Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos in the Crockpot

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
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Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos in the Crockpot are an easy Taco Tuesday recipe! Made with tangy, savory salsa verde, these shredded chicken tacos will have everyone in the family fighting for the last one!

The Easiest Chicken Tacos Ever!

One thing I’ve learned since I started working from home is that crockpot meals can be dangerous. Let me explain.

When you start off a slow cooker supper before leaving the house, it doesn’t really smell like much – maybe just the fragrance of the spices as you dump them into the pot, or a bit of onion or garlic. Then you basically leave the house, carefree and thinking of other things. When when you come home, a wonderful, savory dinner smell hits you.

But as it turns out, that delicious, dive-in-head-first aroma doesn’t just magically show up when you open your door. It’s been there building all day! Which means if I make a crockpot meal as a person who works from home, I have to fight off that mouthwatering fragrance the entire day. And do you know what that leads to? Snacking. Grazing. Stuffing my face with chips. It’s not pretty, people. Not pretty at all.

But in spite of that one issue, crockpot meals are still amazing, especially ones that are healthy and don’t contain a bunch of processed foods (looking at you, “Cream of” soup). This is one of the best – a spicy, tangy, salty, tender, juicy slow cooker recipe for salsa verde shredded chicken. It makes the most amazing tacos, and it’s incredibly easy.

From top: Tortillas, cotija cheese crumbles, red onion, salsa verde, chicken breast, chicken broth, lime halves, garlic salt, chopped cilantro.

What’s in Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos?

Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos are awesome for many reasons, the main one being that they are addictively delicious. The next biggest reason? With just a jar of store-bought green salsa (or a batch of homemade salsa verde, just skip the added avocado, if you prefer) you only need about 5 minutes of prep and you’re all set. Yes, it’s that easy!

  • Chicken Breast: You can also use thighs, if you like. Go with boneless, skinless for easy shredding, or use bone-in and skin-on if you don’t mind removing the skin and taking the meat off of the bones.
  • Green Salsa: I like using medium salsa verde, but you could substitute mild if you need a less-spicy dish. Want to turn up the heat? Go with a hot version.
  • Broth: Chicken broth, bone broth, vegetable broth… whatever you like.
  • Garlic Salt
  • Cilantro: Chopped fresh cilantro is awesome in this recipe – unless you don’t like cilantro, of course! In that case, you could try some chopped green onions and/or parsley.
  • Tortillas: Homemade Flour Tortillas or corn tortillas, whichever you like!
  • Red Onion: Slice up one small red onion. Other kinds of onion are fine, too.
  • Cotija Cheese: Crumbled, for sprinkling. You can also use crumbled queso fresco.
  • Fresh Lime: Cut into wedges, for squeezing on top.

What’s the Difference Between Salsa and Salsa Verde?

“Verde” is Spanish for “green,” so as you can imagine, salsa verde is green salsa. It’s green because it uses green tomatillos (the little green tomato-like fruits that come with a papery husk around them) instead of regular tomatoes. Salsa verde often includes lime, cilantro, and jalapeno – it truly is a “green” ingredient! The tangy, bold flavor goes really well with mild, savory chicken, creating a taco filling you will turn to again and again.

Chicken tacos on plates, garnished with lime and cotija cheese.

How to Make Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos in the Slow Cooker

These salsa verde chicken tacos are as easy as it gets – you just dump in your ingredients into the slow cooker, and let them go for hours until the chicken is tender. Then just shred it and pile it into a tortilla!

Mix the Ingredients in Your Crockpot. First, pour a cup of salsa verde into your slow cooker, along with your chicken broth and garlic salt. Give it a stir or a whisk, and then place the chicken breasts in the sauce. Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.

Shred the Chicken. Once the chicken is cooked and tender, take it out of the crockpot and toss the cooking liquid. Shred the chicken with two forks, place it in a medium-sized bowl, and pour the rest of the salsa over it, along with your freshly-chopped cilantro. Stir it all up.

Enjoy! Fill your tortillas with the chicken, a few slices of red onion, some crumbled cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime.

Two salsa verde chicken tacos on a plate.

Tips and Hacks

There are a few more things I’d like to share about this recipe, just a couple of helpful hints that you can use to help make it your own and bring out the best flavors. Here are my top tips for the best salsa verde chicken tacos.

