Slow cooker shredded chicken tacos are an easy, practically prep-free meal to make on busy weeknights. Chicken is slow-cooked with salsa and spicy seasoning until pull-apart tender. Serve on tortillas with your favorite taco toppings!
Does your family love taco night, but you've grown tired of the same old ground beef? Give these slow cooker shredded chicken tacos a try.
Salsa chicken has long been a recipe staple on the internet. It's easy to make - just add chicken and salsa to a slow cooker. Set it, forget it. No wonder it's so popular!
I add taco seasoning to my salsa chicken for added flavor, and use a blend of chicken breasts and thighs. Top these tacos with toppings like sliced avocado, sour cream, and cilantro - they're easy to customize with your favorites!
Serve these shredded chicken tacos for your next Taco Tuesday, quick weeknight meal, or lazy weekend dinner. Add a variety of toppings for an easy self-serve taco station!
Ingredients and substitutions
Two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken can be breasts, thighs, or a combination of both. I like to use 1 pound of each.
If you only have bone-in chicken on hand, your cooking time will increase slightly. Take care to remove all of the bones before shredding your chicken meat.
Salsa can be store bought or homemade, of any spice level. I suggest a medium or hot heat - once mixed in with your chicken meat, it mellows slightly.
Taco seasoning can be store bought or homemade. Want to make your own taco seasoning at home? Try my recipe: Easy Homemade Taco Seasoning
How to make your tacos spicier or milder
As written, your tacos will range between mild and medium heat. Adjust the heat of your tacos by adding more taco seasoning or using a hotter/milder salsa.
For mild tacos: Use a mild salsa and the recommended amount of taco seasoning in the recipe card.
For spicy tacos: Use a hot salsa and double the recommended taco seasoning.
You'll need some flour or corn tortillas to serve your shredded chicken tacos. Or for a low-carb option, serve your shredded chicken over a bed of lettuce to make a taco salad!
Taco toppings (use your favorites!):
- Shredded lettuce
- Sour cream
- Sliced Avocado
- Red onion
- Pico de gallo
- Shredded cheese
- Lime juice
- Hot sauce
Leftovers, reheating, and freezing
Leftover chicken will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. To reheat, cover with a damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave until just heated through.
To freeze: allow your cooked, shredded chicken to cool to room temperature. Then, portion into freezer safe containers or freezer bags. Tightly sealed, your frozen chicken will keep for up to 3 months.
To thaw, transfer your chicken to the refrigerator and allow to thaw overnight.
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Tacos
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 2 cups salsa
- flour or corn tortillas
Toppings (optional, add your favorites!)
- 1 avocado sliced
- 2 cups iceberg lettuce shredded
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- In a 6 quart slow cooker, add thawed chicken in a single layer. Add taco seasoning and toss to coat. Top chicken with salsa in an even layer. Cover with lid.
- Cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or on high for 2 ½ to 3 hours, or until chicken shreds apart with a fork (time will depend on thickness of chicken). Shred all of your chicken, stir to combine with salsa.
- Serve hot on flour or corn tortillas with your favorite taco toppings.
- If chicken is stacked in multiple layers in a smaller slow cooker, it may take longer to cook in the middle. A single, even layer is best.
- Leftover chicken will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer. Reheat leftovers in the microwave, lightly covered with a damp paper towel, until just heated through.
- For milder tacos: use mild salsa and the listed amount of taco seasoning.
- For spicy tacos: use hot salsa and add up to double the taco seasoning.