This extremely tender and deliciously seasoned Mexican Shredded Beef can be used in a variety of Mexican-inspired dishes. It is super versatile and so easy to make!
I absolutely love this cooking method that transforms a relatively inexpensive cut of beef into incredibly flavorful Mexican Shredded Beef. It also happens to be super easy to make – always a bonus in my book!
This luscious shredded beef is one of many Mexican recipes on regular rotation at our house.
The beef cooks low and slow and in the end, the tender beef is shredded into the flavorful sauce that’s created as it cooks.
Table of contents
Why This Recipe Works
- Short Ingredient List: The recipe calls for a short list of easy to stock pantry staples.
- Alternate Cooking Method: Don’t want to turn on the oven? Make it in your slow cooker!
- Fast and Easy Prep: This recipe takes just minutes to get started and is completely hands off through the cooking time.
- Flavor: The resulting Mexican Shredded Beef is infused with such great flavor during the cooking process.
- Versatility: This shredded beef makes the perfect base for a variety of Mexican entrees like tacos, burritos, enchiladas and more!
- Chuck roast: I almost always use a boneless beef chuck roast to make Mexican Shredded Beef but have also used a leaner cross rib roast with a great result. Cuts with a good amount of fat and marbling will become tender enough to shred more quickly than leaner cuts. If your roast comes tied, you’ll want to remove the tie before seasoning. Look for a roast up to 3 ½ pounds but if it is slightly more or less, it will work just fine. I like to trim any excess fat from around the edges for a cleaner, less greasy result.
- Canned diced green chiles: A large can of undrained diced green chiles. If your story doesn’t carry the 7-ounce size, you can use two of the smaller 4-ounce cans. The liquid in the can helps create the seasoning paste for the beef.
- Garlic: A couple of cloves of garlic, freshly minced.
- Dried seasoning: Chili powder, oregano, ground cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
How to Make Mexican Shredded Beef
- Season: Place the roast on a sheet of heavy duty foil large enough to completely enclose it. Combine the undrained green chiles, garlic, and all the seasonings in a small bowl and spread the mixture over both sides of the beef.
- Foil Packet: Enclose the meat in the foil and then wrap the foil packet in a second sheet of foil to ensure the cooking liquid will not leak out during the cooking time.
- Cook and Shred: Place the foil packet in a large, oven-proof pan or Dutch oven and bake at 300 degrees F for 4 to 5 hours, or until the roast just falls apart with a fork. Remove from the oven, open the foil, and use two forks to shred the meat. Carefully remove the foil and transfer the meat and cooking liquid into the pan.
Alternate Slow Cooker Method
For slow cooker Mexican Shredded Beef, transfer the foil packet containing the roast to a 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the beef shreds easily with two forks. Remove the foil and shred the beef into the cooking sauce in the slow cooker.
- Tacos: You can use all or part of this recipe to make the BEST Shredded Beef Tacos. Load it up on toasted tortillas with the toppings you love.
- Enchiladas: My Shredded Beef Enchiladas smothered in Red Enchilada Sauce are a reader favorite and an excellent way to make use of this tender shredded beef.
- Burrito Bowls: Pile the beef over Cilantro Lime Rice for make at home Chipotle Burrito Bowls that rival the restaurant version. Tasty toppings include black beans, Easy Corn Salsa, Chipotle Guacamole, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Everyone gets to customize their own burrito bowl and who doesn’t love Chipotle? This recipe is a sure-fire way to please people of all ages.
- Shredded Beef Burritos: Wrap it in warm tortillas with Restaurant Style Mexican Rice, refried beans, Blender Salsa or Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and shredded cheese.
- Nachos, quesadillas and more!: See my entire collection of Mexican recipes for more inspiration.
FAQ and Valerie’s Tips
The foil helps enclose the seasoning paste so that it is direct contact with the roast while it cooks. It also traps the moisture which prevents the meat from drying out. You can skip the foil and just place a lid on your baking pan, but I can’t guarantee the result will be quite the same.
