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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!
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, and Chicken Taco Casserole. Make a double batch and keep some on hand in the freezer so you’ve always got slow cooker chicken tacos at the ready!
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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 – 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.