, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt and clove in a blender or food processor and puree on high-speed until smooth.
  3. Trim the fat from the meat, and then slice the roast into 6 smaller pieces.
  4. Sear all sides of the chunks of meat in olive oil until browned.
  5. Put meat in the crockpot.
  6. Add the adobo sauce on top of the meat, pour in the chicken broth, and add the bay leaves.
  7. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  8. At the five-hour mark, take the lid off and shred the beef with two forks. Cover and cook for the last hour.
  9. Topping suggestions: pico de gallo, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapeño
  10. Serving suggestions: in a warmed tortilla for a taco, on top of yellow or white rice for a rice bowl or on top of tortilla chips for nachos or on top of lettuce with corn, tomatoes and black beans for a fantastic Tex-Mex salad! It's a very versatile and tasty meat.
  11. For the Cilantro-Lime Rice:
  12. Combine water, rice, olive oil and salt in a large saucepan.
  13. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat to low, cover saucepan, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  14. Turn heat off and let sit for 10 more minutes.
  15. When the rice is done stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Keep covered until ready to eat.

Tanya M

25 Responses to “Chipotle-style Slow Cooker Barbacoa and Cilantro-Lime Rice Recipe”

  1. Regina Partain

    Hi Tanya. Thanks for linking at Pintastic Pinteresting Party!

    This looks fantastic. I too have RA so I really appreciate the tips on how easy or difficult it is with RA. I was a little scared when you said it was Barbacoa because I really don’t care for Barbacoa, at least not the way it was prepared when I tried it. I think using the chuck roast, though, it would be wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
    Regina Partain recently posted..True Love Reader’s ForumMy Profile

    • Tanya M

      Thanks Regina. I was so happy that you featured my post on the party this week, thanks so much! I am glad you find my RA ease of prep rating useful. It always takes me longer to make recipes and then factoring in clean up time. It feels like I am in the kitchen most of the time I am awake. The Chuck roast comes out really tender and just falls apart (really I can shred it with a spoon). My husband’s family is from Mexico. When they’ve bought barbacoa at restaurants it comes with a lot of fat. Trimming the fat and cooking in chicken broth really helps, even my in laws love it when I make this for them. Score!

    • Tanya M

      Oh I could write an ode to my slow cooker like I did for my kindle. I highly recommend the Hamilton beach stow n go. I think its either $40 or $60 so not overly expensive but fantastic!! I use mine at least once or twice per week.

  2. Angela Culley (Math NInja)

    This recipe looks tasty! I’ll definitely have to give it a try.

    After reading your recipe, I was drawn to the about me section of your site. I too am a young arthritis sufferer. I have psoriatic arthritis and appreciate your comment about celebrating small victories :)

  3. Ce Ce

    My husband would love this recipe, I’m pinning this!!
    Stopping by to show an old post some new love, thanks for hosting.

    Ps. Thanks for stopping by A Chicago Mom

  4. Teri

    Oh, how I love barbacoa! What a great recipe. I can’t wait to try it!
    Visiting from Throwback Thursday! Great party too!

  5. Doree

    This looks amazing! I am a big Chipotle fan. I can’t wait to make it for my family. #ThrowbackThursdaylinkup

    • Tanya M

      My husband’s family is from Mexico too. The biggest complement is my in-laws love when I make it too (and my hubby likes it more than the one his mom buys premade from the meat market). Its leaner too since I trim the fat from it and it cooks in chicken broth. I hope you try it out!

    • Tanya M

      Thanks Heather, I hope you do. When even my youngest loves it, I know its gotta be good. I make it at least once a month!

    • Tanya M

      Hi Becca, it’s pretty good. I’ve only eaten at Chipotle once and I gotta admit this recipe is even better. I used a whole can of chicken broth so it stays tender and the leftovers with the flavors all melded together are even better. Still my hubby’s favorite dish I make. Whenever chuck roast is on sale at Food Lion I stock up and make one roast fresh and freeze the other.

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