Why you’ll love this recipe:
When life is hectic and my head spins, it’s crucial to have a few dead-simple recipes to lean on. This crockpot salsa chicken is only three ingredients, plus it’s easy to prep, freezer-friendly, and picky-eater approved! The chicken practically falls apart on its own once it’s cooked, and it’s super versatile. Scoop it onto tortillas, rice bowls, or crunchy salads for an easy weeknight meal.
- Portion and freeze for a quick meal prep
- The whole family will love it, kids included!
- The slow cooker does all the heavy lifting
Dump-and-go recipes are my favorite! All you have to do is dump everything into your crockpot, and let it do its thing. I add half of the salsa at the end for plenty of sweet, zesty flavor. Feel free to double this slow cooker chicken salsa recipe, and freeze half for another time.
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Chicken breasts: Spring for boneless skinless chicken breasts for easy shredding. Removing bones and skin is a tedious task that’s not worth the trouble. You could also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer dark meat.
- Spices: Cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper amp up the Mexican flavor. If you want some heat, add a pinch or two of cayenne powder.
- Salsa: Use your favorite brand of salsa! There are plenty of options, including mild, medium, or spicy. Chunky salsa adds some good texture with chunks of tomato, but smooth salsa works great too. I like to add half of the salsa after the chicken’s cooked. It gives you a stronger salsa flavor!
How to make this recipe:
- Place the chicken breasts in your slow cooker and sprinkle the seasonings on top.
- Pour in half of the salsa and cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 to 7 hours, until the chicken is tender and easy to shred with a fork.
- Use tongs or a large fork to remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer it to a bowl. Shred the chicken with two forks.
- Dump the shredded chicken back into the slow cooker and stir in the rest of the salsa.
Serve warm and garnish with fresh cilantro and limes. Enjoy!
Crockpot chicken with salsa is a versatile dish! Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve it up.
- Tacos – It’s perfect for taco night. Scoop it onto warmed tortillas, then add all your favorite toppings! We add shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes, sour cream, black beans, pickled onions, guacamole, and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Burrito Bowl – Skip the tortillas and opt for a burrito bowl instead. Use cilantro lime rice, brown rice, Mexican rice, or cauliflower rice as a base, then add the shredded chicken and plenty of toppings.
- Salad – Try a crunchy base like romaine and shredded cabbage, then add corn, black beans, red onion, sliced avocado, and southwestern ranch.
- Quesadillas – Make it into chicken and cheese quesadillas! Both flour and corn tortillas are delicious.
- This salsa chicken is ideal for meal prepping! Make a double batch at the beginning of the week, enjoy half of it for dinner, then portion out the rest for lunches or freeze for a busy weeknight.
- I like to pre-portion the shredded chicken into small containers with rice, beans, and more salsa for a grab-and-go lunch.
- Store the shredded chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until hot, then serve!
- Salsa chicken is freezer-friendly! Transfer the leftovers to a freezer-safe Ziplock bag and remove as much air as possible before you seal it. Place in the freezer and use within 3 months.
Yes, it’s okay to use frozen chicken breasts so long as the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a cooking thermometer and temp the thickest part of the chicken with it.
Yes, you can overcook shredded chicken in your crockpot. If you cook it too long, the texture turns to mush and the chicken will taste dry! For two large chicken breasts, you should cook the chicken 4 hours on low or 6 to 7 hours on high. You can always check it to see if it’s done. The chicken should easily fall apart when you poke it with a fork, but not have a mushy texture.
Ideally, it’s best to cook the chicken on low heat. This will give you the most tender and moist results. However, this isn’t always possible and high heat works too! The chicken will be slightly less moist, but still delicious.
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
- slow cooker
- 2 large chicken breasts about 1-1½ pounds, Note 1
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 15 ounce jar of salsa Note 2
- To a slow cooker, add the chicken breasts and sprinkle the seasonings over the top.
- Pour in half of the salsa and cook on HIGH heat for 4 hours or LOW heat for 6-7 hours until the chicken is very tender and easily shred-able.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a bowl, shred the chicken using two forks.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the slow cooker and stir in the other half of the salsa. Serve hot and garnish with Cilantro and Limes. Serve with tortilla shells if desired. Enjoy!
– Store the shredded chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until hot, then serve!
– Salsa chicken is freezer-friendly! Transfer the leftovers to a freezer-safe Ziplock bag and remove as much air as possible before you seal it. Place in the freezer and use within 3 months.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
Sharing of this recipe is encouraged and appreciated. Copying of full recipe to any social media is prohibited.