These Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls include slow cooked barbacoa beef with turmeric rice, cabbage slaw, and a homemade maple barbecue sauce. These filling bowls are packed with fresh, delicious ingredients. Not to boast, but these are the best burrito bowls right here!
As soon as the weather starts cooling off, I immediately start craving comfort foods that are big on fill-ability and flavor.
You’re looking at my idea of comfort food at its finest right here.
The three combined make for one epic burrito (slash deconstructed taco) bowl!
Tender shredded beef, delicious yellow rice, creamy avocado, zesty cabbage slaw, and a drizzle of barbecue sauce makes for a wildly delicious (and colorful!) meal!
While the beef requires some time to cook, the rest of the recipe for these beef burrito bowls comes together rather quickly.
Everything can be prepared while the meat is slow cooking.
Plus, the rice and beef can be prepared several days ahead of time in order to spread out some of the meal prep.
I make a quick cabbage and carrot slaw, slice up some radishes and avocado, sit back, and marvel at the vibrancy.
But before we go any further, if you aren’t familiar with Barbacoa Beef, let’s start there!
What is Barbacoa Beef?:
Barbacoa Beef originates from Mexico and is a seasoned beef roast with plenty of spices and chilies. Chipotle chilis are customarily used to bring spice and smokiness to the beef. One can cook barbacoa beef using a variety of avenues but because it is traditionally shredded, the roast must be cooked for a long period of time or cooked under pressure.
For this reason, slow cooking barbacoa beef in a crock pot an easy preparation method and results in the most flavorful, shredded beef!
Let’s chat about the simple fresh ingredients for these amazing burrito bowls.
Ingredients For Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls:
For the Beef Barbacoa: Beef roast (I use a bone-in chuck roast), chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, beef broth, ground cumin, and lime juice.
This combination of ingredients yields a smoky, tangy, amazingly tender shredded beef with a slight kick. You can easily make it spicier by adding more chipotle chilis.
For the Burrito Bowls: Cooked rice, cabbage slaw, avocado, microgreens, radishes, and BBQ sauce (or sauce of choice).
You can get creative with your burrito bowl adds ins, using your favorite salsas, cheese, beans, etc. I have included what I use in my own barbacoa burrito bowls, but go wild!
A note about the barbecue sauce: I felt the bowls needed a sauce to tie everything together, but they’re great with or without sauce.
If you aren’t looking to make a big batch of homemade barbecue sauce, I’ve got you!
You can use a store-bought sauce, or stick with guacamole and/or salsa. All sorts of options here!
How to Make Barbacoa Beef in the Slow Cooker:
Sprinkle the beef roast liberally with sea salt it in your crock pot. Note: if your beef has netting around it, remove and discard the netting.
Add the broth, chilis in adobo sauce, ground cumin, and lime juice to a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour this sauce into the crock pot and secure the lid. Slow cook on Low for 8 to 12 hours.
When the barbacoa beef is ready, transfer the beef roast to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Transfer the shredded beef back to the crock pot for 15 minutes (or more) to absorb the juices. The longer the beef sits in the sauce, the more flavorful it will become.
From here, you can prepare your burrito bowls using my burrito bowl add-ins, or you can use your own add-ins.
Like any bowl you’ll find on this site, you can change it up to cater to your dietary needs.
Use a vegetable “rice” (such as cauliflower rice) rather than regular rice, or go full-tilt taco or burrito.
You can use some of the leftover beef for breakfast burritos or tacos too.
If you prefer cooking in the Instant Pot, make my Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef!
Enjoy these Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls any time the craving for shredded beef strikes!
Crock Pot Barbacoa Beef Burrito Bowls
Easy Cabbage Slaw:
- 4 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1.5 cups grated carrot
- 3 tablespoons lime juice to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
Prepare the Barbacoa Beef:
- Sprinkle the beef roast liberally with sea salt it in your crock pot. Note: if your beef has netting around it, remove and discard the netting.
- Add the broth, chilis in adobo sauce, ground cumin, and lime juice to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture into the crock pot and cover. Set on low for 8 to 12 hours.
- When the barbacoa beef is ready, transfer the beef roast to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Transfer the shreds back to the crock pot for 15 minutes (or more) to absorb the juices.
Prepare Cabbage Slaw:
- Place the thinly sliced cabbage in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with lime juice and sea salt. Use your hands to massage and squeeze the lime juice into the cabbage – this will help break down some of the fibers in the cabbage and make it easier to chew. Taste slaw for flavor and add more lime juice and/or sea salt to taste.
Make the Bowls:
- If you love crispy barbacoa beef, heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high. Transfer some of the barbacoa beef (just enough for 1 layer) to the hot skillet and allow it to cook, stirring every 2 minutes or so, until the beef is nice and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes total. Repeat this process until you have enough crispy beef for serving. If you're fine with tender shredded beef, you can skip this step and go straight to bowl formation.
- Load up bowls with Ginger Turmeric Aromatic Rice (or rice of choice), shredded barbacoa beef, cabbage slaw, avocado, radishes, microgreens, and cilantro. Drizzle with Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce, and serve!
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