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Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Bowls (Whole30) | Get Inspired Everyday!

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa

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5 from 13 reviews

  • Author: Kari
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Super easy Mexican inspired comfort food in the Instant Pot!



1 cup chicken stock

4 cloves garlic

1 small white onion, roughly chopped, 2 cups

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 Teaspoon chipotle powder

1 Tablespoon dried oregano

1 Tablespoon ground cumin

1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves

2 Teaspoons sea salt, or to taste, see notes

1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper

3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 2” cubes

2 Tablespoons avocado oil

2 bay leaves

1 Teaspoon dried oregano, (for the end of the cooking time)

To Serve:

6 cups frozen riced cauliflower, thawed

12 ripe avocados, sliced/diced, or 1 batch Homemade Guacamole

23 cups Pico de Gallo, or my Easy Fire Roasted Blender Salsa

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 lime, cut into wedges


Add the chicken stock, garlic cloves, onion, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice to the blender. Blend until smooth, then add the chipotle, oregano, cumin, cloves, sea salt, and pepper. Blend just to combine and set the sauce aside. 

Using the sauté function on the Instant Pot, brown the meat in the avocado oil in several batches. I prefer to brown the meat on the stove top which is messier, but so much faster than the Instant Pot.

When the meat is all browned, add it all to the Instant Pot, and pour the sauce over the top. Add the bay leaves, and set the Instant Pot to sealing and pressure cook for 1 hour.

After the cooking time is done, use the quick release function. When the Instant Pot is safe to open, use a slotted spoon to remove the beef for shredding. I put mine straight into the bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer, and use the paddle attachment to shred it. But you can also use 2 forks to pull apart the meat into shreds.

While you’re shredding the meat, turn the Instant Pot to sauté. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon dried oregano and reduce the sauce for 6-8 minutes.

Then turn off the Instant Pot, remove the bay leaves, and add the shredded meat back into the reduced sauce. Taste to adjust for salt, and serve with your choice of toppings.

If you’re serving this with the cauliflower rice, spread it evenly over a parchment lined baking pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast for 10 minutes at 425ºF.

To make this in a slow cooker, brown the meat on the stove top and place it in the slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the top of the meat, and add in the bay leaves. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, or until the beef is shreddable tender. Then reduce the sauce a bit on the stove, and proceed as directed above to shred and season the beef.


You can always start with less salt, then just add it to your taste after the beef is done cooking.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mexican