Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos

Revamp taco night with a kick of spice with these Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos. This flavorful meat is deliciously seasoned and cooked until perfectly tender. Layer it in tortillas with all your favorite toppings your next taco night!

open-faced tacos with beef barbacoa

This post is sponsored by the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative a subcontractor to the Beef Checkoff. Thank you for supporting brands that make this blog possible!

Did you get gifted an Instant Pot this holiday season? The Instant Pot is a single appliance that does the job of seven (yes, seven!) different kitchen appliances. It can handle the tasks of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and a warming pot. Think of all those appliances taking up space in your kitchen that can be replaced by one.

Don’t be intimidated by this new appliance. Read up on these 7 Things You Need to Know About Your Instant Pot before you get started.

Beef barbacoa in the Instant Pot

What is barbacoa?

Barbacoa refers to the method of cooking meat. Barbacoa is an authentic Mexican dish typically made with a cut of beef head meat, like beef cheek. When cooked long and slow it becomes extra tender. It is traditionally seasoned with dried chilies and spices and slowly cooked.

Barbacoa is now used to refer to a seasoned beef, that has been slow-cooked. 

open-faced beef barbacoa taco on a flour tortilla

Choosing lean beef

Forget about sacrificing taste for nutrition. These lean beef cuts are chock-full of flavor and 10 essential nutrients. Beef can only be claimed as “lean” if the cut of beef is less than 10g total fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat and less than 95 mg of cholesterol per 100-gram serving.

Beef chuck

Beef chuck is a primal cut that comes from the shoulder area and yields cuts known for their rich, beefy flavor. Beef chuck is ideal for slow cooking to yield tender beef.

beef barbacoa tacos with toppings
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open-faced taco with Barbacoa Beef

Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: meat
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: mexican

Description

Revamp taco night with these Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef Tacos! This flavorful meat is deliciously seasoned and cooked until perfectly tender. Layer it in tortillas with all your favorite toppings your next taco night!


Ingredients

For the beef barbacoa:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotle peppers (from a can in adobo sauce – reserve sauce), chopped
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 pounds beef chuck, fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 bay leaves

For the tacos:
Tortillas, soft or hard shells
Sliced avocado
Pickled onions
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges


Instructions

  1. Press the “saute” setting on the Instant Pot. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil until heated and shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, saute for 1-2 minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Press “cancel” to turn off the heat.
  2. Remove contents from the Instant Pot into a food processor and add beef broth, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice. Pulse until smooth and set aside.
  3. Press the “saute” setting on the Instant Pot. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until heated and shimmering. In batches, add beef and brown all sides. Be mindful not to overcrowd the pan. Repeat until all beef is browned. Press “cancel” and turn off the heat.
  4. Add all the beef, bay leaves, and reserved sauce in the Instant Pot. Stir well to combine. Close lid securely and set vent to “sealing”. Press “manual”, then press “Pressure” until the light on “High Pressure” lights up, then add 60 minutes of cook time.
  5. When cook time is complete, very carefully, turn the vent to “venting” for quick release, and wait until all of the steam has released.
  6. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaves. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces. Stir shredded beef with the juices so it can soak up all the flavor.
  7. Assemble tacos by layering beef barbacoa on a tortilla and top with avocado, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge on the side.

Keywords: beef, tacos, barbacoa, instant pot

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Other ways to use beef barbacoa

This Instant Pot barbacoa beef is so flavorful and tender, and it’s so versatile!

  • Tacos
  • Burritos (wraps or bowls)
  • Salads
  • Nachos
  • Quesadillas
  • Enchiladas
  • Or just about any other use, you can think of for spicy shredded beef

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

Do you have an Instant Pot and don’t know where to start? I am still getting the hang of it, but I’ve mastered how to make PERFECT hard-boiled and soft-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the American Egg Board and the Egg Nutrition Center. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

Did you know?

215,000+ Amazon customers purchased the Instant Pot on Prime Day alone. Now that it’s in everyone’s kitchen they are looking for new recipes to try.

The Instant Pot is a single appliance that does the job of seven (yes, seven!) different kitchen appliances. It can handle the tasks of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and a warming pot. Think of all those appliances taking up space in your kitchen that can be replaced by one.

New to using the Instant Pot? Learn about these seven tips of efficiently using your Instant Pot.

While I am still learning all the functions of the Instant Pot, the first technique I mastered was preparing hard and soft-boiled eggs.

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

Don’t fear the yolk!

One large egg has 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. Nearly half the protein is in the yolk so don’t ditch the yolk!

Eggs were once avoided and criticized for their cholesterol content. However, the totality of scientific research has shown no or little effect between dietary cholesterol and cardiac outcomes or markers of heart disease risk in healthy individuals.

Government and health organizations have revised their dietary cholesterol recommendations. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans place no daily limit on dietary cholesterol intake. Foods like egg yolks and some shellfish are higher in dietary cholesterol but not saturated fats making them a healthful choice along with healthy eating patterns.

