Short on time? This Slow Cooker BBQ is the ultimate ‘set it & forget it’ kind of meal!
Meal prep magic
It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with meal prepping around here. It’s literally our secret weapon when it comes to eating healthy despite all the ‘fullness’ our lives have to offer. Having a fridge full of ready-to-cook meals, reheat and eat meals and salads and snacks prepped and ready to go means we don’t have to wonder ‘what’s for dinner?’ or rely on sheer willpower to stay out of the fast food drive-thru.
If the idea of meal prepping is new to you – or you’re a seasoned meal prepper who’s strayed from your weekly habit or taken some time off (it happens, especially during the holidays!) – then check out our 7 Steps for Mastering Meal Planning in 2018 to get you started or help you rekindle your meal prep mojo.
Now that we’ve got that little PSA out of way, let’s talk about one of my favorite meal prep recipes of all time: Slow Cooker BBQ Beef
I love this recipe because:
- Makes a huge batch – enough to serve 10-12 – so it’s perfect for batch cooking and for parties or potlucks
- Uses an less expensive cut of meat
- Freezes well
- Can be used several different ways – stuffed in a sweet potato, served over cauliflower rice or a bed of greens, wrapped in lettuce or collard leaves, added to eggs or even served on a gluten-free bun if you’re not doing a Whole30
- It’s amily-friendly and kid-approved
- Requires just 15-20 minutes of prep time – even less if you skip the browning/searing step
- It’s Whole30-friendly – no sugar, dairy, gluten or soy; just real food ingredients you might already have on hand
If you’re not already convinced that this Slow Cooker BBQ Beef deserves a place on your meal plan, then let me show you just how easy it is.
Start with good onions. I prefer the jumbo sweet onions for their flavor and because they cook down nice and soft – which is great if you have little ones who like to pick things out of their food. These onions are nearly indistinguishable from the meat thanks to the acid from the vinegar and tomatoes and the long cooking time.
Wondering if you should purchase grass-fed beef? Learn how to choose quality red meat in this post!
Browning the meat before tossing it in the slow cooker is totally optional. Cutting the roast into smaller chunks makes it easier to handle and also helps the meat cook faster and more evenly (and IMHO, you get a more tender, fall apart product in the end). It’s also easier to handle in the pan if you do choose to brown it first.
Place the onion in the slow cooker, add the beef and then the sauce (which I alluded to earlier, is super simple and you likely have everything already on hand!) Now give it a good stir to coat the meat and onions with the sauce.
Now, put the lid on the slow cooker, set it to low and walk away for 8-10 hours. When you return you’ll have a whole mess of beautiful and super versatile BBQ beef to do with as you please.
I personally love it stuffed into a baked sweet potato and topped with my simple 4-ingredient coleslaw for the ultimate Whole30-friendly comfort meal!
Now it’s your turn.
- 2 ¾ – 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil (optional, for searing meat)
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon oregano, dried
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Simple Cole Slaw
- 1 (9-ounce) bag coleslaw mix (shredded green cabbage, carrots, and red cabbage)
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise (such as Primal Kitchen or vegan mayonnaise for egg-free)
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Place the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cut beef roast into 3 chunks, about 1 pound each. If searing meat before placing in the slow cooker, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven or other large pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the all of the beef and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, turning each piece once.
- Transfer the meat to the slow cooker with the onions.
- In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, water, garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well then pour over the beef and onions. Stir to coat the meat and onions.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW heat for 8-10 hours or until the meat is tender and shreds easily.
- Remove the meat from slow cooker to a baking dish and shred with 2 forks. Return the meat to slow cooker and stir into the onions and sauce before serving.
- To make the Coleslaw: Add the coleslaw mix or cabbage to a medium bowl. To a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder. Whisk well to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Store leftover beef and coleslaw may be stored in a separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Beef may be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 4 ounces
- Calories: 384
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 275mg
- Fat: 24g
- Carbohydrates: 4g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 35g
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