Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos are great for those days that you know are going to be super busy but you still want to come home and have dinner as a family. Everything gets tossed in the crock pot and cooks all day until you’re home and ready to eat it!

close up overhead shot of three slow cooker chicken tacos


 

About a week ago I polled my readers on Facebook to see if they preferred tacos to burritos. I think the proof was in the numbers when an overwhelming number of individuals responded back with a strong “TACOS!!!!” Pulled chicken tacos, to be more specific. 

Shredded chicken tacos are also great for potlucks and other parties. Just prep ahead of time and have it ready to go for your guests. Even better just throw a taco party because everyone would come to that. I mean, who would say no to a taco bar?

close up of shredded taco chicken

Why These Tacos Are Awesome!

Flavorful chicken cooked in the crock pot with basic ingredients to make the most flavorful taco- what’s not to love!

  • Set it and forget it – This is an easy recipe that pretty much makes itself! A slow cooker meal is the perfect way to make dinner for the whole family in no time at all.
  • Great for meal prep – If you like prepping lunches ahead of time, this chicken is great to make with rice for easy dinners or lunches.
  • Easy to customize – While this chicken tastes great in crunchy tacos shells, you can add it to just about anything!

Ingredients

This recipe is made from just a handful of simple ingredients. You can easily find them at your local grocery store.

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast – I much prefer to use boneless chicken breasts, but you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, Keep in mind that the cooking time might change and the temperature for cooking thighs is different.
  • Red onion – Make sure this is chopped. I like the color and flavor of a red onion, but if you’d like  milder flavor, try using a yellow onion.
  • Canned corn – We use canned corn for simplicity, but if you’d like to use fresh corn, be my guest. 
  • Black beans – You can easily use a can of black beans. It adds protein and texture to these tacos.
  • Garlic – I always prefer to use fresh minced garlic rather than the jarred stuff. It’s much more pungent and flavorful.
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds so much flavor and even a little color to this crockpot shredded chicken tacos recipe.
  • Taco seasoning – You can easily use a packet taco seasoning, or try my homemade taco seasoning recipe.
  • Lime juice – Freshly squeezed lime juice adds the perfect amount of acidity and zest to this simple recipe.
  • Chicken stock – I like to use chicken stock or even vegetable stock for more flavor, but you can also use water if you don’t have stock. Low sodium is always best so you control the saltiness.
  • Instant rice – You can always make this on the side, but I like to mix it right in with the chicken.
  • Flour tortillas – I like to use flour tortillas, but feel free to use corn tortillas or even crunchy taco shells instead.
overhead shot of slow cooker chicken tacos ingredients in slow cooker

How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Taco night just got a whole lot easier with this crockpot chicken tacos recipe.

  1. Add ingredients to slow cooker. In the pot of a slow cooker, combine the chicken breasts, red onion, corn, beans, garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning, lime juice and chicken broth or water. Stir to evenly combine the seasoning blend.
  2. Cook chicken. Set the slow cooker to high until the chicken breasts are easily shredded with two forks and register at 165°F on a digital thermometer.
  3. Shred chicken. Remove the chicken and shred using two forks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the instant rice. Cover and continue to cook until rice fully cooks.
  4. Add to tortillas. There might be some liquid remaining in the bottom, so use a slotted spoon to serve in flour tortillas. Top with your favorite taco toppings.

How to Serve Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

While the most obvious way to use this shredded chicken taco meat is to make easy tacos. However, you can add the chicken to almost anything.

Serve it over Mexican rice to make burrito bowls. For a low carb version of crock pot chicken tacos, try adding it to lettuce wraps with your favorite toppings.

You can add this taco chicken on top of nachos or even turn it into chicken enchiladas. Juicy shredded chicken is a great way to make so much more than just easy chicken tacos.

Serve the tacos with a side of cilantro lime rice, black beans, refried beans or even homemade tortilla chips with a jar of salsa.

Taco Topping Ideas

Don’t forget to have all your toppings ready to go to load up your slow cooker chicken tacos. Here are a few of my favorite taco toppings: 

  • Crumbled queso fresco 
  • Crema Mexicana
  • A dollop of sour cream
    or greek yogurt
  • Black olives
  • Salsa
  • Crushed tortilla chips

I also use soft flour tortillas with this recipe, but if you’re a hard taco kind of person then feel free to use those instead. Corn tortillas can also be used. I personally love the carb balance tortillas- they are soft, but have fewer calories and tons of fiber!

Storage and Freezing

These can be made ahead of time for meal prep and even frozen for a later date!

