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Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

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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, 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.

Tacos lined up on a white platter.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos make a great weeknight dinner option.

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.
Collage style photo showing how to make shredded chicken tacos.
This dump and go recipe only takes about 10 minutes to prep!

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.

What are some topping ideas for chicken tacos?

The list is endless, but here are some of our favorites:

Shredded Lettuce
Cheese
Diced Tomatoes
Guacamole
Pico de Gallo
Homemade Cheese Sauce
Salsa
Diced Onions
Cilantro
Spicy Coleslaw

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.

Close up of slow cooker chicken tacos in a toasted tortillas.
Add your favorite toppings to make each chicken taco unique.
Chicken tacos in a row on a white serving platter.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Yield: 8 Tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

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!

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 32 Ounces Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Salsa
  • ½ Cup White Onion, diced
  • ¼ Cup Taco Sauce
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon Chipotle
  • ½ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne
  • 8 Flour Tortillas

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. 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.
  3. Place in warm tortillas and add your favorite toppings. Store leftovers in broth in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 2 tacos. Actual calories will vary.

*Calories include taco ingredients and tortillas only. Toppings are not included.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 Tacos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 1301mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 24g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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