This Salsa Verde Beef recipe is one of the simplest, yet it packs a ton of flavor. It cooks up in the slow cooker or the instant pot, making for the easiest of meals.
When dinnertime rolls around, what do you most want to do?
Sure, somedays you look forward to cooking, but at the end of a long day, most of us are looking forward to the eating part more than the cooking part.
If the Jetsons had been as prophetic as we hoped back when we were five, you’d have a machine that you could program to produce whatever you wanted whenever you wanted to eat. So far, that invention hasn’t made it to the pages of Amazon.
Well, no problem.
Yes, I’m serious. It’s no problem if you’re all set with a meal plan, particularly one that includes this Salsa Verde Beef.
I developed this recipe almost ten years ago and it continues to be a fan favorite. And for good reason! Not only does it contain a mere five ingredients (oil not pictured below) but it can also be made super efficiently in the slow cooker or instant pot.
Boom! Dinner ready with very little effort on your part. It’s like having a Jetson-era contraption of your own.
What is Salsa Verde Beef?
Salsa Verde Beef is a delicious dish of beef braised in salsa verde (green salsa) until it is fall apart tender. It’s great as a taco or burrito filling as well as for topping bowl meals or lettuce wraps.
What is a good cut of beef for shredding?
Chuck roast is one of the best cuts of beef for shredding. It’s marbled with fat that breaks down and makes for a very tender roast or meat for shredding. Rump roast works well, too.
What is salsa verde made from?
Salsa verde, “green sauce” in Spanish, is typically made from a base of tomatillos and chiles. It’s delicious as a topping for Mexican food, but goes wonderful as a sauce in dishes.
I feature Salsa Verde in Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Poblano Chile Enchiladas, and Creamy Chicken Salsa Verde.
Can you make your own salsa verde?
You absolutely can make your own salsa verde. I tried it once years ago but didn’t like fussing with the sticky tomatillo skins. Both Herdez and Trader Joe’s make such great bottled versions, that I’m okay with not making homemade in this instance.
Plus, making salsa for this recipe would kind of defeat the purpose of the almost instant meal, ya know?
Can I freeze salsa verde beef?
This is a great dish for freezing. In fact, I highly recommend it. Make a double batch, cool and freeze half, and enjoy a rocking taco night someday in the future.
How do you make Salsa Verde Beef?
This is such an easy recipe! You can make it in either the slow cooker or the electric pressure cooker. Here’s the basic method:
- Cube the meat, chop the onion, and measure out your oil, taco seasoning, and salsa verde.
- Heat the oil in a skillet or in the pot of your pressure cooker on sauté. Brown the meat in the hot oil, turning to sear all sides. Don’t crowd the meat cubes in the pan; you may need to do this in batches.
- Transfer the meat to the slow cooker or to a bowl if you’re using the Instant Pot.
- Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and cook, stirring, until tender. Add the taco seasoning and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the salsa verde and cook, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan or pressure cooker.
- If using the slow cooker, add this mixture to the crock. If using an Instant Pot, add the meat back in. Stir well to combine.
- Cover the slow cooker and allow to cook 6 to 8 hours on low or until the meat is fall apart tender. If you’re using the pressure cooker, set it to manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Release the pressure when the cycle ends.
- Shred the meat with two forks and use as a taco or burrito filling.
Seriously, this recipe is bomb, as my sister in law would say. My kids’ eyes light up when I mention it, so that makes it officially a winner. I love it for its versatility. Use it as a taco or burrito filling or add 5 cups cooked pinto beans to make a delicious chili.
Over time this recipe has become one of my most popular. I haven’t met a person who didn’t love it. Unfortunately, there are rarely leftovers, so you definitely want to make that double batch I was telling you about.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Meal plan around what’s on sale. Don’t decide to make this when chuck roast is $7/pound and you have none in the freezer. Wait until the price is right.
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on chuck roast as I mentioned before, I buy a lot.
- Price match. I track my prices so that I know the best prices on the items we use the most. That means I buy my cheese and lettuce at Costco because they’re super cheap there; my beef at Ralphs or ALDI on sale, etc.
Tools I use to make this recipe easy:
This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.
- plastic cutting boards – I have blue boards for veggies and white boards for meat.
- Ergo Chef chef’s knife – I’ve had my set for several years and they work well.