  • The Salsa Verde: Green salsa is the most important part of this recipe, and I think it tastes best when it has not only a lot of flavor, but also a little heat. If I am buying it at the store, I always look for a brand that still has seeds in it – that’s where a lot of the heat is.
  • Your Crockpot: It’s important to understand that all crockpots cook a little differently, and what might be the perfect amount of time for mine may be too long (or too short) in your crockpot. So if you can, check on the chicken every couple of hours to see how it’s doing. (Pro tip: Older, “vintage” crockpots tend to cook at lower temperatures than modern versions.)
  • The Toppings: By the way, if you don’t love red onion or have cotija cheese, you can still make this dish! Those are the toppings that my family enjoys, but salsa verde chicken tacos would also be amazing with sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and all of those other tried-and-true taco toppings.
Plated salsa verde chicken tacos with toppings, next to a slow cooker insert with more salsa verde chicken inside.

Serving Ideas

A few side dishes are nice with simple tacos like this, and some of our go-to favorites around are rice and black beans. So good! Other mouthwatering options include…

  • Maduros: Ever wonder what to do with those plantains at the grocery store? They’re super affordable, and with this easy recipe for Fried Sweet Plantains (aka maduros), you’ll know exactly how to turn them into a crave-able side dish.
  • Texas Caviar: Is Texas Caviar a salad? A relish? A dip? This tantalizing combo of corn, beans, bell peppers, and other goodies is all three, and it’s amazing with a meal of freshly-made tacos.
  • Homemade Tortillas: Any taco dinner is that much more special when you serve it with real Homemade Flour Tortillas. Even if you’ve never made them before, you can do this, and they will be delicious!

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

  • To store, place any leftover shredded chicken in an airtight container, and store in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. Leftover tortillas usually store well at room temperature for several days, and the toppings can go in separate zip-top bags for one week (red onion) or up to several weeks (cotija cheese).
  • Freeze the leftover chicken in a freezer bag or freezer container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To reheat, just scoop the desired amount of salsa verde chicken into a skillet over low heat. Cook and stir until the chicken is heated through, but don’t overcook or it will dry out.
Two shredded chicken tacos propped up against each other on a serving plate.
4.9 from 7 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 4 servings

Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos in the Crockpot

Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos in the Crockpot are an easy taco tuesday dinner recipe! If you've got a few busy weeknights ahead, these crockpot shredded chicken tacos are a great option for you.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 10 minutes


  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 3 cups medium salsa verde, divided
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

If Serving As Tacos:

  • 8-10 tortillas, corn or homemade flour tortillas
  • sliced red onion
  • crumbled cotija cheese, or queso fresco
  • lime wedges


  • Whisk together 1 cup salsa verde, chicken broth and garlic salt in crockpot. Add chicken breasts and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
  • Remove chicken from crockpot and discard remaining liquid. Shred chicken with two forks and place in a medium bowl. Add remaining 2 cups salsa verde and chopped cilantro to chicken. Mix to combine.
  • Fill tortillas with a scoop of chicken, a few slices of red onion, a healthy scoop of crumbled cotija cheese and a squeeze of lime! Or you can serve it with rice, black beans, and pan fried plantains.


Salsa Verde Note: The Salsa Verde is the most important part of this recipe. You want to get one that has a lot of flavor and a little heat to it. If I am buying it, I always look for one that still has seeds in it. But if you have time, make your own. I love the Salsa Verde from this recipe…just skip the avocado! It is so easy and flavorful!
To store, place any leftover shredded chicken in an airtight container, and store in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. Leftover tortillas usually store well at room temperature for several days, and the toppings can go in separate zip-top bags for one week (red onion) or up to several weeks (cotija cheese).
Freeze the leftover chicken in a freezer bag or freezer container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
To reheat, just scoop the desired amount of salsa verde chicken into a skillet over low heat. Cook and stir until the chicken is heated through, but don't overcook or it will dry out.


Serving: 1, Calories: 438kcal, Carbohydrates: 14g, Protein: 74g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 195mg, Sodium: 2295mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 8g


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39 Responses
  1. Jocelyn

    I made these last night and they were fabulous! I couldn’t find cotija cheese, but I put avocado and cilantro on the tacos with a little sour cream and it was amazing. This recipe will definitely go in my rotation, especially since it’s so easy!

