Crockpot shredded chicken tacos is an easy family meal for any weeknight. This tender, juicy and flavorful chicken is perfectly seasoned and delicious every time.
This slow cooker chicken tacos recipe is super easy and quickly has become a family favorite. Add the chicken, spices, onions and tomatoes. The crockpot really does all the hard work while you can just sit back and enjoy dinner!
Ingredients For Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 14 ounce can tomatoes with mild green chiles– You can also swap a 14 ounce can of tomatoes and a 4 ounce can of diced green chiles
- Onion– medium-sized, diced
- Chicken breast– I used boneless skinless chicken breasts but you can also swap boneless chicken thighs in this recipe. If you have bone-in chicken, carefully remove the bones from the crockpot before shredding the chicken.
- Spices– oregano, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt. Sometimes I’ll add a small sprinkle of chili powder. A pre-made taco seasoning can also be used, see the notes of the recipe
- Lime juice (About 2 tablespoons lime juice)
If you love taco night, you have to try my chicken fajita kabobs. They are delicious on the grill, but can also be made in the oven too. Or make them in the oven with my super easy sheet pan chicken fajitas! Top everything with fresh homemade guacamole, black bean and corn salsa or easy blender salsa with fresh tomatoes!
Steps For Prepping Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos
Really, the chicken for these tacos is super easy. Layer a few ingredients, set the slow cooker, and come back when it’s time for dinner.
- Chicken and tomatoes- Place half the tomatoes on the bottom of the crockpot followed by the chicken breasts. Trim off any excess fat or undesirable bits from the chicken before adding them to the crockpot.
- Tomatoes– Add the second half of the tomatoes on top of the chicken breasts.
- Onions and Seasoning- Layer the onions on top of the tomatoes. Mix the seasonings together, then sprinkle on top.
- Cook and Shred!– Cover and cook the chicken on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Remove about a cup of the liquid to keep the tacos from becoming too soggy, then shred the chicken with two forks. Serve and enjoy!
You can shred the chicken right in the crockpot, or remove it to a cutting board. Just don’t forget to remove a cup of the liquid before you shred the chicken or the chicken becomes too soggy on the tacos.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken Breasts With This recipe?
Yes you can use frozen chicken breasts with this recipe. It does take the chicken a little longer to cook when the chicken breasts start from frozen.
Expect the shredded chicken will take a full four hours when cooked on high and 7-8 hours when cooked on low before the meat had cooked through.
Can I Use Salsa or Other Kinds of Tomatoes?
In this recipe, I used tomatoes with green chiles. (Rotel is a great example of this!) When I have plain tomatoes, I’ll add green chiles to my chicken.
But if you’re looking in your pantry and you have a jar of salsa, you can totally substitute your favorite salsa for the tomatoes. I’ve also used roasted tomatoes and the dish is also still delicious.
If you have fresh tomatoes on hand, 2 cups of diced tomatoes can be substituted into this recipe.
What to serve with Shredded Chicken tacos
Tacos are one of those super flexiable dishes where you can add just a few toppings or really load them up! This also makes a great dish to let everyone add their own toppings so everyone is happy with dinner.
Here are a few of our favorite toppings I’ve served with these tacos before. Honestly it all depends on what I have in the fridge. Feel free to use what you have. You don’t have to make a special trip to the grocery for this meal.
- Diced tomatoes- also pico de gallo works too
- Sour Cream
- Lettuce, spinach or shredded cabbage
- Pickled red onions
- Beans- black beans, refried beans, pinto beans, yum!
- Cheese- cheddar, crumbled queso fresca or monetary jack are our favorites
- Sliced avocado- or guacamole!
What about tortillas?
Hard corn taco shells, soft flour shells, use whatever type of tortillas your family loves. You can warm up the tortillas in the oven, toaster oven, or even microwave.
If you use the flat corn tortillas, don’t skip heating them up over medium heat in a pan for about a minute on each side with just a light spray of oil until they brown a little. I just grab the widest pan I have to heat a few taco shells at a time. It is worth the extra few minutes to warm your shells!
You can use this chicken for tacos, or you can also use it for other dishes too. You can turn this juicy chicken into burritos, nachos. taco salad or use the chicken as filling for enchiladas.
I’ve sometimes tossed leftovers into my turkey chili recipe in place of ground turkey or in my egg muffins in place of sausage. Leftover chicken from this dish is also tasty thrown into a breakfast quesadilla.
Other Chicken Recipes You’ll Love
Roasted Chicken Sausage Sheet Pan – Quick and easy dinner all on one pan!
Easy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks – This delicious dinner is savory and cozy, with only a little prep.
Instant Pot Whole Rotisserie Chicken – Make tender chicken in the instant pot in only a portion of the time it takes in the oven.
Baked Taco Cups– This quick and easy appetizer starts with crescent dough, then layers on delicious Mexican flavors for a yummy warm appetizer that pleases a crowd.
Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 5-6 Quart slow cooker
- Pan spray
- Measuring spoons
- Cutting board
- 14 ounce can tomatoes with mild green chiles
- 2 Pounds boneless skinless chicken breast – about 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ Onion- diced
- 1 Tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 lime About 2 tablespoons lime juice
- Spray the bottom of the slow cooker with pan spray. Pour half of the tomatoes into the bottom of the slow cooker and the diced onion.
- Add the chicken breast to the slow cooker on top of the tomatoes in a row. Next add the other half of the tomatoes to the chicken. Add the onions on top of the tomatoes. Mix together the seasonings- oregano, cumin, garlic, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt, then sprinkle on top of the tomatoes.
- Cook the chicken in the slow cooker for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. The chicken will be fall-apart tender.
- Pull the chicken out of the slow cooker into another bowl. Shred the chicken with two forks turned backward in the slow cooker by using the forks to pull the chicken apart. Remove about a cup of liquid from the slow cooker. Place the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker and stir to soak up the remaining liquid.
- Squeeze the lime over the chicken. Serve over warm flour or corn tortillas with diced tomato, avocado, cheese, a drizzle of sour cream, or chopped cilantro!
- If you can’t find tomatoes with green chiles added, you can buy a can of regular diced tomatoes and one 4 ounce can of mild green chiles. Mix them together and add just as if you were adding to the tomatoes in this recipe. You can also try substituting fire-roasted tomatoes in this recipe, it gives it even more kick! Green chilles also come in a medium and hot variety if you like more heat.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of taco seasoning can be substituted for the spices in this recipe.
- Warming your tortillas makes this dish even better. I warm up the largest frying pan I have, cooking two tortillas at a time until they begin to brown on each side. This works for both corn tortillas and flour tortillas. If you’re using hard taco shells wrap them in foil and heat them in the oven according to the package directions.
- There is some variation in crockpots, and some just run hotter than others. The most important part is that the chicken is cooked until 165 degrees. If the chicken is tender enough to shred easily with two forks likely it is thoroughly cooked, but if you are unsure check with a meat thermometer.
- NUTRITION INFO- The projected nutrition info does not include taco shells or toppings.
Did You Make This?
I would love to see it! Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!
Comments & Reviews
Can you use frozen chicken?
Kristy Richardson says
Generally, it’s not recommended to start with frozen meat in a slow cooker because the chicken isn’t in the “temperature safe zone” for bacterial growth when you start with frozen chicken. Personally, I have made it with frozen chicken before for my family before I knew the safety concern and we were fine, however you do risk having issues. Hope that helps!
I’m an avid cook, this is one of the best shredded chicken recipes I’ve found. Chicken never comes out chewy/tough. My crockpot runs hot, so I cook on low to 165. Then set to keep warm for for last 3-4 hours.