An easy “set-it-and-forget-it” slow cooker dinner! This recipe for shredded crockpot salsa chicken has 3 ingredients and needs just 5 minutes of prep. Toss defrosted chicken breasts, taco seasoning, and fresh or store-bought salsa into the crockpot and let it work its magic. I’ve also included a few side dish options to turn the shredded chicken into a complete meal
When I have a busy week ahead of me, I love turning to super simple meal-prepping recipes.
I can whip up a big batch on Sunday or Monday for dinner, then enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.
Hands-on prep time takes about five minutes, then you set it and forget it. The result is tender, flavorful chicken that's perfect for salads, burrito bowls, taco nights, and more.
I typically buy salsa from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, but if I have a little extra time (and the produce on hand), I'll make this using my homemade chipotle salsa.
If you love dishes with big flavors that don't require a ton of prep or fuss, you're going to love this Crockpot shredded chicken recipe! It takes all the hassle out of meal-prepping.
Ingredients for Making Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
- Chicken - You can use breast or thigh meat to make this Mexican shredded chicken. You want 2.5 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken.
- Taco seasoning - You can use homemade or store-bought. A blend of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne can also be used.
- Salsa - You can use red, green, chunky, restaurant, mild, spicy, or any other kind of salsa you like! You can use a jar of salsa, or buy it fresh from the produce section.
- Toppings - I like to serve my chicken and salsa with jalapeños, cilantro, shredded iceberg lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges. You can also serve tortilla chips on the side.
Tips & Tricks
- If you don't have taco seasoning, you can make your own Taco Seasoning right at home!
- When the chicken is fully cooked, you should be able to shred it very easily with two forks.
- Since the salsa is the primary flavoring here, use a good quality of salsa.
- The fastest way to shred chicken is by putting it in the bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric hand mixer. This method is easier than using two forks if you're shredding a larger quantity at one time.
What to Serve With Salsa Chicken
- This Spanish Cauliflower Rice is super-simple, absolutely delicious, and perfect for taco or burrito bowls.
- For a fun twist on a family favorite, give these Mexican Smashed Potatoes a try!
- With less than 10 ingredients, easy Mexican Quinoa will pair beautifully with salsa chicken.
- Slow Cooker Bean Dip is a healthier alternative to traditional refried beans that's always a hit for Taco Night.
- Black Beans are a great side and it doesn't get any better than these Slow Cooker Black Beans.
- Looking for more ways to use this Salsa Chicken? It is great in chicken quesadillas, empanadas, and tacos.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Frozen Chicken in the Crockpot?
For food safety reasons, cooking frozen chicken in a slow cooker is not recommended. You should always start with fresh poultry when you make Salsa Chicken in the crockpot.
The problem is that the chicken will take longer to reach a safe temperature, which gives bacteria more time to grow.
If the chicken stays in the "dangerous zone" between 40°F and 140°F for too long in the slow cooker, then the cooking process might not be enough to kill off all the bacteria.
Can You Put Raw Chicken in a Slow Cooker?
Yes, this Salsa Chicken recipe assumes you'll be using raw chicken thighs or breasts. Just make sure the chicken is fully thawed.
How Do I Shred Salsa Chicken?
The simplest way to shred Salsa Chicken is with two forks right in the crockpot. However, for recipes where you're making a lot of chicken at once, this might feel like it's taking too long.
In that case, you can use an electric hand mixer to shred the chicken right in the crockpot. You can also transfer the chicken to the bowl of a stand mixer and shred it that way.
As an Amazon Associate, I Earn From Qualifying Sales.
- Crockpot or Instant Pot Dutch Oven with a slow cooker function
- Two forks, an electric hand mixer, or a stand mixer for shredding
Any extra Slow Cooker Chicken and Salsa should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to three days.
Can I Reheat Cooked Crockpot Salsa Chicken?
Absolutely! You can use the microwave, stove top, oven, or crockpot to warm the Crockpot chicken breast recipe through.
Can You Freeze Salsa Chicken?
Yes, you can store your chicken in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for up to three months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight.
How to Make Crockpot Salsa Chicken
Sprinkle the chicken breast or thighs with the taco seasoning.
Arrange the chicken in the bottom of your crockpot. Pour the salsa on top. (No need to stir.)
Cover and cook over high heat for 3 hours or low heat for 6 hours.
Shred the chicken if desired before serving.
Swerve with fresh cilantro, jalapeños, iceberg, cheese, sour cream and avocado.
More Slow Cooker Recipes
- For a super-convenient weeknight meal, Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga is packed with flavor and so easy to make.
- With red pepper, corn, chicken, cheese, and salsa, Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Casserole is one the whole family will love.
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas are a staple for Mexican night in my house!
- Cheesy and delicious with only a fraction of the effort of the traditional version, Slow Cooker Eggplant Parmesan is perfect for easy entertaining.
Shredded Crockpot Salsa Chicken (or Slow Cooker)
- 2.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
- ¼ cup taco seasoning about 1 package
- 1 ½ cups salsa about 16 ounces
- For serving: jalapeños cilantro, shredded iceberg, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, lime juice
- Sprinkle the chicken breast with the taco seasoning.
- Arrange in the bottom of your crockpot.
- Top with the salsa.
- Cook over high heat for 3 hours or low heat for 6 hours.
- Shred the chicken if desired.