  2. Meggles

    You can also do something similar with a small pork roast as well! It makes delightfully amazing shredded pork for tacos, sandwiches, etc. A pork roast will still be a very good, flavorful, lean meat, and you can make a lot for cheap, which is great if you’re feeding a crowd!

  3. Crystal

    I made this yesterday, and you’re right, the smell was totally bringing me back into the kitchen over and over and over again. My husband went nuts over these last night and wanted more, so I’m making them for lunch today. I love your blog and will continue to check back for more.

  4. Katie

    Haha yes! The smell is difficult when you’re home and just want to eat the delicious food cooking in there! I feel you on that one. I made beer and bbq chicken on a Sunday and almost died waiting for it to finish.

  5. Michelle

    I miss “seeing” you around on What’s Cooking! You need to come around again, it’s boring without you :)

  6. Christina @ ovenadventures

    i always get my crockpot meals ready the night before then just throw it in the fridge and pop it on the slow cooker in the morning, because like you I’m NOT a morning person!

    btw what are you using to hold the tacos?? your pictures are always so damn pretty!

  7. Joanne

    see I rarely use the crockpot because i love the actual act of cooking. Plus crockpot food can be so photogenic. I mean, these are gorgeous. But you know what I mean.

  8. Robyn

    i hate getting up early, and can’t handle touching raw meat before i’ve had my breakfast (gag), so i usually get my slowcooker fired up before i go to bed so it can cook overnight while i sleep. i’m sure my neighbours wonder why i’m searing pork at midnight, but there you have it!

  9. Grace

    Oh my god, I know exactly what smell you’re talking about. Pulled pork is thee worst. But the best at the same time. :)

  10. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

    These sound seriously perfect. I hate being tortured with crock meal smells BUT I love using it because I can’t be bothered to stand at the stove for a solid 30+ min dealing with whatever while kids are running amock lol. Someday though things will change. Love your stand btw.

  11. USA Kiwi

    I’m totally in love with your taco holder.
    I got so excited that I didn’t even read the recipe, I just like the pictures.

    Now, I guess I should read the post, huh?

  12. Deborah

    Haha – I totally hear ya!! I usually only get out my crockpot when I’m going to be gone all day and don’t have time to worry about dinner. These sound so perfect for one of those days!!

  13. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    As a gal who was home with crockpot chili all day yesterday I must say my sniffer must be off. I get used to the smell and the Mr walks in and says “it smells heavenly in here!” and I said “it does!?” But yeah, these? These I might dive into the pot for before he even walked through the door!

  14. Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau

    I’ve done something similar to this and it’s so good and easy! Your tacos are so darned pretty though – mine were nowhere close!!

  15. Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I am a huge crockpot fan and although I am a morning person, I definitely have my moments where getting the food ready early enough in the day can be semi-disasterous.

  16. Kathryn

    I feel the same about crockpots/slow cookers. The idea of preparing all my ingredients before work is just not appealing (not to mention my irrational fear that it might explode while I’m out. But then again these look so good that I’m torn. See what you’ve done to me!

  17. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    Salsa verde is my BFF. I made puff pastry with it last week, I make tofu with it, I need to try it in the crockpot. GREAT idea!

  18. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen

    I work from home and that smell drives me nuts so it’s basically the reason I use my crock pot like 2x a year. This might be the only time I’ve wished I didn’t work from home!
    PS- what IS that rack? Please don’t tell me they actually make a taco stand?!

  19. Krissy @ Krissy's Creations

    I am so much like you, in so many ways! I can totally relate to everything your saying in this post :). I haven’t touched my crock pot in years. I think I need to whip it out and make these tacos!

  20. Cassie

    Bring on the easy dinners. Love this, Jessica. I feel you on the crockpot thing! Great in theory but sometimes doesn’t play out all too well when Pinterest (obviously!) takes priority.

  21. Jeanette

    Thanks for pulling your crockpot out and making this – love how simple and beautiful these tacos are. As for Pinterest, it is so addicting that I need to start scheduling time slots so I get off my computer!

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For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.