Chipotle’s Beef Barbacoa (Keto Copycat)

Are you a fan of Chipotle’s famous barbacoa beef but looking to maintain a keto lifestyle? You’re in luck! This keto beef barbacoa recipe captures all the rich, smoky flavors you love while staying low-carb. Perfect for meal prepping, this slow-cooked, tender beef can be served in tacos, burrito bowls, or even on a fresh bed of lettuce!

What Is The Beef Barbacoa at Chipotle?

Chipotle has been (and will always be) a go-to for quick, delicious, and customizable Mexican-inspired meals. And that doesn’t have to stop just because you are on the keto diet!

Eating keto at Chipotle has never been easier with their many low-carb options, including the beef barbacoa.

Barbacoa is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of slow-cooked meat (usually beef) seasoned with various spices and peppers.

At Chipotle, beef chuck roast is the go-to for barbacoa, flavored with adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. The meat is slow-cooked until it’s super tender and falls apart easily.

Luckily, this recipe is super easy to recreate at home without any added sugars or carbs!

slow cooker barbacoa beef in a bowlslow cooker barbacoa beef in a bowl

Making Chipotle’s Barbacoa Beef at Home

To make this keto barbacoa beef at home, you will need a few key ingredients…

  • The star ingredient here is the beef chuck roast, which is a tough cut of meat that becomes incredibly tender when slow-cooked.
  • For a bit of spice and smoky flavor, I added chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can find these in most grocery stores, and they bring a lot of bold flavors. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste.
  • The rest of the ingredients are classic Mexican spices like cumin, oregano, paprika, coriander, and allspice. They come together to create a tasty blend of flavors that make this beef barbacoa genuinely authentic.
ingredients needed to make beef barbacoaingredients needed to make beef barbacoa

The Best Meat for Beef Barbacoa

For this recipe, I suggest using beef chuck roast because it’s affordable and has just the right amount of fat to keep the beef juicy and tender while cooking.

If you prefer a leaner cut, you can also go with beef brisket or bottom round roast. Just remember to adjust the cooking time since these cuts might take longer to get tender.

adding beef chunks and the rest of the ingredients to the slow cookeradding beef chunks and the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker

Slow Cooking for Tender Meat

One of the best things about using a slow cooker is that it does all the work for you!

Simply mix together the beef with all the seasonings and let it sit in the slow cooker on low heat for 6-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

seasoned beef chunks with bay leaves in crockpotseasoned beef chunks with bay leaves in crockpot

The result? Ultra-tender meat that falls apart effortlessly when shredded.

Pro tip: Let the meat rest in the juice for at least 10 minutes before serving. This will help it absorb all the flavors and stay extra juicy.

cooked mexican shredded beef in slow cookercooked mexican shredded beef in slow cooker

What To Serve With Beef Barbacoa

Now that you have a big batch of delicious keto barbacoa beef, how do you serve it? There are endless possibilities, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Assemble your own keto tacos with low-carb tortillas or lettuce cups. Top with fresh cilantro, diced onion, and avocado for a delicious and healthy meal.
  • Make a burrito bowl by layering cilantro lime cauliflower rice or salad greens in a bowl, then top it off with the shredded beef, salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
  • Build your own nachos with air fryer tortilla chips topped with the shredded beef, queso, and your favorite toppings.
  • Use this beef barbacoa as a filling for omelets or keto breakfast burritos to add zesty flavor to your morning eggs.
barbacoa beef taco bowl with lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa. barbacoa beef taco bowl with lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Storing and Freezing

This beef barbacoa is perfect for meal prepping and can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Just make sure to thaw it before reheating, either on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Chipotle shredded beefChipotle shredded beef

Love This Keto Barbacoa Beef? Try These Recipes!

If you really enjoyed this beef recipe, try these other delicious Mexican-inspired dishes:

  • Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas are made with bell peppers and perfectly seasoned chicken breasts, perfect for a busy weeknight!
  • Mexican Cauliflower Rice is a keto-friendly version of traditional rice, made with riced cauliflower, garlic, and plenty of spices.
  • Layered Taco Dip is an appetizer made with seasoned cream cheese, salsa, and shredded cheese. It’s perfect for parties or game nights!
  • Easy Chicken Lasagna is a casserole made with layers of low-carb tortillas, chicken breasts, cheese, and enchilada sauce.
  • Keto Cinnamon Churros are a delicious and indulgent treat, perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth while staying on track with your keto diet.


Barbacoa Beef Featured ImageBarbacoa Beef Featured Image

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa

This easy and flavorful beef barbacoa recipe is the perfect Chipotle copycat recipe! Delivering tender, spicy meat perfect for tacos, burrito bowls, and more.

Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:4 hours

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Mexican

Diet: Gluten Free

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  • Cut the chuck roast into large 1-2 inch cubes and place it in the slow cooker.

  • Add olive oil, diced onion, garlic, minced chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, paprika, coriander, allspice, and bay leaf. Mix to evenly coat the beef in the seasoning.

  • Pour the beef broth into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the beef is tender and falls apart easily.

  • Once cooked, shred the beef using two forks. Stir in lime juice. Let the meat rest in the juice for at least 10 minutes before serving.


Serving Size: ½ cup of beef barbacoa

Low Carb Sweeteners | Keto Sweetener Conversion Chart


Calories: 234 | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 645mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 122IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 3mg

Additional Info

Net Carbs:


% Carbs:


% Protein:


% Fat:




    [calories] => 234
    [carbohydrates] => 3
    [protein] => 22
    [fat] => 15
    [saturated_fat] => 6
    [polyunsaturated_fat] => 1
    [monounsaturated_fat] => 8
    [trans_fat] => 1
    [cholesterol] => 78
    [sodium] => 645
    [potassium] => 425
    [fiber] => 1
    [sugar] => 1
    [vitamin_a] => 122
    [vitamin_c] => 3
    [calcium] => 41
    [iron] => 3

Notes on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.


© – Unauthorized use of this material without written permission is strictly prohibited unless for personal offline purposes. Single photos may be used, provided that full credit is given to along with a link back to the original content.


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