Are you looking for a tasty and convenient dinner for a busy weeknight? Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos are an easy-to-prep hands-off recipe that the entire family will love. This saucy shredded taco chicken is super flavorful. Serve in tacos shells or use it with burrito bowls or in a salad. This crockpot chicken tacos recipe is perfect for meal prepping for the week ahead or even for freezing for later.
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Being a working mom is no easy feat. Between juggling work responsibilities and caring for my family, finding the time to cook delicious healthy weeknight dinners can be impossible. That’s where my trusty slow cooker chicken tacos come in! Not only is it a family favorite, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. I mean, what’s not to love about throwing a few ingredients in a crockpot and letting it do all the work?
Shredded chicken tacos are a regular feature at our taco nights. But here’s the thing: this tasty chicken is way more versatile than you might think! We’ve also used it to make mouthwatering enchiladas, a protein-packed addition to burrito bowls, and even a topping for taco salad. It’s even delicious on sheet pan nachos!
Healthy shredded chicken recipes are some of my favorites to make for the week ahead. Our favorites include Crockpot Shredded Chicken, Crockpot Buffalo Chicken, Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken, Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki, and Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken.
- Reasons to love the recipe!
- How to Make Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
- The Ingredients
- The Directions
- Cooking Tips
- Our Favorite Slow Cooker
- Substitutions & Variations
- Serving Suggestions
- Make-ahead & Storage Tips
- More Mexican-inspired Recipes
- Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Have You Tried This Recipe?
Reasons to love the recipe!
There are many reasons to love slow cooker shredded chicken tacos, including:
- Easy as 1-2-3: This dish practically cooks itself with just four simple ingredients! Season the chicken, toss it in the slow cooker, and let it work its magic for a few hours.
- Tender and tasty: Slow cooking makes the chicken super tender and juicy, while the seasoning infuses the meat with loads of flavor. It’s like a party in your mouth!
- Get creative: Customize your slow cooker chicken tacos to your heart’s desire! Play around with different seasonings, toppings, and tortillas to find the perfect combo. Plus, it’s easy to adapt to various dietary needs so everyone can enjoy it.
- Family fun time: Looking for a meal that everyone will love? Look no further than slow cooker chicken tacos! It’s a crowd-pleaser that’s perfect for family dinners or gatherings.
- Plan ahead: And the best part? You can easily meal prep this dish to fit your busy schedule. Whether you’re making it ahead to heat up during the week or freezing it for later, slow cooker chicken tacos are always there for you when you need them.
How to Make Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
These shredded chicken tacos are flavorful and easy-to-prepare crockpot recipes perfect for taco night! I like to make this on the weekend to prepare for dinners during the week, or it’s perfect for making for a party crowd.
The ingredients used in slow cooker chicken tacos are simple and easy to find. They are affordable, readily available, and easily customizable to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast: They’re perfect for absorbing all those delicious seasonings and will turn out tender, juicy, and flavorful.
- Taco seasoning: You have two options here – go the easy route with a pre-made taco seasoning packet, or whip up your own mix of spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano. Or, try out my homemade Whole30 Taco Seasoning.
- Tomato sauce and canned green chilis: This dynamic duo keeps the chicken breast moist and juicy, adding delicious flavor.
- Tortillas: The perfect vehicle for delivering all that savory goodness. Use hard corn tortillas or shells or soft flour tortillas, or keep them low-carb with lettuce wraps.
- Lime: Squeeze a little lime juice on top for a burst of tangy goodness. It’s the perfect finishing touch.
- Toppings: This is where things get fun! Load up your tacos with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and jalapenos… the sky’s the limit.
- Lay the chicken breasts on the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Sprinkle that taco seasoning all over the chicken.
Pour in the tomato sauce and green chiles, and give everything a good stir to make sure all that tasty flavor gets evenly distributed.
- Cook it on low for 4-6 hours.
- When the chicken is cooked, grab two forks and shred them up in the slow cooker.
- If you prefer less sauce, transfer the chicken to a separate bowl and ladle in just the right amount of liquid for your taste buds.
- Squeeze in some fresh lime juice to give it that tangy kick, and adjust the amount to your liking. You can also serve it with additional lime wedges.
- Taste for salt. After cooking in the slow cooker, it’s a good idea to taste the dish for salt and add approximately ¼ teaspoon if needed. This will enhance the flavors and make them pop.
- Now for the fun part – taco time! Fill up those taco shells with about a quarter cup of chicken taco meat, and top with chopped avocado, Greek yogurt, lettuce, and taco cheese.
Here are some cooking tips to keep in mind when making slow cooker chicken tacos:
- Use a liner: Consider using a slow cooker liner to make cleanup easier and prevent the chicken from sticking to the sides of the slow cooker.
