Easy dinners look like these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos! This recipe features chicken breasts, jarred salsa and a variety of spices for quick and flavorful tacos that can easily be customized to your liking.
Who doesn't love a slow cooker meal?! Slow cooker chicken tacos are where it's at, mostly because they require LESS than 5 minutes of prep work. This will quickly become your go-to chicken taco recipe!
I adore my slow cooker chicken stew and my slow cooker chicken thighs because both recipes cook the chicken perfectly without me having to do much work. Just let the crockpot do all of the cooking!
- Made with 3 main ingredients: chicken, spices and salsa (things you most likely already have on hand)
- Cooks the chicken in 4-5 hours, and leaves the chicken perfectly tender, juicy and easy to shred
- The tacos can have as many add-ons as you'd like!
Chicken - I used boneless skinless chicken breasts. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer -- just note that the cook time may vary a bit.
Salsa - Jarred salsa is the way to go! Any variety of red salsa works, but make sure to choose one you enjoy as the salsa will be a big contributing factor to the overall flavor of the chicken.
Taco seasoning - A combination of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, chipotle powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne works well as a homemade taco seasoning. If you have store-bought taco seasoning that you love, feel free to use that instead.
Tortillas - Corn tortillas or flour tortillas
Toppings - I used red onion, cilantro and avocado, but the possibilities are endless!
Step 1: Add the ingredients. Place the chicken on the bottom of your slow cooker, then pour the salsa and water overtop. Last, sprinkle all of the taco seasonings over everything.
Step 2: Cook the chicken. Place a lid on your crockpot, then cook the chicken on HIGH for 4-5 hours. The cook time will vary based on the thickness of the chicken.
Step 3: Shred the chicken. Once the time is up, use two forks to shred the chicken, then stir everything together.
Step 4: Assemble the tacos. Char the tortillas (optional), then add the shredded chicken, along with any toppings you have on hand.
Tips, tricks and FAQs
Can you put raw chicken in a slow cooker?
Yep! You can even put frozen raw chicken in the slow cooker if you'd like, and it'll thaw it and fully cook the chicken. Just note that if you are using frozen chicken, the total cook time will increase.
Why is my crockpot chicken tough?
Chicken cooked in a crockpot should never be tough. If it is, it probably means it was over-cooked. Always use a meat thermometer to check when the chicken is done to avoid over or under-cooking it.
Ways to customize chicken tacos:
- Use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts: If you do this, cook the thighs for 3 hours
- Hard taco shells can be used instead of soft tortillas for added crunch
- Instead of salsa and water, try using salsa and chicken broth
- Use different toppings, like sour cream, shredded cheese, guacamole, diced tomato, shredded lettuce, jalapeños, black beans, a sprinkle of lime juice or even a drizzle of chipotle aioli
More ways to use crockpot shredded chicken
In bowls! Don't want tacos? Create a build-your-own taco bowls station. Other options include: in burritos, enchiladas, wraps, on a taco salad, on top of nachos -- SO many options!
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Or, wait for the chicken to cool slightly, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze the chicken for up to 3 months
Reheating: Reheat leftovers in the microwave, or place chicken in a casserole dish, then heat it in the oven at 350° until it's warm. Alternatively, you can warm frozen cooked shredded chicken in your slow cooker as well.
More tasty taco recipes
If you made this recipe, be sue to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
- Slow cooker
- 2 lb. chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 16 oz. salsa (1 jar); any kind
- ¼ cup water
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne or more if you want it spicier
- 8 corn tortillas
- toppings: avocado, red onion, cheddar cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, etc.
- Place the chicken inside your slow cooker, then pour the salsa and water over top. Sprinkle the seasonings over everything, place a lid on top and cook the chicken on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
- Once the chicken is done, use two forks to shred it, then give everything a good stir.
- Last, assemble your tacos: char the tortillas (optional -- I usually do this directly over the stove), then place the chicken, along with any toppings in the tacos (I used red onion, avocado and cilantro). Enjoy!
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