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Ah, Chipotle – my love. I adore the chicken, the fajita veggies, but the beef barbacoa? To… Die… For. Especially with the fresh guacamole, for which I can never resist paying extra. “Why can’t you make this at home?” I wondered. It turns out, you can! My copycat Chipotle barbacoa recipe is one of the easiest dishes you can make in a slow cooker.
If you didn’t adore your Crockpot before, I think you will, after you find out you can make beef barbacoa just like Chipotle’s in it! The best part is that the prep time takes a total of five minutes. Simply puree together everything except the beef and bay leaf, pour the mixture over beef chunks in your slow cooker, place the bay leaf inside, and let your Crockpot do all the work.
This easy beef barbacoa recipe is just another reason why I love Chipotle, because I have them to thank for helping me out with it. If you didn’t know, Chipotle publicly posts the ingredients list for every item on their menu! I’m both thrilled and amazed at their dedication to transparency.
I knew that the best way to mimic Chipotle barbacoa would have to be to use as many of the same ingredients as possible. It turns out that theirs only has eleven ingredients, plus water. This copycat recipe incorporates all of them, except the oils that they use. Most likely the oils are used to pan sear the beef prior to slow cooking, which you could certainly do if you’re so inclined, but I kept the recipe simple and didn’t find it necessary. The only other additions I made were apple cider vinegar and lime juice, to bring out the flavors even more, and substituting beef broth instead of water.
You can serve your slow cooker beef barbacoa any way you like, but my favorite way is in a big ol’ salad. I load it up with all the fixings, just like I would at Chipotle. Crisp romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, and because we’re not strictly paleo, shredded mozzarella and sour cream, too. Of course, can’t forget the guacamole! (You can get the guacamole recipe here.) Otherwise, if a wrap is more up your alley, try the barbacoa with 3-ingredient coconut flour tortillas instead.
Without me asking, my husband declared that this copycat Chipotle barbacoa recipe was better than Chipotle. Sure, he’s a little biased, but it’s still the best compliment ever! I will add that this one is more spicy than Chipotle’s, so if you don’t like a lot of heat, you may want to reduce the amount of chile peppers in adobo sauce.
The recipe is also freezer-friendly, so I like to have a batch on hand to thaw for a quick dinner. If you’re looking for healthy or low carb Mexican recipes, try it out – you won’t regret it.
Disclaimer: Chipotle is a registered trademark of Chipotle Mexican Grill. This recipe is my interpretation of a similar dish, but is not to be construed as an endorsement of the company or having been endorsed by the company. There is no affiliation between myself and the company. Trademark remains the property of its owner and is used here only to describe the product.
Chipotle Barbacoa Copycat Recipe in a Slow Cooker (Low Carb, Paleo):
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Want more low carb, gluten-free ideas for beef? Try these: