Crockpot Beef Carnitas – The Cookie Rookie®

Fresh and flavorful Crockpot Beef Carnitas are always a hit and simple to prepare! Serve this spiced and shredded beef in tacos, on salads, and more.

2 beef carnitas tacos on a white plate

Easy Beef Carnitas

Crockpot beef carnitas are quick to make and full of flavor! Rub chuck roast with a homemade blend of spices and let the crockpot do the work. This is the ultimate set it and forget it recipe, perfect for busy weeknights, game day, or potlucks.

Mix up taco Tuesday with easy beef carnitas tacos!

Why You’ll Love this Slow Cooker Carnitas Recipe:

  • FLAVORFUL: The dry rub is loaded with bold flavors like cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. Add some chili powder or red pepper flakes for a kick!
  • SIMPLE: It doesn’t get much easier than a slow cooker meal. With only 10 minutes of prep, anyone has time for this quick recipe!
  • MEAL PREP: Make a batch of beef carnitas on the weekend to enjoy for lunch all week long.

These flavorful beef carnitas are the star of any homemade dinner!

step by step photos for how to make crockpot beef carnitas
overhead image of 2 beef carnitas tacos on a white plate

How to Make Crockpot Beef Carnitas

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Make the dry rub.
  2. Season the chuck roast.
  3. Add all ingredients to the crockpot.
  4. Cook with the lid on.
  5. Drain the beef and shred it.
  6. Crisp up the shredded beef in a skillet.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
2 beef carnitas tacos on a white plate
hand holding a beef carnitas taco
What cut of beef is best for carnitas?

For the best beef carnitas, use chuck roast for this recipe. It breaks down and becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender after a long, low cook time.

Can I use chicken or pork instead of beef?

Absolutely! Replace the chuck roast with boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pork shoulder. Here’s my favorite pork carnitas recipe.

What toppings go well with carnitas?

I love serving carnitas with shredded cheese, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, sliced avocado, and salsa. Use your favorite taco toppings for these beef carnitas!

Can I freeze leftover carnitas?

Definitely. Store leftover carnitas in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Serving Suggestions

Beef carnitas are delicious in tacos, on salads, in quesadillas, and more. Serve this beef with:

These beef carnitas are tender, flavorful, and totally delicious. The slow cooker does all of the work!

overhead image of 2 beef carnitas tacos on a white plate
2 beef carnitas tacos on a white plate


  • For a little kick, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the dry rub.
  • Use 2 forks or a hand mixer to easily shred the beef.
  • Serve beef carnitas in tortillas, on salad, or in a rice bowl. The possibilities are endless!

I love making crockpot carnitas for busy weeknights! Throw everything in the crockpot in the morning and let it cook all day.

Can I use a pre-made spice mix?

If you have a favorite Mexican (or Tex-Mex) spice rub, feel free to swap 3 tablespoons of it for the homemade spice rub listed in the recipe. 

What size slow cooker should I use?

I recommend using a 7-quart (or similarly sized) crockpot for this recipe.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, you can certainly double this recipe, but make sure your slow cooker is large enough to fit all of the ingredients.

hand holding a beef carnitas taco

Add crockpot beef carnitas to the menu this week!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!

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