Barbacoa Beef Bowls

Ditch the queue and savor homemade freshness with these effortless Barbacoa Beef Bowls, an ideal solution for transforming leftovers into a delightful, restaurant-quality meal right in your kitchen!

Barbacoa beef bowls served on a table.

I posted my recipe for Crockpot Barbacoa Beef, I said that I would share my recipe for Barbacoa Beef Bowls with you, and here is my awesome Beef Barbacoa Bowl recipe! If you are wondering, “What to serve with barbacoa beef?” Serve it over rice with whatever fresh veggies you like. You can’t go wrong with corn, black beans, green onions, tomatoes, avocados, and some cilantro! It also pairs well with my Brazilian Cheese Bread recipe.

Reasons to Love These Beef Barbacoa Bowls

  • Barbacoa Beef Bowls are very versatile. They can be customized with various toppings and sides.
  • This dish is convenient and easy to prepare. These bowls are perfect for quick meals without compromising on taste.
  • They’re an excellent way to transform leftover beef into a new and exciting dish.
  • Barbacoa Beef Bowls pack a punch of rich, savory flavors.
  • Offering a mix of protein, carbs, and vegetables, they’re a well-rounded, nutritious meal option.

Recipe Ingredients

Barbacoa beef in a bowl topped with various toppings.
  • Barbacoa Beef: This beef gives a tender, juicy texture and rich, spicy flavor that provides essential protein and depth of taste.
  • Black Beans: Add a creamy texture and earthy flavor. It also boosts the dish’s fiber content and complements the beef’s richness.
  • Avocado: Offers a creamy, buttery texture and a mild, nutty taste. It adds a layer of richness and healthy fats to the bowl.
  • Cilantro Leaves: Bring a fresh, citrusy note that cuts through the heaviness of the beef.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Quinoa or Cauliflower Rice for a Low-Carb Option: Replace the white rice with quinoa for a protein-packed alternative or cauliflower rice for a lower-carb version. Both substitutes will maintain the bowl’s heartiness while catering to different nutritional needs.
  • Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potato: Add roasted sweet potato cubes tossed with chipotle powder for a smoky, sweet element. This not only adds a vibrant color and a different layer of flavor but also increases the nutritional value with added fiber and vitamins.
  • Grilled Vegetable Mix: Incorporate a mix of grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and red onions. You can grill these vegetables with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Adding grilled vegetables introduces a charred, smoky flavor that complements the barbacoa beef well.
  • Pickled Red Onions and Jalapeños: For a tangy kick, add pickled red onions and jalapeños. The acidity and spiciness from the pickles will cut through the richness of the beef and add a refreshing contrast to the other components of the bowl.
  • Creamy Cilantro-Lime Dressing: While the original recipe keeps it simple with lime juice, you can elevate the dish with a creamy cilantro-lime dressing. Blend together Greek yogurt (or a dairy-free alternative to keep it dairy-free), lime juice, cilantro, a clove of garlic, and a touch of honey (or agave) until smooth. Drizzle over the bowls for a creamy, zesty finish.
  • Salsa Addition: For a tangy and slightly spicy twist, add a spoonful of homemade or store-bought salsa to each bowl.

How to Make Barbacoa Beef Bowls

Step #1: In a large bowl, toss together the warm rice and fresh lime juice. Divide evenly and place in four serving bowls.

Step #2: Into each bowl, place ½ cup of the shredded beef, ½ cup of tomatoes, ¼ of the beans, ¼ cup of corn, ⅛ cup of green onion, and ¼ of the avocado.

Step #3: Garnish each bowl with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves.

Barbacoa beef in a bowl topped with avocado and cilantro.

Expert Tips

  • Season Your Base: Infuse the rice or any base alternative (like quinoa or cauliflower rice) with additional flavors. Consider cooking it in broth instead of water and adding a bay leaf, garlic, or spices for depth.
  • Brighten with Fresh Herbs: Beyond cilantro, consider adding fresh mint or parsley for a unique twist. Fresh herbs add a burst of freshness and can complement the rich flavors of the beef and beans.
  • Add a Crunch Factor: Introduce texture with crunchy elements like radishes, jicama, or even toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) sprinkled on top for a contrast to the tender beef and creamy avocado.
  • Layer Flavors with Cheese: For those who aren’t dairy-free, a sprinkle of cotija or queso fresco adds a salty, crumbly texture that complements the other ingredients. Vegan cheese alternatives can also work for a dairy-free version.
  • Perfect the Garnish: Beyond cilantro, consider lime wedges, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt (or their dairy-free alternatives), and a final sprinkle of a spice blend like chili powder or smoked paprika for color and flavor.
Barbacoa beef in a bowl topped with avocado and cilantro.

Frequently Asked Questions

What sides go well with Barbacoa Beef Bowls?

Serve with tortilla chips, soft cheese tacos, a side salad, or grilled vegetables for a complete meal.

Can I make barbacoa beef with another type of meat?

Yes, you can use lamb, chicken, or pork as alternatives, adjusting the cooking time as needed.

Can I make this recipe in an instant pot?

Yes, the instant pot is great for barbacoa. Cook on high pressure for about 60 minutes.

Storage Info

Store the components of Barbacoa Beef Bowls separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator; they will stay good for up to 3-4 days. You can freeze the beef for up to 3 months for optimal quality. When ready to eat, reheat the beef gently in a microwave or on the stovetop until heated through. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. It’s best to prepare rice and other fresh toppings fresh when serving.

Barbacoa beef in a bowl topped with avocado and cilantro.

Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ rating below and share it on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest!

Barbacoa beef bowls served on a table.

Barbacoa Beef Bowls Recipe

Ditch the queue and savor homemade freshness with these effortless Barbacoa Beef Bowls, an ideal solution for transforming leftovers into a delightful, restaurant-quality meal right in your kitchen!
4.4 from 48 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 617kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked white rice - warmed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups Barbacoa Beef - warmed
  • 2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 14 ounce can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels - thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 large avocado - pitted and diced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, toss together the warm rice and fresh lime juice. Divide evenly and place in the four serving bowls.
  • Into each bowl, place ½ cup of the shredded beef, ½ cup of tomatoes, ¼ of the beans, ¼ cup of corn, ⅛ cup of green onion, and ¼ of the avocado.
  • Garnish each bowl with a tablespoon of chopped cilantro leaves.

NOTES

Storage Info:
Store the components of Barbacoa Beef Bowls separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator; they will stay good for up to 3-4 days. You can freeze the beef for up to 3 months for optimal quality. When ready to eat, reheat the beef gently in a microwave or on the stovetop until heated through. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. It’s best to prepare rice and other fresh toppings fresh when serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 617kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 874mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 864IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3mg

Want more inspiration?

More Recipes You'll Love

About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click on the Stars below to share your Rating of this Recipe




Comments:

  1. Barbacoa seem like a nice change, love cooked meat! So thank you for this recipe, I’ve never made barbacoa beef before!

  2. These beef bowls look super delicious, nutritious and packed full of yummy flavour. Definitely a great recipe I will be making for dinner tonight.. thanks for sharing it!