Slow Cooker Birria Bowls 


This mostly hands-off approach to the popular Mexican meat stew yields a delicious weeknight-friendly meal. 

slow cooker birria bowls
Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
6 hrs 30 mins

Birria is a rustic Mexican meat stew that can be made with various kinds of meat, including beef, lamb, or pork, marinated in a chili sauce. The flavorful cooking juices are combined with a seasoned tomato sauce served with the stew. In this weeknight rendition, pieces of boneless chuck roast are slow-cooked until melt-in-your-mouth tender. Supermarket shortcuts like canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce and diced tomatoes with jalapeño and cilantro season the meat as it cooks low and slow. A helping of rice, a showering of cheese, and creamy avocado make this meal a weeknight winner.


  • 1 3/4-lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces

  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (from a 7-oz. can)

  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped (1 1/2 Tbsp.)

  • 1 red onion, chopped (2 cups), divided

  • 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with jalapeños and cilantro

  • 2 cups long-grain white rice

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, finely shredded (about 3/4 cup), divided

  • Cilantro leaves, diced avocado, and lime wedges, for serving


  1. Season roast all over with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high. Add roast; cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker.

  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, chiles, garlic, and 1 1/2 cups onion to skillet (refrigerate remaining onion until ready to use). Cook, stirring often, until onion begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups water; stir, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet. Pour mixture over roast in slow cooker. Cover and cook until roast is very tender, about 6 hours on low.

  3. Before serving, combine rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high. Cover and reduce heat to low; cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer roast to a large bowl and shred using 2 forks; reserve liquid in slow cooker. Add vinegar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to liquid. Divide rice between 6 bowls; drizzle a few spoonfuls of liquid over rice in each bowl. Top with meat, cheese, and reserved 1/2 cup onion. Garnish with cilantro, avocado, and lime wedges; serve with remaining liquid.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

512 Calories
15g Fat
55g Carbs
38g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 512
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 97mg 32%
Sodium 841mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 38g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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