I recommend cooking this Mexican Shredded Beef in either a conventional oven or slow cooker. Since there is only a small amount of liquid from canned chiles in the recipe, I don’t think it is a good candidate for pressure cooking. For an Instant Pot beef recipe, try my Instant Pot Barbacoa.
If you use plain chili powder, like McCormick Chili Powder, and mild diced green chiles, the shredded beef is not spicy at all. For spicy shredded beef, substitute chipotle chili powder or add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the seasoning paste.
Yes! This beef reheats very well. Cook the shredded beef a day in advance and follow the instructions in the Storage and Reheating Tips section below.
Patience and time! Plan ahead to be sure you’ve allowed enough time to cook this recipe before you begin. Check on the beef about an hour before the end of the cooking time by pressing a fork into it. It will easily break apart when it is tender enough to shred. If it’s not ready, wrap it back up and return it to the oven. Different cuts of chuck may take a little longer but rest assured that it will be perfectly tender at the end of the cooking time.
Storage and Reheating Tips
Refrigerator: Transfer the cooled shredded beef with the liquid to an airtight container and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days.
Freezer: Portion the shredded beef and cooking juices between freezer-safe plastic storage bags and press out as much air as possible before sealing. Lay the bags flat in your freezer and freeze for up to 2 to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Reheating: Warm the shredded beef and juices in the microwave for a minute or two, stirring halfway through. Or bring it to simmer over low heat in a saucepan on the stove.
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Slow Cooker Green Chile Beef
- Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos
- Carnitas (Oven or Slow Cooker)
- Instant Pot Barbacoa
- Green Chile Chicken Smothered Burritos
Mexican Shredded Beef
- 3 to 3 ½ pound boneless beef chuck roast
- 7 ounce can diced green chiles, undrained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Trim any excess fat from the edges of the roast.
- Place the roast on a sheet of heavy duty foil large enough to enclose the meat. In a small bowl, combine the green chiles (with liquid), garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Mix well and spread out evenly over both sides of the meat. Enclose the meat in the foil and then wrap the foil package in a second sheet of foil to ensure the cooking liquid will not leak out during the cooking time. Place the foil packet in a large oven-proof pan or Dutch oven.
- Bake for 4 to 5 hours, or until the roast just falls apart with a fork. Remove from the oven, open the foil packet, and shred the meat. Carefully remove the foil from the pan and transfer the meat and cooking liquids into the pan.
- Serve in tacos, burritos, enchiladas and more!
Slow Cooker Method
- After wrapping the roast in foil, transfer it to the Crock-Pot and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Remove the foil and shred the meat into the cooking liquids in the slow cooker.
- This beef is fantastic when reheated with the sauce it makes while cooking. If you want to really save time, make it a day in advance. Transfer the cooled shredded beef with the liquid to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to reheat. See reheating instructions in notes below.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
Adapted from Allrecipes
This post was originally published on October 23, 2011. It has been updated with new text and images.
A Little Backstory
You may have figured out by now that we sorta like Mexican food around here. For me it is the ultimate comfort food, but it goes a little deeper than that.
Way back in time, when it was just Paul and I, back before we had kids, a mortgage, college loans, and dependable cars, we almost always chose Mexican when we ate out. As a matter of fact, my marriage proposal took place in a Mexican restaurant (fancy!).
It was 1983, a time of big hair, big shoulder pads and countless other horrible fashion choices (what were we thinking ladies?). It was my 21st birthday and we were out for a casual dinner by ourselves. I had no idea it was coming until the moment the waiter set my salad plate down in front of me and I saw the small, square box sitting on the plate.
I was in complete shock. My mind raced with all kinds of questions. When had he arranged this? When he went to the restroom was he actually in cahoots with the waiter? Has he gone crazy? Was it the margarita that made him do it? Is everyone in this whole place staring at me right now?
The waiter (and Paul) waited in anticipation of my answer but I was frozen in the moment.
Of course we know what my answer was that night and I’m happy to say that 39 years and four kids later we are still eating Mexican food together. Thankfully, the shoulder pads are long gone and the hair has reduced in size, but he still looks at me exactly the way he did that day. Every day.