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

Why the Instant Pot method works:

Now, I know making hard-boiled eggs on the stovetop is not too challenging, but this Instant Pot method makes it even simpler and in just 5 minutes, they are ready. Plus, there is a science behind why cooking eggs in the Instant Pot make them easier to peel. The reason according to Alton Brown is:

“Eggs that are quickly heated are easier to peel than eggs that are slowly heated, say in cold water brought to a boil. Fast cooking prevents the white from bonding so epoxy-like to the outer membranes. Since pressure steamers can generate temperatures between 230 and 250 degrees F it is suspected that this is actually why folks think they’re magic egg machines.” Also, thorough cooling eases peeling by allowing the proteins in the albumen to fully set and harden, thus preventing tearing.

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are something I pretty much meal prep every week for myself. One large egg has varying amounts of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, including choline plus the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, all just for 70 calories.

Hard Boiled Eggs will keep up to a week in your refrigerator. Make a few perfect hard-boiled eggs to create into delicious recipes throughout the week.

A few ways I use hard-boiled eggs are:
  • Pair hard-boiled eggs with avocado and tomato. I usually just add a little salt and pepper, but when I’m looking to add an extra pop of flavor, I add everything but the bagel, sesame seasoning blend.
  • For a filling snack, try my version of a “quick deviled egg”. Scoop out the yolk, mix with hummus and fill back in the egg white.

 

Looking for more recipe ideas?

 

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

(source)

 

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hard boiled eggs on a gray plate

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 3
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x
  • Method: Instant Pot

Description

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.


Scale

Ingredients

Ingredients:
Eggs (up to as many that can fit in an even layer in your Instant Pot – do not stack)
1 cup water

Equipment:
Instant Pot with the rack


Instructions

Place the rack in the bottom of the pot. Pour the water in the pot. Place the eggs on the rack.

For soft-boiled:
Set Instant pot on high pressure on manual 3 minutes. Quick release placing a towel over the valve. Quickly add eggs to a bowl with cold water and ice until cool enough to hold. Peel right away.

For hard-boiled:
Set Instant Pot on high pressure on manual 5 minutes. Natural release 5 minutes then use quick release placing a towel over the valve. Quickly add eggs to a bowl with cold water and ice until cool enough to hold. Peel right away.


Keywords: eggs, instant pot, meal prep

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of julieharringtonrd.com

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

Want to learn more?

Visit: https://www.eggnutritioncenter.org/
Follow: Instagram & Twitter

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

 

Make PERFECT Hard Boiled and Soft Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot #instantpot #protein #cookingtip #healthy #breakfast #snack #eggs

Instant Pot Sesame Chicken

Skip takeout! It will take you less time to make this Instant Pot Sesame Chicken than it is to make a trip out for takeout.

white bowl with sesame chicken, broccoli, & rice.

There are just some nights where takeout seems like the easier option. Sesame chicken is one of my favorites when ordering takeout but never leaves me feeling the best. What if I told you, I’ve figured out a way to enjoy this signature takeout dish faster than it will take you to hop in the car and grab from a restaurant. Would you believe me?

Instant Pot Sesame Chicken in a white bowl with broccoli and rice

Why the Instant Pot recipe is healthier than takeout

Oh Instant Pot, you continue to amaze me. Cooking the chicken in the Instant Pot creates a crispy texture without a fryer, which how typical take-out restaurants cook this dish.

Simple sauce ingredients

You most likely have the majority of these ingredients already on hand. The soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes will cook with the chicken helping it stay tender while infusing flavors. The honey and cornstarch will help crisp up the chicken and thicken the sauce.

Easily turn this Instant Pot Sesame Chicken recipe into a full meal

Take it even one step further to make this dinner with ease. Utilize the steamable rice and broccoli found in the frozen aisle. Or keep putting your Instant Pot to work again by cooking rice and the broccoli in there too.

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homemade sesame chicken with white rice and broccoli in a white bowl

Instant Pot Sesame Chicken

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Description

Skip takeout! It will take you less time to make this Instant Pot Sesame Chicken than it is to make a trip out for take out.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss chicken to evenly and lightly coat.
  2. Preheat the Instant Pot and set to “saute”. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes, to brown.
  3. Stir in soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes, if using. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal the valve. Set to manual and 3 minutes cook time.
  4. When done, use the quick pressure release. When most of the steam is released, remove the lid. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and honey. Stir to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
  6. Set Instant Pot back to saute, stir in the slurry and continue to stir as the sauce thickens to desired consistency, about 2 minutes.
  7. Top with sesame seeds.
  8. Serve over rice and steam broccoli.

Keywords: instant pot, sesame chicken, dinner

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Instant Pot Wheat Berries

Save time and utilize the Instant Pot to make hearty whole grains, like wheat berries. Learn how meal prepping a batch of whole grains can turn into various recipes throughout the week.

Instant Pot Wheat Berries -Save time and utilize your Instant Pot to make hearty whole grains, like wheat berries. via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #instantpot #wheatberries #pressurecooker #wholegrain #mealprep #glutenfree

The Instant Pot continues to be magical. What takes over an hour to cook, now is done in 35 minutes.