- large skillet with lid – I have two of these since I love this model so much.
- Ergo Chef cooking tongs – I love these! They are my favorite cooking tongs.
- slow cooker – This is the slow cooker I own. The app has gone wonky recently so I don’t use the wifi function, but the cooker is a good one.
- instant pot – I have this model.
Salsa Verde Beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 lb rump roast cut into 1 ½-inch chunks, can also use chuck roast
- ½ onion chopped for ½ cup
- 2 tablespoon Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1 cup salsa verde
To prepare in the slow cooker:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the beef chunks and brown on all sides to caramelize. Remove the meat to the crock of a slow cooker.
- Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and saute until lightly browned. Stir in the taco seasoning mix and heat about 1 minute. Add the salsa and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer the liquid to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred and serve.
To prepare in the pressure cooker:
- Heat the oil in the pot of your pressure cooker on sauté. Brown the meat in the hot oil, turning to sear all sides. Don’t crowd the meat cubes in the pan; you may need to do this in batches. Transfer the meat to a bowl if you’re using the Instant Pot.
- Add the onion to the drippings in the pan and cook, stirring, until tender. Add the taco seasoning and cook for another minute. Stir in the salsa verde and cook, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
- Add the meat back in. Stir well to combine.
- Secure the cover and close the pressure valve. Set the pressure cooker to manual high pressure for 45 minutes. Release the pressure when the cycle ends.
- Shred the meat with two forks and use as a taco or burrito filling.
Originally published August 2009.
My husband loves this – thanks! I’m a vegetarian, so I just do the cooking! This is my go-to recipe now for burritos for him. I wanted to reply about using London Broil – I used it for this recipe and a lot of other slow cooker recipes, like beef stew. It always turns out tender and juicy. It has a lot less fat than a chuck roast, so it’s not swimming in grease and you get more for your money, I think. Maybe if they used too much meat and not enough liquid in the slow cooker it could possibly be dry, but I have never had a problem with it or a complaint about it. Thanks again!
Thanks for chiming in, Tina! I’m so glad you’ve had such great success with this.
Curious what you used to create the salsa topping in your photo. Was it just basil, onion and chopped tomatoes?
Pico de gallo: https://goodcheapeats.com/2010/08/pico-de-gallo/ Cilantro, not basil.
This had been on my Pinterest board forEVER, but I just got around to actually making it tonight. I walked my daughter through the prep (on the phone while I was at work) and came home to an amazing dinner! It was so good, there are ZERO leftovers for lunches!
Thanks so much! Everyone has already requested this again! 🙂
Yay! It’s a big favorite here, too. No leftovers unless you make a double batch. 🙂
I tried this and there wasn’t enough liquid at all. The meat was hard because of it. There is only the one cup of salsa for liquid. I used top round. Any suggestions?
In a slow cooker you really should not need much liquid. However, round steak (top round) is not really the best cut for this. I think you’d have better luck with chuck roast.
We have been making this for several years now and it is a winner! It is one of my husband’s favorite meals. I try and make a large batch and freeze a meal – problem is I can’t always keep enough to save, as the family devours it!!
Soo good!! Definitely a keeper! 🙂 Just wish I wasn’t fresh out of Pico de Gallo – will definitely get some tomorrow for the next round because I think it would make it even more AMAZING.
So glad you liked it!
This looks delicious and your tortillas always look so yummy…do you make them yourself?
Yes, we usually, not always, make our own homemade corn tortillas.
Unequivocally the most DELICIOUS thing that has ever come out of our slow cooker. I found the recipe in your book, wanted to be sure you got another rave review for this beauty. It is TO.DIE.FOR. I’m literally tearing up just thinking about it…it’s that good! Thank you thank you thank you! You made me look like a rock star in the kitchen this week!!
Aww! Thank you. What a sweet thing to say. Glad you enjoyed it!
Tried this the other night and it was fantastic! The husband and picky kids loved it too.
Isn’t that funny? It’s something that I just threw together one day and it turned into a huge hit.
You know, I think the browning step is really important. So much flavor developed in that. A lot of recipes just call for tossing it in the crockpot. It’s definitely worth that extra step.
I agree. I see those bag it up slow cooker/freezer meals and cringe. They’re missing out on taste and texture by not browning the meat and aromatics first.