Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos are tender, full of flavor, and best of all, a cinch to prepare. Simply toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and dinner is made!
Slow cooker chicken tacos are probably one of the easiest and most low fuss meals we have on the entire site. This recipe is a true dump and go with absolutely no babysitting required.
The result is super tender chicken, that's moist, easy to shred, and full of flavor. All you need to do is add your favorite toppings and grab your preferred taco shells, chips, or tortillas.
This shredded chicken isn't just for tacos. It can also be used for baked chicken taquitos, in layered chicken enchilada casserole, chicken Dorito casserole, crockpot chicken nachos, or King Ranch chicken casserole. The key is to drain the broth well, so the extra moisture doesn't carry over to the other recipes.
We've been making these chicken tacos for years, well before we ever started the blog. It's one of our favorite taco recipes and certainly one of the easiest.
These tacos make a great weeknight dinner, because they're so low maintenance and everyone can add their favorite toppings. Not to mention, cleanup is a breeze.
How to make slow cooker chicken tacos:
- Place 1 pound of chicken in the slow cooker, then top with chicken broth.
- Add the salsa, onion, taco sauce, minced garlic, tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, pepper, chipotle, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
- Cover, and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.
- After the chicken cooks, uncover, and use 2 forks or a set of meat claws to shred. It should shred easily.
- Place the shredded chicken into tortillas and garnish with your favorite toppings.
How to make slow cooker chicken tacos with no salsa?
If you don’t want salsa in the recipe or don’t have salsa in the pantry, simply omit it. The salsa gives a little more tomato, green chile, and pepper flavor, but it’s not so predominate that leaving that ingredient out will made a huge difference.
Is it okay to add raw chicken to the slow cooker?
Yes, that’s exactly how we make this recipe. We start with raw chicken so when it cooks, the connective tissue breaks down slowly and makes the chicken nice and tender. All the spices and seasoning add a ton of flavor, since the chicken is slow cooked and submerged in a flavorful broth for several hours.
How do you slow cook chicken without drying it out?
Try to avoid cooking chicken on high heat if possible. Although, high can be used in a pinch. The low heat setting is the better option.
Additionally, chicken with a higher fat content is less likely to dry out than chicken with a lower fat content. Chicken thighs are a great choice if you enjoy that cut. They do take a little longer to cook than chicken breasts, but as the fat breaks down it keeps the chicken meat nice and moist.
Can you double the recipe?
Yes, absolutely! We recommend doubling the chicken only, because there are plenty of liquid and spices for 2 pounds of chicken without having to double all the other ingredients. As long as the broth covers the chicken in the slow cooker, there’s no need to add additional liquid.
Can you freeze this recipe?
We do not recommend freezing the chicken after it’s been cooked.
Can you use taco seasoning in place of the spices?
Yes, regular packet or homemade taco seasoning can be used in place of the spices in this recipe. I’d start with 2-3 tablespoons keeping in mind that packet seasoning will have more sodium than homemade.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup salsa
- ½ cup white onion, diced
- ¼ cup taco sauce
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 flour tortillas
- Place all ingredients in slow cooker.1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth1 cup salsa½ cup white onion¼ cup taco sauce2 roma tomatoes2 garlic cloves2 teaspoons onion powder2 teaspoons garlic powder1 teaspoon ground cumin1 teaspoon kosher salt½ teaspoon ground black pepper½ teaspoon chipotle powder½ teaspoon smoked paprika¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. The chicken should shred easily with a fork when finished.
- Place in warm tortillas and add your favorite toppings. Store leftovers in broth in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.8 flour tortillas