Instant Pot Keto Barbacoa Beef

Taco Tuesday might just be the most keto friendly day of the week. You get to take a flavorful protein, dress it up with some rich, low carb toppings like cheese, guacamole, and sour cream, and even get in some veggies for added flavor and nutrition! It covers all of the bases, and you can mix it up enough with different proteins, bases, and toppings to make sure you never get bored.

This keto barbacoa beef recipe has become one of my favorite additions to the Taco Tuesday menu, because it’s extra flavorful but super easy to make in the instant pot or slow cooker. It’s also a great keto meal prepping option because it’s surprisingly versatile.

Some of my favorite ways to serve it:

If you try one of these combinations (or have a favorite of your own), let me know!

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5 from 2 votes

Keto Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

This flavorful keto barbacoa beef recipe is the perfect centerpiece for taco Tuesday. Per ~5.5oz serving: ~280kcal, 15g fat, 33g protein, 4g carbs.
Course Main Course
Keyword beef
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 280kcal


Beef Marinade

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika smoked recommended
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Barbacoa Sauce

  • 1/2 cup broth chicken or beef
  • 2 tbsp lime juice about 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 chipotles peppers in adobo sauce about 2 tbsp, or more to taste
  • 1/2 medium (about 70g) onion chopped
  • 1 large poblano pepper or 4oz canned chopped green chilies


Season Beef

  • In a large bowl or other dish, combine beef with marinade ingredients and toss to coat. Set aside until ready to cook, or marinate in the fridge if desired.

Roast the Poblano

  • I like to do this by removing the stem, cutting it into halves or quarters, coating lightly with oil, and then popping under the broiler for about 3 minutes on each side until lightly charred, but you can use any method you prefer. 
  • When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop and set aside. Alternatively, you can use canned chopped green chilies in this recipe to save a little time.

Prep Sauce

  • In a blender or food processor, puree sauce ingredients (including the poblano or chopped green chilies) until smooth.

Keto Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef

  • Using the Sauté setting on your Instant Pot, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When oil is heated through, add seasoned beef and sear. Turn regularly to brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  • Add prepared sauce and toss to coat. Add bay leaves if using. Press Cancel to turn off the heat.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and set to Sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 60 minutes. When the hour is up, quick release the pressure by carefully turning the valve to Venting.
  • Open the lid. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Shred beef and toss with sauce to coat.

Serve and Enjoy!

  • Serve warm. Leftovers can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 5 days or frozen for longer. Store with the sauce to maintain flavor/moisture.


  • To make things easier, you can remove the beef to a separate bowl or cutting board to shred and then add back to the sauce when done. While doing so, you can turn the Instant Pot back to Saute to reduce down the sauce if desired.
  • This has a mild to moderate spice level as is. Heat things up by adding more chipotle and/or dried chili peppers.
  • This Instant Pot keto barbacoa recipe can be adapted to use a slow cooker. I still recommend browning the beef first (ie. on the stovetop), but after that you can add the ingredients to a slow cooker for about 4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low.
  • I often make this with Butcher Box stew beef, which is "cut from 100% grass-fed sirloin, chuck, and round." Chuck roast is generally inexpensive and easy to find, but you can use other cuts if preferred.


Serving: 5.5oz | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 15g

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