Slow Cooker Green Chile Beef is a hearty, satisfying meal that’s so easy to make! After about 10 minutes of prep, seasoned and seared beef cooks low and slow with onions and green chile enchilada sauce until tender and easy to shred.
We love this versatile Tex-Mex style shredded beef served over a mound of Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, rolled up in tortillas, or piled on Cilantro Lime Rice with lots of toppings.
This is one of those recipes that you try once and instantly know that it will be on regular rotation on your menu. It is THAT good.
I’m always so relieved on those days when I plan for a slow cooker dinner. And, this one is so easy to get started that this tender, smoky shredded beef and onions can be on your menu even on a busy weeknight. But, I love it for a lazy Sunday too. I love it ALL the days!
Table of contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy – After a few easy steps, this hands off Crock-Pot recipe yields perfectly tender shredded beef when you’re ready to serve dinner.
- Flavorful – The beef is infused with flavor from a blend of spices and green chile enchilada sauce.
- Versatile – Use it in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, burrito bowls, nachos, and more. Or, serve it over mashed potatoes for Tex-Mex style pot roast.
- Multiple Meals – Cook once, eat twice! Reheat half the recipe later in the week or freeze it for an easy future meal.
- Beef roast – Look for a lean boneless beef roast, like a chuck cross rib roast or bottom round roast. These cuts are less fatty than a center cut beef chuck roast and have big, beefy flavor. After slow cooking, they become tender and easy to shred. Less fat means no trimming or straining grease from the cooking liquid.
- Onion – Sweet yellow onion, halved and sliced.
- Light brown sugar – Brown sugar is is sprinkled over the onions to enhance their sweetness and a little more is combined with spices to coat the beef before searing.
- Seasoning – A powerful blend of spices including smoked paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a little cayenne pepper for a kick.
- Olive oil – For searing the seasoned beef.
- Enchilada sauce – I use Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce for this recipe and for my Green Chile Chicken Smothered Burritos (BIG reader favorite!). This sauce has become one of my favorite kitchen shortcuts. If you can’t find it, another brand of mild to medium green enchilada sauce will do.
How to Make Slow Cooker Green Chile Beef
Prep the Onions and Beef
- Place the sliced onions in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker and sprinkle a portion of the brown sugar over the top.
- Cut the roast in half and combine the remaining brown sugar with the smoked paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Drizzle the roast with olive oil and sprinkle the seasoning mix over all sides of both chunks of beef, using your hands to pat it into the surface of the meat.
- In a large skillet, brown the beef in the oil on all sides (don’t forget the ends). The sugar in the rub creates a nice dark crust pretty quickly.
Cook and Shred the Beef
- Place the seared beef on top of the onions in the slow cooker.
- Next, pour the enchilada sauce over the top.
- Then, cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the beef is tender and easy to break apart.
- Finally, transfer the beef and onions to a serving dish. Use forks to roughly shred the beef and toss it with a little of the sauce from the slow cooker. Alternatively, you can shred the beef in the slow cooker right into the sauce and onions (it will be very saucy).
- Tex-Mex Style Pot Roast – Mound the beef and onions over Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and drizzle it with some of the sauce from the slow cooker. The beefy, Tex-Mex flavor practically calls out for cheesy potatoes!
- Tacos or Burritos – Wrap the shredded beef in tortillas with toppings for easy tacos or burritos.
- Enchiladas – Swap out my Shredded Mexican Beef for this Green Chile Beef to make Shredded Beef Enchiladas.
- Burrito Bowls – Pile the beef on Cilantro Lime Rice or Restaurant Style Mexican Rice, sprinkle with a little shredded cheese, and top them with with Easy Corn Salsa or Corn Guacamole, and sour cream. Add any and all toppings you love to make them your own!
- Refrigerate – Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freeze – Place the cooled shredded beef, onions, with some of the cooking liquid in a freezer safe plastic storage bag. Press out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Lay it flat in the freezer and freeze it for up to 3 months. If using multiple bags, allow them to freeze solid, then you can stack the bags to save freezer space.
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Slow Cooker Green Chile Beef
- 2.5 to 3 pound boneless lean beef roast, like chuck cross rib or bottom round rump roast
- 1 large sweet yellow onion or 2 small to medium onions, halved and sliced (½-inch slices)
- 4 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 15 ounce can mild to medium green enchilada sauce, (I use Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce)
- Slice the roast in half and set it aside.
- Place the sliced onions in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker and sprinkle 3 tablespoons brown sugar over the top (reserve 1 tablespoon for later).
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining brown sugar with the smoked paprika, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the chunks of beef and spread it around with your hands until they are well coated. Sprinkle the seasoning mix over all sides of both chunks of beef and use your hands to pat it into the surface of the meat.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Brown the beef for about 2 minutes on all sides (don’t forget the ends -the sugar in the rub makes it get a nice dark crust pretty quickly). Transfer the beef to the slow cooker, pour the enchilada sauce over the top.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, or until the beef is tender and easy to break apart. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef and onions to a serving dish. Roughly shred it using two forks and add a little of the sauce from the slow cooker. Alternatively, you can shred the beef in the slow cooker right into the sauce and onions (it will be very saucy).
- Serve in tortillas, burrito bowls, or over Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.
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 Taste of Home