This Chipotle Barbacoa Copycat recipe is one of the first that I experimented with in my Instant Pot. It has been a staple in our home ever since!
This magical cooking vessel does all of the work of 8 different kitchen gadgets in a fraction of the time. It easily takes the place of an electric pressure cooker, a sauté pan, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker and warmer.
As I experimented with various cuts of beef and seasonings, I was instantly addicted. The end result is meat that is fall-apart-tender in as little as 30 minutes.
What is barbacoa?
Traditionally, barbacoa is a shredded beef that may include some interesting parts like the tongue and head. I opted for a beef chuck roast instead.
The beef is slow cooked with many different aromatics including chipotle peppers, apple cider vinegar, ground cloves, bay leaves, and cinnamon.
I’ve also included instructions for a slow cooker and dutch oven in the recipe card.
Chipotle is delicious but pricey
To be completely honest, I love Chipotle’s barbacoa. It’s delicious. It has a great texture… and the flavor is always on point!
Unfortunately, it’s a little pricey. With double barbacoa, sour cream, cheese, salsa, pico de gallo and guacamole, my bill inevitably comes out to almost $15.
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The lack of rice and bean definitely contribute to this, but those aren’t very Keto-friendly. You can also add romaine lettuce (free) in place of rice and beans, so keep that in mind.
I don’t mean to brag, but I feel like my recipe might be better. One thing is for sure, I think this is as close to a Chipotle barbacoa copycat as you can get.
In addition to this recipe, I also have a full guide dedicated to eating out at Chipotle! Check it out for some easy on-the-go options.
Chipotle Barbacoa Copycat Recipe
- 2-3 lbs beef chuck roast
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 small lime
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 chipotle peppers (in adobo) + 2 tbsp adobo liquid
- 2 tbsp bacon fat
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Turn on your Instant Pot to 'saute' and wait for it to come up to temperature (make sure the lid isn't on).
- 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.
- Season all sides of the meat with 1/2 tbsp salt and 1/2 tbsp pepper.
- When the Instant Pot has come to temperature, add the bacon fat directly to the pot. Once melted, add the beef.
- Sear the beef on all sides.
- 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.
- Once beef is browned all over, cover with puree.
- Add bay leaves and broth.
- Close the lid and set on on Manual > 50 minutes. Make sure that high pressure is selected.
- 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!
- Shred, return meat back to liquid and serve.
This Chipotle Barbacoa Copycat Recipe is great for get-togethers! I like to make mock burrito bowls using Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice or wrap it up in a low carb tortilla. For those with friends and family not following Keto, you could just as easily serve with flour tortillas.
Finally, this recipe serves as a great protein source for meal prep as well. I like to make a big batch, shred the meat, and portion into separate containers.
Have you tried my Copycat Chipotle Barbacoa recipe? Let me know what you thought in the comments!