Barbacoa Pita Sandwiches



This has been my go-to lunch for my last summer days. Once you’ve prepared the barbacoa and cabbage, it’s easy and quick. The cucumber, carrot, and cabbage together provide a cooling crunch that compliments the spicier, heartier barbacoa. When I made this for my lunches for the week, I prepared each component separately (prepping the carrots and cucumber by cutting them), and then assembled the sandwich right before serving.

Barbacoa Pita Sandwiches
Makes 3-4 pita sandwiches

  • 1/2 large cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • heaping cup of cabbage slaw (see recipe here)
  • heaping cup of barbacoa (see recipe below)
  • 4 whole wheat pita breads

Cut pita bread in half. Stuff evenly with cucumber, carrot, and cabbage slaw. Add in barbacoa last. I personally liked the cucumber, carrot, and cabbage super chilled, so I kept them in the fridge until right before assembly. The barbacoa was best hot, so I would microwave it right before putting it in the sandwich.


Slow Cooker Barbacoa
Although this barbacoa is featured as part of these pita sandwiches, it’s a recipe that can easily hold its own, or be adapted in other ways. I’ve also had this with more traditional Mexican ingredients, like salsa and guacamole.

Adapted from

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce + 1 tablespoon of adobe sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2.5-3 pounds chuck roast

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed. Place roast in slow cooker. Rub sauce on roast and then pour chicken stock over roast. Put on high for 6 hours, or low for 10. I personally think you get a better result on the low setting, but high works if you’re in a rush. One last touch that I do if I have time, or notice that the meat is a little tougher than I want is to finish in a dutch oven at 275 in the oven for another hour. This makes the meat even a little more tender.

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