Slow cooker turkey barbacoa

Hi friends! How’s the morning going? I’m so glad it’s almost the weekend, and can’t believe Livi will be 5 on Sunday. Someone hold me.

Today, I’m so excited I get to share a recipe from a new ebook, Real Food Slow Cooker Recipes, written by my foodie blogger friend, Arsy Vartanian from Rubies & Radishes. Arsy and I first met through the Beautycounter world, and have become friends this past year. I love keeping up with everything she’s up to, and was so excited to hear about her new ebook. You really can’t beat a nutritious, delicious meal that only requires minimal prep. A few minutes chopping, sautéing, or blending, throw it in a slow cooker and get on with your day – dinner’s ready when you are!

Real Food Slow Cooker Recipes by Arsy Vartanian

Not only are all of Arsy’s dishes delicious, but each of the 70+ recipes included in the ebook are strictly Paleo — no grains, dairy, sugar, natural sweeteners, legumes or alcohol. Just nutrient-dense flavor in every comforting bite. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve really cleaned up my eating, no needless to say, all of these recipes are speaking my language.

There’s such a great variety of recipes in Real Food Slow Cooker Recipes – it’ll work for whatever you happen to have in your fridge. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one that really popped out to me: Turkey Barbacoa. This easy recipe takes just a few minutes to throw together before it hits the slow cooker, and it makes the house smell amazing.

Turkey Barbacoa


Turkey Barbacoa

  • Author: Arsy Vartanian


  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 18-ounce jar plum tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1?2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 6 ancho chilies, seeds removed OR 4 dried pasilla and 4 guajillo peppers, stem and partial seeds removed
  • 4 turkey drumsticks OR 2 turkey drumsticks and 2 turkey thighs


  1. Toast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Place seeds in a food processor. Heat up pan to medium-high heat and add tomatoes, garlic, onion and salt.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer this mix to the food processor. Add the chicken broth and cumin.
  5. After the peppers are seeded, place in food processor and blend until it becomes a sauce.
  6. Place turkey in a slow cooker and pour the sauce over it. Cook on low for 6 hours. Remove turkey from the sauce and place in a separate bowl.
  7. Shred turkey in a separate plate/bowl and not over the sauce to avoid small bones falling in. Once done, transfer to the sauce and mix. Cook in saucepan to thicken.


  • Serving Size: 8

Please let me know if you give it a try!



More good news: Fitnessista readers get 30% off Real Food Slow Cooker Recipes! Just use the code FITNESSISTA30 at checkout!

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  1. Nathaly @NathyCure on January 5, 2017 at 6:58 am

    I’ve been thinking on getting a slow cooker lately. Recipes like this one are certainly motivating my decision on buying one.

  2. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on January 5, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Always looking for new slow cooker recipes, mainly because I hate doing dishes! ha ha

  3. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on January 5, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Sounds delicious! Slow Cooker meals for the win!!!

  4. Sam @ Hygge Wellness on January 5, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Ooh this looks so good! It can be hard to find healthy slow cooker recipes, so I’m really excited to check out Arsy’s cookbook. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Katy on January 11, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Can you make this with chicken?

    • Fitnessista on January 11, 2017 at 11:44 am

      yes, i don’t see why not!

  6. Duhh on February 3, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Lol this recipe sucks do y ou even know what barbacoa is.

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