Crockpot Chicken Tacos
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Crockpot Chicken Tacos are an easy dinner idea that the whole family will love! You’ll need just 3 ingredients for this flavorful shredded chicken. It’s the perfect filling for tacos or burrito bowls!
When we need a fast weeknight dinner, I often make this easy chicken taco recipe. It’s family-friendly, and you can serve the shredded chicken in tacos or burrito bowls.
This crockpot shredded chicken is moist and juicy, and it makes the best chicken tacos. Cooking the chicken slowly in salsa makes it incredibly moist and tender. Like my crockpot chicken fajitas recipe, these crockpot chicken tacos are a favorite because you can prep your dinner ahead of time and then go about your day while it cooks in your slow cooker.
Mexican rice, Instant Pot black beans and Instant Pot pinto beans are a few of our favorite side dishes to serve with crockpot chicken tacos. If you have leftover crockpot salsa chicken, it’s delicious in chicken enchiladas or chicken enchilada casserole.
How to Make Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- You’ll start by placing the ingredients in your slow cooker: boneless skinless chicken breasts, salsa and taco seasoning. I use my homemade taco seasoning recipe but you can also use store bought taco seasoning. I usually use jarred salsa from the store and it works great in this recipe.
- Cook the chicken in your crockpot on low for 3 to 4 hours or on high for 2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken is done when it is 165° F at the center of the thickest part, measured with an instant read thermometer. Different slow cookers can cook faster or slower, so start checking your chicken near the shorter end of the cook time to see if it is done. Try not to overcook the chicken because that can dry it out. The less full your slow cooker is, the faster the chicken will cook.
- When the chicken is done, let it cool slightly and then follow my easy steps for how to shred chicken. Add back in some of the salsa and juices from the slow cooker to moisten and flavor the chicken.
- Serve the shredded chicken in warmed tortillas (try my easy tortilla recipe) with toppings. Favorite taco toppings include extra salsa, guacamole, avocado, shredded cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.
Can you cook frozen chicken in a slow cooker?
I do not recommend making this crockpot chicken recipe with frozen chicken. When you put frozen chicken in a slow cooker, it takes longer for the food to heat up. This means that your chicken can stay in the food-safety dangerous temperature range for too long and can put you at risk of food borne illness.
With that being said, I know that many people do cook frozen chicken in their slow cooker. You can do what you are comfortable with.
Read more slow cooker tips and tricks: How to use a Slow Cooker.
Can I use chicken thighs for slow cooker chicken tacos?
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work great in this crockpot chicken tacos recipe. Boneless chicken thighs will cook in about the same amount of time as boneless chicken breasts. However, since chicken thighs are naturally more moist and juicy than chicken breasts, you can cook them a bit longer without them drying out. This is helpful if you will be out of the house and need to set your crockpot with a longer cook time.
How to reheat shredded chicken
You can make this shredded chicken a day ahead and reheat it in your slow cooker. Be sure to save plenty of the sauce that the chicken cooked in to keep the chicken moist as it reheats. You can also stir in more salsa, if needed. Heat it on low for 1 to 2 hours, or until hot. You can switch the slow cooker to the keep warm setting for serving.
If you prefer, you can reheat the chicken in the microwave or in a pot on the stove, over low heat. Add extra salsa or a little chicken broth, as needed, for moisture.
This is a perfect make ahead recipe for meal prep meals. Store the cooked chicken in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 cup mild salsa
- for serving: tortillas, shredded cheese, avocado or guacamole, tomatoes, additional salsa, etc.
- Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Spoon salsa on top of chicken and spread to cover chicken.
- Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, or on high for 2 hours, until chicken is cooked through. Chicken is done when it registers 165° F on an instant read thermometer.
- Remove chicken to a plate to cool slightly, along with any salsa that is on top of the chicken. Shred chicken with two forks or your fingers and place in a bowl. Stir in some of the liquid from the slow cooker, starting with ¼ cup and adding more as desired.
- Serve chicken in tortillas with toppings as desired.
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