Crock Pot Cooking Makes Life Better: Chalupa!


We LOVE Mexican food around here!  Happily, one of my favorite Mexican recipes is also a slow cooker recipe!  Chalupa is an awesome meal—it freezes well, is awesome in a bowl with tortilla chips on the bottom and cheese on top with sour cream.  It can be made ahead and re-heated. What I like to do is make it up and then freeze half of it.  Great meal after a long day.  Enjoy!

Put ingredients into the crock pot in this order:

1 pound pinto beans
1 large pork shoulder roast
7 cups water
1  onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can of dice jalapeños  (if you like it spicy)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chili powder or chipotle seasoning
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons oregano (mexican oregano if you have it)
pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in slow cooker or dutch oven. Cover and simmer (on low)  at least 5 hours, or until the roast falls apart and the beans are done. Uncover and cook about 1/2 hour, until it is as thick as you like it.

I serve this over chips, or with rice or quinoa.  It’s a GREAT recipe that is sure to please your whole family!

And in case you’re curious, (affiliate link ahead) I’m a Rival Crock-Pot fan!

About Heidi St. John

Heidi has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and three grandchildren! The St. Johns homeschooled their kids all the way through high school. Heidi is the the author of seven books, host of the popular podcast "Off the Bench," and the founder of MomStrong International, an online community of women learning God's Word and how to apply it to every day life. She and her husband Jay are also the founders of Firmly Planted Family and the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center, located in Vancouver, Washington.

102 thoughts on “Crock Pot Cooking Makes Life Better: Chalupa!

  1. How many pounds is that roast? The recipe looks great! Our family really likes a chicken recipe with a lot of similarities. 🙂

    1. Ya know Rebecca, I’m not sure! It was from a friend—straight from her farm and it was not labeled. In fact it ended up that it was so big I had to cut it in half and use it in two crockpots for two recipes. I’d say it was at least ten pounds before I cut it in half… it was delicious! Most of the chalupa is now in the freezer.

  2. Oh, I should have looked closer at the picture. I see the dried beans. Also the can of jalapenos which I didn’t see in the recipe, but since we like spicy at our house, that sounds good. Do you cook the jalapenos in or add them in the individual bowls?

  3. Question about the recipe: I’ve just put it all together and realized I didn’t put the chipotle spice in…. Your recipe says Chili Powder but your picture shows chipotle? Also your picture shows jalapeño in the can but it’s not listed on the recipe. I put in chili powder. Did you mean chipotle chili powder?

    1. Hi Laurie, the recipe I used does call for chili powder but I use chipotle instead. Give it a try some time 😉 I put jalapeño in at the end too, for those who like spicier chalupa. How did yours turn out?

  4. This recipe sounds so good and easy too! Thank you for sharing, the use of the crock pot more this year is on my list of ways to enjoy our new school year.

  5. I also have some shrimp but its raw. Maybe put some shrimp in there instead? What do you think? The seasonings together smell incredible. My dad eats meat but I dont, maybe I can put some chicken breasts in there and let them absorb the flavor but leave out the rest or add extra beans.

  6. Making this tomorrow… can’t wait to taste it. Bringing the recipe to our co-op to share since there are many who will probably enjoy it, too.

  7. So I made this tonight but it wasn’t done cooking at dinner time. Is 5 hours usually enough for you? I cooked it 6 (at 7 right now) and it still isn’t close to falling of the bone done. Really disappointed but I know it will be good in a few hours. It smells great I will just start it earlier next time.

    1. Hi Liz! Yes, when I do this in the crock pot I cook it all day. I think that it might depend on the slow cooker, too. Mine tends to be too hot so I watch it carefully. I’d say plan on at least six or seven hours. Let me know how it tastes!

  8. This also makes good burritos. Just strain the juices before putting it on the tortilla, add some cheese and roll. Yummy!

  9. I LOVE Penzeys! However, I have not tried the Chipotle yet. Is it spicy at all? Most of my family likes a little heat, but we have a few that are spice shy 😉

  10. Thank you! Made this tonight and half an hour away from trying it. It smells great, and couldn’t have been simpler! I really need more recipes like this…dinner would NOT have happened otherwise. Also, thank you for your encouragement, Heidi. I’m new to homeschool and sometimes getting dinner on the table and other logistics is the hardest part! Your blog has been a help to me. Blessings to you and your family.

  11. Glad to see someone else who uses “Penzeys” spices. My Husbands mom got us turned on to them and we have some of the original hand-typed labels in our spice cabinet 🙂

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  13. I have this in my crockpot right now, but don’t have time to cook it for 7 hours on low. Would you recommend I make other plans for dinner tonight and save this for tomorrow, or do you think 4-5 hours on high would produce the same results? (I’m a novice slow-cooker, so I’m not sure if this is a good idea or not.). Thanks for the recipe!

  14. I’m utilizing my crock pot today to prepare pork for pulled pork and jasmine rice. Will add ingredients a couple of hours before dinner to make a bbq sauce, heat a frozen veggie, and we will be set!

  15. I’m tempted to try this, but dry beans don’t get cooked in my crock pot. I tried baked beans in there once and ended up finishing them on the stove and serving them after dessert.

    1. You probably have hard water. Try soaking the beans in water and baking soda – you can do a boil and soak method or an overnight soak, then pour off the water, rinse, and add to crock pot. At least than helped me.

  16. Excited for this one, starting to plan out my menus for going Monthly again (you can come see if you want a link). I was so glad to see you using Penzeys! I tell my friends and no one goes there. It is a great deal I think and the smell is fantastic! We don’t have good mexican food where we live, and I miss the flavors of home (CA). Thanks so much

  17. Great timing for this to hit my fb newsfeed. I had just taken out a pork roast for dinner. I will use lentils instead of the beans and change some of the seasoning to what I have on hand.

  18. I just put this in the crockpot this morning. I followed your recipe to a “T”, using the chipotle seasoning and it is WAY too spicy to eat! I can usually handle a little heat, but this is off the charts. I hope that my family will be able to eat it. My husband likes spicy, so we shall see!

    1. Haha! Sorry Stephanie! I LOVE spicy food and this is a good example of “make it your own” … let me know how it works for you! 🙂

  19. So excited to try this out today!! Our house is going to smell amazing when we get home from church! Thank you so much for all that you do for us busy moms, Heidi! Love your encouraging words and advice! Much love!
    Amber (mom Asa,8, Lily 4, and Silas, 5 months)

  20. I made this 2 nights ago and it was fantastic! I didn’t have to add/alter anything. It makes a HUGE amount, and we are just a family of 3, so after enjoying, I did freeze some like you suggested and then I gave the rest to my dad. He loved it, too! 🙂 I served mine over quinoa, but yes, this would be divine on top of tortilla chips.

    **GREAT** economical, tasty, and hassle-free dinner!!!

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