Slow Cooker Barbacoa Taco Lettuce Wraps – Takes 5 minutes to prep in the crockpot and creates the most tender and juiciest homemade barbacoa! Flavored with the traditional barbacoa flavors: garlic, oregano, cumin; including chipotles in adobo! The not historically known authentic recipe, but oh, so delicious! Takes no time to assemble these lettuce wraps. Perfect for a lighter and low-carb option!

After trying a well-known fast-food restaurant many (can you guess it?) years ago, I have always wanted to make my homemade barbacoa. With my current way of eating, I couldn’t have barbacoa on carb-loaded tortillas, so I added the meat into “taco” lettuce wraps. The perfect low-carb treat I needed this week!

If you are familiar with barbacoa you know it’s tender meat that easily shreds and contains a lot of flavors. It’s a little spicy, but not too much. As I like to call it – just enough heat. It’s cooked low and slow in a blend of chipotle adobo, cumin, garlic, and a little oregano. The perfect tex-mex style!

Do you know what’s in the authentic barbacoa? I didn’t know until I did a little google search. Historically people cooked a cow’s head in an underground pit, called en pozo. Most people today either make it with cow cheek meat or from a roast that contains a decent amount of fat, like a chuck roast.

If you love barbacoa, you will love these baked barbecue beef short ribs! They are finger-licking, tender and fall right off the bone.

Have you ever had authentic barbacoa before? Not me, but I’ll give it a try! Sound delicious!

To make the juiciest and most tender roast I cooked the meat in my slow cooker. No braising required! It creates the most luscious sauce you will ever taste. Do not throw it away! I stored mine in the refrigerator for a few days to use for gravy.

If you do not mind carbs (like my hubby), you can serve this slow cooker Mexican rice (Spanish rice) on the side of your taco lettuce wraps! The flavors would compliment each other well. Since they are two slow cooker recipes, I highly recommend investing in a 2 or 3-quart slow cooker – perfect for sides or dips!Are you looking for a dish you can set it and forget it? This is it! It’s an excellent one dish meal you can prepare overnight or the morning of.

Slow Cooker Barbacoa Taco Lettuce Wraps

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Author: Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission
Serves: 8 servings
Barbacoa Beef:
  • 3 lbs beef chuck roast, fat trimmed and cut into 2″ chunks
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dark chili powder
  • ½ cup beef stock
  • ¼ cup finely diced onions
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely diced
Lettuce Wraps:
  • romaine lettuce washed and patted dry
  • shredded barbacoa beef
  • shredded mozzarella cheese or any type you prefer (optional)
  • avocado (optional)
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)


Barbacoa Beef
  1. Spray a 5-6 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place the beef chunks in the slow cooker.
  2. Whisk together apple cider vinegar, adobo sauced, garlic, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, dark chili powder in a ramekin. Pour the spices onto the beef and gently coat until the beef chunks are covered.
  3. Pour the beef stock into the slow cooker. Add the onions and chipotle peppers; mix everything together.
  4. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  5. Once tender, shred with two forks and mix the shredded beef with the juices. Cook on high for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with a slotted spoon.
Lettuce Wraps
  1. Double the lettuce wraps up and place the barbacoa beef into each wrap and then add your favorite toppings.


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