Slow Cooker Cowboy Chicken

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  • I’m going to let you down easy before I start getting hate mail again (yes, someone was SO angry they actually emailed me a few obscenities). This is NOT a recipe from the Cowboy Chicken restaurant.

    overhead of cowboy chicken being served in cast iron with tacos

    I had no idea that restaurant even existed and have never visited. It is also not a cowboy chicken casserole, which is also apparently a thing. What it IS, is a delicious and easy family meal that can be easily customized and is also freezer friendly.

    Cowboy Chicken Recipe

    My version of cowboy chicken came from one of those days when you took stock of what was in the pantry and fridge and then I threw it all in a crock pot. The ingredients, being mainly canned or shelf stable potatoes, seemed like a likely chuck wagon type of meal, minus the slow cooker, of course.

    angle view of shredded chicken in a crockpot

    Beans, corn, tomatoes and potatoes along with zesty taco seasoning make up the base of this super tender base. It is easily customizable meaning you can omit or even double of on nearly any of the ingredients and still end with a winning and tasty rendition of Cowboy Chicken.

    How to Serve It

    Is it a stew? A chili perhaps? Maybe you wrap it up like a burrito? Dip it with a tortilla? Pile it onto a bun as a sandwich or top off a hot dog? Serve over rice or even a salad.

    overhead of chicken soft tacos with avocado slice and cheese

    It can be all of the above! This recipe is SO versatile, everyone in the family can eat it a different way. Call it whatever you want, it is good stuff!

    Them of course, add your favorite taco toppings. Here are our favorites:

    cowboy chicken taco bar set up

    Made in the Crock Pot

    Next question… but it is shown in a cast iron skillet. Yes, it is, for pictures because let’s face it, slow cooker images just aren’t that pretty. But rest assured, we DID make it in the slow cooker.

    Slow Cooker Cowboy Chicken follows my strict “10 minute rule”. We are all busy, which is why crock pots have been the saving grace for busy families over the decades.

    overhead of three prepared soft tacos

    But does it really save you any time if you have brown meat and do a lot of chopping, or even check on it throughout the cooking process? No!

    Chicken in the Slow Cooker

    Chicken is ideal for quick crock pot recipes because it takes a while to cook, needs to be cooked all the way through and when cooked slow and low, shreds beautifully. I tend to shy away from cooking chicken breasts because they are so uneven and overcook on one end before the center it done, but the slow cooker is the solution to this problem.

    close up of chicken, corn and beans in a slow cooker

    As long as it is in a tenderizing sauce, it is really difficult to hurt it. So even if the slow cooker ends up going an hour past when it is done, chances are, your Cowboy Chicken will be just fine. Any chicken in the crock pot, really.

    Storage & Freezing

    This is a make-ahead and freezer friendly meal. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.

    side angle view of chicken soft tacos

    To freeze, place in an airtight bag or container and freeze for up to 3-6 months. This will depend on how much air it to exposed to as to how fast those pesky ice crystals form.

    Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the microwave or stove top or throw the whole frozen brick back into the slow cooker on low for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

    cowboy chicken for pinterest

    More easy crock pot recipes:

    Slow Cooker Sauerkraut and Sausage Recipe
    A plate of food on a table, with Kielbasa and Sauerkraut
    With only 6 ingredients, this Slow Cooker Sauerkraut and Sausage recipe is EASY to throw together! Add everything to the crock pot, set it and forget it!
    Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
    Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos only take 10 minutes to make in the crock pot! Just set it and forget it for a delicious dinner! #shreddedchickentacos #chickenstreettacos #softtacos
    Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos only take 10 minutes to make in the crock pot! Just set it and forget it for a delicious dinner!
    Crockpot Breakfast Casserole
    spoonful of breakfast casserole with sour cream drizzle
    Easy breakfast recipes don't get any better than this Crockpot Breakfast Casserole! Whip it up before you go to bed and breakfast is ready in the morning!


    Slow Cooker– This is my favorite slow cooker, I like that I can set it for later in the day and it automatically turns off. It also has clasps for the lid so when I travel to parties or potlucks, I can take it with me without channeling my inner MacGyver to make some for the lid.

    Instant Pot– I have adapted all of my slow cooker recipes for the Instant Pot, which is my new favorite thing. Just think, all of those slow cooker recipes ready in just 30 minutes! See instructions on how to make it in the Instant Pot in the notes section below the recipe. 

    close up of chicken tacos dressed with sour cream

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    overhead of cowboy chicken recipe
    Print Recipe
    5 from 4 votes

    Slow Cooker Cowboy Chicken

    Slow Cooker Cowboy Chicken is an easy chicken recipe your whole family will love packed with corn, potatoes, bean and a zesty taco seasoning! Serve over rice or as tacos.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Total Time10 mins
    Course: Main Course, Main Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: slow cooker chicken recipe
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 489kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola



    • Place the chicken breasts, taco seasoning, beans, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, potatoes and hot sauce into the slow cooker. Stir it to coat chicken and mix up a bit.
    • Cover and set on high for 3 hours or on high (or 5 hours on low) or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
    • Remove the chicken and shred, then return to the pot to coat and keep warm.
    • Serve with tortillas, as tacos or over rice with favorite toppings.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back to let us know how it was in the comments or ratings section!


    For Instant Pot: Follow the same directions, but set to manual high pressure for 10 minutes, using quick release. 


    Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 974mg | Potassium: 1712mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 710IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 7mg
    cowboy chicken taco bar
    image of jessica formicola

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