Mexican Beef Stew

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This Mexican Beef Stew is a rich, hearty stew with subtle heat and loads of flavor. Using leftover shredded barbacoa beef cuts the cooking time for this stew in half and makes this an excellent weeknight dinner for chilly fall nights.

This post is sponsored by Ohio Beef. As always, all opinions are my own.

Spicy Beef Stew for Cold Winter Nights

Blue ladle scooping Mexican Beef Stew from a Dutch Oven.

We already know how much I love Crock Pot Barbacoa Tacos, but what we haven’t talked about is the leftovers. Sure, you know the beef can be used in Doritos Taco Salad or Skillet Nachos, but what about all those delicious juices?

It would be an absolute shame to let a crock pot full of rich, spicy beef broth go to waste, and that’s where this Mexican Beef Stew comes in.

This stew is made with leftover barbacoa beef, including the incredible broth it leaves behind. Because the broth has so much flavor, it doesn’t need any additional seasonings. Just add a few veggies, and you’ve got a hearty, spicy beef stew that will warm you from the inside out!

This stew was my husband’s favorite of the three recipes we made with our leftover barbacoa, and we think you’re going to love it too!

Two bowls of Mexican Beef Stew on a speckled beige background with cilantro sprigs.

Here’s Why You’re Going to Love this Mexican Beef Stew:

  • It’s fast! While most beef stews take well over an hour to make, this one can be on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes!
  • It prevents food waste. This recipe transforms leftovers into an exciting new dinner.
  • It uses pantry staples. There’s a great chance you already have the extra ingredients for this stew hanging out in your pantry!
  • It’s packed with nutrients. A 3 ounce serving of beef provides essential nutrients like iron, protein, and zinc in a 200 calorie package. Pair that with a slew of vegetables, and you’ve got a balanced, nourishing meal that’ll keep your whole family fueled for the day.

The next time you make a big batch of barbacoa, save all those yummy juices and make yourself a pot of stew. You won’t regret it!

Key Ingredients:

Ingredients for beef stew arranged on a white background- barbacoa beef, corn, cilantro, avocado, onion, broth, canned tomatoes, potatoes.
  • Leftover barbacoa beef and broth– I usually make this stew on the second or third day after preparing the barbacoa. I save the beef separate from the broth in a container with some of the juices. Pour the rest of the juices into a large container and refrigerate. Skim excess fat off the top before adding to the stew.
  • Chopped yellow onion
  • Baby red potatoes– Or use Yukon golds, if you prefer.
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Corn kernels- Fresh or frozen works great
  • Avocado, cilantro, and lime, for serving

How to Make Mexican Beef Stew

Ladle full of Mexican Beef Stew with barbacoa, potatoes, corn, and tomatoes in a Dutch Oven.
  1. Coat a dutch oven (<<<here’s my favorite) or other heavy bottomed pot with oil. Saute the onion until softened.
  2. Add potatoes, barbacoa, diced tomatoes, broth, and water. Be sure to scrape up any of the delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan!
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil until the potatoes are softened, 15-20 minutes, stirring in the corn for the last 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with avocado, fresh cilantro, and lime!

Storage + Freezing

Scalloped bowl filled with Barbacoa Stew and garnished with lime wedges.
  • Make the beef and broth ahead of time: The barbacoa can be prepared several days in advance. Store in the fridge until ready to cook. It can also be cooled and frozen for up to 4 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight then cook the soup as usual!
  • Storing leftover soup: Place in an airtight container in the fridge. The stew will keep for up to 5 days.
  • To freeze the soup: After cooling, store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. I love freezing individual portions of the stew to take out for quick lunches. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave. Larger portions can be heated on the stove top.
Spoon taking a bite out of a bowl of Mexican Beef Stew.

More Hearty Stew Recipes You Might Enjoy

Looking for more ways to incorporate protein-packed beef into your diet? Visit for more tips, recipes, and nutrition information, and meet the farmers who are committed to raising cattle in a safe, humane, and environmentally sustainable way.

Scoop of Mexican Beef Stew in a blue and white ladle.

Mexican Beef Stew

Rich and hearty Mexican Beef Stew is made in just 30 minutes thanks to leftover shredded barbacoa beef!
4.7 from 9 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 391kcal


  • Olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 3 cups shredded barbacoa beef
  • 1 lb baby red potatoes (quartered)
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 3 cups broth from barbacoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • Chopped avocado, cilantro, and lime, for serving


  • Coat a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot with oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, barbacoa, and diced tomatoes with their juices, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in broth and water. Bring to a boil and boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, 15-20 minutes, stirring in the corn for the last 5 minutes.
  • Serve the stew with avocado, cilantro, and lime.


  • Leftover stew keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mexican beef stew


Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 1045mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 5mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a review, Mention @NeighborFoodie, or tag #neighborfoodies!


  1. I followed the recipe exactly as is and found it to be a delicious way to use up left over barbacoa. I saved all the broth from the barbacoa cook to add to this recipe.

    The only thing I’d change next time, would be to use hominy rather than potatoes. They hold up better if over cooked. Otherwise it’s a great recipe will try again.

  2. great alternative beef stew for me, I could even eat it now in the still remaining heat of summer! Barbacoa beef is a nice tweak, thank you

4.67 from 9 votes (9 ratings without comment)

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