Shredded Beef Filling for Tacos, Burritos, Sandwiches, and More

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This Shredded Beef Filling is great for tacos, burritos, and taquitos. It makes a mean sandwich, too. Best of all, it cooks up easily in the slow cooker.

bowl of shredded beef filling

Shredded Beef is one of our favorite fillings for all sorts for sandwiches as well as Mexican dishes.

It’s economical because beef chuck often goes on sale for less than $4 a pound. I stock up on roasts when I see them at the $3.99 rate, and then cook them up for all kinds of beefy deliciousness. The process is super easy since the slow cooker does most of the work.

I will often buy chuck roast or chuck steak on sale and cook several at one time. Once it’s fork tender, I shred it and package it for the freezer. Packed away in meal size packages, it makes for a quick supper.

If I can keep it away from the hungry wolves long enough to get it to the freezer….

Recipes Using This Shredded Beef Filling

It’s economical because beef chuck often goes on sale for less than $4 a pound. I stock up on roasts when I see them at the $3.99 rate, and then cook them up for all kinds of beefy deliciousness. The process is super easy since the slow cooker does most of the work.

I will often buy chuck roast or chuck steak on sale and cook several at one time. Once it’s fork tender, I shred it and package it for the freezer. Packed away in meal size packages, it makes for a quick supper.

If I can keep it away from the hungry wolves long enough to get it to the freezer….

burritos filled with shredded beef served with beans and rice

Tools I use for this recipe:

Shredded Beef Filling
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
Total Time
6 hrs 10 mins
 
Shredded beef is a great filling for tacos, burritos, and taquitos. This recipe cooks up easily in the slow cooker.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: shredded beef
Author: Jessica Fisher
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 pounds (or schuck roast or chuck steak
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions optional
  • 4- ounce can chopped green chiles optional
Instructions
  1. In large skillet heat olive oil until shimmering. Generously salt and pepper chuck roast. Add meat to pan and brown well on each side. Remove to the crockpot.
  2. Add chopped onion to skillet and saute, scraping up bits, until onion is translucent. Stir in chili powder and oregano. Stirring until well combined. Add water to make a paste. Use the larger amount if the mixture is dry. Scrape onion mixture into crockpot (slow cooker).
  3. Set to low and cook all day, about 6-10 hours. Meat will be extremely tender and easily fall apart. Shred by pulling meat apart with two forks or small tongs. Adjust seasonings. Add some of the drippings to moisten if necessary. Otherwise, save drippings for another use, like adding to soup or making gravy.
  4. Use shredded beef in recipes like tostadas, chimichangas, burritos, tacos, enchiladas and even bbq sandwiches. For Mexican recipes, toss in scallions and green chiles.
  5. To freeze: Wrap, label, and chill completely before freezing.

 Shredded Beef Filling | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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Comments

  1. Wendy Komindo says

    I make bbq beef all the time in my crock pot but when I get ready to pull the beef apart I use my hand mixer. It takes seconds to do especially with a large batch.

    • Sherri Kight says

      I’ve never thought to use a mixer. Great idea.

  2. Kayla says

    Finally made a roast last night that actually shredded….after being married 3 years! Every time I made roasts they are so tough! I found this post, threw a roast in the crockpot overnight, and this morning it was SO moist and tender! Thanks so much! πŸ™‚ Now, I have 6 roasts in my freezer to cook up before our 1/4 cow comes in November! πŸ™‚

  3. This recipe rocks! I just used it to turn two slightly freezer burned roasts into 4 meals worth of totally tasty meat. Thank you!

  4. katie says

    Could I suggest, tossing it into a stand Mixer with paddle, instead of forks or tongs. A few minutes “mixing”, will save a great amount of time shredding…

    • Jessica says

      You know, when I’ve tried that, I didn’t care for the texture. Some of the meat was a little too squashed. You don’t have that problem?

  5. mollie romero says

    would be nice to list how many pounds are used for how many fajitas or how many X amound of lbs. serve approx. X amount of people

    • The yield is going to depend on the size of roast you use, whether it’s bone-in or boneless, how much fat, etc. One large, boneless, 4-5 pound roast should yield about 8 cups of filling. That’s just a guesstimate

  6. Nikki says

    I must say how excited I am that you use chuck roast in so many ways besides traditional roast. We process our own cows for meat so we always have lots of roast BUT my family is not a big fan of roast, carrots and potatoes. I use chuck roast and slice it thinly for taco salad and for Mongolian beef. Both are big hits with my crew. But I don’t like making the same thing over and over. You have given me lots of ideas! Thank you πŸ™‚ I will be a frequent visitor of your site for now on!!

  7. Jeremy says

    Is there a way to do this in a slow cooker? Does it need to be done differently aside from transferring?

    • Do you mean not browning it in the skillet? You can skip the browning, it just won’t have the same depth of flavor and texture.

      • Jeremy says

        No, I was just wondering if I could transfer it and cook in a slow cooker with no problems and if I would need to do anything different if I did. Thanks for the quick reply!

        • This is a slow cooker recipe. (I used the term crockpot, but that is a brand name of slow cooker). I guess that is what confused me about your question.

  8. Jeremy says

    Yeah, my wife just told me I need to work on my reading comprehension. haha oops! I need more coffee. Sorry about that!

  9. Sue says

    Just one question: how much does this make? 4 cups of shredded beef? 8 servings of enchilada filling? I’m trying to figure out how much I can do with it once I make it. Thanks!

    • It’s really going to depend on the fat content of the meat. Sometimes I have it where it cooks down quite a bit. I’d estimate about 6 to 8 cups of filling, usually enough for 2 pans of enchiladas.

  10. Alexan Mor says

    Can you do it on high for 4 hours instead? Or will the beef be too tough?

  11. Janelle says

    Would this be a good recipe for chimichangas? I really want to make some but am having a hard time finding a good recipe for the meat.

  12. Monique Cox says

    I’m concerned about the little amount of water you’re adding. I’m afraid that it would burn my roast. It’s really only 3 tablespoons of water?

    • I promise it will be fine. I sometimes don’t add any water. But, it if makes you feel better, go ahead and add 1/2 cup.

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