How to Store Shredded Chicken for Tacos

Keep all elements of your tacos separate when being stored; this includes the shredded chicken, toppings and tortillas. Leftover chicken meat is good for up to five days stored in the refrigerator.

How to Freeze Shredded Chicken for Tacos

Shredded tender chicken can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or using the defrost mode of a microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions

What salsa goes best with soft chicken tacos?

These pulled chicken tacos can use any salsa recipe you like. They are also flavorful enough to not really need a salsa if you prefer to not use one.
Salsas don’t have to be hot or spicy. In fact, the word salsa just means chopped up produce. Here are a few of my favorites: 
Mango Salsa
Pineapple Salsa
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
3-Minute Salsa

Can I use chicken thighs for this slow cooker chicken taco recipe?

You sure can use boneless chicken thighs instead of boneless skinless chicken breasts for crockpot tacos. In fact, I might actually prefer the dark meat of chicken thighs. Use the same 1.5 pounds and trim them of excess fat. 

Can you make these chicken tacos with cream cheese?

The original recipe does not call for cream cheese, but you can 1/2 cup at the very end to make super creamy shredded chicken. 

Can I cook this recipe on high?

You can cook it on high for 3 hours instead of low for 6. It will actually cook even faster if you cut the chicken into smaller pieces. Just make sure they are no longer pink before shredding. Cooking times may vary. 

Are these healthy chicken tacos?

It really depends on your definition of healthy and your portion sizes. I am not a registered dietitian. What I will say is that they are loaded with fresh wholesome ingredients and a lean protein. But after you add tortillas and cheese, I suppose things can get a bit wonky. 
If you wanted to make this into a lower carb recipes, you can make a chicken taco bowl (sans a tortilla) or even use the shredded chicken mixture to top a leafy green salad

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close up angled shot of slow cooker chicken taco with text overlay for pinterest
close up overhead shot of three slow cooker chicken tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Recipe

4.63 from 8 votes
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos only take 10 minutes to make in the crock pot! Just set it and forget it for a delicious dinner!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In the pot of a slow cooker, combine the chicken breasts, red onion, corn, beans, garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning, lime juice and chicken broth or water. Stir to evenly combine the seasoning blend.
  • Set the slow cooker to high for 3-4 hours or until the chicken breasts are easily shredded with two forks and register at 165°F on a digital thermometer.
  • Remove the chicken and shred using two forks. Return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir in the instant rice. Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes until rice fully cooks.
  • There might be some liquid remaining in the bottom, so use a slotted spoon to serve in flour tortillas. Top with your favorite taco toppings.
  • If you try this recipe, make sure to come back and let us know how you liked it in the comments or star ratings.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 571 kcal, Carbohydrates: 53 g, Protein: 55 g, Fat: 14 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 130 mg, Sodium: 934 mg, Potassium: 1217 mg, Fiber: 9 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 480 IU, Vitamin C: 7.8 mg, Calcium: 225 mg, Iron: 4.4 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 571
Course: Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken crock pot recipes, slow cooker recipes, taco recipes
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of slow cooker chicken tacos for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.63 from 8 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi Eva, I am sorry to hear there. Sometimes people steal photos that are doing well and link them to other content. I don’t even have a lemon blueberry cake on the site, so it wasn’t even my recipe. The closest I can get ya is my Lemon Pound Cake or Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake. Both links below. Good luck!
      https://www.savoryexperiments.com/blueberry-cream-cheese-coffee-cake/
      https://www.savoryexperiments.com/lemon-yogurt-pound-cake/

  1. 5 stars
    OMG! OMG! OMG! This is one of the best recipes I have ever tasted. I made a mango salsa to go with it and will add a few slices of avocado. Can’t wait to run the stats. This is going to be the ultimate of a healthy meal. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. The addition of mango salsa is a great idea! I LOVE that you LOVE it so much! And thank you for sharing- it means the world to me that people are using my recipes, loving them and taking time out of their busy days to swing by and leave a note.

  2. I am making these tacos today. I had weight loss surgery and these are perfect for a bariatric diet. High lean protein and lots of fiber. I will eat mine in a bowl without the tortilla but I bought Old El Paso Stand and Stuff Taco bowls for the rest of the family.

    1. How did you like them Marci? I actually eat them as a “bowl” a lot- too much tortilla for me!

  3. Soft tacos are my favorite, yours look fantastic full of yummy chicken and toppings. Thank you for linking up at Simple Supper Tuesday! Nettie

  4. 5 stars
    I love cilantro and lime on everything especially tacos! One of my favorite places to eat has tacos just like these so I’m definitely going to have to try these! Thanks for sharing on the DBB! Headed over to pin right now for later!