Slow Cooker Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

Kyra Williams for The Upside Blog


Lamb Barbacoa is a traditional dish from the Oaxacan region of Mexico that results in rich, flavorful meat perfect for tacos. Here, lamb shoulder is slow-cooked in a marinade made with chipotle, apple cider vinegar, orange juice and aromatic herbs and spices. Orange juice tenderizes the meat and lends a warm sweetness just under the spice. Serve shredded on taco shells with onion, cilantro and lime for a little handheld heaven.

Lamb barbacoa tacos on plate with turquoise background |

Lamb barbacoa tacos on plate with turquoise background |
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Slow Cooker Lamb Barbacoa Tacos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 186 kcal
Author Kyra Williams



  1. Cut trimmed lamb into large chunks.
  2. In bowl, whisk together broth, vinegar, orange juice, hot sauce, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, chipotle powder, salt and pepper until well combined.
  3. Place lamb in slow cooker set to low, add bay leaves and pour in liquid mixture. Cook 5-6 hours.
  4. Remove lamb to large bowl, let cool and shred.
  5. Skim fat and bay leaves from liquid and remove; add ¼-1/2 cup of liquid to shredded meat and toss to moisten. (Note: There should not be visible liquid.)
  6. Serve in taco shells and garnish with white onion, cilantro and squeeze of lime.

Recipe Notes

Get the ingredients to slow cook these special tacos!

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Lamb Barbacoa Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 186 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 477mg20%
Potassium 261mg7%
Carbohydrates 20g7%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 145IU3%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 73mg7%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Kyra Williams

Kyra Williams hasn’t always been fit. She used to be quite the opposite, in fact. During her college years, she lived on pizza and beer and packed on an unhealthy amount of pounds, due to total inactivity. One day, something clicked, and Kyra knew it was time to lose the weight. Since that time, she’s fallen so in love with fitness that she’s made it her life’s work to help others to make the changes they need to become fit, active and healthy.

Kyra is a self-employed, NASM-certified online personal trainer and nutrition expert, Crossfit Level One Trainer, USA Weightlifting and USA Powerlifting Coach, and she’s helped women all over the world through her online training services and training programs. For more info or to connect with Kyra, visit