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Texas Slow Cooker Beef Shoulder Roast

Slow cooker beef shoulder roast is the perfect option for pulled beef to make tacos, sandwiches, loaded fries or mac ‘n’ cheese, and more. Shoulder roast is a bit leaner than chuck roast but still works great for slow cooking and shredding.

With only five ingredients, this is one of the easier slow cooker pulled beef recipes you’ll come across. I’ve also included my favorite ways to serve it in the post below. But let’s take a look at how to make it first.

How to Make Beef Shoulder Roast in a Slow Cooker

To make this Texas-style pulled beef, you’ll need beef fajita seasoning, ranch seasoning, pickled jalapeño peppers, and a large white onion. You can also add some butter or beef tallow, but that’s optional.

You’ll also need a beef shoulder roast or chuck roast. If you’re looking for even leaner options, go for eye of round or bottom round roast. My low fat pot roast and barbacoa beef both use these to make surprisingly moist and tender shredded beef with very little fat.

I’ve also used big, two-pound top round steaks to make a slow cooker beef enchilada casserole if you want to check out another alternative.

beef shoulder roast with beef fajita seasoning, sliced onion, pickled jalapeño slices, ranch seasoning, and butter

For the beef fajita seasoning, I used the same H-E-B blend from my Mexican shredded beef and grilled beef fajitas recipes. It includes a meat tenderizer in addition to salt and spices. So if you’re using another seasoning, look for something similar on the ingredient list.

seasoned roast on top of sliced onion in the slow cooker pot

The seasoned beef goes in the slow cooker on top of a bed of sliced white onion. The onion and beef shoulder roast will release enough liquid and fat during slow cooking to prevent the need for any additional broth or cooking liquid.

Top everything off with some Hidden Valley ranch seasoning (or homemade ranch seasoning) and pickled jalapeño peppers before covering and slow cooking for eight to ten hours. I like to add some small slices of butter for good measure, but the beef turns out just fine without it.

cooked beef after 9 hours

The beef should be fall apart tender when you remove it to shred. Check out the video from my chuck roast tacos recipe for a visual example.

pulled beef shoulder roast back in the slow cooker with the onions and remaining juices

Once the beef is pulled, I like to let it hang out with the onions and remaining juices for about 30 minutes before serving. The slow cooked beef shoulder roast will absorb most of the juices while resting.

shredded slow cooked beef shoulder roast with lime wedges and fresh cilantro

You can also add brightness to the dish at this point with some fresh herbs and acidity via lime juice or your favorite vinegar. Though if you plan to serve this in a variety of ways, it might be best to play it safe with added flavors.

Ways to Serve Texas Pulled Beef

This easiest solution is to toss your slow cooker shoulder roast in some tortillas for awesome pulled beef tacos. It also makes great enchiladas, burritos, taquitos, and just about any other Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes you can think of.

sheet pan of tacos with pulled beef

With the onion-heavy flavor of this pulled beef, it also works great for dishes like beefy mac and cheese, loaded fries or baked potatoes, sandwiches, and other meat-filled dishes.

Check out my BBQ chicken mac and cheese and cheeseburger fries recipes to learn how to make high protein mac and cheese or loaded baked/air fried fries with this slow cooked shoulder roast.

skillet of pulled beef mac and cheese

It’s hard to go wrong! I’m curious to see how you put your slow cooker beef shoulder roast to use. Let me know in a comment or recipe review below.

shredded slow cooked beef shoulder roast with lime wedges and fresh cilantro

Slow Cooker Texas Beef Shoulder Roast

Yield: 12 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

Fajita seasoned beef shoulder roast slow cooked over sliced onions with pickled jalapeño peppers and ranch seasoning.


  • 2.5 pound Boneless Beef Shoulder Roast*
  • 2 Tablespoons Beef Fajita Seasoning**
  • 1 large (200g) White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Ranch Seasoning
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Pickled Jalapeño Slices
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Butter or Beef Tallow (optional)


  1. Add the sliced onion to the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Season the beef with the fajita seasoning on all sides and place on top of the sliced onion.
  3. Top the roast with the ranch seasoning, pickled jalapeño with some of the juice, and the optional butter.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until the beef easily shreds with a fork.
  5. Transfer the beef to a bowl and shred before adding back to the remaining juices along with some fresh cilantro and lime wedges (if you plan to make tacos or Tex-Mex dishes). Set the slow cooker to its keep warm function and let the beef rest for 30-60 minutes before serving, if possible.


*Chuck roast works great as a replacement. Leaner options include eye of round roast (115 calories, 23 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fat per 100 grams raw) and bottom round roast (140 calories, 22 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fat per 100 grams raw). Compare that to the 175 calories, 19 grams of protein, and 11 grams of fat in 100 grams of raw beef shoulder roast. Source: USDA Food Database.

**I used H-E-B beef fajita seasoning, which is a blend of salt, spices, and a meat tenderizer. Similar products: Bolner's Fiesta, Meat Church Dia de La Fajita Rub, or McCormick fajita rub with tenderizer. You can also add natural tenderizers like pineapple or kiwi. Read more about tenderizing with kiwi and enzymes in my grilled flanken short ribs recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: about 4 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 18g

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Jon D

Wednesday 24th of April 2024

This recipe is amazing!! I love the added flavors... jalapeno, ranch, and the tenderizer's combination adds so, so much. I was a little skeptical at first since most roasts add water before beginning, but after 8 or so hours, the onions and beef creates a pool of juices all by itself!

Also, this roast beef makes really good quesadillas!!


Wednesday 10th of January 2024

Thanks for the recipe. I can't wait to try this! I'm going to use it to make enchiladas. To my fellow Texans, H-E-B has shoulder roast on sale this week (Jan. 10-Jan. 16, 2024).

J Ford

Thursday 30th of November 2023

YUM! I don't usually cook with beef but this recipe was so easy and SO delicious. We used it to make burritos with cheese and fresh lime. I may try using leftovers in a wonton wrapper for beef egg rolls. Thanks for a great recipe!

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