- Don’t overcook: Some crockpots cook hot than others, so Be careful not to overcook the chicken, as it can become dry and tough. Cook the chicken until it’s just cooked through and tender.
- Season well: Make sure to season the chicken generously with taco seasoning, salt, and pepper, to ensure it’s flavorful and delicious. Also, recipes often lose flavor when cooking hours in the slow cooker, so it’s helpful to salt the chicken at the end.
- Add extra liquid sparingly: If you want extra liquid to the slow cooker, such as salsa, lime juice, or chicken broth, be careful not to add too much, as it can make the chicken too watery.
Substitutions & Variations
You can make many substitutions when making slow cooker chicken tacos, depending on your preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some ideas:
- Chicken: If you prefer, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts; just be aware that they may take longer to cook and are fattier than breasts. If you want to use beef then check out my Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Beef Recipe.
- Seasoning: Adjust the seasoning to your liking by adding more or less taco seasoning, or add a pinch of cayenne pepper or adobo chili powder for some extra spice.
- More protein. Before cooking, add a drained can of black beans or pinto beans to the recipe.
- Tomato sauce and canned green chiles: Swap in your favorite taco sauce, salsa, or enchilada sauce for the canned tomato sauce and chilis.
- Tortillas: If you’re gluten-free, try corn tortillas instead of flour. For a low-carb option, use lettuce leaves instead of tortillas as a wrap.
- Toppings: Get creative with your toppings! Use dairy-free cheese or sour cream, skip the cheese for a vegan option, or try diced avocado instead of guacamole. Substitute salsa with hot sauce, or add other toppings like chopped onions or fresh cilantro. The possibilities are endless!
Here’s a list of our favorite sides dishes to serve with crock pot chicken tacos.
- Rice and beans: Serve the tacos with a side of brown rice and beans for a filling meal.
- Corn on the cob: Grilled or roasted corn on the cob pairs well with the flavors of the chicken tacos.
- Mexican Potatoes: Serve the tacos with a side of flavorful Mexican Potatoes.
- Mexican Quinoa Salad: A fresh salad with quinoa, beans, and a chili lime dressing is a great way to balance out the richness of the tacos.
- Chips and salsa: Tortilla chips and fresh salsa are a classic accompaniment to any Mexican-inspired meal.
Make-ahead & Storage Tips
- Make ahead: You can cook the chicken ahead of time and store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. This way, you can quickly reheat and serve it whenever you want.
- Freezer kit: You can also prep a freezer kit by combining all the ingredients in a large ziplock bag and storing it in the freezer. Thaw it overnight in the fridge, dump the contents into the slow cooker, and cook according to the recipe instructions. Consider dividing the chicken into smaller portions before storing it, so you can easily defrost what you need for a meal. Label the storage container or freezer bag with the date and contents so you know what you’re grabbing later.
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 5 1/2 quart slow cooker
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinnless chicken breast about 3 chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons homeade taco seasoning can also use a 1.3 packet of store-bought taco seasoning
- 1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 4.5 ounce can of green chiles
- Juice from 1/2 lime. Save the rest for individual tacos
- Toppings chopped avocado, greek yogurt or sour cream, salsa, lettuce, and taco cheese
- 8 hard or soft taco shells
- Arrange the chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning over the chicken.
- Pour in tomato sauce and green chiles.
- Flip the chicken a couple times to make sure the ingredients are blended and chicken is coated.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken in the slow cooker If you want less of the sauce then remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place it into a bowl. Shredded the chicken and ladel in the desired amount of liquid into the shredded chicken.
- Squeeze half of the lime juice in with the shredded chicken. Give it a taste and add more if needed.
- Place about 1/4 cup of shredded chicken in to a taco shell and top chopped avocado, greek yogurt, lettuce, and taco cheese.
Always cook your boneless skinless chicken breasts on low for best results. Slow cooking on low heat allows the chicken to cook evenly and become more tender and flavorful. Cooking on high heat can result in the chicken becoming tough and overcooked.
No, chicken does not have to be fully covered in liquid in a crockpot. However, it is recommended to add some liquid to the crockpot to prevent the chicken from drying out and sticking to the bottom. The amount of liquid needed can vary depending on the recipe and the amount of chicken being cooked. As a general rule of thumb, adding enough liquid to cover about 1/3 to 1/2 of the chicken should be sufficient. This crockpot chicken taco recipe includes plenty of liquid to keep the chicken moist and from drying out.
It is not necessary to rinse chicken before cooking it in a slow cooker. In fact, rinsing the chicken could increase the risk of cross-contamination in your kitchen. As long as you cook the chicken to the appropriate internal temperature, any harmful bacteria will be destroyed.
Have You Tried This Recipe?
Have you tried this Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos Recipe? I can’t wait to see it! If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture in our FB Group and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny.