Instant Pot Barbacoa (Chipotle Copycat)

Low Carb / Keto / Gluten Free

I've been seeing the Instant Pot all over the blogosphere recently, and for good reason. This magical cooking vessel does all of the work of 8 different kitchen gadgets in a fraction of the time!

Aside from making fork-tender meat, the Instant Pot can easily be used as: an electric pressure cooker, a sauté pan, a rice cooker, a steamer, a yogurt maker and a warmer.

As I experimented with various cuts of beef and seasonings, I was instantly addicted. The meat produced is fall-apart-tender in as little as 30 minutes.

I knew that my first recipe to share on the blog had to be one of my absolute favorite foods from Chipotle -- the infinitely delicious and spicy Barbacoa!

I do love that Chipotle is one of the fast food chains that I can get more than a bun-less burger at. My beef though (no pun intended), is the price. With double Barbacoa, sour cream, cheese, salsa and guacamole, my bill inevitably comes out to almost $15. The lack of rice and bean fillers definitely contribute to this, but I do not include those on my Keto diet. You can also add romaine lettuce (free) in place of rice and beans, so that might be an option for some. Overall, it just seems a little pricey for (delicious and fresh-er) fast food.

For the price of one stop at Chipotle, I can make my own at home and eat lunch for about a week! You can't beat that.

This recipe will not disappoint -- I happen to think it's better than Chipotle! In fact, I think this is as close to a Chipotle Barbacoa copycat as you can get.

Fear not, if you do not have access to an Instant Pot, you can still make this recipe in a slow cooker or Dutch oven. Should you choose to go this route, just sear your meat on all sides, cover with blended sauce and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-12 hours.

Do you have an Instant Pot? What is your favorite recipe to prepare?

Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker 6Qt/1000W, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior

Chipotle Barbacoa Copycat Recipe

Instant Pot Barbacoa (Chipotle Copycat)


  • 2-3 lbs beef chuck roast
  • 1 cup beef broth (I use homemade bone broth)
  • 1/2 small lime, juiced
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 chipotle peppers, canned in adobo (+1 tablespoon of adobo juice from can)
  • 2 tbsp cooking fat (I used bacon fat)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp salt (if using store-bought broth, use only 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  1. Turn on your Instant Pot to 'saute' and wait for it to come up to temperature (make sure the lid isn't on).
  2. Prepare the roast chuck by removing any large pieces of fat (optional, I don't like eating fat that is chewy) and then pat dry with paper towel or kitchen towel.
  3. Season all sides of the meat with 1/2 tbsp salt and 1/2 tbsp pepper.
  4. When the Instant Pot has come to temperature, add the bacon fat directly to the pot. Once melted, add the beef.
  5. Sear the beef on all sides.
  6. In a blender (or with an immersion blender), blend together: lime juice, apple cider vinegar, chipotle peppers, adobo, cumin, black pepper, salt, tomato paste, oregano, cinnamon, onion powder and ground cloves. Puree until smooth.
  7. Once beef is browned all over, cover with puree.
  8. Add bay leaves and broth.
  9. Close the lid and set on on Manual > 50 minutes. Make sure that high pressure is selected.
  10. After the time is finished, turn off the Instant Pot. I highly recommend doing a natural pressure release (NPR) by letting it come down in pressure itself. This usually takes around 20 minutes, but it always comes out so juicy and tender!
  11. Shred, return meat back to liquid and serve.

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  1. Jeffrey on February 12, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Delicious. Made exactly as written, a definite winner!!!!!

  2. Kari on December 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I forgot to add…throw the chunks in a stand mixer with paddle attachment and it shreds like a dream!

  3. Kari on December 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Hi! I usually don’t comment and haven’t gone through all of the posted comments. I just wanted to let you know a trick I learned from another recipe including chuck roast. Oddly enough, it’s a shredded beef taco recipe (can you tell we love spice?!). Cube the chuck into about 2-inch chunks. I am able to trim fat from the middle easier that way. It also cuts the cooking time down to 36 minutes, and I did it on meat/stew! I’m always looking for ways to cut down and make things easier, and I absolutely love this recipe!

  4. Michelle on August 11, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I just finished making this and WOW! It is phenomenal! Definitely going into my rotation – thank you for this amazing recipe!

  5. GiGi Eats on June 22, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Holy YUM!! I had chipotle today, but I only eat their chicken there because I need grass-fed finished beef… but if I can make this at home, then BAM!! Done and done! 🙂

  6. Tim Emerick on June 11, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I don’t have an instant pot but I’ve had an electric pressure cooker for years. My favorite kitchen gadget. I love making easy peel boiled eggs. I put 18 on the steamer shelf with 1/2 cup water, cook for 7 minutes on low pressure then ice bath until completely cool. High pressure is OK but you might get a popped egg or two. The shells practically slide off. They keep in the fridge for a month if left in the shell. Great keto snacks for on the go. Cheers

  7. Bud on May 17, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Using authentic “cheek meat” instead of Chuck roast. Any thoughts on how the cooking/release tines should be altered? Thanks

    • Dominic on June 2, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      I have no idea, honestly! I’ve never once cooked with cheek meat. Let us know if you decide to try it!

  8. Audrey on May 12, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I see tomato paste in the ingredients list but not in the instructions. Where did you use it?

    • Dominic on June 2, 2016 at 9:54 pm

      That is to go into the blender with the rest of the other things. I have added this — sorry about that!

  9. Tina on April 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I would like to know what sauce you used to go on top of the barbacoa as shown in the image of this page . Thank you 🙂

    • Dominic on April 28, 2016 at 1:13 am

      This was a mixture of mayonnaise and just a little bit of the barbacoa sauce. Amazing!

  10. Shari on February 23, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    OMG!! I can’t WAIT to try this. I have an Instant Pot (which I LOVE!) And I love, love, LOVE Chipotle’s barbacoa! I could eat it every day, but for the cost. 🙂

    • Dominic on February 25, 2016 at 2:30 am

      You won’t regret it!

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