Shredded Beef Tacos

By Polly Conner
November 29, 2021

With only 4 simple ingredients, you can have a batch of Shredded Beef Tacos slow cooking in your crockpot (or Instant Pot) in minutes. This Mexican shredded beef packs a TON of flavor and will fall apart after a full day of cooking. Say “holá” to a new weeknight favorite in your home!

Shredded beef tacos piled on a plate

Shredded Beef Tacos check all of the boxes. They can be cooked in both the slow cooker or Instant Pot, they can be prepped ahead as a freezer meal, they are a great recipe for groups of people, and they are EASY. Not only that, but you can serve the leftovers up as Baked Nachos.

Just watch and see how easily this Mexican shredded beef comes together!

How to Make Shredded Beef Tacos

Ingredients You’ll Need for Shredded Beef Tacos

The ingredients are simple, but the flavor is BIG. Here’s what you need:

For the Mexican Shredded Beef

  • Boneless beef chuck roast (sub: boneless pork shoulder roast) – Here is where we get our beef.
  • Taco seasoning – Either buy all-natural taco seasoning packets or make our delicious homemade taco seasoning from pantry ingredients.
  • Salsa – Go mild if you have picky eaters or medium if you like more heat.
  • Low sodium beef broth – You can sub in chicken stock or broth instead, if that’s all you have.

For the Tacos

  • Whole wheat tortillas (Gluten-free option: 24 corn tortillas.)
  • Optional Mexican toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, salsa, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, shredded lettuce, etc.
Ingredients for shredded beef tacos in bowls

Because we know our readers love versatility in their recipes, we have instructions for how to cook it in both the crockpot AND in the Instant Pot.

Cooking Shredded Beef in the Slow Cooker

The great thing about cooking a chuck roast in the slow cooker is this: chuck roast recipes are dump & go meals that cook all day long. This is one of the reasons I like using this recipe for groups of people. It’s hands off, makes the home smell delicious, and feeds an army.

To make this in the slow cooker, place the roast in the insert and rub the taco seasoning over all sides of the meat. Top with the salsa and beef stock. Close the lid and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat easily shreds. 

Seasoned chuck roast in a slow cooker

Cooking Shredded Beef in the Instant Pot

If you don’t want to go the low and slow method, using your Instant Pot to pressure cook a chuck roast will work just as well. After testing hundreds of recipes for our cookbook, From Freezer to Cooker, we have narrowed down the perfect cooking times. In fact, you can snag a free Instant Pot Cooking Times Chart here.

To make Shredded Beef Tacos using the Instant Pot, cut up the chuck roast into 2×2 inch pieces (cutting it up ensures even, fast cooking and “fall apart” beef). Place place the meat in the Instant Pot and toss with the taco seasoning. Top with the salsa and beef stock. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minute, then quick release the rest.

Seasoned chuck roast in an Instant Pot

Make It a Freezer Meal

It’s no secret we are big fans of freezer meals around here. In fact, we have 2 freezer meal cookbooks1 Hour Freezer Prep Sessions, and even a round-up with 70+ freezer meal recipes that you will love!

So, yep, we have freezer meal instructions for Shredded Beef Tacos.

Freeze For Later:

Label a gallon-sized freezer bag. If making this in the Instant Pot, cut the roast into 2×2 inch pieces. Rub the taco seasoning all over the sides of the roast and place in the bag. Add the salsa and broth. Seal, squeezing out any excess air, and freeze. (Note: If you want to cook this from frozen in the Instant Pot, place the bag in a round container in the freezer until frozen and then remove.)

Prepare From Frozen:

Note: Have your favorite Mexican toppings on hand to complete this meal. Two options for cooking:

  1. Thawed in either cooker: Thaw completely and cook according to the recipe instructions.
  2. From frozen in the Instant Pot: Do not thaw. Place the frozen meal in the Instant Pot and saute for 5-10 minutes to release some liquid. Then, cook according to the recipe instructions. (The frozen beef will cook in about the same amount of time as fresh.)
Shredded Beef tacos prepped as a dump and go freezer meal

Shred and Serve!

Now for the fun part! Using two forks, start pulling apart that meat. This is also when my husband begins lurking around the kitchen and sneaking bites when I look away.

Mexican shredded beef on a wooden cutting board

After shredding the meat, you have a few options. The obvious choice is to serve it up similar to our Taco Bar. Lay out the shredded beef, soft & hard shell tacos, and Mexican toppings of your choice.

The next night, you could repurpose the meat to make Baked Nachos. Yum!

