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Beef Barbacoa (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto) Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

If you are like us, this summer has been full of barbecues, hikes, sunshine and lots of easy meals. You can make this Paleo + Whole30 beef barbacoa in your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker and save time, energy and extra heat in your house. You’ll find yourself craving beef barbacoa for the rest of the summer, making tacos, salads, bowls and more!

Beef barbacoa in a bowl with greens and rice and topped with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

A Little Bit Of Prep Work

In the recipe below, we give you cooking instructions for both the Instant Pot and a Slow Cooker. Either way there is a little bit of prep work to do. We like to cut our beef into cubes and then brown the outsides in either our Instant Pot or quickly on the stove in a cast iron pan. Of course, it is nice if you have an Instant Pot because you can do this step in your Instant Pot and then have no extra dishes to clean up. Either way, it helps to lock in the juices and keep this beef barbacoa tender and moist once shredded! Don’t worry this little bit of effort is way worth it!

Beef barbacoa in a bowl with greens and rice and topped with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

All About The Flavor

There is something real special about the flavors in this beef barbacoa! It’s a little smoky, with some spice and a hint of citrus. It’s just the right amount of all the things to make you crave it over and over again! You just mix all the juice and seasonings together and then pour the mixture over the beef, onions and garlic. Let your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker do all the hard work melding the flavors together and soaking them into the beef. It is really a tasty combo!

Beef barbacoa on a sheet pan topped with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Versatile Meal Prep Recipe

We love this recipe for many reasons including how crazy delicious it is, but we appreciate it because it makes a lot of extra meat that you can use for leftovers and you can enjoy it so many different ways that it never gets old! Some of our favorites are in Siete tortillas for tacos, in romaine lettuce shells, over greens and rice for a bowl, add it to a casserole for breakfast, serve it with grilled veggies, etc. The list goes on and we bet you guys can come up with some pretty great ideas too! Let us know what ends up being your favorite!

Beef barbacoa in a bowl with greens and rice and topped with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Some Other Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Recipes To Try

Your Turn To Try Our Beef Barbacoa

Go ahead and plan this into your upcoming weekend’s meal prep! You will love the leftovers and have fun finding the many different ways you can enjoy this beef barbacoa. Leave a  comment below to tell us what you think. Take a pic and tag us on Instagram @realsimplegood, so we can see! And if you don’t already follow us on Instagram, we’d love for you to give us a follow so we can stay connected!

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Beef barbacoa in a bowl with greens and rice and topped with chopped cilantro and lime wedges long pin.


Beef Barbacoa (Paleo, Whole30 + Keto) Slow Cooker or Instant Pot

4.13 from 39 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 368kcal
Author: Justin + Erica Winn
Make this Paleo + Whole30 beef barbacoa in your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker. It's a little smoky with some spice and citrus, and it makes lots of leftovers! 
Print Recipe Rate Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 2 inch cubes (can also use beef brisket)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp oregano (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp ghee (or other cooking oil)

For topping/serving:

  • romaine lettuce (or sub Siete Tortillas or other sturdy lettuce)
  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  • Cut beef into cubes and set aside. Prep onion and garlic as noted.
  • Combine orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, tomato paste, cumin, chipotle powder, oregano, salt and ground cloves in a bowl or jar and mix well.
  • Press the sauté button on the instant pot and add ghee. Once hot, add in the beef and brown it on all sides. Press cancel on the instant pot once the beef is browned.
  • Add in the diced onion and garlic cloves and pour the juice/seasoning mixture all over everything.
  • Secure the lid on the instant pot and close the pressure valve. Press the "manual" button (or "pressure cook" button) and set the time to cook for 30 minutes at high pressure. Once the time is up, let the pressure naturally release on its own for 20 minutes.
  • Manually release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. Shred the beef with two forks.
  • Serve beef in bowls over greens, in lettuce wedges or in tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Slow cooker instructions:

  • Follow steps 1-2 above.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add ghee. Once hot, add in beef cubes to brown, just a minute or so on each side until all sides are browned. Transfer beef to the slow cooker.
  • Add in the diced onion and garlic cloves and pour the juice/seasoning mixture all over everything.
  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Once the beef is finished, shred it in the slow cooker with two forks and mix it with all the juices. Serve as noted above.

Optional step (for crispy beef barbacoa):

  • Set your oven to broil.
  • After shredding the beef, use a slotted spoon to remove the beef and onions from the instant pot and place on a large sheet pan. Spoon some of the juices from the instant pot over the top of the beef in the sheet pan.
  • Place in the oven to broil for 6-8 minutes, until the beef begins to develop some brown and crispy edges. Watch carefully and cook to your preference.
  • Alternatively, you can simply transfer some of the beef to a skillet over medium heat and cook it until it's crispy, stirring occasionally. This method is easiest if you are re-heating the leftovers from the fridge.

Notes

Nutrition facts are an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet and do not include topping/serving items for this recipe. See our full nutrition information disclosure here

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g
Tried this recipe?Take a picture and tag @realsimplegood so we can see it!

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