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

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw

Skip the packaged ingredients and reinvent taco night with fresh and flavorful ingredients with Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with a Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw.

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenGrowing up, I always went over to my bff’s Michelle’s house for taco night and she always came over to my house for pasta night. The Recipe ReDux crew is creating a variety of tacos for Taco Tuesday.

Taco night is one of those quick and easy dinners that many love, but why not reinvent taco night?! Skip the traditional beef tacos and switch it up with shrimp. Love the creaminess with a dollop of sour cream? Try a creamy avocado, lime, yogurt dressing.

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenTacos are so versatile, so this recipe can easily be adapted to fit your families preferences. Don’t love shrimp? Try tilapia if you want to stick to seafood or try it with chicken. Like more spice? Kick it up a notch and add more spices to the shrimp. What I love about recipes is that they are a guide. You don’t need to follow them exactly. That is what’s fun about cooking, you get to be creative in the kitchen!
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenDon’t have a ton of time in the evening? Break this recipe up in parts. Maybe marinate the shrimp before you leave for work in the morning or make the creamy avocado broccoli slaw the night before. Don’t worry the lime juice will prevent the avocado from turning brown.
Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw via RDelicious Kitchen @rdkitchenI made this recipe for two, so we had some leftovers. The next day, I added the broccoli slaw and shrimp on a bed of lettuce and packed it for lunch.

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Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw on a white plate

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw

  • Author: Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner

Scale

Ingredients

  • Shrimp:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chipotle seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Broccoli Slaw:
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw mix
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 ounces plain yogurt
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 white corn tortillas
  • optional toppings: cilantro leaves, avocado slices, lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the back of the grill when cooking the shrimp to warm through. (Alternatively: wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave)
  3. In a shallow bowl, mix together the olive oil, chipotle seasoning, salt, lime juice and zest. Place shrimp on skewers and submerge in the marinade and let marinate for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Grill shrimp until bright pink and slightly charred, about 1-2 minutes each side.
  5. While shrimp is cooking, prepare the creamy avocado broccoli slaw. Add cilantro, yogurt, avocado, lime juice and zest into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix with the broccoli slaw.
  6. Layer broccoli slaw on top of corn tortillas, top with shrimp and any additional toppings.

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RDelicious Kitchen @RD_KitchenChipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos via RDelicious Kitchen @rd_kitchen

Build a Better Taco + 25 Taco Recipe Ideas from Registered Dietitians

Did you know October 4th is National Taco Day? Learn to build a better taco and celebrate with making one of these RD approved taco recipes created by Registered Dietitians.
Build a Better Taco + 25 Taco Recipe Ideas from Registered Dietitians via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen
To successfully build a better taco you have to start from the bottom and build up. Each layer is important and can be made a little healthier on taco night.
Start with your tortillas. 
The big debate – soft or hard shell. That’s really up to you. Opt to use whole grain tortillas. Not into the shell, no worries! Try making a Veggie Loaded Taco Dip and dunk with a bean-based chip. Another option is to add more fiber and use large leaf lettuce to hold your taco filling.
Choose your filling.
Great creative with healthy fillings. First add some protein. If you choose beef, choose a lean ground beef.
If you pick chicken or turkey, look for ground chicken or turkey breast. This is ensuring that is ground from all white breast meat, making it a leaner choice.
Try seafood! Many varieties of seafood work well with tacos. Seafood is lean option. If you like a firmer texture, try using salmon, shrimp, or scallops. For a flakier texture, use tilapia, haddock, or catfish.
Looking for plant-based proteins? Try beans, lentils, tofu, or tempeh.
Plus, pump up your tacos with plenty of veggies. Think beyond the traditional lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Add roasted squashes, sautéed kale, broccoli slaw or a peach salsa. The possibilities are endless!
Make your own taco seasoning for a lower-sodium option for your taco filling.
Add your toppings.
After you loaded your taco with healthy fillings, top it with some more flavor! Add a fresh salsa, guacamole, and/or Greek yogurt. Plain Greek yogurt can be substituted for sour cream for a leaner choice and a boost of protein.

Need some taco inspiration? Choose from these 25 delicious taco recipes created by Registered Dietitians.
Build a Better Taco + 25 Taco Recipe Ideas from Registered Dietitians via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen Classic Tacos via Living Well Kitchen
Sloppy Joe Tacos via Teaspoon of Spice
Steak Tacos with Nectarine Corn Salsa via Nuritioulicious
Slow Cooker Beef & Beans Tacos via My Menu Pal
Shredded Beef Breakfast Tacos via 24 Carrot Life
Chipotle Beef Tacos with Watermelon Salsa via Nutritioulicious
Build a Better Taco + 25 Taco Recipe Ideas from Registered Dietitians via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen Baked Chicken Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Sauce via The Lean Green Bean
Crockpot Chicken Tacos via Real Food Real Deals
Spicy Asian Chicken Tacos via Hungry Hobby
Mom’s Taco Skillet via Kroll’s Korner
Build a Better Taco + 25 Taco Recipe Ideas from Registered Dietitians via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_KitchenChipotle Lime Shrimp Tacos with a Creamy Avocado Broccoli Slaw via RDelicious Kitchen
Crawfish Boil Tacos via Living Well Kitchen
Easy Fish Tacos via Homemade Nutrition
Blackened Salmon Tacos via The Nutrition Adventure
Spiced Lime Vinaigrette Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa via My Menu Pal
Speedy Shrimp Tacos via My Menu Pal
Build a Better Taco + 25 Taco Recipe Ideas from Registered Dietitians via RDelicious Kitchen @RD_Kitchen Vegan Tacos with California Walnuts via Nutrition a la Natalie
Vegan Tempeh Tacos via The Grateful Grazer
Black Bean and Kale Tacos via Living Well Kitchen
Crunchy Lentil Tacos w/ Avocado Feta Guacamole via The Spicy RD
Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Mango Habanero Salsa via My Cape Cod Kitchen
BBQ Salmon & Kale Tacos via Marisa Moore Nutrition
Shrimp Tacos with Yogurt Slaw via fANNEtastic Food
Loaded Tofu Tacos via My Cape Cod Kitchen
Wild Mushroom Garlic Tacos via 24 Carrot Life
Want to skip the shell? Try a Grilled Tofu Taco Salad with Peach Mango Salsa, or Quinoa Taco Salad. Rather slurp with a spoon? Try a Crockpot Taco Soup or a Freezer Friendly Taco Soup. The taco-bilities are endless!
What is your favorite taco combination?
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