Why you’ll love this chicken tacos recipe:
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos can easily be started right before you head out the door in the morning. All you need is an extra 5 minutes and 3 ingredients to get dinner going for the day!
By the time you get home from work, you’ll have fall-apart chicken that is full of zesty flavor from the salsa and taco seasoning. Add your taco toppings, and dinner is served!
- Easy – This is a quick, straightforward dinner! It’s relatively hands-off, and the slow cooker does most of the work for you!
- Meal-Prep Friendly – This recipe is perfect for meal prep. Make a big batch of the chicken, and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat as needed, and serve it with your favorite toppings and sides for easy meals throughout the week.
- Customizable – You can customize your tacos with any toppings you like. Try adding diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, or avocado.
Slow cooker chicken tacos are filling, satisfying, and a complete meal all on their own. They’re sure to be a hit with your entire family!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Chicken breast – Boneless, skinless chicken breast works perfectly for this recipe. They’re easy to shred and will be tender and moist when they’re done cooking. I prefer to use fresh chicken breast but frozen will work as well. Just be sure to add an extra hour of cooking time to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked.
- Salsa – Feel free to use your favorite brand of salsa! Depending on what you choose, the salsa will add flavor from tomatoes, peppers, onions, and various spices. Choose mild, medium, hot, chunky, or smooth.
- Taco seasoning – You can use either homemade taco seasoning or store-bought. My recipe calls for ¼ cup of taco seasoning, but you can adjust the amount used to suit your preference.
- Taco shells – I prefer soft taco shells but hard taco shells would also work! If you love the extra crunch, go ahead and use them!
- Pepper jack cheese – Shredded pepper jack cheese adds a tiny bit of heat to the chicken tacos. If your family prefers mild tacos, substitute pepper jack cheese with Cheddar cheese or Monterey jack cheese instead.
- Red cabbage – Shredded red cabbage is a great alternative to shredded lettuce in tacos. It adds a crunchy texture and a beautiful color!
- Additional toppings – You’ll also need extra salsa for topping, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.
How to make Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos:
1. Slow cook the chicken
- Place the chicken breast in a single layer in the slow cooker.
- Sprinkle the taco seasoning over the chicken.
- Then, pour the jar of salsa on top.
- Cover the slow cooker, and cook the chicken for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high. You’ll know the chicken is done when it’s pull-apart tender!
2. Shred the chicken
- Shred the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces using two forks. You can do this right in the slow cooker!
3. Assemble the tacos
- Heat up the soft taco shells according to package instructions.
- Fill each taco shell with shredded chicken, and top them with cheese, red cabbage, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice!
- Use a slow cooker liner to make cleanup quick and easy. Transfer your chicken to a container, remove the liner, wipe down the inside of your slow cooker, and it’s ready to use again!
- If you don’t think you’ll have the time (or energy) to shred cabbage by hand, you can use a food processor instead. Chunks of cabbage will shred up in a food processor in under a minute. Bags of coleslaw mix can also work as a substitute for freshly shredded cabbage.
- Purchase pre-shredded cheese. This will not only save you time, but it also saves you from dirtying extra dishes!
- Prepare any extra toppings that you want to add in advance. This will help you get dinner on the table even faster!
- Store the chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Leftover toppings should be stored separately in individual airtight containers.
- You can freeze leftover shredded chicken, too! Let the chicken fully cool, and transfer it to a zip-lock freezer bag. Squeeze out any air, label the bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
If you like your food spicy, you can add a diced jalapeño or serrano pepper to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients. You can also top your tacos with hot sauce or additional sliced peppers. However, the spiciness level will depend on what kind of taco seasoning and salsa you use in this slow cooker chicken tacos recipe. Look for hot, medium, or mild seasonings and salsas depending on your preference.
Yes, cooking raw chicken in a slow cooker is perfectly fine. It’s actually a very common cooking method! All types of raw chicken can be cooked in a slow cooker, including chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, and bone-in cuts of chicken. Chicken is fully cooked when it has reached an internal temperature of at least 165° F.
If your crockpot shredded chicken is tough, you most likely have not let it cook for long enough. Most large pieces of chicken breast need 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high to become tender and easy to shred.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
- 1 slow cooker
- 2 forks
For the chicken:
- 2 lbs chicken breast Note 1
- 1 (16oz) jar salsa Note 2
- ¼ cup taco seasonings Note 3
- 10-12 (4-inch) soft taco shells
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- sour cream
- shredded red cabbage
- lime wedges Note 4
- Add the chicken breast to the slow cooker.2 lbs chicken breast
- Pour the jar of salsa over the chicken, then add the taco seasoning.1 (16oz) jar salsa, ¼ cup taco seasonings
- Use a spoon to mix everything together until the chicken is coated with the salsa and seasoning.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 Hours, or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.
- Once the chicken is cooked, shred it using two forks into bite-sized pieces.
- To serve: Heat up the taco shells according to package instructions.10-12 (4-inch) soft taco shells
- Fill each taco shell with shredded chicken, then top with cheese, red cabbage, salsa, sour cream, and a squeeze of lime juice. Enjoy!1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, salsa, sour cream, shredded red cabbage, lime wedges
– Store the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
– Store the toppings in separate airtight containers.
– Freeze the chicken in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag for up to 3 months.
– Reheat thawed chicken in the microwave or slow cooker set to “warm”.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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