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Mexican Pot Roast- Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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Mexican Pot Roast has tender pieces of beef in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. Serve the pot roast with Rice and Beans or use it for a filling in Tamales.

Overhead view of Mexican pot roast on a plate with white rice and black beans.

This Mexican-inspired Pot Roast has warm spices, onions, and bell pepper. The chuck roast turns out so tender in the Instant Pot, or you can use a slow cooker.

This Mexican Shredded Beef is also delicious.


I’ve simplified this recipe to make it an easy weeknight meal, but it doesn’t lack in flavor. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Beef Chuck Roast
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chili Powder
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Bell Pepper
Ingredients labeled with text, Chile powder, garlic, tomato sauce, yellow onion, chuck roast, red bell pepper.

I also add a little vinegar at the end to bring out some brightness. Otherwise, if you like olives, add a few spoons of olives and the brine at the end instead of vinegar. 

Chili Powder I love the sweet and smokiness in ancho chili powder, but you can use regular chili powder.

GarlicFresh minced garlic is going to give the best flavor, but you can substitute granulated garlic. 

Bell Pepper-  I like to cook the red bell peppers with the meat, because they melt into the sauce, but if you want some crunch you can add some sliced bell peppers at the end for some color and crunch. 

Onion– I used a sweet yellow onion, but I’ve also tested it with white onion, both will work but the yellow onion adds a little sweetness.

Chuck RoastThis is what I used and have tested the recipe with this cut of beef. I trim some of the excess fat, if there’s a lot, but keep most of the fat on for flavor and moisture. 

How to Make

Start by adding the tomato sauce into the instant pot or slow cooker. I have never gotten the burn notice on my instant pot with using just tomato sauce. If you are worried that will happen, then add 1 cup of water with the tomato sauce.

Uncooked Beef roast with chili powder, sliced onions, bell peppers, and garlic inside a pot.

I’ve tested this recipe 2 different ways, leaving the chuck roast whole, and slicing it into big chunks. If the chuck roast is under 3 pounds and will fit in the pot, you can leave it whole. Otherwise, slice it into large chunks.

Add the chili powder, garlic, bell pepper, and onion on top of the meat. Place the lid on and follow these time for the instant pot.

Chuck Roast Weight and Instant Pot Cook Times:

  • 3 pounds- 65 min (High Pressure)
  • 4 pounds- 70 min (High Pressure)
  • 5 pounds- 75 min (High Pressure)

For the Slow Cooker I prefer to cook it on low for 8 hours.

Once the timer goes off, I turn the instant pot off and leave it alone for another 15 minutes. Then with a towel or wooden spoon, I turn the valve to venting over my kitchen hood.

Mexican pot roast in white dish with bell peppers and onions on the side.

How to serve the Mexican Pot Roast

This Mexican Pot roast turns out so flavorful and tender. My family loves eating it with Mexican white rice and black beans.

Tacos or BurritosThis beef is also great on tacos and topped with cilantro and diced onion. You could do a larger burrito and add rice, beans, and the Mexican Pot Roast.

A gold fork holding Mexican shredded beef over a plate.

Salad or BowlsA great healthy option is a taco salad using crisp romaine or iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and jalapenos for spice. 

Leftovers taste even better the next day, and the Mexican Pot Roast can be frozen in an airtight bag up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the bag overnight then heat in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.

More Instant Pot Recipes:

Feature image of Mexican Pot Roast with black beans and white rice.

Mexican Pot Roast Recipe

Mexican Pot Roast has tender pieces of beef in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. Serve the pot roast with Rice and Beans or use it for a filling in Tamales.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8


  • 15 ounce Tomato Sauce
  • 3 pounds Chuck Roast Seasoned with Salt and Pepper on both sides
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Yellow Onion Sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper Sliced
  • 1 Sliced Jalapeno Optional if you want some spice
  • 1 tablespoon Vinegar Add When Done. Or add Olives and Brine instead of vinegar.


Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Add tomato sauce to instant pot. Season Chuck Roast on both sides with Salt and Pepper and add to Instant Pot. If the Chuck Roast is too big, cut into pieces to fill bottom of pot but in an even layer. 
  • Sprinkle Chili powder evenly, add minced garlic, then scatter sliced onions and bell peppers over chuck roast. Place lid on Instant Pot and set valve to 'Sealing'.
  • Cook on high pressure: (3 lbs- 65 min, 4 lbs- 70 min, 5 lbs- 75 min) Then let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Release remaining pressure when done. 
  • Open the lid carefully and shred the meat in the pot. Add vinegar and stir, or add olives and brine instead of vinegar. If the meat is not tender, cook for 5 extra minutes.
  • Serve with Rice and Black Beans or tortillas

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients, except for vinegar, in order shown. Cook on low for 8 hours. Once done, shred meat in pot. Add vinegar and stir, or add olives and brine instead of vinegar.
  • Serve with Rice and Black Beans or tortillas.



I have never gotten the burn notice on the Instant Pot, but if you are concerned or get the burn notice often, add 1 cup of water with the tomato sauce before adding the chuck roast.


Calories: 333kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 34gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 408mgPotassium: 798mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1015IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword Mexican Pot Roast
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  1. Super easy to make and the instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Would highly recommend and will be making this again!

  2. Sounds like a lovely recipe I bought corn husks today a big bag will I be able to freeze them and is there a special way to do so thank you ✌️

    1. Hi Laura, I’ve never frozen the actual husk before, but I have made tamales, cooked them, allow them to cool completely then freeze them in a zip top bag. To eat, just re-steam them until they are hot. about 30 minutes. Hope tha helps!

  3. I ended out having to make this pot-in-pot since the tomato sauce started to burn and I got a “burn” error on my Instant Pot setting.

    1. I’m sorry you got the burn notice. You can try adding a cup of water with the tomato sauce next time. also did you saute the meat first or place in in as is? Sometimes sauteing can cause the burn notice if the pot isn’t cleaned out before cooking.

  4. Delish!! I love now that I have a delish alternative then a regular roast! Thank you! By the way I tweaked some of the recipe, I seared my roast first in the instant pot and added el’ pato tomato jalapeño sauces instead of regular tomato sauce, and a small bunch of cilantro just to season then I removed.. and I used Sazon seasoning along with the recipes ingredients super yummy!