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Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

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.

Tacos lined up on a white platter.

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.

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.
Chicken tacos in a row on a white serving platter.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

4.9 from 10 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings

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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • Place all ingredients in slow cooker.
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
    32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
    1 cup salsa
    ½ cup white onion
    ¼ cup taco sauce
    2 roma tomatoes
    2 garlic cloves
    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
  • 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

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos | Calories: 379kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 2538mg | Potassium: 907mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 944IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 4mg
Recipe Rating




Amanda

Thursday 27th of July 2017

I love making chicken tacos in the slow cooker but my recipe is a little bit bland. Looking forward to using your recipe and spicing it up a bit!

Our Family World

Thursday 27th of July 2017

Tascos are a favorite in my family and I love making them too. The recipe is so versatile I can mix and match any meat and vegetable and they'd still love it. I will try this recipe with slow cooker shredded chicken. Looks really delicious!

Our Family World

Thursday 27th of July 2017

Tascos are a favorite in my family and I love making them too. The recipe is so versatile I can mix and match any meat and vegetable and they'd still love it. I will try this recipe with slow cooker shredded chicken. Looks really delicious!

Victoria Heckstall

Thursday 27th of July 2017

Oh my goodness!! This is really look good and tasty for sure! I'll make sure to make it tonight for my family.

Victoria Heckstall

Thursday 27th of July 2017

Oh my goodness!! This is really look good and tasty for sure! I'll make sure to make it tonight for my family.