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Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Chipotle Copycat Recipe)

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef is the best quick and easy pressure cooker recipe that makes shredded braised beef tacos using coconut tortillas that are perfect for meal prep. This dish is Whole-30, paleo, and gluten-free. You can use 1.5-3 pounds of beef roast. 

instant pot keto low carb barbacoa beef in a white bowl

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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

A lot of us have heard about barbacoa because of its popularity at Chipotle within burritos, burrito bowls, and tacos. It’s a lot deeper than just Chipotle! It’s a Great Recipe to Feed a Crowd or have on hand for meal prep.

You may also enjoy my Instant Pot Steak Tacos recipe.

ingredients for instant pot keto low carb barbacoa beef

What Type of Meat is Barbacoa?

Traditionally, it is made using the cheeks of cattle. In this recipe, it is prepared using beef chuck roast.

Traditional barbacoa is served on corn tortillas, with salsa, diced onions, and fresh lime juice.

chipotles in adobo sauce in a can

How To Make Barbacoa Beef Roast and Sauce in Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker

  1. You will need to gather your ingredients for the seasoning and marinade. Blend the seasonings in a blender.
  2. Marinate the meat for at least an hour. I prefer overnight.
  3. Sear both sides of the beef using the Instant Pot.
  4. Add garlic, onions, and beef broth.
  5. Pressure cook.
  6. Shred the beef and return it to the pot.
a collage photo of raw beef roast and barbacoa seasoning in a blender

How Long to Cook 

I like to cook the beef for 60 minutes with 10 minutes of natural pressure release.

a collage photo of raw beef roast in an instant pot with onions and garlic

What is Barbacoa at Chipotle

Barbacoa is spicy, shredded beef.

instant pot keto low carb barbacoa beef with cilantro and limes on a cutting board
instant pot keto low carb barbacoa beef with cilantro and limes in an instant pot

Freezer Tips

Yes, when transferring the beef to a storage container, leave the meat in its juice. Freeze it with the juice for up to 6 months. To defrost, remove it from the freezer and place in the fridge overnight. I have not tested frozen beef with this recipe. I have only used fresh.

instant pot keto low carb barbacoa beef with cilantro and limes in a white bowl

Recipe Tips

  • I like to trim as much fat as I can from the beef prior to cooking. This makes it easier to shred the beef once cooked.
  • Marinating is optional. In general, barbacoa is marinated overnight and so is the Chipotle version.
  • Add most of your salt to the dish once it has cooked. Beef roast needs salt for flavor, but you don’t want to overdo it by guessing.
  • I like to saute the onions and garlic before cooking the beef to lock in those flavors directly before cooking. You can also add the garlic and onions to the blender to marinate the flavors into the beef.
  • The longer the shredded beef sits in the sauce, the better it will taste, similar to how classic spaghetti tastes much better the next day.
  • If you want really spicy beef add more Chipotles in adobo sauce and red pepper.
instant pot keto low carb barbacoa beef with cilantro and limes in a white bowl

What to Serve with Barbacoa Beef

You can serve this with my Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice to really make it like a Chipotle burrito bowl.  
Keto Coleslaw
Keto Zucchini Pasta Salad
Air Fryer Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Instant Pot Creamed Spinach.

keto low carb instant pot barbacoa on top of cilantro lime cauliflower rice on a white plate
instant pot keto barbacoa beef tacos with avocado

More Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Brisket
Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Instant Pot Pulled Chicken

instant pot keto low carb barbacoa beef in a white bowl

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Keto and Low-Carb Chipotle Copycat)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
marinate: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef (Keto and Low-Carb Chipotle Copycat) is the best quick and easy pressure cooker recipe that makes shredded braised beef tacos using coconut tortillas that are perfect for meal prep. This dish is Whole-30, paleo, and gluten-free. You can use 1.5-3 pounds of beef roast. This keto-friendly recipe includes slow-cooker instructions as well.

Ingredients

Barbacoa

Optional

Instructions

  1. Watch the video instructions below.
  2. Add 1/4 cup beef broth, chipotles in adobo sauce, garlic, chili powder, dried oregano, cumin, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste to a blender.
  3. Blend for 30-45 seconds until combined. 
  4. Add the beef chunks to a sealable plastic bag. Drizzle the beef broth mixture throughout. Marinate for at least one hour to overnight. Marinating is optional, but will provide more flavor for the beef.
  5. Place the Instant Pot on the saute' function. Add the chunks of beef. Sear each side of the beef for a few minutes on each side.
  6. Remove the beef and add the onions and garlic. You should have some leftover fat in the pot. I didn't need any olive oil here. If your pot is really dry, add some oil.
  7. Cook the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  8. Add the beef back to the pot with 1 cup of beef broth.
  9. Close the post and seal. Cook for 60 minutes on Manual > High Pressure Cooking.
  10. When the pot beeps to indicate it has finished, do not quick release the steam. Allow the steam to release naturally for 10 minutes.
  11. Open the pot remove the beef. Shred the beef with 2 forks.
  12. Return the beef to the pot with all of the juices. Stir.
  13. Taste repeatedly and add additional salt as necessary.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. Follow the marinade instructions above.
  2. Brown the beef, onions, and garlic in a skillet on medium high heat.
  3. Add all of the ingredients to a slow-cooker (as noted above).
  4. Cook for 4-5 hours on High or 8 hours on Low.
  5. Remove the beef and shred.

Notes

  • I like to trim as much fat as I can from the beef prior to cooking. This makes it easier to shred the beef once cooked.
  • Marinating is optional. In general, barbacoa is marinated overnight and so is the Chipotle version.
  • Add most of your salt to the dish once it has cooked. Beef roast needs salt for flavor, but you don't want to overdo it by guessing.
  • I like to saute the onions and garlic before cooking the beef to lock in those flavors directly before cooking. You can also add the garlic and onions to the blender to marinate the flavors into the beef.
  • The longer the shredded beef sits in the sauce, the better it will taste, similar to how classic spaghetti tastes much better the next day.
  • If you want really spicy beef add more Chipotles in adobo sauce and red pepper.
  • This dish is freezer friendly. When transferring the beef to a storage container, leave the meat in its juice. Freeze it with the juice for up to 6 months. To defrost remove it from the freezer and place in the fridge overnight. I have not tested frozen beef with this recipe. I have only used fresh.
  • Browning the beef using the saute function is optional and results in more flavor.

Topping ideas:

  • Low carb wraps, sour cream, chopped onions, cilantro, feta cheese, salsa, etc.
Nutrition Information
Yield 8
Amount Per Serving Calories 453Total Fat 34gCarbohydrates 2 netgProtein 35g

Macros are provided as a courtesy and calculated using MyFitnessPal. Calculate your specific macros using the exact brand ingredients you use and the macros calculator of your choice.

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Mary

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

This recipe is top notch! I made it tonight for the second time in a month and my husband says to me mid-bite “this is legit barbacoa”. So, do good!!

staysnatched

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Mary

Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

Meant to say so, so* good!

Rashaunda

Thursday 23rd of April 2020

I have smaller pieces of beef (like stew meat). Will this come out the same?

staysnatched

Friday 24th of April 2020

I would research Instant Pot Stew meat and follow those cook time instructions and use this seasoning if that's what you're going for.

Michele

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Wow! This was delicious with homemade keto tortillas. Thank you so much for the recipe. I’ll be keeping this one?

staysnatched

Friday 17th of April 2020

Wonderful! I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Carrie

Thursday 21st of March 2019

I love Barbacoa, especially since I am from the Southwest. Love it!!

wilhelmina

Thursday 21st of March 2019

This is a total keeper!