Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef

5 from 8 votes

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.

Crockpot Mexican Shredded Beef is our go-to recipe for any beef Mexican dish. So good in burritos, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, salad, or just as is! 

Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef served in a white bowl on a colorful placemat with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, and shredded cheese in the background
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Mexican Shredded Beef
  2. Ways to Use Shredded Beef
  3. How to Freeze Shredded Beef
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. More Great Crockpot Recipes
  6. How to Make Mexican Shredded Beef
  7. Mexican Shredded Beef Recipe

This is our go-to shredded beef recipe, I simply love it! It really doesn’t get any easier than throwing a roast in a Crockpot with a handful of ingredients and letting it cook all day. Growing up, we called this “Mom’s Lake Powell Beef” because she would always make it a few days before we went camping at Lake Powell. She would freeze it and then heat it up over a camp stove. I can’t begin to tell you how good this tasted after a long day of waterskiing and boating. It was delicious!

Ingredients in Mexican Shredded Beef

  • Lean roast beef
  • A package of onion soup mix
  • Water
  • Pace picante sauce – or your favorite picante sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Ways to Use Shredded Beef

Mexican shredded beef is so versatile! You can prepare it and use it in pretty much any Mexican dish. It works great in burritos, enchiladas, tacos, taquitos, nachos, and taco salads. It is great switch-up from your typical chicken or ground beef.

Try this shredded beef in place of sweet pork in our Family Style Cafe Rio Pork Burritos or our Sweet Pork Salad. It also works great in our Shredded Beef Taquitos or instead of chicken in our Easy Chicken Flautas.

How to Freeze Shredded Beef

This Mexican shredded beef recipe makes quite a bit, so we usually make it up and freeze it in little individual freezer bags. It stays good for up to 2 months in the freezer. Thaw the frozen beef in the refrigerator. To reheat, just throw it in pot and stir until hot. I promise, it tastes just as good as it does the day you make it! We ALWAYS bring this on our camping trips. We just heat it up and serve with tortillas. It is so easy, and clean-up is a breeze.

**You can also make this shredded beef by using leftovers from your Sunday roast. Just shred up the leftovers and add them to the Crockpot with the picante sauce for an hour or so.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my beef not falling apart?

The trick is to cook your beef low and slow. This breaks apart the connective tissue and the fat in the meat, allowing for a melt in your mouth experience when it is finally done cooking. If you open the lid and try pulling it apart and it just won’t budge, try cooking it for longer. Low and slow.

Can you overcook pulled beef?

Yes, if the heat is too high and there isn’t enough moisture in the crockpot, your meat can become dry and tough over time.

What happens if you don’t brown beef before slow cooker?

Although searing your meat before the slow cook isn’t completely necessary, it adds caramelization which gives color and rich flavor to your final result. It is a simple step that improves flavor so much.

Read More:25+ Traditional (& Easy) Sunday Dinner Ideas (+ meal plans)

More Great Crockpot Recipes

How to Make Mexican Shredded Beef

Crock Pot Mexican Shredded Beef served in a white bowl on a colorful placemat with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, and shredded cheese in the background

Mexican Shredded Beef

5 from 8 votes
This delicious Mexican Shredded Beef is the perfect filling for all of your favorite Mexican dishes.  The beef is tender and flavorful!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 12


  • Crockpot


  • 3-4 pounds lean roast beef
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 cups Pace Picante sauce or your favorite picante sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Sear the roast on all sides. Add to crock pot and sprinkle with onion soup mix and add 2 cups water. 
  • Cook in crockpot on low for 7-8 hours, keep an eye on it and add more water as necessary. Make sure there is always about 1-2 cups of liquid in there. Do not let the water cook out!
  • After meat is cooked, remove beef from Crockpot and shred, removing any excess fat.
  • Return the meat to the Crockpot and add picante sauce, salt and pepper. Cook on low for another 30 minutes. Meat should be moist and juicy.
  • Use shredded beef as a filling in tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, or as a topping for nachos.


More ways to use Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef:
Get creative with toppings! Make a ‘Chipotle style’ burrito/burrito bowl bar complete with:
  • Rice or Mexican rice
  • Corn tortillas
  • Tomatoes
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced avocados 
  • Cheese
  • Refried beans or black beans
  • Sour cream
  • Pico de gallo
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Corn salsa
Fit your burrito or bowl to your specific needs. Add or subtract what you need to in order to make your bowl Keto friendly, or high in protein, or low-carb. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 25gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 779mgPotassium: 557mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 225IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 3.6mg

Love this recipe?

We want to hear from you! Please leave a review.

Rate and Review

Share This With the World


About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

Similar Recipes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    To my surprise, I have been making this meal for years (minus the picante sauce). Your crock pot roast is exactly the same way I have been making it, and my family loves it with mashed potatoes, over noodles or over rice. The leftovers are great for soup or “dipping” sandwiches.

    Today, I just happen to have a jar of picante sauce that I can’t remember what I bought it for.🙄 So, I googled “meat dishes with picante sauce” and found your recipe. My thought is to make a large roast, eat half as we are used to, and the other half can be a Mexican inspired meal. Thank You!

    P.S. I seldom sear the roast, but I will agree it adds flavor.

  2. I was wondering if you can also make this in an Instant Pot and pressure cook it. Would I add less liquid?

    1. We haven’t tried this recipe in the Instant Pot yet. Let us know how it turns out if you try it!

  3. 5 stars
    Such a great recipe for busy weeknights! Quick, easy and packed with flavor. Definitely making this again later this week!

  4. After removing the roast from the crockpot do I pour out the remaining liquid in there before returning the beef and Picante sauce?

    1. No, you will want to keep the liquid in there. The meat will still absorb it after it is shredded making it even more delicious!

    1. Yes, of course. If they are already cooked, add them in the last 30 minutes when you add the salsa. If they are uncooked add them to the crockpot halfway through the cooking time. Any more than that, they will be overcooked.

    1. No, you do not have to sear it. The searing does seal in the juices more, but the time in the crock pot also keeps it moist and tender. Thanks for asking!

    1. It would probably be pretty much the same. I typically like my pork sweet, though. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out!

  5. What type of beef did you use? I tried this tonight with the butchers recommendation of beef chuck. It was so fatty that I threw half of it out.

    1. We usually use just the beef top-round roast (like what you would make a Sunday roast from. Sorry it was so fatty last time you made it! Hopefully this will help!

  6. Oh My! This is very wonderful and easy! The only thing I did was add several shakes of ground cumin to add extra “Mexican” flavor. Even though I made this for enchiladas, I couldn’t help eating this straight from the bowl!

    1. Now you know why we love it so much! We are so glad you liked it! It was a great idea to add ground cumin. I’m going to try it next time I make it. Thank you!