This Instant Pot shredded beef melts in your mouth with that Mexican beef flavor, take practically no time to prep, and is a total crowd-pleaser.
This instant pot shredded beef tacos recipe is so basic.
Wait, what? “Basic” is an insult these days among the young folks? Say what now?
I’m a busy work-from-home mama whose best friends include the instant pot, a well-functioning washing machine, and the dishwasher. (Love you, friends. Smooch.)
Basic is my middle name. When basic time requirements and basic ingredients combine to form an amazing, mouth-watering dinner that I hardly had to work for at all, it’s called MAGIC. Pure, unsexy, uncool, wonderful, basic magic.
Listen up, young people: this is called successful adulting. Learn it now and practice it proudly because when you’re in your thirties with multiple little children running around your house as cute little tsunamis of chaos, you’ll embrace and kiss on the lips anything that makes your life easier.
What I’m saying is: basic is a gift. So you’re welcome.
2-Ingredient Instant Pot Shredded Beef
Super Easy & Simple Recipe
There are plenty of shredded beef recipes that try and get all fancy with weird ingredients and complicated multiple steps. You can do it in a slow cooker or a wood-fired oven, or who knows what else. You can add hydroponic tomato paste from your fall preserves, or artisanal chilis that you marinated for a week, or organic dates for a touch of sweetness, or you could close your eyes and point to something random in your fridge to throw in just so you can claim it has a “secret ingredient” for Pinterest’s sake.
I didn’t, though.
I had this recipe on my menu plan the other day. Of course, I procrastinated on getting up from the couch that afternoon when I was in the inbox-clearing zone – I was crushing it. (Don’t mess with the inbox-clearing zone – it’s the rare unicorn of the work-at-home mom world.)
Then I discovered that I had approximately eight minutes to get my roast from the freezer into the Instant Pot, locked and loaded with all spices and whatnots before I had to step out the door to walk down to the bus stop to collect my aforementioned darling tsunamis.
Eight minutes. No time for fancy shenanigans. (This is my life, and this is why I make basic recipes that get rave reviews anyway.)
I abandoned my inbox heroics and walked into the kitchen. First, I took the roast from the freezer, got it out of the packaging (it was frozen solid, so this was somewhat of a challenge), stuck it into my instant pot, grabbed my spices, and went to town. I use my homemade taco seasoning for this recipe, which turns out fantastic, but my jar was empty, so I had to measure out the individual spices again.
Mexican Shredded Beef is a Great Staple
My homemade taco seasoning uses spices like chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper plus a secret ingredient that actually rocks. It’s legit. Make a jar of it to keep on hand to get this Mexican beef in the pressure cooker in just a few minutes.
Got them all in, added water, put the lid on, set the timer, and BAM. Walked out the door knowing that dinner was cooking itself while I strolled down the street looking fabulous. (Okay, I may be embellishing that last part. I had rainy-day hair.)
But seriously: I came home, sat down, and relaxed for a while because dinner was MAKING ITSELF. (Hashtag hallelujah.)
When my honey got home, he made cassava tortillas (he uses this cassava flour, and the super-easy tortilla recipe on the back of the bag).
Throw some warm shredded beef on a tortilla, and top it off with our faves: avocado, diced tomato, fresh salsa, and shredded lettuce. And cheese and sour cream (if we’re currently doing the dairy thing). If you feel the urge to be fancy, squeeze fresh lime juice overtop of your beef. (Do it.)
Perfect for Busy Households to Cook Once, Eat Twice (or more!)
Let’s review: shredded beef tacos from scratch, and it honestly didn’t feel like much more work than a box of mac n’ cheese and frozen chicken nuggets. Not that I’d know. *cough cough*.
Plus, the whole family member raved – unprompted – about how amazing dinner was. That’s what I call winning at Taco Tuesday.
Instant Pot Shredded Beef: Expert Tips & Tricks
Do I have to have an Instant Pot to make this Mexican shredded beef?
No, you could make this same shredded beef in a crock pot or on the stove top but, pressure cooking takes a fraction of the time.
