Make your Taco Tuesday even better, with this ultra-easy, super-flavorful recipe for Crockpot Chicken Tacos with just 4 ingredients. Tender shredded chicken is seasoned to perfection and slow-cooked for the best taco filling ever!
Super Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos in the Slow Cooker
Easy chicken tacos made in the crockpot for a scrumptious dinner that requires minimal effort. A true set-it-and-forget-it dinner, all you have to do for this recipe is dump everything in the slow cooker and let it simmer away until done. Then shred the chicken with two forks, and you’re good to go!
This weeknight favorite is also super versatile, so you can customize it in almost any way you want! Use any salsa (or canned tomatoes) and any seasonings that you like. Not to mention the mix-in opportunities, from healthy black beans to chopped veggies. However you make it, you’re sure to love it.
What You’ll Need
For the chicken in this recipe, you only need four simple ingredients! From there, you’ll want your favorite tortillas or taco shells, and the toppings of your choice. Let’s take a closer look:
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the base for this meal. You could also use chicken thighs, if you prefer.
- Taco Seasoning: Any taco seasoning will do – you could even make your own, so that you can control the ingredients and avoid preservatives.
- Rotel: A can of Rotel tomatoes, strained to remove excess liquid, give the chicken a juicy punch of flavor and a little green chili kick. I use the original version for a little heat, but you can use Mild, Hot or Extra Hot depending on your preferences.
- Lime Juice: Freshly-squeezed lime juice adds the perfect fruity, tangy note to the chicken. If you don’t have limes, you can substitute lemon. Bottled juice also works.
- Tortillas: Homemade Corn Tortillas or Homemade Flour Tortillas – whichever you like. You can also use crunchy corn taco shells.
- Optional Toppings: If you’re anything like me, toppings are practically the best part of taco night! I love serving dishes of things like Pico de Gallo, red onion, avocado (or Guacamole), sour cream, lime wedges, cilantro, Salsa, and cheese. Mmmm.
Are Rotel Tomatoes Spicy?
Yes, Rotel tomatoes are spicy. This famous brand of canned tomatoes is a Southern favorite, and is well-known for its spicy kick, thanks to green chilies. They’re great for any kind of Tex-Mex dish.
Rotel tomatoes are available in Mild, which is the least spicy (my kids eat this version with no complaints), Original, which is moderately spicy, and Hot, which are pretty hot by my standards! If you’re concerned about the level of spiciness, I recommend going with mild Rotel, or just substituting regular canned tomatoes instead.
What Is the Difference Between Taco Seasoning and Chicken Taco Seasoning?
When you’re purchasing (or making) your taco seasoning, you can go with regular taco seasoning or seasoning that’s specifically for chicken tacos. Chicken taco seasoning is typically a little milder, with less (or no) cumin. In this recipe, either kind of seasoning will work just fine.
How to Make These Easy Chicken Tacos
Chicken tacos aren’t too hard to make on the stovetop, but with this crockpot recipe, you’ll barely need to do any work at all! Here’s how to do it, step by simple step.
- Layer the Ingredients in the Slow Cooker. To begin, spray the insert of your slow cooker with non-stick spray. You could also grease it with a little oil or butter, if you don’t want to use cooking spray. Next, lay the chicken flat in the bottom of the insert. Season the chicken with taco seasoning, and then pour the tomatoes over the chicken. Finally, squeeze lime juice over the top.
- Slow Cook the Chicken. Cover the slow cooker with the lid, and let the chicken cook for 3-4 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low.
- Shred the Chicken. Once the chicken is cooked through, drain the cooking liquid out, reserving half a cup or so. Pour that half-cup of cooking liquid back into the slow cooker, and use two forks to shred the chicken finely.
- Serve! Set the chicken out with a serving utensil, and warm up the tortillas. You can warm them in a skillet on the stove, or wrap them in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave. Set out the toppings of your choice, and enjoy!
Soggy Tacos and How to Fix Them
Tacos can get fairly soggy, especially when piled high with juicy ingredients! Although soggy tacos can be tasty, they can also make a bit of a mess. If you’re concerned that your tacos will be soggy, I recommend warming your tortillas on the stovetop rather than the microwave, for extra crispness and sturdiness. More importantly, drain any excess liquid from the chicken and toppings before assembling your tacos.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
Making this recipe is a snap, especially when you have a few easy tips and variations up your sleeve. From substitutions to cooking hints, here are my top tips for making shredded taco chicken in the crockpot.
- Tomato Options: While the classic flavor of Rotel is great in this recipe, it’s also great with your favorite salsa instead. You can even use tomatillo salsa (salsa verde), for a different and delicious spin. If you use a salsa, keep in mind that your chicken will have more juice when done.
- Chicken Options: If you prefer, you can easily make this recipe with bone-in chicken pieces instead of boneless. Bone-in chicken may take a little longer to cook through.
- Yummy Mix-Ins: This recipe is perfect for stirring in extra veggies, beans, or whatever you like! Get a boost of nutrition and flavor by adding your favorites, 1 – 2 hours before the end of the cook time.
- Doneness: I highly recommend testing your chicken for doneness early in the cooking time – as early has halfway through! It doesn’t take long to cook chicken breasts especially, and some crockpots cook faster than others, so it’s worthwhile to check.
- The Hand Mixer Hack: If you’re not a fan of shredding chicken with two forks, you can also use your hand mixer! Just break your warm (not piping hot) chicken apart into a few big pieces, place them in a large mixing bowl, and use your hand mixer on low speed to shred it up. The mixer attachments work surprisingly well for this! Just don’t try it with very hot or very saucy chicken, or you may have an issue with burns or splashing.
Tasty Serving Suggestions
Tacos are great by themselves, but adding the perfect side? That just puts it over the top! These are some of our favorite easy side dishes for tacos.
- Corn: Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad) or Elote (Mexican Street Corn) are both delicious options! If you are in a rush, you could also go with some simple Air Fryer Corn on the Cob.
- Plantains: Sweet pan fried plantains, Maduros, or these crispy fried Tostones, would both go great with these chicken tacos.
- Rice & Beans: Of course a side of rice and beans also always goes great with tacos! We love this Authentic Mexican Rice and Charro Beans or Refried Beans!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store your leftovers, place the chicken and any toppings in separate airtight containers. Store them in the refrigerator. Use the chicken within 3 – 4 days, and the toppings within 1 – 2 days. Keep the tortillas in their original package in the pantry, or if you made your own tortillas, wrap them in plastic wrap or foil. Leftover tortillas are good for up to 5 days at room temperature.
- To reheat leftovers, place the desired portion of chicken in a covered skillet on the stove, and heat on low until the chicken is heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave.
Can I Freeze This?
Yep! All you need to do is put your chicken into freezer bags or an airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Crockpot Chicken Tacos
For the Chicken
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1 oz package taco seasoning
- 1 10 oz can Rotel, strained to remove excess juice
- Juice of 1 lime
- **Tortillas, corn or flour
- Spray crockpot with non-stick spray.
- Lay chicken breasts flat in the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning and then top with Rotel. Squeeze lime juice on top and then place the lid onto the crockpot.
- Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low, until chicken is cooked through. Drain liquid – leaving about a half cup liquid remaining – and then shred chicken.
- Warm tortillas over stovetop (or wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave) and serve filled with chicken and whatever toppings you like!
More Easy Crockpot Recipes
- Crockpot Chicken and Rice
- Crockpot Jalapeño Corn Dip
- Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings
- Tender Pot Roast (Crockpot Recipe)
- Slow Cooker Cajun Chicken and Sausage
- Crockpot Chicken Stew
- Crockpot Chicken Pozole
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