Side Dishes to Go with Shredded Beef Tacos

In addition to the basic toppings for any tacos, it’s fun to offer a side dish like one of these below, especially when you’re hosting a group.

Avocado Lime Salsa – One of my all-time favorite side dish recipes!

Guacamole – A BIG batch Tex-Mex classic.

Texas Caviar Dip or Fiesta Chopped Salad – Either one of these chopped salads/dips are great recipes for crowds.

Mexican Chopped Salad – Fresh, light, and delicious.

Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice – A fresh, bright, and filling side dish!

Overhead shot of shredded beef tacos

Ready to make your own?

Print

Shredded Beef Tacos

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 810 soft tacos 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Slow cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

With only 4 simple ingredients, you can have a batch of Shredded Beef Tacos slow cooking in your crockpot (or Instant Pot) in minutes. This Mexican shredded beef packs a TON of flavor and will fall apart after a full day of cooking. Say “holá” to a new weeknight favorite in your home!


Ingredients

  • 1 (2 1/2 – 3 pound) boneless beef chuck roast (sub: boneless pork shoulder roast–see cooking notes)
  • 2 (1 ounce) taco seasoning packets (or 68 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning)
  • 1 cup salsa (recommend: medium)
  • 1/2 cup low sodium beef broth (sub: chicken stock)
  • 23 cups shredded cheddar cheese*
  • 810 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas (Gluten-free option: 12-16 corn tortillas, but do not freeze them.)
  • Optional toppings: diced avocado, salsa, chopped tomatoes, sour cream*, shredded lettuce, etc.

*Omit if making this dairy-free.


Instructions

Make It Now:

  1. If making this in the Instant Pot, cut the roast into 2×2 inch pieces. If making in the slow cooker, leave the roast whole. Place the roast in the slow cooker or Instant Pot and rub the taco seasoning over all sides of the meat. Top with the salsa and beef stock. 
  2. Cover and cook using one of these methods: 
    1. Slow Cooker (whole roast): Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat easily shreds. 
    2. Instant Pot (2×2 inch pieces): Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
  3. Use tongs to transfer the beef to a cutting board. Discard most of the liquid in the cooker, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Using two forks, shred the meat and return it to the remaining juices to keep moist.
  4. Use tongs to add the shredded beef to a warm tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and finish off with your favorite Mexican toppings. 

 

Freeze For Later: Label a gallon-sized freezer bag. If making this in the Instant Pot, cut the roast into 2×2 inch pieces. Rub the taco seasoning all over the sides of the roast and place in the bag. Add the salsa and broth. Seal, squeezing out any excess air, and freeze. (Note: If you want to cook this from frozen in the Instant Pot, place the bag in a round container in the freezer until frozen and then remove.)

Prepare From Frozen: Note: Have your favorite Mexican toppings on hand to complete this meal.

Two options for cooking:

  1. Cook after meat is thawed in either cooker: Thaw completely and follow Steps 2-4.
  2. From frozen in the Instant Pot: Do not thaw. Place the frozen meal in the Instant Pot and Saute for 5-10 minutes to release some liquid. Then, follow steps 2-4. (The frozen meat will cook in about the same amount of time as fresh.)

Notes

Ideas for How to Use Your Shredded Beef: Use the shredded beef in a Taco Bar or in Baked Nachos. Or, split the shredded beef up in small portions for a freezer meal that is great for 1-2 people.

How to Substitute a Pork Butt (Slow Cooker Version): If you want to use a 3 lb pork butt (often called Boston Butt) instead of a chuck roast, here’s how. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.Cover and cook the seasoned roast, salsa, and broth on Low for 7 to 9 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours. Follow Steps 3 and 4.

How to Substitute a Pork Butt (Instant Pot Version): If you want to use a 3 lb pork butt (often called Boston Butt) instead of a chuck roast, here’s how. Cut up the pork into four equal pieces and season it with the taco seasoning. Add the seasoned roast, salsa, and broth to the pot. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 45 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. Follow Steps 3 and 4.

Want more spice? Add more salsa and taco seasoning at the beginning. You can also stir in some salsa to the shredded meat at the end.

Want More “Dump & Go” Slow Cooker Meals?

We have taken the time round up some of the best of the best dump and go crockpot meals. See our Top 15+ Dump & Go Recipes here!

15+ Dump and Go Crockpot Meals

Leave a Comment

Your comments make our day. Thank you! If you made the recipe, please choose a star rating, too.

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating

Your email address will not be published.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 replies