To use make this shredded beef following another method, you will have to adjust the cooking time according to your tool of choice.
Can I freeze it?
Yes! This shredded beef does great in the freezer. Thankfully it reheats well and still tastes amazing. Once it has cooled off fill your bag or container. Label it because try as you might you will probably forget what it is. Having extra meat in the freezer is a great way to meal prep!
It will stay fresh in the freezer for up to six months. Then, when you are ready to use it, simply pull it out and let it thaw in the fridge. You can reheat it with a bit of fat in a cast-iron skillet. (Add a lid and a bit of water, and heat on low if it’s still partly frozen.)
Ways to freeze
- Resealable Bag
- Stasher Bag (reusable silicone bags)
- Freezer proof container
Can I use different seasonings?
Yes, just keep the ratio of water, and make sure to add salt if you leave out the taco seasoning.
- BBQ Sauce. This recipe would make great shredded BBQ beef sandwiches.
- Salt and pepper. If you want multi-purpose beef that can be used for a variety of recipes salt and pepper might be the way to go.
- Other herbs like an Italian blend, or some garlic and salt.
How do you shred meat quickly?
If the beef roast is cooked long enough in the instant pot, it should fall apart easily with a fork but if you want to shred it faster, a Kitchenaid stand mixer with paddle attachment works well.
I don’t recommend a blender or food processor.
Note: if it’s not shredding easily with a fork, that means you need to cook it longer. You can do another 10 minutes on high pressure in the instant pot on manual, and it should help!
What cut of meat should I use?
Really any cut will work. I tend to buy the cheapest cut I can find. Meat with a lot of fat marbling will lend to a more tender dish. It makes it easier to shred too! For a starting point, here are a few cuts that will work well.
- Chuck roast
- Round roast
- Brisket roast
- Rump roast
The Instant Pot tenderizes the meat so well that this recipe a great way to use up tougher cuts with lots of connective tissue that might be hanging out in your freezer.
Consequently, even if your meat doesn’t have lots of pretty fat running through it, the Instant Pot will make the beef practically melt in your mouth. The end result is delicious!
Recommended Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
If you don’t have an Instant Pot already, what are you waiting for? It’s going to change your life, seriously.
In addition – while you are at it, these cute jars would be perfect for storing the homemade taco seasoning that you are always going to have on hand.
Ways to enjoy this Mexican shredded beef
This beef recipe makes a big batch and can be used in a variety of dishes. There are endless ways to enjoy it. If you are lucky you will have leftover beef, it is amazing the next day too. By itself or with some non-starchy veg, this meat is the perfect foundation for a low carb meal, if that’s your jam.
- Tacos. Make them with tortillas or hard shells. This chickpea flatbread would be an amazing grain-free and protein-rich alternative to your typical corn or wheat flour tortillas.
- Beef enchiladas
- Taco salad
- Burrito bowls
- Over rice
- On nachos
- In soup
- In eggs for breakfast
- On baked potatoes
What should I serve with my Instant Pot shredded beef?
Suggested Favorite Toppings
- Fresh salsa
- Shredded lettuce
- Dice avocado
- Lime juice
- Diced onions
- Diced tomatoes
- Sour Cream
Suggested Sides for Shredded Beef
- Mexican rice (you could make it in a rice cooker for another hands-off recipe)
- Cucumber salad
- Whole black beans
- Refried beans
- Cauliflower rice
- Warm tortillas
- Tortilla Chips
- Seven-layer taco dip
- Kale salad with a citrus vinaigrette
I hope that this easy Instant Pot shredded beef becomes a family favourite, just like it is for mine!
Instant Pot Shredded Beef (2 Ingredients!)
- One beef roast approx. 3 lbs
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup of homemade taco seasoning
- Place roast into the Instant Pot.
- Add the water and sprinkle roast with taco seasoning.
- Place the lid on, making sure that the pressure valve is closed. Set to manual mode (high pressure) for 120 minutes if frozen, or 90 minutes if not.
- Once the meat is done cooking, let it sit for about 15 minutes for natural pressure release.