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Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Carnitas

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Cook: 8 hours


16 servings plus 1/4 cup leftover spice mixture

Updated: Oct. 03, 2022
I came up with this recipe while trying to figure out what I could do with a pot roast that had been in the freezer. Now I keep the rub in a plastic bag, ready and waiting in my cupboard, and I can get the roast in the slow cooker in less than 15 minutes. —Ann Piscitelli, Nokomis, Florida
Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Carnitas Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)
  • 2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 poblano peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
  • 16 flour tortillas (8 inches), warmed
  • 3 cups crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Optional toppings: cubed avocado, sour cream and minced fresh cilantro


  1. Mix the first nine ingredients. Cut roast in half; rub with 1/4 cup spice mixture. Cover and store remaining mixture in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year.
  2. Place onions and peppers in a 4-qt. slow cooker. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Brown roast on all sides. Transfer meat and drippings to slow cooker. Top with salsa. Cook, covered, on low until meat is tender, 8-10 hours.
  3. Remove roast; shred with two forks. Skim fat from cooking juices. Return meat to slow cooker; heat through. Using a slotted spoon, place 1/2 cup meat mixture on each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Add toppings of your choice.

Nutrition Facts

1 carnita (calculated without optional toppings): 415 calories, 18g fat (6g saturated fat), 70mg cholesterol, 830mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 27g protein.

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