Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

There’s just no doubt about it, meal prep fam—Summer is here and in full swing! There are about billion-and-one reasons to love our sunny season, but at MPOF one of our main ones is throwing traditional backyard barbecue parties with the people we love! However, not all barbecue is the same, and in fact, not all of it even requires you to fire up your trusty propane grill! It’s because we’re all about giving you diversity in your barbecue that we’re bringing you today’s meal prep recipe—An oh-so-easy instant pot beef barbacoa!

The word ‘barbacoa’ is actually the Mexican Spanish word for a barbecue! Barbacoa is believed to have originated in the beautiful Caribbean West Antilles during the 1500s, and it eventually spread to Mexico. Cooked traditionally, barbacoa meat is roasted over an open fire. However, this instant pot meal prep recipe does away with primitive cooking methods entirely by using, um, an instant pot (as you’ve surely guessed by now ?)! We love cooking with instant pots because they do a lot of the actual cooking for you while preserving the beneficial vitamins and minerals in the food.

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

How long will these instant pot beef barbacoa meal prep bowls last for?

When properly stored, we found this dish to last 3-5 days in the fridge That’s pretty much the perfect time frame for having this instant pot meal prep once a day for almost the entire duration of your work or school week.

Can these instant pot beef barbacoa meal prep bowls be frozen?

While we certainly encourage you to experiment with what works best for your meal prep regimen, freezing this dish may be impractical due to the suggested sides.

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

How do you make these instant pot beef barbacoa meal prep bowls?

Start by setting the instant pot to “sauté” mode, adding 1 tablespoon of avocado oil once it’s warmed up. Add the pot roast and sear 3-5 minutes on each side, looking out for a brown outer crust to form. After removing the pot roast and setting it aside, add another 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot, and sauté garlic for 5 minutes. Next, heat granulated onion, cumin, cloves, and oregano for 1 minute, then stir in and sauté adobo sauce, chipotles, lime juice, and apple cider vinegar for 1 minute. Stir in beef broth, bay leaves, salt, and black pepper, then return the beef to the pot to pressure cook on ‘HIGH’ for 70 minutes, making sure to replace the lid. Manually release pressure, flip the roast, and cook on ‘HIGH’ again, this time for just 5 minutes. Remove beef, shred with forks, and submerge in barbacoa sauce for 5 minutes. Divide meat, sauce, and garnishes into 6 equal parts, and then serve!

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

How to portion these instant pot beef barbacoa meal prep bowls?

We recommend portioning this instant pot meal prep into a 3 compartment bowl-style meal prep container! One compartment for beef, one for the ultra-healthy quinoa, and one for cilantro and other garnishes. You can get more general info about meal prep containers via our Ultimate Guide, or purchase them directly on Amazon!

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

More instant pot meal prep recipes:

If you have an awesome experience making this barbacoa and want even more instant pot meal prep recipes for next week, consider our Instant Pot Enchilada Soup or Instant Pot Ranch Chicken!

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

Other tips for instant pot meal prep:

  • Instant pots take a little while to build up the necessary pressure for effectively cooking, so make sure you give it 10-15 minutes beforehand.
  • Most parts of your instant pot are dishwasher safe. Say goodbye to post-meal scrubbing!
Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lb. Chuck Roast Beef
  • 5 Crushed Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (de-seeded, sliced)
  • 1 Lime (cut into 6 wedges)
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 ¼ C. Beef Broth/Stock
  • 2 ¼ Tbsp. Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Avocado Oil
  • 5 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
  • ½ Tbsp. Granulated Onion
  • 2 tsp. Adobo Sauce (from where chipotles were packed in)
  • 2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt (or Sea Salt)
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 C. Cooked Quinoa
  • ¼ Diced Red Onion
  • ½ C. Fresh Cilantro
Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa Meal Prep Bowls

Rich with subtle spicy and deep flavors, this Instant Pot beef barbacoa meal prep recipe makes for the perfect simple, delicious, and easy dish that works for both a weekday meal prep and quick dinners.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 11 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine: Brazilian
Keyword: Beef, Meal Prep
Servings: 6 meals
Calories: 575kcal
Author: Meal Prep on Fleek


  • 2.5 pounds chuck roast beef
  • 5 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 chipole peppers in adobo sauce de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 lime cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 ¼ cup beef broth or bone broth
  • 2 ¼ tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1.5 tablespoon Dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoon adobo sauce from the chipotles can
  • 2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ¼ small red onion diced
  • ½ cup Fresh cilantro


  • Set Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode. Once heated, add 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Next, add chuck roast and let sear for ~3-5 minutes (do not adjust/check beef for at least 3 minutes), or until seared brown crust forms. Repeat on the other side then remove from Instant Pot and set aside.
  • Remaining on “Sauté” mode, add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add crushed garlic. Let sauté ~5 minutes.
  • Add dried aromatics (granulated onion, cumin, cloves, oregano), stir, and let heat ~1 minute. Then, add adobo sauce, chipotles, lime juice, apple cider vinegar — stir well and let sauté ~1 minute.
  • Now, add beef broth, bay leaves, salt, and black pepper. Stir well once again and return chuck roast to the Instant Pot.
  • Cover and set to “High-Pressure Cook” mode for 70 minutes.
  • Manually release pressure, flip chuck roast over, and cook again at high pressure for 5 minutes. Once finished, this time, allow for natural steam venting/depressurizing.
  • Once depressurized, remove chuck roast and place onto a sturdy/durable surface (such as a cutting board) and using 2 forks, shred meat into desired sized pieces and discard large chunks of fat.
  • Remove and discard all 3 bay leaves.
  • Return and submerge shredded barbacoa meat into barbacoa sauce and let marinate for ~5 minutes.
  • Divide meat, quinoa, limes into 6 portions and top with red onion, fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of barbacoa sauce.
  • Serve, store, and enjoy!


Nutrition for 1 out of 6 servings:
41.4g Protein | 22.6g Carbs | 34g Fat | 3.7g Fiber | 575 Calories


Serving: 1meal | Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 22.6g | Protein: 41.4g | Fat: 34g | Fiber: 3.7g
Tried this recipe?Mention @mealpreponfleek or tag #mealpreponfleek!

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