Slow-Cooker Smoky Chipotle Beef Tacos


  • 2 onions, chopped (we finely chopped our yellow onions)
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (we left the seeds in)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. liquid smoke (we used mesquite)
  • 1 (3-lb.) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and halved
  • Salt and pepper (we used Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 12-18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Toppings (optional): sour cream, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced radishes and/or lime wedges (we tried it with radish slices, radish slices and pico de gallo, and tried a few tacos that only had avocado slices as a topping)


  1. Take a large microwavable container and add the onions, chili powder, chipotle, oil, garlic, jalapeño, tomato paste and cumin to it (the directions don’t say to but we mixed everything together once it was all in the container). Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions have softened*. Once the onions have softened, place the mixture into the bottom of a 5 ½- to 7-quart slow cooker. Season the beef with salt and pepper (we did so on both sides) and put it in the slow cooker afterwards.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook until the beef is tender, either 9 to 10 hours on LOW or 6 to 7 hours on high (we cooked ours on low heat).
  3. Once the beef is tender, take it out of the slow cooker and put it in a large container, letting it cool a little. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-size pieces, tossing out any excess fat pieces (we did try a piece of fat before throwing the rest away and it was so tender, it melted like butter in  your mouth). Skim any excess fat from the surface of the sauce left in the slow cooker (we didn’t do that).
  4. Stir 1 cup of the sauce in with the beef, adding in more if the beef starts to look dried out (honestly we just added our shredded beef back into the slow cooker with all of the sauce, stirring to combine). Season with salt and pepper if you think it needs it (we didn’t think it needed any more salt and pepper). Serve with the warmed tortillas and leftover sauce (and the optional toppings if you’re using any of them).

*After 7 minutes in the microwave, our onions were still crunchy but we decided to move on.

The chili powder flavor really comes through in this dish. The beef and onions were so tender by the end of the cook time. You really can’t go wrong with any of the toppings. The various toppings we tried all worked harmoniously together flavor-wise with the beef and most of the toppings added some nice contrasting textures to the dish.

We got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote America’s Test Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

3 thoughts on “Slow-Cooker Smoky Chipotle Beef Tacos”

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