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Crockpot Chicken Tacos have tender and juicy slow cooker shredded chicken with just three ingredients. It’s a family-friendly meal starter that only needs a few minutes of prep!
If Mexican food is your thing, you’ve come to the right place because we LOVE it! Try our Authentic Mexican Rice, Chicken Enchiladas, or Slow Cooker Mexican Beans and you’ll fall in love, too!
Family Favorite Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Tacos are a staple in our house. We love any kind of taco, from ground beef to chicken to carnitas, even fish tacos. Pretty sure my family wouldn’t complain if I made them crockpot chicken tacos every night.
The chicken is delish in tortillas topped with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and any other favorite taco toppings, but it’s also great in enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, Chicken Taco Casserole or a Taco Bowl. Make a double batch and keep some on hand in the freezer so you’ve always got slow cooker chicken tacos at the ready!
Just 3 Ingredients!
- Chicken – chicken breast is preferred but boneless, skinless thighs will also work.
- Salsa – any kind you like. We actually really love Costco’s salsa and Newman’s Own.
- Chicken broth – use the low sodium kind so you can control the salt level.
There are also a few seasonings that I use that add even more flavor but are totally optional. I just use salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but you could also sprinkle some taco seasoning over the chicken.
How to Make Crockpot Chicken Tacos
This chicken taco recipe couldn’t be easier, with just 3 ingredients and 3 steps!
Pour a jar of salsa and a little chicken broth over some chicken breasts in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. If you prefer, you can cook on low for about 4-5 hours, but I am partial to cooking chicken on high in my slow cooker.
Once the time is up, check to ensure that your chicken is cooked, and shred with two forks. Leave the chicken in the broth and set your slow cooker to warm for about 15 minutes (or low if there’s no warm setting). This will help the shredded meat soak up that lovely juice.
How to serve your tacos
Stuff this flavorful, juicy slow cooker Mexican shredded chicken into soft flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or crispy homemade taco shells (see below). I always set out toppings like a taco bar, with shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, homemade salsa and guacamole. That way everyone can customize their tacos just the way they like them.
Serve restaurant style with a side of homemade refried beans and Mexican rice or a fresh corn salad for a complete meal.
How to make crispy homemade taco shells
While I will take a shortcut and use store-bought taco shells from time to time, we absolutely love to fry up homemade taco shells. They are simple to make and can be done after you’ve shredded the chicken and it’s warming in the crockpot.
Heat 1-2 inches of vegetable or corn oil in a deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. The oil should reach 365 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer to check, sprinkle a couple of drops of water in the oil and if they sizzle, it’s ready.
Use metal tongs to place a corn tortilla in the hot oil and fry it for about 15 seconds. It should begin to sizzle immediately. If it doesn’t, it’s not hot enough. Flip it over and fold it in half, holding it in place with the tongs until the shell is crispy.
Drain upside down on paper towels.
Reheat in the oven if necessary, but these are great at room temperature as well.
They can lose their crispness and get chewy as they sit, so it’s best to enjoy right away. I recommend making the tacos shells last, just before you are ready to eat.
Is it better to cook chicken on low or high in a crockpot?
In my experience, cooking chicken on the low setting tends to dry it out. I always set my slow cooker to high when cooking chicken, especially chicken breasts. The higher heat cooks the chicken faster, giving it less of a chance to lose its juices.
Slow Cooker Recommendations
I have two favorites when it comes to slow cookers. I’ve had both in my kitchen and highly recommend either of them. They are both budget-friendly and have a variety of useful functions.
Hamilton Beach Programmable Slow Cooker – It’s got a thermometer, so no more overcooked, dry meat. It also has clips on the sides to make for easy transport.
Crock-Pot brand Programmable Slow Cooker – Easy to use and lightweight, this slow cooker can be set on the stovetop burner for easy browning.
Make-Ahead, Storage and Freezing Slow Cooker chicken tacos
Make-Ahead – Cook the shredded chicken up to 24 hours in advance and store in the fridge. Reheat in your crockpot on high just until warmed through. It should take about 15 minutes.
Storing leftovers – Allow the meat to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Freezing slow cooker chicken taco meat – Cool completely, then place into freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the slow cooker or on the stovetop.
More Mexican Recipes to Love
- Taco Stuffed Baked Potatoes
- The BEST Skinny Taco Dip Recipe
- Authentic Mexican Sopes
- Taco Salad
- Oven Baked Tostadas
Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts about 3 large chicken breasts
- 16 ounces of your favorite salsa
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
- Taco shells or tortillas
- Your favorite taco toppings: Lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, etc.
Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Season chicken breasts well with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides and place in the bottom of a crock pot. Pour salsa and chicken broth over chicken.
- Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 4-5 hours.
- Shred chicken in the crock pot and cook on high for about 15 minutes.
- Serve in taco shells or tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.
Crispy Homemade Taco Shells
- To make your own crispy taco shells, fry corn tortillas 1-2 inches of hot oil in a deep skillet, using a wooden spoon and tongs to careful fold them before they are set. Drain on paper towels.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
Made Tacos and Tostadas tonight, using this recipe and Pace Original salsa for the chicken. It turned out very tender and tasty. The juice needs to be drained before placing the meat on the shells.
We layered with refried beans (doctored up canned with butter, Adobo seasoningm and cumin), the chicken, cheddar jack cheese, shredded lettuce, guacamole, and Newman’s peach salsa.
They were excellent and very easy. Great recipe!
Thank you Anita! and thank you for your feedback!
Can you cook this on low for 7-8 hours instead of high for 3-4 hours? Thanks!
7-8 hours would probably be too long, at low temp I’d stick with under 6 hours.
What if you started out with frozen chicken breasts? Would that be ok to leave on low for 8 hrs?
Even with frozen it will cook fairly quickly. If using low, 6 hours is probably enough. The longer it cooks, especially at low, the greater the chance of drying out.
How many servings is this recipe for?
It makes quite a bit of meat – at least 6 servings.
Top of the recipe (description) says 2 to 3 hours. Then in the boxed recipe it says 3 to 4. About how long it did take until yours were at temperature.
I usually cook them for around 3 hours. Sorry, there was a discrepancy.
I made this for dinner tonight. Whole family enjoyed it. I loved how easy and quick it was to prepare.
What brand of salsa did you use in your chicken tacos recipe?
I usually use Rojo’s, but I’ve also used Herdez and Pace.
could you use left over rotisserie instead of fresh chicken?
You could, but I wouldn’t bother with the slow cooker in that case. Just combine it with the maybe half the salsa and half the broth in a pan on the stove, covered, for 20 minutes. You could also do the slow cooker for a couple hours if you wanted.
Interesting variation of a recipe I’ve made for along time that is just chicken, salsa and taco seasoning packet. I’ve always wondered how it would turn out if i just did seasonings myself instead of the salty taco packet. This might be an option!
Crockpot, chicken and Tex Mex, all our favorites! When my children were young I practiced once a month cooking, even though we are retired we still eat at home a lot, so I will double or triple this recipe and pkg it in flat food sealer bags and have meat ready dinners for several meals. You should try once a WEEK cooking to get started then work up to a month. There is a great book Once A Month Cooking by Mary Beth Lagerborg, she will show you how to do this with just your refrigerator freezer . This made my life much more enjoyable, healthy, no more trips thru the drive thru, great for our budget and I could go on and on! GOOD LUCK!
Love your recipes.. just found your site recently. Thanks for sharing.