Meal prep strategies

Every week now, I’ve been prepping at least one whole grain for the week. Everyone meal preps a little differently. I tend not to make full meals, but to get the cooking process started, like chopping veggies, making a batch of whole grains, grilling a few pieces of chicken, roasting a tray of veggies, etc.

This way, I am not mandated to a certain meal and it gives me more flexibility while allowing to save time during a busy week.

Instant Pot Wheat Berries -Save time and utilize your Instant Pot to make hearty whole grains, like wheat berries. via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #instantpot #wheatberries #pressurecooker #wholegrain #mealprep #glutenfree

Meal prep tip:

Prep a batch of whole grains, like wheat berries, to add on top of a salad, in a stir-fry, mixed into a soup, as a side dish, or even served up breakfast-style. Switch up the prepped whole grain each week for variety.

Health benefits of wheat berries

Wheat berries contain 6 grams of protein, with over 20 percent of your daily value for dietary fiber, and 8 percent of your iron in each serving.

Instant Pot Wheat Berries -Save time and utilize your Instant Pot to make hearty whole grains, like wheat berries. via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #instantpot #wheatberries #pressurecooker #wholegrain #mealprep #glutenfree

What are Wheat Berries?

Wheat Berries are the whole grain form of wheat – the whole, complete grain before it has undergone any processing. They’re a high-fiber whole grain, containing the bran, germ, and the endosperm. Wheat berries typically take longer to cook because they are not processed and it takes a while for the liquid to penetrate through the bran to soften the grain.

When cooked, wheat berries have a chewy bite and a subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold dressings in salads and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey, and cinnamon.

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wheat berries in a white bowl with a blue and white striped napkin

Instant Pot Wheat Berries

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: Instant Pot

Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup hard red spring wheat berries
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Combine water, wheat berries, and salt in the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and seal the valve.
  2. Set the manual timer for 35 minutes.
  3. When done, do quick release by moving the valve to vent the steam. Let all the steam release.
  4. Drain the wheat berries and enjoy as is or incorporate into other recipes.

Keywords: instant pot, pressure cooker, wheat berries, whole grain, meal prep

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Other recipes you may enjoy

Instant Pot Poached Pears

Present this stunning dessert at your next dinner party. These Instant Pot Poached Pears are an elegant dessert that takes minimal prep work.
Instant Pot Poached Pears via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #pears #poachespears #dessert #lowcarb #fruitdessert #pistachio #redwine
I was recently gifted an Instant Pot! We’ve been using the Instant Pot at Living Plate for a lot of recipe development and testing at Living Plate and I became obsessed. My awesome boss and colleague bought me one to use at home.

 

The Instant Pot is a single appliance that does the job of seven (yes, seven!) different kitchen appliances. It can handle the tasks of a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and a warming pot. Think of all those appliances taking up space in your kitchen that can be replaced by one. Want to learn more about the Instant Pot? I recently wrote an article of why myself and so many others are obsessed with it on Luvo’s Fresh Blog.
Instant Pot Poached Pears via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #pears #poachespears #dessert #lowcarb #fruitdessert #pistachio #redwineWhy use bosc pears?

The red wine and pomegranate juice naturally add a beautiful color.
I feel like pears are often forgotten to use for desserts. Bosc pears (the variety I used in this recipe) have a more firm, dense flesh than other pear varieties, so they are ideal for use in baking, broiling or poaching. They retain their shape and texture better than other varieties, and their flavor is less likely to be overwhelmed by the use of strong spices like cinnamon, clove or nutmeg.
Instant Pot Poached Pears via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #pears #poachespears #dessert #lowcarb #fruitdessert #pistachio #redwine

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pomegranate poached pears on a white plate

Instant Pot Poached Pears

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Instant Pot

Description

Present this stunning dessert at your next dinner party. These Instant Pot Poached Pears are an elegant dessert that takes minimal prep work.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 Bartlett pears
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cup red wine
  • 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, chopped

Instructions

  1. Peel pears. If needed, slice the bottom so pear is able to stand straight up. Using a melon baller, scoop out seeds and core from the bottom.
  2. Add water, red wine, pomegranate juice, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves in the instant pot. Set instant pot on the sauté setting until liquid mixture begins to slightly simmer.
  3. Once the liquid begins to simmer, add pears and switch instant pot to manual setting. Cover and lock the Instant Pot lid and set for 8 minutes.
  4. When finished, let steam release from Instant Pot. Remove the lid. Carefully remove pears and let cool.
  5. Place the lid back on the Instant Pot and set the manual setting for 10 minutes. When finished, let the steam release from the Instant Pot and liquid should be reduced by half. Let cool and strain out the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange zest.
  6. Plate poached pears, by adding a pear to a plate. Drizzle liquid to coat the pears and pool at the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
  7. Store extra pears the extra liquid in the refrigerator.

Keywords: #pears #poachespears #dessert #lowcarb #fruitdessert #pistachio #redwine

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Chef Julie Harrington, RD - Culinary Nutrition Consultant of julieharringtonrd.com

Instant Pot Poached Pears via Chef Julie Harrington, RD @ChefJulie_RD #pears #poachespears #dessert #lowcarb #fruitdessert #pistachio #redwine